So much for the ‘Mediterranean diet’

Children in Italy, Greece and Spain are now the fattest in Europe. More than 40% of boys and girls aged nine are either overweight or obese. Sweets,junk food and sugary drinks have displaced the region’s traditional diet based on fruit and vegetables, fish and olive oil. (World Health Organisation) One study suggests that your bank …

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A thought from CERN, Geneva

I have just been to CERN and was reminded that Epicurus was a forerunner of todays particle physicists. Epicurean atomism was remarkably similar to nineteenth-century atomic chemistry: atoms as indivisible, eternal building blocks, things regarded as mere accumulations of atoms colliding with each other. More, the Epicureans came up with a “many worlds” cosmology long …

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Amazon Echo and electronic snooping

A Portland couple were discussing hardwood floors. Their Amazon Echo was listening, recording their discussion, then sending the recording randomly to someone in their contacts list, without the couple’s knowledge. The wife told Seattle TV station KIRO 7 that they learned something was amiss when they received a phone call from an employee of the …

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Tech billionaire parenting

“Melinda Gates’s children don’t have smartphones and only use a computer in the kitchen. Her husband Bill spends hours in his office reading books while everyone else is refreshing their homepage. The most sought-after private school in Silicon Valley, the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, bans electronic devices for the under-11s and teaches the children …

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Economic growth

“Only in economics is endless expansion seen as a virtue. In biology it is called cancer.” (From David Pilling’s book “The Growth Delusion”). Pilling’s core contention is that gross domestic product – the measurement upon which so much economic analysis is based – is an arbitrary, oversimplified construct that we “slavishly follow” for no good …

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