Stories From This Week

21st March 2020

From The Alternative. ‘Twitter is a mixed-bag of a medium – but if you’ve curated your followers consciously enough, it can be an amazing mixture of town crier, morale booster and academic reading list. In this Coronavirus moment, we’re enjoying all three modes – but the last has turfed up a fascinating piece of futures thinking, which at least suggests a positive road (out of the current) situation, for the next thirty years…’ ‘Localism 2020-2050 –  “Empathetic Communities” + “Local Loops”. 

7 ways to travel when you can’t…

From Wunderman Thompson, a piece on Pandemic Brands. ‘In a burst of philanthropy that consumers are likely to remember long after the virus is vanquished, phone manufacturers and carmakers are reconfiguring production lines to make face masks; e-commerce platforms are waiving service fees for merchants; and food delivery giants are plying health workers with free meals and free use of shared bicycles.’

From The Guardian. The Act of Love: using photography to spread unity during a pandemic.

Never a better time to explore Google Arts and Culture. The current lead feature is – ‘Explore more than 150 cultural institutions to discover Italy’s unique masterpieces, landscapes, and cultural heritage.’

Two pieces from Information is Beautiful. The perfect time to enjoy some more Beautiful News, …and here a Covid-19 Data Pack. Well worth a look.

Keep it clean: The surprising 130-year history of hand-washing. “If there had to be a father of hand-washing it would be Ignaz Semmelweis… while working at Vienna General hospital, the Hungarian doctor was at the forefront of a more scientific approach to medicine. Faced with a doctor-led maternity ward in which maternal deaths from the dreaded childbed fever were significantly higher than in the midwife-run clinic there, he racked his brain for clues as to why….

This billboard tells you not to look at it (and stay home instead)

What’s cosmo-localism?  – when hospitals run out of ventilator parts, and local 3D printers provide them. 

From Statista, on 19th March. Coronavirus Crash Not (Yet) as Bad as Previous Downturns

Great stuff. Goodby Silverstein & Partners, has a message for toilet paper hoarders. 

Apparently this is how may kids, and others, are now connecting. Houseparty.com. (HT @itsjimmyb)

A beautifully done map of mathematics,  – using simple starting points (numbers, shapes, change), the map branches out exploring the relationship between numbers, questions/contradictions within the field. The creators say, “If mathematics is the poetry of logic, as Albert Einstein once wrote, then through this we hope to provide an appreciation for all the beauty that it describes.” (from Quanta Magazine)

Another nice piece from XKCD. A traveller from 2010 comes to 2020….

A whistling walrus…

Need a further break from the news? Try swimming with turtles.  

A pine tree near a flooded Czech village has been voted European Tree of The Year, beating off stiff competition from a Croatian gingko tree, a Portuguese chestnut and an English oak.

I guess, we knew this already but nice to see it confirmed here – ‘Dogs have a magic effect’: how pets can improve our mental health’.