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Friday High Five: Soylent is Green, Mindy Kaling and Mobile Nostalgia

Read Thursday, 8 May 2014

New writing at Weather Stations blog

There’s some great original writing over at the Weather Stations blog, part of the global project around storytelling and climate change that we are part of. Tony Birch, the Australian Weather Stations writer, has contributed a powerful piece on the detritus of consumer culture, as it manifests in our throwaways – including the televisions that were once household treasures and are now regularly discarded on suburban nature strips. And the piles of household goods dumped at homeless spots that are more hassle than help.


Is Soylent the new food?

In tech hubs in the US, the latest food craze is a food replacement called Soylent, invented by a member of a San Francisco technology start-up who resented the burden of food – both eating and buying it. As a solution, ‘he began to consider food as an engineering problem’. After some research, he came up with 35 nutrients required for survival, ordered them off the internet and poured them all into a blender, with some water. He’s been living off the mixture for over a year, has spawned an army of nerd followers, and just launched Soylent as a major product after reaching their crowdfunding target of $100,000 within two hours.

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Mobile nostalgia and not hiding from the internet

At Killings, Connor Tomas O’Brien, co-director of the Digital Writers Festival, reflects on his generation’s first mobile, the Nokia 3310, a gateway drug to the smartphones of today – and in the process, he considers how little control parents really have over their teenagers’ smartphone use, and how difficult it is to achieve (let alone mandate) screen-free time in the digital age. ‘My high school teacher’s advice that we should only spend thirty minutes a day online now sounds insane. In 2014, it’s nearly impossible to hide from the internet for even thirty seconds.’

Mindy Kaling interviews Billy Crystal about When Harry Met Sally

Mindy Kaling interviewed Billy Crystal for Entertainment Weekly recently, and it’s a total fan-fest. She enthuses about When Harry Met Sally (and gets the inside running on how some of its most iconic scenes came about – and the role improvisation played in its creation), as well as finding out about Billy’s upcoming new TV show The Comedians, based on a Swedish original.


Worryingly high worldwide resistance to antibiotics

The World Health Organisation has released a report revealing high worldwide rates of resistance to antibiotics used to treat the most common serious infections. ‘In all regions of the world, we now see that hospitals are reporting untreatable, or nearly untreatable, infections.’ What does this mean? We are nearing a ‘post-antibiotic era’.

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