4 Tiny Big Things At The End

1. Wave at people in SPACE

Wherever you are on Earth, NASA will tell you where, when and how you can see the International Space Station flying through space above your head.

The space station looks like an airplane or a very bright star moving across the sky, except it doesn’t have flashing lights or change direction. It will also be moving considerably faster than a typical airplane (airplanes generally fly at about 600 miles per hour; the space station flies at 17,500 miles per hour).

Thanks dad for showing us last weekend 🌌

2. Random Good News

The EU’s energy-related CO2 emissions fell 8% last year and are now 14% below their pre-pandemic levels. […] The amount of electricity generated from fossil fuels in the United Kingdom has declined to its lowest level since 1957. […] Wind turbines are friendlier to birds than oil-and-gas drilling.

Via Future Crunch (of course). 🕊

3. Discovery of Amazonian ‘Rome’

Using airborne laser-scanning technology (Lidar), [Stéphen] Rostain and his colleagues discovered a long-lost network of cities extending across 300sq km in the Ecuadorean Amazon, complete with plazas, ceremonial sites, drainage canals and roads that were built 2,500 years ago and had remained hidden for thousands of years.

Read more on BBC.com. 🌴

4. Walk Backwards For Balance

Science (and Tik Tok) says:

Backward walking positively affected gait and balance ability after intervention.

[Backward walking] training could serve as a potentially useful tool to improve balance performance among those with a high risk of fall.

Which reminds me of my previous hobby of running up eight flights of stairs backwards. Good for the knees, apparently! (Note: I am not a physio.) ⚖

Five Tiny Big Things #4 Good News / Counterintuitive Bicycles / Getting Rich / Jungle Wedding / Meaning Of Life

If you only click one thing…

1. 66 Good News Stories You Didn’t Hear About in 2023. My single favourite publication of the year. Every year.

Four more nice things…

2. Bicycles are Zen koans in action: ‘If you want to turn left, you must first turn right.’ The Incredibly Counterintuitive Physics of Bicycle Turns.

3. A Few Laws of Getting Rich (via 👋)

Happiness is complicated, but if you simplify it into things like a loving family, health, friendship, eight hours of sleep, well-balanced children, and being part of something bigger than yourself, you realize how limited money’s role can be. It’s not that it has no role; just smaller than you may have assumed.

4. How I Survived a Wedding in a Jungle That Tried to Eat Me Alive. This story goes places you want no story to go. Go there safely with Melissa Johnson.

5. John Updike on The Meaning of Life at The Marginalian:

Ancient religion and modern science agree: we are here to give praise. Or, to slightly tip the expression, to pay attention.

Five Tiny Big Things #3 Flourless Bread / Free Agatha Christie / The Power Of Journalism / Be Not Boring / Walk & Talk

  1. 1-Ingredient Flourless Buckwheat Bread. Got to be worth a try, surely? (Thanks L!)
  2. Public domain Agatha Christie ebooks. Technically not out of copyright in the UK, but I don’t have an ereader so I’m not about to test how far the strong arm reaches. Another idea: go to the library.
  3. Reporting on Long Covid Taught Me to Be a Better Journalist: an uplifting redefinition of the power of journalism by Ed Yong. See his newsletter The Ed’s Up for more of this sort of thing and, this week, a digest of readings on the Israeli assault on Gaza.
  4. How not to be boring (according to some psychology studies): change the subject more often than you might feel is polite; tell old family stories that you know get a laugh; nod slowly three times when someone seems to have stopped speaking.
  5. Walk and Talk by Derek Sivers. A week of walking with a group of friends. ‘It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. Very healthy for your brain, body, and friendships.’

Five Tiny Big Things #2 Juicy Forest Restoration / News Revolution / Natural Light At Dusk / Nature Therapy / Everything Is Going To Be Fine

Tiny thing: orange peel; big thing: forest restoration
  1. A juice company dumps 12,000 metric tonnes of orange pulp and accidentally heals degraded forest in Costa Rica? (I had to check the date on this article — it’s legit.)
  2. I know the world is in need of deep systemic change in so many ways, but small wins can help. Join the revolution and sign the petition that I personally have been waiting for since about 2007 — ‘Reduce the number of news bulletins on BBC 6 Music’. Thank you.
  3. Exposure to natural light in the mornings is meant to be really great for, like, health and stuff. But, as someone who still hasn’t adjusted to the clocks going back, maybe I’m one of the 10 percent of people who get more out of exposure to natural light at dusk? I never knew that might be a thing until I heard this podcast with Achim Kramer, the head of chronobiology at Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and Russell Foster, a professor of sleep and circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford. Related tip: don’t use your alarm clock to force yourself awake, but as a signal that you have had enough sleep. (Thanks C 👋)
  4. I’m excited about this Nature Therapy Conference in April 2024. I would be much more excited if I could actually go… But you should!
  5. EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE FINE (a 15 minute film). An archaeologist, a therapist and some preppers discuss the end of the world (includes a quiz about seeds). Related: How anxiety about the planet’s future is transforming the practice of psychotherapy (NY Times).


Three Tiny Big Things At The End #1 Allez Les Bleues / The Biggest Problem With Journalism Today / Energy Makes Time

1. Allez Les Bleues

If you’ve watched as much football as I have, at some point you’ll figure out what’s happening in this video. It still made me cry a bit.

It also made me notice the massive role that crowds have to play in our experience of spectator sport.

The more supporters there are in the stadium, the bigger the occasion, the higher we rate the skills of the players on show.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise: a big part of the reason we laugh at comedians on stage more than we laugh at random show-offs in the street is because there is an audience there, laughing along with us.

We are infectiously social animals. It’s been wonderful to see a flourishing enthusiasm for another side of the beautiful game spread over the past few years.

As well as being generally badass, this video also reminds me to appreciate the more neglected moments, the moments where the cameras aren’t rolling, where the crowds aren’t already cheering.

An overhead kick at the under-8s down the park is as good as one from the boot of Sam Kerr.

2. The Biggest Problem With Journalism Today

A couple of weeks ago, Future Crunch ran an experiment to see what kind of stories ‘humanity’s prime information-gathering apparatus’ are telling.

It wasn’t good news:

The news is supposed to tell us what’s happening in the world. It doesn’t. Instead, thanks to a combination of commercial pressures, cognitive biases and cultural habits, news organisations have become modern-day doom machines, showcasing the absolute worst of humanity. There isn’t even a pretence at balance.

That’s why we think the biggest problem with journalism today isn’t fake news, or filter bubbles, or polarisation, or elitism, or the ongoing obsession with the website formerly known as Twitter. The biggest problem is bad news.

You can subscribe to Future Crunch immediately here.

3. Energy Makes Time

Here’s a nice piece from Mandy Brown on Everything Changes:

We all know that time can be stretchy or compressed—we’ve experienced hours that plodded along interminably and those that whisked by in a few breaths. We’ve had days in which we got so much done we surprised ourselves and days where we got into a staring contest with the to-do list and the to-do list didn’t blink.

And we’ve also had days that left us puddled on the floor and days that left us pumped up, practically leaping out of our chairs. What differentiates these experiences isn’t the number of hours in the day but the energy we get from the work. Energy makes time.

via Kottke.org