A wave of ultra-long flights that will get you halfway around the world in one hop is pushing airlines to deal with the one extra you can’t escape: Relentless insomnia, debilitating fatigue and tormented bowels, better known as jet lag.
Qantas Airways Ltd., which will start the first non-stop service between Australia and Europe in March, is working with scientists in Sydney to discover ways to limit body-clock breakdown on the 17-hour flight. They’ve tried to make the color and intensity of the jet’s interior lights mimic dawn and dusk. Cabin temperatures and specially made meals will aim to put passengers to sleep or keep them awake—depending on the time at the destination.
Key to the problem is circadian disruption—messing with the internal body clock that regulates everything from brainwave activity to hormone production and cell regeneration.
The main cue for resetting that clock is light, said Steve Simpson, academic director of the Charles Perkins Centre, which is carrying out the research with Sydney-based Qantas. But there’s a baked-in biological catch: the clock can only reset by about 90 minutes a day, even in the right conditions. An ill-timed dose of sunshine or a badly chosen snack at the wrong hour can mean days of suffering, he said.
Angus Whitley, Bloomberg, February 5, 2018
He founded a company, Yondr, whose small, gray pouches swallow phones and lock them away from the fingers and eyes of their addicted owners. Since it started in 2014, hundreds of thousands of the neoprene pouches have been used across North America, Europe and Australia
People entering a school, courtroom, concert, medical facility, wedding or other event are asked to slip their phones into the pouches when they enter. Once locked, the phones stay with their owners until they are ready to leave the premises, and then the devices are released from their tiny prisons at an “unlocking base.” The pouches can be rented for a single event or on extended leases. They are now used in more than 600 U.S. schools.
At San Lorenzo High School in California, which this school year began requiring students to Yondr (yes, it’s a verb) their phones from the beginning of first period until the end of the last, the difference has been stark. Grades have gone up, and discipline problems have plummeted, said principal Allison Silvestri. Referrals for defiance and disrespect are down 82 percent, she said, adding that before Yondr, most of them stemmed from arguments between students and teachers over phone use in class.
Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, February 5, 2018
Over the next 13 years, the rising tide of automation will force as many as 70 million workers in the United States to find another way to make money, a new study from the global consultancy McKinsey predicts.
That means nearly a third of the American workforce could face the need to pick up new skills or enter different fields in the near future, said the report’s co-author, Michael Chui, a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute who studies business and economics.
“We believe that everyone will need to do retraining over time,” he said.
Danielle Paquette, Washington Post, November 30, 2017
NASA runs a child-slave colony on Mars!
Photos taken by a Chinese orbiter reveal an alien settlement on the moon!
Shape-shifting reptilian extraterrestrials that can control human minds are running the U.S. government!
What drives the astonishing popularity of such stories? Are we a particularly gullible species? Perhaps not—maybe we’re just overwhelmed. A bare-bones model of how news spreads on social media, published in June in Nature Human Behavior, indicates that just about anything can go viral. Even in a perfect world, where everyone wants to share real news and is capable of evaluating the veracity of every claim, some fake news would still reach thousands (or even millions) of people, simply because of information overload.
Madhusree Mukerjee, Scientific American, July 14, 2017