Best Of the Web: Corporate Blockchain Fever Over, Health Supplements That Work and Asian Rappers…

Some big health studies came out recently which support the case of some health supplements. Tech innovation continues with Dubai Police buying “hoversurf drones” and the rise of death doulas.


Department Of Health

This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Fast Food a Lot Only loss of cognitive function, depression, obesity, malnutrition, cancer, heart disease and constipation. Apart from its fine.

VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL researchers announce landmark trial findings A US study that has tracked 25,000 people using Vitamin D and fish oil supplements have just reported their findings. They found that Vitamin D does not reduce the emergence of cancer, but does appear to reduce the risk of cancer death. It doesn’t appear to have any impact on cardiovascular events (heart attacks, strokes). Omega-3 supplements meanwhile have no impact on cancer risks, but do appear reduce the risk of one  type of cardio event, heart attacks.  Another large new studyfound that fish oil helps reduce heart issues for those on statins.  Also, worth reading this article on another supplement (for sleep): As Melatonin Use Rises, So Do Safety Concerns

Scientists Develop a Spiky Eye Patch That Injects Drugs Straight Into The Eye Sounds painful, but apparently these new dissolvable micro-needles can treat eye disease better than current forms of treatment (such as eye drops).

Will the Government Block This Geneticist From Selling an Anti-Aging Pill? This scientist is treating ageing like a disease. He’s trying to get approval to test resveratrol (found in small amounts in grapes and cocoa) and also nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) boosters. The latter appear to work in slowing the ageing process in mice.


Lives Of Others

There’s a Strange Explosion of Certain Meditative Practices in America Right Now Big jumps in those practising either yoga or meditation – both now reaching 14% of the adult population. Moreover for children, the proportion practising yoga has doubled to 8.4% and for meditation it has gone up to 5.5% from zero five years ago!

Death doulas can fill care gaps at the end of life Interesting idea of having death doulas which like birth doulas would provide social, emotional and practical support at critical time for the family. With an ageing population and time-poor children could make some sense.

Online Education Ascends Number and proportion of college and university students taking classes online grew solidly in 2017, as overall postsecondary enrolments fell. A third of all students now take at least one online course.


Future is Here

Dubai Police Receive First Delivery of Innovative Hoversurf Drone, Begin Training The first “hover-surfs” have been bought. They’re like motorbikes that can float above the ground. Could be something from Star Wars (see picture). Check out this video for it in action.

Google open-sources AI that can distinguish between voices with 92% accuracy Using neural networks, the algorithm can separate out specific speakers from audio

5G is coming to these 16 cities in the UK Yeah! Cities include London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh or at least parts of them. 5G can boost internet access speed to 1Gbps vs 4G’s 100-200Mbps

Xerox Wins Patent for Blockchain System That Tracks Revisions to Electronic Documents“The technology offered by Xerox can supposedly detect whether a file has been altered and tracks the history of changes made. Owing to the decentralized verification mechanism, the system thus becomes resistant to tampering, the filing states.”



Corporate America’s blockchain and bitcoin fever is over S&P 500 executives are dropping blockchain buzzwords less on earnings calls and during presentations to analysts and investors. Analysts are also asking about it less (see chart).

Tech C.E.O.s Are in Love With Their Principal Doomsayer “The futurist philosopher Yuval Noah Harari thinks Silicon Valley is an engine of dystopian ruin. So why do the digital elite adore him so?” I know the answer, Yuval’s thesis argues that the tech guys are the principal actors of the future, while the rest of us are the plebs.

End intellectual property IP formerly got serious legal status in 1967 with the establishment of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Argues that IP covers trademark, copyright, patent and various other types of “intangible” assets. The writer argues that not all forms of IP lead to innovation and need to reviewed separately which should make the term IP redundant. Moreover, even patents need to be considered in terms of how it benefits all, not just the holder.


Ministry Of Propaganda

Fake News and Advertising on Social Media: A Study of the Anti-Vaccination MovementThey document that anti-vaccine Facebook groups disseminate false stories beyond the groups as well as serving as an “echo” chamber. They also find that after Facebook’s ban on advertising by fake new sites, the sharing of fake news articles on Facebook fell by 75% on Facebook compared to Twitter.

Consumer Misinformation and the Brand Premium: A Private Label Blind Taste Test The academics run in-store blind taste tests with a retailer’s private label food brands and the leading national brand counterparts in three large CPG categories. Surprisingly however, an overwhelming majority systematically chooses the private label in the blinded test.


Ministry Of Culture

America Isn’t Ready for Asian Rappers. They’re Taking Over Anyway “In February, Indonesian rapper and 88rising act Rich Brian became the first Asian to top the iTunes hip-hop chart with his debut album Amen. Japanese YouTube-star-turned-elegiac-pop-singer Joji, another 88 act, saw his album Ballads 1 debut at a similarly unprecedented Number One on Billboard‘s R&B/hip-hop chart this month.”

17 New Albums Arriving in Record Stores in the Year 1980 It feels strange looking at pictures and fashions from the past. How will people 30 years from now look back at us. Anyway, some of the albums were pretty big with releases from The Pretenders, Ramones, Paul McCartney, Queen  and many others I don’t recognise!

All of the Stan Lee cameos from Marvel movies, and why we love them Sad to see him pass, and this article provides a sweet memorial to him

France has been the most-visited country in the world for more than 20 years in a row — but experts think it’s about to lose its crown….to China!


And Finally:

Poet and Philosopher David Whyte on Anger, Forgiveness, and What Maturity Really Means Wise and unique understanding of anger, which includes “ANGER is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt.”

Crazy in love? The Japanese man ‘married’ to a hologram “he says Gatebox has issued more than 3,700 certificates for “cross-dimension” marriages and some people have sent him supportive messages.”. hmm.


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