Category Archives: Current Affairs

Current Affairs

This library lets you borrow people instead of books. It just may help bridge our bitter divisions – CNN

By John Blake, CNN, Updated 7:14 AM ET, Sun November 14, 2021

Two women — one Muslim, one not — talk at a Human Library event in London in 2018.

(CNN)On a rainy spring morning in Muncie, Indiana, a White, middle-aged, conservative woman met a transgender woman for a date.

It did not start well. The transgender woman was waiting at a table when the other woman showed up. She stood up and extended her hand. The other woman refused to take it.

“I want you to know I’m a conservative Christian,” she said, still standing. “I’m a liberal Christian,” the transgender woman replied. “Let’s talk.”

Their rendezvous was supposed to last about 30 minutes. But the conversation was so engrossing for both that it lasted an hour.

It ended with the conservative woman rising from her seat to give the other woman a hug.”Thank you,” she said. “This has been wonderful.”

This improbable meeting came courtesy of the Human Library, a nonprofit learning platform that allows people to borrow people instead of books. But not just any people. Every “human book” from this library represents a group that faces prejudice or stigmas because of their lifestyle, ethnicity, beliefs, or disability. A human book can be an alcoholic, for example, or a Muslim, or a homeless person, or someone who was sexually abused.The Human Library stages in-person and online events where “difficult questions are expected, appreciated, and answered.” Organizers says they’re trying to encourage people to “unjudge” a book by its cover.

Source: This library lets you borrow people instead of books. It just may help bridge our bitter divisions – CNN

What is the perfect bed time? New study reveals best time for sleep – Deseret News

Falling asleep at a specific time might protect you from heart problems

By Herb Scribner @HerbScribner Nov 12, 2021, 11:00pm MST

Falling asleep at a specific time might protect you from heart problems
Illustration by Alex Cochran, Deseret News

Scientists may have identified the perfect bedtime to protect your heart — 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Per NBC News, scientists recently reviewed data from 88,000 adults who tracked their sleep patterns for six years.

They found that there was a 12% greater risk for heart disease in those who went to sleep from 11 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. There was a 25% higher risk of developing the cardiovascular disease for those who fell asleep past midnight. There was a 24% decreased risk in those who fell asleep before 10 p.m.

Source: What is the perfect bed time? New study reveals best time for sleep – Deseret News

27 Of The Best Books to Give as Gifts in 2021 | Book Riot

Leah Rachel von Essen, Nov 9, 2021

From article…

You may have heard that if you want to give books for the holidays, you should order them immediately. Or even, honestly, yesterday.

Point is, thanks to the supply chain, booksellers are slammed, so you have a great excuse to start ordering the best books to give as gifts in 2021 early (AKA right now, as soon as you finish reading my list).

A lot of these bookish gifting lists focus on the big bestsellers of the year, the buzzy seem-to-be-everywhere books. And that’s a great strategy, for many people.

But the thing is, if you’re here, you’re trying to give a book to a reader. And that’s a problem, because as any friend-of-a-bookworm knows, it’s impossible to buy us something to read, because you’re never sure what we have or haven’t read. And there is a high likelihood that we’ve already read, or ruled out, those buzzy books.

Source: 27 Of The Best Books to Give as Gifts in 2021 | Book Riot

Longevity: Research on how diet and exercise can help – The Washington Post

By Matt Fuchs, October 11, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. EDT

Valter Longo, a biochemist at the University of Southern California, received lessons in longevity from a trio of 100-year-olds in Villagrande Strisaili in Sardinia, Italy. (Gianni Pes)

Death comes for us all. But recent research points to interventions in diet, exercise and mental outlook that could slow down aging and age-related diseases — without risky biohacks such as unproven gene therapies.

A multidisciplinary approach involving these evidence-based strategies “could get it all right,” said Valter Longo, a biochemist who runs the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.

Source: Longevity: Research on how diet and exercise can help – The Washington Post

Maine passes nation’s 1st ‘right to food’ amendment | AP News

By PATRICK WHITTLE, Nov 3rd, 2021

FILE- Chickens follow Heather Retberg at her family’s farm, Sept. 17, 2021, in Penobscot, Maine. On Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, Maine voters will decide whether to pass the nation’s first “right to food” constitutional amendment. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine voters passed the nation’s first “right to food” constitutional amendment on Tuesday.

A statewide referendum asked voters if they favored an amendment to the Maine Constitution “to declare that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health and well-being.”

It was an experiment not tried before by any state.

Source: Maine passes nation’s 1st ‘right to food’ amendment

Will There Be Libraries in 25 Years?  | Time

By Brewster Kahle, October 22, 2021 1:21 PM EDT
Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. Member, National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Internet Hall of Fame
Getty Images

When I started the Internet Archive 25 years ago, I focused our non-profit library on digital collections: preserving web pages, archiving television news, and digitizing books. The Internet Archive was seen as innovative and unusual.

Now all libraries are increasingly electronic, and necessarily so. To fight disinformation, to serve readers during the pandemic, and to be relevant to 21st-century learners, libraries must become digital.

But just as the Web increased people’s access to information exponentially, an opposite trend has evolved. Global media corporations—emboldened by the expansive copyright laws they helped craft and the emerging technology that reaches right into our reading devices—are exerting absolute control over digital information.

These two conflicting forces—towards unfettered availability and completely walled access to information—have defined the last 25 years of the Internet. How we handle this ongoing clash will define our civic discourse in the next 25 years.

If we fail to forge the right path, publishers’ business models could eliminate one of the great tools for democratizing society: our independent libraries.

Source: Will There Be Libraries in 25 Years?  | Time