THE MARVEL OF THE HUMAN DAD

"Among our close animal relatives, only humans have involved and empathetic fathers. Why did evolution favour the devoted dad?"

Evolutionary anthropologist, Anna Machin, looks concerningly at the concept of fatherhood, and why it has been relatively neglected in society. Machin looks at why it evolved in our species and no other, and the personal and societal benefits of simple interactions such as coaching football, bedtime stories and scaring away the night-time monsters.

A. Machin · The long read

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HOW FANCY WATER BOTTLES BECAME A 21ST-CENTURY STATUS SYMBOL

"On the surface, water bottles as totems of consumer aspiration sound absurd: If you have access to water, you can drink it out of so many things that already exist in your home. But...if you can understand why so many people would spend 50 bucks on a water bottle, you can understand a lot about America in 2019".

No-one can argue with staying hydrated, but the success of S'well's water bottles have taken it to another level. Amanda Mull debates consumer choices - do they offer an effective solution to structural problems such as pollution, or is it just a nice way of making you feel like you're making ethical choices?
 

A. Mull · 5 min read 

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THE MANY METAPHORS OF BREXIT

"If you leave the bag in, then over time the cup of tea itself as a whole gets stronger. And it might appear like the bag is getting weaker but it’s now part of a stronger cup of tea. Whereas, if you take the bag out, the tea’s now quite weak and the bag itself goes directly in the bin."

This quote, by comedian James Acaster, is one of the more popular Brexit metaphors. However, it now seems we're at a stage of more metaphors than solutions. Metaphors are figures of speech, designed to make a comparison between two things that aren't alike but have something in common. Often, they are used to distil concepts and make them easier to understand. Are they working?

J. Tapper · 6 min read

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"THIS LAND IS MEANT ONLY FOR SAFFRON. WITHOUT IT, IT MEANS NOTHING"

"The farmers have begun to say, 'the red-gold is turning to gray...I tried to grow apples here on this land a decade ago...But they didn’t fruit! This land is meant only for saffron. Without it, it means nothing.”

Saffron fueled Kashmir’s local economy and culture for centuries, but its days might be numbered due to ongoing regional violence, droughts and climate-change. Eater magazine tells the story, with the help of some beautiful photography.

S. Deepak · 4 min read 

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VIDEO OF THE WEEK: PURL

Disney-Pixar recently created Sparkshorts, a short-film program enabling their creative employees to share their stories. This one is about Purl, a ball of yarn, who undergoes her first day at B.R.O. Capital, attempting to navigate its toxic bro culture. Ever reliable for delivering animated themes for both children and adults, Pixar shows Purl as a hero for anyone who's felt like an outsider in the workplace.

Pixar ·  8 min watch

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YUVAL NOAH HARARI ON WHAT THE YEAR 2050 HAS IN STORE FOR HUMANKIND

It seems that everyone has either read, or is currently reading a book by Y. Noah Harari - most likely his history of the world, Sapiens. A brilliant and engaging author with a remarkable story, Harari has now turned his attention to the present, with his new book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, covering everything from war to meditation. If for whatever reason you can't be bothered to read it, most likely due to your awful millennial attention span, here's a very good extract from the book.

Y. Noah Harari · 12 min read

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HORSE POWER: GIVING KIDS THE RIDE OF THEIR LIFE

In the unlikely setting of a Brixton housing estate, under the arches of rumbling Thameslink trains, lies Ebony Pony Club - a fantastic initiative set up to give struggling children the chance to experience the thrills of horse-riding, an past-time traditionally limited to the wealthy.
 

J. Moorhead · 5 min read

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JEREMY CORBYN'S ANTI-SEMITISM CRISIS

Corbyn just can't seem to stay out of the headlines at the moment. For a while now, Corbyn has been involved in an unprecedented confrontation with Britain's Jewish community thanks to his stance on the Middle East, views on Israel and associations with various dangerous individuals. 

S. Knight · 6 min read

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ARETHA

Oh Aretha, may you rest in peace.Quartz does a mini-deep dive into the Queen of Soul, with quotes, stories and sounds from arguably the greatest pop voice of all time. Spend your Friday afternoon on her Spotify page reliving the glory days, with an open jaw at just how remarkable her music was.

Quartz · 4 min read

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HOW MILENNIALS CAN SAVE THE POSTAL SERVICE

Fresh off the back of some thank-you letters and postcards, the process still fills me with warmth and satisfaction. It's hard to deny that the internet hasn't been great for post, but does that mean we aren't interested at all? Will there be any future for hand-written communication?

S. Holder · 9 min read

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THE HAMBURGER OF THE FUTURE IS HERE - WILL YOU EAT IT?

Plant-based burgers that taste 'just like meat' are the new fad and they've done fairly well, but will they ever truly satisfy consumers looking for that authentic, 'meaty' taste? What if you could eat a beefburger without the worry of sustainability...?
 

D. Shanker · 6 min read

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YOU ARE NOT ORIGINAL OR CREATIVE ON INSTAGRAM

Need some inspiration for your next totally edgy pic #fortheGram ? Look no further than @insta_repeat. A collection of totally non-unique photos across the world, showing us just how much we want to conform. 

M. Murphy · 3 min read

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FJORD ESCORT: A ROAD TRIP TO NORTHERN NORWAY

Look no further for your next mini-break destination. Gunnar Garfors gives you a blueprint to pocket: an island-hopping tour of Norway's powerful landscape, quaint towns and scrumptious seafood.

G. Garfors · 4 min read

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VIDEO OF THE WEEK: HOW WESTERN DEMAND DRIVES THE MARKET FOR HUMAN HAIR IN CHINA

Ever wondered where hair-extensions and wigs come from? Of course you haven't, why would you. Well China, surprise surprise, are contributing to the vast, and largely unregulated billion-dollar market. This short video follows hair-trader (yes) Zhang Ming Ye, who travels across villages in Asia, acting as a broker for authentic hairpieces.

N. Sheldon · 5 min watch

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LONG READ: IT'S THE (DEMOCRACY-POISONING) GOLDEN AGE OF FREE SPEECH

Back in the 'olden days', if you said something naughty, offensive or illegal, you'd be told to shut up, either nicely or with force. But now we live in the golden age of free speech! We can (almost) say whatever we like, and now even behind a screen! Don't believe in today's government? Tell everyone on Facebook! Think Arsene Wenger should call it a day? Rant about it on Twitter! 

Free speech is an important democratic value best used as a vehicle for positive change. But too often now it is used as an end, not a means.

Zeynep Tufeki · 7 min read

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DONALD TRUMP DOESN'T UNDERSTAND HAITI, IMMIGRATION OR AMERICAN HISTORY

There are many things our Trump doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand that 99.99999% of Muslims are wonderful, gentle human beings; nor does he understand that his hair-do is a massive female-repellent. This week, he supposedly labelled Haiti a "shit hole". Here's an article written by a Haitian-American, highlighting Trump's ignorance by explaining the relationship between Haiti and the US.


C. Verna · 4 min read

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KOREAS TO MARCH UNDER SINGLE 'UNITED' FLAG AT OLYMPIC GAMES

Thanks to the Kim Jong family's propaganda, most of North Korea still think they are one of the world's best sporting nations, even winning the 2014 Football World Cup. Next month, however, they will be marching alongside their besties South Korea at the Winter Olympics in Seoul. Quite a big deal.

BBC · 3 min read

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