Politics: “Baby Boomers Versus Millennials” Battle Brewing In Great Britain

From a The Atlantic online article:

Willetts had stumbled onto one of the great divides of modern politics: young versus old. In Britain, age is now a better predictor of voting intention than social class. Overall, the Boomers voted for Brexit in 2016 and the Conservatives in 2017; their Millennial children voted Remain and Labour. The single biggest error that Theresa May, the prime minister in the lead-up to the 2017 election, made during that process was to float the idea that older people might have to contribute more to the spiraling costs of their own retirement care. The “dementia tax” prompted an immediate, ferocious response, and May backed down.


That is not an isolated example. A guiding principle of politics in Britain, and elsewhere in the West, is: What Boomers want, Boomers get. Working-age benefits, for example, have been frozen since the 2015 budget, but the state pension has consistently risen. (At this election, Britain’s two main parties have both promised to keep increasing pensions; Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has also pledged £58 billion ($74.7 billion) to Boomer women affected by the rise in the female state pension age from 60 to 66.



The debate is also about so much more than abstract disagreements over policy and government funding. Caring for the elderly, for example, becomes wrapped up in assertions of “just deserts”—I’ve worked hard all my life and paid my taxes—and fears about money-grubbing children selling off their parents’ houses. It is also, like taxes on inheritance, a subject that prods at many people’s deep desire to pass something on to their offspring.

To read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/11/britain-election-boomers/602680/

Short Films: “Being British – A Film By The People Of Great Britain” Directed By Simon Mulvaney (2019)

Directed by: Simon Mulvaney

Produced by: Simon Mulvaney & Emily Brinnand
VFX Artist: Michael Nixon
Music: Borrtex (“Snowflake”)

Being British - A Film By The People Of Great Britain Directed By Simon Mulvaney (2019)

BEING BRITISH is a short-form documentary created independently by the filmmakers of Great Britain, to answer the question, ‘WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BRITISH?’

Website: https://www.smulvaney.tv/

Top Political Podcasts: Mike Bloomberg Enters Crowded, And Skeptical Field (The Economist)

The Economist Intelligence PodcastMICHAEL BLOOMBERG, the billionaire former mayor of New York, has announced he is running for president. But he is late to join the race and not very popular with Democratic primary voters. We also look at TikTok, a wildly successful video-sharing app that some see as a threat to security in the Western world. And much of Switzerland is up in arms—about the reliability of the country’s coffee supply. Runtime: 20 min


Top Science Podcasts: 2019 PhD Survey, Older Women In Sci-Fi And Mummified Remains In Egypt (Nature)

Listen to the latest science updated, brought to you by Nick Howe and Shamini Bundell. This week, delving into the results of the latest graduate student survey, and assessing ageism in science fiction literature.

In this episode:

00:45 The graduate student experience

The results of Nature’s 2019 PhD survey are in. David Payne, Nature’s Chief Careers Editor, takes us through them. Nature’s PhD survey collection

06:45 Research Highlights

Giant tortoises are quick learners, and colour-changing magic mushrooms. Research Article: Gutnick et al.Research Highlights: Why magic mushrooms turn dark blue when picked

08:52 Where are the older women in sci-fi?

Author Sylvia Spruck Wrigley has been looking into the number of older women that appear in sci-fi novels, and the roles they play. Essay: Space ageing: why sci-fi novels shun the badass older woman

16:45 News Chat

A trove of mummified remains causes excitement in Egypt, and Italy plans a new science funding body. News: Rare mummified lions add to Egyptology buzzNews: Italy’s plan to create €300-million research agency draws fire

Travel: “Courmayeur”, An Italian Ski Town That Foodies Love (WSJ)

From a Wall Street Journal online article:

Super G hotel, home to two restaurants overseen by Milan chef Andrea Berton. PHOTO FRANCESCO LASTRUCCI FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Super G hotel, home to two restaurants overseen by Milan chef Andrea Berton. PHOTO: FRANCESCO LASTRUCCI FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Courmayeur, both a town and a ski resort, boasts nearly as many ambitious, full-service restaurants as it does lifts on the slopes. Even on bright sunny days with powdery trails, the big question tends to be, “What’s for lunch?” The village, nestled in a snug valley on the south slope (the Italian side) of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak, is a typically sleepy mountain town for much of the year with around 3,000 full-time residents. But when the ski season kicks into high gear, its restaurants, bars and cafes all come roaring to life. It’s a favorite winter escape for residents of Italy’s fashion capital, Milan, a straight two-hour shot up the highway. 

For the urbane crowds in from the city on winter weekends, Courmayeur is as much an epicurean as snow-sports destination, known for its mountain cheeses, wild game and cured meats, and for its increasingly serious restaurants. Top tables on and off the slopes can book up weeks in advance. The region’s minerally white and earthy red wines come from some of the highest altitude vineyards in Europe. The sparkling Cuvée des Guides is made 7,000 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mont Blanc, with a tasting room atop one of the state-of-the-art Skyway Monte Bianco cable car stations.

To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-italian-ski-town-where-the-food-rivals-the-views-11574791692

Nostalgia: “1961 Jaguar E-Type SI ‘CUT-7′” Champion Race Car (Classic Driver)

From a Classic Driver online article:

‘CUT 7’ was campaigned extensively throughout the 1962 season. With victories at Mallory Park, Silverstone, Crystal Palace and Snetterton, Protheroe had his eyes set on securing the Autosport National Championship for Production Sports Cars, and with just one retirement in 10 outings, he won the Over 3-litre class.


Former RAF pilot Dick Protheroe was no stranger to the Jaguar brand. Stationed in Egypt in 1952, Protheroe acquired his first Jaguar, an aluminium bodied XK120 which he modified and campaigned before returning to England in 1953.

1961 Jaguar E-Type SI 'CUT-7' front

Chassis Number ‘860004’, was the fourth right-hand drive fixed-head E-type produced by Jaguar at the famous Brown’s Lane factory in Coventry. Painted in Opalescent Gunmetal Grey with dark blue interior trim, it was aptly delivered to Protheroe on 13thSeptember 1961 by Jaguar Dealer, Sturgess of Leicester. Robin Sturgess had a close affinity to the marque having raced XK’s, C-type, D-type and E-types successfully for many years.

To read more: https://www.classicdriver.com/en/car/jaguar/e-type-si/1961/716497

Health Care: Amazon Alexa “Medicine Tracker” Reminds People To Take And Refill Prescriptions

From a Becker’s Hospital review news release:

Amazon Alexa Medicine TrackerAny customer with an active prescription and an Alexa-enabled device will be able to access the medication management skill on the device, a Giant Eagle spokesperson told CNBC. Rachel Jiang, who leads the Amazon Alexa health and wellness team, said the company began developing the skill after noticing that customers were using the devices to create medication reminders.

Beyond a simple reminder, the skill also offers more information about medication regimens and can be used to order refills. When the skill is installed, Alexa, which was confirmed earlier this year to be HIPAA-compliant, will prompt users to set up a profile and passcode, which must be delivered each time Alexa is asked a question about a medication.

Amazon and Pittsburgh-based supermarket and pharmacy chain Giant Eagle have formed a partnership that will allow Amazon Echo devices to offer Giant Eagle pharmacy patients medication reminders, CNBC reports.

To read more: https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/amazon-alexa-will-now-remind-giant-eagle-pharmacy-patients-to-take-medication.html?oly_enc_id=9129H5611090H0N



Research: Omega-3 Fatty Acids In Diet Promotes Health By Limiting Large Fat Cell Accumulation

From a Stanford Medicine online news release:

stanford-medicine.png“What you want is more, small fat cells rather than fewer, large fat cells,” Jackson said.  “A large fat cell is not a healthy fat cell. The center is farther away from an oxygen supply, it sends out bad signals and it can burst and release toxic contents.” Large fat cells are associated with insulin resistance, diabetes and inflammation, he added.

Jackson and his colleagues found that when omega-3 fatty acids bind to a receptor called FFAR4 on the cilia of fat stem cells, it prompts the fat stem cells to divide, leading to the creation of more fat cells. This provides the body with more fat cells with which to store energy, something that is healthier than storing too much fat in existing fat cells. 

For years, researchers have known that defects in an ancient cellular antenna called the primary cilium are linked with obesity and insulin resistance. Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that the strange little cellular appendage is sensing omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, and that this signal is directly affecting how stem cells in fat tissue divide and turn into fat cells.

To read more: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2019/11/omega-3-fatty-acids-health-benefit-linked-to-stem-cell-control.html

New Interviews: Scholar Steven Greenblatt On Stories, History & Culture (Mindscape Podcast)

Stephen Greenblatt Harvard ScholarAn infinite number of things happen; we bring structure and meaning to the world by making art and telling stories about it. Every work of literature created by human beings comes out of an historical and cultural context, and drawing connections between art and its context can be illuminating for both. Today’s guest, Stephen Greenblatt, is one of the world’s most celebrated literary scholars, famous for helping to establish the New Historicism school of criticism, which he also refers to as “cultural poetics.” We talk about how art becomes entangled with the politics of its day, and how we can learn about ourselves and other cultures by engaging with stories and their milieu.

Website: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2019/11/25/74-stephen-greenblatt-on-stories-history-and-cultural-poetics/


American Painters: “The Gross Clinic” (1875) By Thomas Eakins Was “Renaissance-Era” Artistry

From an Artsy.net online article:

Eakins’s ambitious painting brought Renaissance-era virtuosity to the mid–19th century United States, as American art was still struggling to find its place on the world stage. The Gross Clinic, which still hangs in Philadelphia today, is a triumph of composition, light, and shadow. 

The Gross Clinic 1875 Thomas Eakins Philadelphia Museum of Art
Thomas Eakins The Gross Clinic1875
Philadelphia Museum of Art

In 1875, Thomas Eakins decided to paint a picture that would glorify his hometown of Philadelphia. The first ever World’s Fair to be held in the United States, the Centennial International Exhibition, would open in the city the following year. Through his painting, Eakins hoped to honor the scientific breakthroughs that were coming out of the local Jefferson Medical College. The artist observed live procedures by the celebrated surgeon Dr. Samuel Gross, then translated them onto a large-scale canvas that he titled Dr. Gross (1875) (now known as The Gross Clinic). The work has become perhaps the most important painting in the history of American art.

To read more: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-thomas-eakinss-the-gross-clinic-american-painting