Research Preview: Nature Magazine – May 4, 2023

Volume 617 Issue 7959

nature Magazine – May 4, 2023 issue: As stars evolve, they expand and so will engulf planets in close orbit around them. This planetary catastrophe is expected to generate powerful luminous ejections of mass from the star, although this has not been observed directly.

Is the world ready for ChatGPT therapists?

The current landscape of mobile mental-health apps is the result of a 70-year search to automate therapy. Now, advanced AIs pose fresh ethical questions.

Cartoon of a mobile phone as a psychotherapist surrounded by several other mobile-phone patients
Illustration by Fabio Buonocore

Since 2015, Koko, a mobile mental-health app, has tried to provide crowdsourced support for people in need. Text the app to say that you’re feeling guilty about a work issue, and an empathetic response will come through in a few minutes — clumsy perhaps, but unmistakably human — to suggest some positive coping strategies.

Fish on dry land hint at why we blink

Close up of an Indian mudskipper (Periophthalmodon septemradiatus) blinking on land.
Mudskippers blink by retracting their eyes into the heads, helping them to moisten their corneas. Credit: Brett R. Aiello

Insights from mudskippers suggest that blinking is an adaptation to emerging from the sea.


Travel Tours: The Top Ten Places To Visit In Tanzania

Ryan Shirley Films (May 1, 2023) – Tanzania is one of the best countries to visit in Africa! From hiking to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, to the wildlife of The Serengeti, Tanzania will blow you away with its beauty and wonders. This is one of my favorite videos I’ve made and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Special thanks to Safari Goats for being our guide and showing us around Tanzania –

Hong Kong Art Exhibits: ‘Zhang Xiaogang – Lost’

Pace Gallery (May 3, 2023) – In our new film, Zhang Xiaogang discusses his unique approach to representing light in his paintings, as seen in his solo exhibition, “Lost,” on view at our Hong Kong gallery through May 18.

Zhang Xiaogang: Lost

Mar 21 – May 18, 2023

Light No. 9 by Zhang Xiaogang

The artist has been refining his expressive depictions of light for some 30 years, since the 1980s and 1990s. As such, light has become a key subject in its own right in Zhang’s practice.

Zhang Xiaogang, Light No. 9, 2022

Zhang Xiaogang is a contemporary Chinese symbolist and surrealist painter. Paintings in his Bloodline series are predominantly monochromatic, stylized portraits of Chinese people, usually with large, dark-pupiled eyes, posed in a stiff manner deliberately reminiscent of family portraits from the 1950s and 1960s. 

Travel In Peru: A Tour Of Cusco And Machu Picchu

DW Travel (May 3, 2023) – Come with us to Cusco! The former capital of the Inca empire high up in the Peruvian Andes is steeped in history. This can still be seen in its Inca temples and many buildings constructed by Spanish colonialists.

From Cusco the journey continues to the world-famous ruined city of Machu Picchu, just 100 kilometers away. City guide Saul Palma, a Cusco local, shows us Cusco and Machu Picchu, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Art: Vincent Became “Van Gogh” With ‘Jardin Devant le Mas Debray’ In 1887

Sotheby’s (May 3, 2023) – ‘Jardin devant le Mas Debray’ captures this pivotal moment in summer of 1887 where color, subject and paint handling crystallized into Van Gogh’s mature style, one that would flourish in the three years remaining of his life in Paris, Arles, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Auvers-sur-Oise.

Jardin devant le Mas Debray | Modern Evening Auction | 2023 | Sotheby's
Jardin devant le Mas Debray by Vincent Van Gogh

It was during this period of time, from 1887 to 1890, that Van Gogh’s greatest masterpieces were created, forever changing in the history of modern art. Surrounded by artists, dancers, musicians, actors and writers in Montmartre, Van Gogh abandoned the dark palette that dominated many of his early paintings in Holland and replaced it with a newfound love of color.

Politics: The Guardian Weekly – May 5, 2023


The Guardian Weekly (May 5, 2023) The awkward inheritance of Charles III. Plus: Ukraine readies for the counter-offensive

Seventy years have passed since Britain last held a royal coronation. But, with polls suggesting public support for the monarchy is at a historic low, Charles’s big day this weekend comes at a moment when Britain feels more generationally divided than ever.

At 74, Charles is the oldest person ever to be crowned as a new British king. Opinion polls suggest 78% of the nation’s over-65s still strongly support the monarchy. But, in the 18-24 age bracket, enthusiasm dips to just 32%.

As Jonathan Freedland argues in an essay for our cover story this week, the new king faces an uphill challenge to establish his own legacy in the shadow of his mother, Elizabeth II, “who, even the staunchest republicans had to admit, barely put a foot wrong over seven decades”. Can he really offer a compelling vision to reunite the realm, and should he even try? It may be that his best hope is simply to lay the foundations for the next generation.

A calm before the storm has been felt in Ukraine ahead of a widely expected counter-offensive on the frontline with Russia. Emma Graham-Harrison and Artem Mazhulin report on a critical moment looming for the country and the war.

Wilderness: Time Travel In Britain’s Lost Rainforests

Aeon Video

Aeon Video (May 2, 2023) – With a deep view of time, a regenerative forester extracts resources to cultivate growth in an ancient English rainforest.

Living and working in the woodlands of the Teign valley in Devon, England, the regenerative forester John Williamson has cultivated a deep connection to and unique understanding of this rare patch of English rainforest. This includes knowing that a healthy ecosystem means an eclectic variety of landscapes rather than perfect tree cover; that no parcel of land in Great Britain has gone untouched by humans; and that, while storms can mean devastation for people, for woodlands they’re simply another phase in an ancient cycle.

In this short documentary, Williamson explains how, through viewing these woodlands in terms of the deep past, present and future, he’s developed a sustainable method of extracting wood and creating charcoal that actually encourages biodiversity.

Director: Hugh Hartford
Producer: Anson Hartford
Executive Producer: Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
Banyak Films:

Middle East Ecosystems: Can The Dead Sea Be Saved?

DW Documentary (May 1, 2023) – The Dead Sea, shared by Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians, is drying up. The salt lake, famous for its exceptional geographical location and its healing properties, is the deepest of its kind on earth.

The drying up of the Dead Sea is causing widespread damage, from huge sinkholes to abandoned beaches and collapsed roads. This is not an act of nature. It is the result of overconsumption and poor water management. If something is not done soon, very little of the Dead Sea will remain. In a region marked by ongoing conflict, natural resources are being depleted. To save the Dead Sea, surrounding countries must work together.

Three individuals — a Jordanian, an Israeli and a Palestinian — feel they can’t just sit idly by. They decide to draw the world’s attention to the problem with a heroic act. In an unprecedented and extremely dangerous undertaking, the three decide to swim across the Dead Sea, from Jordan to Israel, to highlight the plight of the dying waters.

The Flatiron Building: Its Beaux-Arts Design To Now Iconic And ‘Vacant’ Status

The B1M (May 3, 2023) – DESPITE standing just 22-storeys tall on an island full of massive skyscrapers, New York’s Flatiron Building managed to endure as a cake-slice shaped icon of this city since 1902.

That unusual triangular shape has captured the eyes of photographers, tourists and directors for decades. 

But in recent years, this world-famous structure has sat empty and under scaffolding only for a New York court to then order it be put up for grabs at auction in early 2023 – an auction that seems to have turned into a bit of a farce.

It’s the latest uncertain chapter in the long story of this building – a building that’s seen so much of New York’s history unfold and endured so much already.

This is how one of the city’s strangest towers came to be, how it went on to become iconic and why the current struggles around its sale will probably only make it more famous.

Arts/Books: Times Literary Supplement – May 5, 2023


Times Literary Supplement @TheTLS (May 5, 2023) – This week’s @TheTLS features Bruno Schulz – a writer from another Europe; Patrick O’Brian’s bleak vision; Vermeer – a great but flawed exhibition; extreme fandom and Derek Parfit, eccentric genius.

 Man of Margins

How Bruno Schulz found freedom on the periphery of life By Boris Dralyuk

It’s more than a little discomfiting to read the great Polish novelist Witold Gombrowicz’s description, in his diary from the early 1960s, of his not-quite-friend Bruno Schulz: “A tiny gnome with enormous head, appearing too scared to dare exist, he was rejected by life and slouched along its peripheries”. Written for publication two decades after Schulz was gunned down by a Nazi just outside the ghetto of his occupied native town of Drohobych in November 1942, these words cannot help but seem impious.