DW Documentary published a short documentary about the use of a type of pesticide, neonicotinoids, which are now seen as the main cause of damage to ecosystems and death of bee colonies. The video shows the truly horrendous practices of Bayer Group, which sells these pesticides, in manipulating research and policy.

For more than two decades, experts have been warning of the negative effects of neonicotinoids, with a whole range of studies published on the subject. It would appear that the industry, aided by the authorities, managed to successfully delay any ban on these substances for years. Studies show that neonicotinoids not only kill pests, but also bees and other beneficial insects.

See the video on Youtube here.

Matt Alt at The New Yorker wrote a great piece about the Walkman, “the gadget that taught the world to socially distance":

Hosokawa noted how listeners used the devices to tame the unpredictability of urban spaces, with all of their unexpected intrusions and loud noises. Wearing headphones functioned both as a personal “Do Not Disturb” sign and an alternate soundtrack to the cacophony of the city. This was a new form of human experience, engaged disengagement, a technological shield from the world and an antidote to ennui. Whenever nerves frayed or boredom crept in, one could just hit Play and fast-forward life a little. One of the first Westerners to grasp the import of this new human capacity was the author William Gibson, a pioneer of the genre of science fiction called cyberpunk, who wrote years later that “the Sony Walkman has done more to change human perception than any virtual reality gadget.”

Read the full article here.

Listening now to “Sol de Manha” by MANdolinMAN, via Klara radio station.

Two new video’s I liked from Vox. Of course in their trademark style, but I gained interesting insights on some of the current events in the US:

A brilliant explanation video from Kurzgesagt which explains some of recent discoveries in “gut science” about the importance of our gut microbiome.

Listening to a brilliant playlist from Laani of The FullJoy Experience at Worldwide FM with afrofuturist music 🎶 See the playlist here:

In this show, she focuses on Afrofuturism spanning the whole musical spectrum, inspired by this article written by Jonita Davis ‘How Black Women Are Reshaping Afrofuturism’.

Read the article by Jonita Davis here.

While listening to Klara radio I discovered this album of beautiful piano pieces by a 19th century Flemish composer Peter Benoit. Played here by pianist Jozef De Beenhouwer.

Brilliant, Reverend Peyton playing the classic tune John Henry changing continuously between 18 different instruments.

The following articles from The Register report on a current push for changes in some of the terms and metaphors used in software development. I definitely see the change as an improvement, to replace terms such as “blacklist” and “master-slave” to more inclusive use of language. See also the Internet Engineering Task Force draft on “Terminology, Power and Oppressive Language”.

A great new video from Vox, “How Cooper Black became pop culture’s favourite font”:

The coronavirus pandemic is changing a lot our daily lives, sometimes in small but significant ways. This article from South China Morning Post writes about one such change in Asia: “As Covid-19 changes chopstick habits, diners ponder how to keep family love and intimacy alive”.

The Youtube channel Philosophy Overdose uploaded this great video. The video is a compilation of some people discussing the differences between positive versus negative liberty/freedom.