from the world's big
Are public urinals putting the 'P' in Paris?
Oui oui, indeed.
Bonjour! Today we bring you news from a far-off land called "France", or as the French pronounce it, "Fronce". You may have heard of it due to its four most notable national exports: fries, kissing, art-house movies, and smoking past the age of 30.
But its capital city, Paris, is in the news this week for an entirely different reason: they've installed public urinals on city streets so that people can, um, pee and go as they please. They look like mailboxes and are called "uritrottoirs"; the name is a combination of the French words for 'urinal' and 'sidewalk'. Perhaps the most contested one has been placed very close to the heavily-trafficked Notre Dame cathedral, while residents in upscale neighborhoods are balking at the idea of people taking a leak outside their door.
If you need to use one... just walk up to it and unzip your pants and relieve yourself. It's that simple. The uritrottoirs are filled with hay and are used for composting once they're full. The design leaves little to the imagination—quite literally—since there's very little to hide the fact (or your penis) unless you step right up to the machine. Take a look for yourself. Nuanced, this ain't:
Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images
Sounds gross, doesn't it? It is... until you consider the fact that a lot of people, namely men (more on that in just a second), pee on the streets in Paris. Especially once the bars let out, and particularly after soccer games. So the city has taken the matter into their own, um, hands in order to clean up the streets. Contrary to popular belief, urine isn't sterile. While perhaps far less bacterial than germophobes might think, it does contains a whole host of microbiomes — and once out in public can become a breeding ground for bacteria. So maybe the whole "public whizzing" thing isn't as gross as it may seem.
Another thing to note: these are only available for men... or extremely enterprising women. Is that sexist? Absolutely. French feminist Gwendoline Coipeault told Reuters: "They have been installed on a sexist proposition: men cannot control themselves and so all of society has to adapt." Indeed, this is a startling oversight. If half the population can't use one, is it really fair to everyone?
Just do what I do: go to the fanciest restaurant and tell them you're meeting someone. Walk to the bathroom while pretending to look for someone. Go to the bathroom. Wash hands. Leave without saying anything or making eye contact. You'll be amazed how far confidence and a smile can get you in this world, especially when you lower the bar enough to just finding a good bathroom while you're walking around a big city.
Either way, looks like the uritrottiors are here to stay. At least right now we've got lots of footage of news crews filming men peeing. Here's to journalism in 2018!
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.