- A huge segment of America's population — the Baby Boom generation — is aging and will live longer than any American generation in history.
- The story we read about in the news? Their drain on social services like Social Security and Medicare.
- But increased longevity is a cause for celebration, says Ashton Applewhite, not doom and gloom.
They didn't know it, but the rituals of Iron Age Scandinavians turned their iron into steel.
- Iron Age Scandinavians only had access to poor quality iron, which put them at a tactical disadvantage against their neighbors.
- To strengthen their swords, smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals, hoping to transfer the spirit into their blades.
- They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.
This is what the world will be like if we do not act on climate change.
- The best-case scenario of climate change is that world gets just 2°C hotter, which scientists call the "threshold of catastrophe".
- Why is that the good news? Because if humans don't change course now, the planet is on a trajectory to reach 4°C at the end of this century, which would bring $600 trillion in global climate damages, double the warfare, and a refugee crisis 100x worse than the Syrian exodus.
- David Wallace-Wells explains what would happen at an 8°C and even 13°C increase. These predictions are horrifying, but should not scare us into complacency. "It should make us focus on them more intently," he says.
Here's why many 80 year olds are probably happier than you.
- The U-curve of happiness shows that we humans are most content at the beginnings and ends of our lives.
- The famous midlife crisis is the trough of our happiness because it's a time when we have responsibility for people older and younger than us, and we grow aware that we may not fulfill the dreams of our youth.
- Children and people in their 80s are uniquely able to live in the moment and be happy because they live at a neurological and psychological sweet spot, respectively.
If the universe is expanding in all directions, why is Andromeda hurtling toward the Milky Way?
- The Andromeda Galaxy and our Milky Way are on a collision course that will obliterate life on Earth 4.5 billion years from now.
- The universe is expanding in all directions, all at once – so why are Andromeda and the Milky Way drawing nearer? The gravity between them is a stronger force than expansion.
- The rate of expansion is accelerating. If it continues to speed up, its force may become strong enough pull things apart that are currently held together by superior forces: Our galaxy, the solar system, and even the atoms in our bodies. That possible ending to the universe is known as the 'Big Rip'.
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