Why the simple life is not just beautiful, it’s necessary

Living simply now strikes many people as simply boring.

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The good life is the simple life. Among philosophical ideas about how we should live, this one is a hardy perennial; from Socrates to Thoreau, from the Buddha to Wendell Berry, thinkers have been peddling it for more than two millennia.
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Baby bees hatch with damaged brains thanks to pesticides

Study finds that a colony's exposure to pesticides impairs offspring.

Image source: Gill, et al/Tonio_75/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • Pesticide contamination in bee hives damages the learning capabilities of offspring, according to a recently published study.
  • A key area of the affected bees' brains never correctly develops after pesticide exposure.
  • Early impairment appears to be irreversible and is likely a factor in falling bee populations.
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Could new study on cow communication lead to more humane farming?

Audio recordings reveal cows have unique voices and share emotions with each other.

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  • New audio recordings of cows reveal rich communication and unique individual voices.
  • Cows do more than vocalize to their calves — they share emotions with each other.
  • A better understanding of what cows are saying and feeling can help in the formulation of humane cattle-care standards.
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Microplastics in the soil point to another potential ecosystem collapse

When these particles are eaten by earthworms, the results are not good.

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  • New research from Anglia Ruskin University states that microplastics in soil are causing earthworms to lose weight.
  • Soil affected by microplastics produces less crop yield due to less productive earthworms and lower pH levels.
  • If this trend continues, our entire agricultural system could be compromised.
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Serious problem found with gene-edited celebrity cows

The FDA calls out creators of genetically tweaked hornless bulls.

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  • Hornless bull clones turn out to have questionable genomes.
  • Scientists were so confident they didn't even look for transgenic DNA.
  • No one's sure what to do with the offspring.
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