Busting the Easter Island myth: there was no civilization collapse

For decades, researchers have proposed that climate change and human-caused environmental destruction led to demographic collapse on Easter Island. That's probably false, according to new research.

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  • Easter Island, whose native name is Rapa Nui, is a remote island in the Pacific Ocean about 2,300 miles west of Chile.
  • Researchers have proposed that deforestation and climatic changes led to societal collapse on the island, prior to European contact.
  • The results of a new study suggest that, despite these factors, the Rapa Nui people managed to adapt and sustain a stable society.
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Evolution has robbed us of horse-sized bunnies

The size of rabbits and hares has long been evolutionarily constrained by competitors roughly their size.

Credit: zcy/Gabi Moisa/Adobe Stock/Big Think
  • Rabbits, hares, and pikas are not as varied in size as other similar animals such as rodents, which can be both far bigger and far smaller.
  • Scientists at Kyoto University examined the fossil record to figure out why.
  • They found that the smallest hoofed mammals always predict the size of the largest rabbits.
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How one NY hospital system treated 128,000+ COVID cases

From making their own swabs to staying in constant communication across the board, Northwell Health dove headfirst into uncharted waters to take on the virus and save lives.

  • Preparing for a pandemic like COVID-19 was virtually impossible. Northwell Health president and CEO Michael Dowling explains how, as the largest healthcare provider in New York, his team had to continuously organize, innovate, and readjust to dangerous and unpredictable conditions in a way that guaranteed safety for the staff and the best treatment for over 128,000 coronavirus patients.
  • From making their own supplies when they ran out, to coordinating with government at every level and making sense of new statistics and protocols, Northwell focused on strengthening internal and external communication to keep the ship from sinking.
  • "There was no such thing as putting up the white flag," Dowling says of meeting the pandemic head on and reassuring his front line staff that they would be safe and have all the resources they needed to beat the virus. "It's amazing how innovative you can be in a crisis."
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Beyond Meat: Are you ready for lab-grown salmon?

An overfished planet needs a better solution. Fortunately, it's coming.

Photo: tenkende / Shutterstock
  • Cell-based fish companies are getting funding and making progress in offering a new wave of seafood.
  • Overfishing and rising ocean temperatures are destroying entire ecosystems.
  • The reality of cell-based fish is likely five to 10 years away.
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Is a capitalist-socialist economy inevitable?

The American economy may be locked into an unhealthy cycle that only benefits a select few. Is it too late to fix it?

  • What will the economy of the future look like? To answer that we must first consider the current trajectory and the ways in which modern capitalism operates, who it benefits, and if it is sustainable.
  • In this video, historians, economists, and authors discuss income and wealth inequality, how the American economy grew into the machine that it is today, the pillars of capitalism and how the concept has changed over time, and ways in which the status quo can, and maybe even should, change.
  • "It's not that hierarchy is bad," says John Fullerton, founder of Capital Institute, "it's that hierarchy where the top extracts from below is definitely bad and unsustainable." He says that the modern capitalist system works this way, and that it perpetuates the cycle of growing inequality.
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