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Do you really know?

You’ve heard about it, but do you really know it? In 3 minutes, we help you understand the true meaning behind the trends, concepts and acronyms that are making headlines. After listening, you will really know for sure.

Tous les épisodes

  • 21.01.2021
    4 MB
    03:50
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    What is compersion?

    What is compersion? Thanks for asking!You won’t find the term compersion in the dictionary, but it could be defined as the pleasure derived from seeing someone else experience happiness and joy. It’s often associated with polyamory and non-monogamous relationships, having been coined by the Keristan polyamorous community in 1970s California. So are you saying I should be happy if my partner loves someone else?Compersion is all about being happy for someone else, even when their positive experience isn’t related to us. In a relationship, you could see it as the opposite of jealousy and possessiveness. Compulsory monogamy is a social mandate which suggests that having multiple partners at the same time is immoral. We are traditionally raised to view dating in this way, which can lead to an expectation of jealousy and feelings of ownership over our partners.That’s not to say that polyamory is for everyone, but some couples have taken the conscious decision to move away from the status quo when they feel it’s not working for them. Society teaches us that we’re supposed to satisfy all of our partner’s needs and vice versa but often that’s simply an unrealistic expectation.How do people go about cultivating compersion in polyamorous relationships? Can compersion exist outside of polyamory? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen to the last episodes, you can click here: What is Inauguration Day?What is Blue Monday?What are bionic soldiers?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 20.01.2021
    4 MB
    04:16
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    What is Inauguration Day?

    What is Inauguration Day? Thanks for asking!Today is Inauguration Day, and Joe Biden is to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, following his victory in November’s election. Inauguration Day is perhaps the ultimate public display of American democracy, marking a peaceful transition from one president to the next.There’s been nothing peaceful about the events of recent weeks in the United States!Traditionally, the outgoing President escorts the President-elect from the White House to the Capitol on Inauguration Day. But it came to the surprise of no-one when Donald Trump announced he wouldn’t be attending Biden’s inauguration. Trump has adamantly contested the election result and repeatedly refused to concede. He then became the first US President to be impeached a second time, for his role in inciting the storming of the Capitol exactly two weeks ago.All fifty states are on alert, prepared for armed pro-Trump marches and possible violent outbreaks. More than 20,000 National Guard troops are to be deployed in Washington DC. Tell me more about the historical traditions of Inauguration Day! In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is Blue Monday?What are bionic soldiers?What is induced lactation?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 18.01.2021
    3 MB
    03:13
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    What is Blue Monday?

    What is Blue Monday? Thanks for asking! Sorry to start the week with bad news but today is Blue Monday, often cited as the most depressing day of the year. Blue Monday has existed since 2005, and is based on an equation which takes into account various factors. However, its detractors criticise the idea as pseudoscience and say it is driven by money. Why does Blue Monday occur in January? Since the first Blue Monday equation was devised by psychologist Cliff Arnall, there have been a few different variants, but there are common elements to each. Of course you’ve got the winter weather, which explains why Blue Monday isn’t a phenomenon in the southern Hemisphere, where January is a summer month. Blue Monday is also not well known in the United States, as it usually clashes with Martin Luther King Day.Furthermore, people are often indebted in January, after overspending at Christmas time, and there’s still over a week to wait until payday. The joy of the holiday season has passed and many of us have already failed to stick to our New Year’s resolutions. Black Friday, Super Saturday, Blue Monday - why do I get the feeling this is just another marketing thing? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is induced lactation?What is a Bullshit job?What is Pornhub?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 16.01.2021
    3 MB
    03:30
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    What are bionic soldiers?

    What are bionic soldiers? Thanks for asking!Bionic soldiers have been making headlines since early December, when a French military ethics committee approved the development of technological upgrades for members of the country’s armed forces.Less than a week prior to that announcement, the US Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe raised concerns about China’s military technology plans. Writing an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, he accused Beijing of “developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities”, with the ultimate aim being to “dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically.” And the United States government has also invested heavily itself in developing new generation military technology. In 2016, it spent millions to create an implant allowing the human brain to communicate with computers.This all sounds like something out of science fiction! Are we going to see cyborgs on the battlefield soon?It’s true that the idea of enhancing a human's physical or cognitive abilities through the use of technology was long restricted to sci-fi. Films like Universal Soldier and Robocop are perfect examples. But recent discussions around bionic soldiers have made such developments seem closer to becoming reality.French defence minister Florence Parly insisted that there were currently no plans to develop bionic soldiers, but the ethics committee ruling does mean it would be allowed in the future. Using a superhero analogy, Parly said the country’s intention would be to have armoured fighters like Iron Man, rather than genetic mutants like Spiderman.What kind of enhancements would bionic soldiers have compared to regular humans? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is induced lactation?What is a Bullshit job?What is Pornhub?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 14.01.2021
    3 MB
    03:54
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    What is induced lactation?

    What is induced lactation? Thanks for asking!Induced lactation refers to the production of breast milk in non-gestational parents. That’s right, a woman who hasn’t ever been pregnant can still breastfeed their child using this method. Sounds complicated? Well it is, but it’s not impossible, and it can allow adoptive or surrogate mothers to breastfeed if they desire. The benefits of breastfeeding for a baby’s wellbeing and development are well documented, in addition to the emotional bond the physical connection can create. Quite simply, breast milk is seen as the best food for a baby, so it’s understandably an option that many families would wish to explore. In 2019, a collection of photos showing a same-sex married couple breastfeeding their twins together went viral. Kelly Pfeiffer had carried the babies, while her wife Jaclyn induced lactation.What’s the science behind induced lactation then?Human breast tissue contains small clusters of alveoli, whether you’re a woman or a man. These hollow cavities are lined with cells which secrete milk. But it’s actually the hormone prolactin, produced by the pituitary gland in the brain, which stimulates the mammary glands and is mainly responsible for lactation.Interestingly, prolactin is present in the bodies of both women and men. Outside of pregnancy, women have around a third more prolactin in their bodies compared to men. During a pregnancy, this rises to 10 times more. This spike is what causes the breasts to swell and breast milk to be produced.In the case of induced lactation, hormone therapy and herbs may be used to simulate the effects of pregnancy, with close medical supervision of course. It’s also possible to produce milk through mechanical stimulation only. Devices like breast pumps and feeding tubes can assist.The process produces low volumes of milk to start with, but studies have shown the milk is just as good for a baby as that of biological mothers.Women planning to induce lactation should reach out to their healthcare provider as early as possible before their baby arrives.What about men? Could they also lactate and breastfeed? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is a Bullshit job?What is Pornhub?What are tiny forests?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 13.01.2021
    3 MB
    03:40
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    What is a Bullshit job?

    What is a Bullshit job? Thanks for asking!Back in 2013, anthropology professor David Graeber penned an essay in radical magazine Strike, criticising the proliferation of what he called Bullshit jobs. Despite having a higher social status compared to careers in teaching or nursing for example, these positions are effectively pointless. Even those paid to occupy them often struggle to justify their existence. And yet teachers and nurses are less well paid despite offering a more meaningful contribution to society.Well yes, there’s a reason they’ve been called “essential workers” during the Covid-19 pandemic, isn’t there?That’s right, and in fact the last year has seen some high-profile instances of bullshit work. Think of the UK consulting firms that as of October 2020 had been paid a combined £175m to advise the government on its response to the pandemic. This use of public money has come under strong scrutiny, especially due to the poor results achieved.One example was the £560,000 contract awarded to McKinsey & Company to define the “vision, purpose and narrative” of the country’s testing programme. What was the impact of Graeber’s essay? Do you have some examples of these BS jobs then? So what’s the solution to the bullshit jobs problem? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is Pornhub?What are tiny forests? What is hygge?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 11.01.2021
    2 MB
    03:20
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    What is Pornhub?

    What is Pornhub? Thanks for asking!With over 3 billion visits per month, it’s the 10th most popular website worldwide. Don’t act all innocent; if you have an internet connection, it’s almost certain you have at least heard of PornHub. It’s perhaps the world’s most popular porn site but it has been making headlines for controversial reasons in the last month. Reports have surfaced, accusing PornHub of hosting illegal content, such as videos of non-consensual sex and child abuse.How did PornHub get to be so successful?The site was launched in Montreal in 2007 and has grown explosively ever since, being bought out by MindGeek in 2010. Each year, a combined 6 million videos are uploaded to the platform by pros and amateur members of the PornHub community. In 2019, PornHub recorded over 40 billion visits in a single year. For comparison’s sake, that’s more annual traffic than either Amazon or Netflix. Analytics site Similarweb estimates the average time on site at 8 minutes and 53 seconds.It sounds like everything is going swimmingly at PornHub then! Until December 4th 2020... In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is hygge?What are New Year's Resolutions?What is breaking?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 09.01.2021
    3 MB
    03:58
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    What are tiny forests?

    What are tiny forests? Thanks for asking!Over the last few years, citizens have been planting tiny forests in towns and country settings. There are now over 2,000 across the world, all inspired by the Miyawaki method and designed to help prevent the collapse of biodiversity. Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki was born in 1928. While studying seeds and natural forests, he observed that the vast majority of Japanese forests were made by humans. Trees had been planted according to the quality of their wood, in order to build buildings or houses. The problem was that these trees weren’t the most resistant or efficient against global warming.Don’t we already have a lot of forests in Europe? You’re right in so far as forests cover 182 million hectares or 43% of the total land area in the continent. The figure for the UK is comparatively low, at just 3.21 million hectares and 13% of land area.The thing is most of this land is accounted for by monoculture forests, which are only home to one type of tree. As explained by non-profit organisation Project Drawdown, many were created “with purely economic motives and little regard for the long-term well-being of the land, environment, or surrounding communities.” The resulting lack of plant biodiversity in turn has a negative impact on animal biodiversity, and can cause diseases to spread more easily. Let’s get back to Miyawaki. Tell me more about how his method works. What is the environmental benefit of all this? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is hygge? What are New Year's Resolutions? What is breaking?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 07.01.2021
    3 MB
    03:25
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    What is hygge?

    What is hygge? Thanks for asking!Picture this: you’re indoors, in front of a warm fireplace, with a plaid rug over your legs, sipping a cup of tea or cocoa while watching a film. Or you could be relaxing with a candlelit bath, soothing music and a book in your hands. Well, you might not realise it, but you’re experiencing a typical hygge moment. Wait a minute, what language are we talking about here?The word is derived from a 16th century Norwegian term for wellbeing, and can’t be literally translated to English. Hygge is generally described as a concept of cosiness and conviviality, which is a way of life for Danes in particular. It’s a highly flexible word, which can be used as a noun, verb or adjective. It’s omnipresent and has an endless amount of compound forms, such as hyggebusker. That’s a comfortable pair of sweatpants you secretly love but would never wear in public. When did hygge get to be so popular? Is this kind of cosiness really that specific to Scandinavia? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is breaking?What is the cosmic calendar?What is an immunity passport?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 06.01.2021
    2 MB
    03:06
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    What are New Year’s Resolutions?

    What are New Year’s Resolutions? Thanks for asking!Well here we are in 2021. Many are glad to see the back of 2020, now looking forward optimistically to the future thanks to global developments like the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines and Joe Biden entering the White House. The turn of the year also means it’s time to come up with New Year’s resolutions. Setting ourselves objectives for the whole year is always a big ask, and not everyone is able to keep theirs for various reasons. When were New Year’s resolutions actually invented?Nowadays, New Year’s resolutions are primarily a Western custom, but their origins actually go back to Mesopotamia in the 3rd century BC. The Babylonians would celebrate the twelve-day Akitu festival to commemorate the New Year. They would pledge their loyalty to the king and promise to pay back any debts they owed. The idea was that the gods would look favourably on them in the year ahead.In Roman times, new year’s resolutions were linked to two-faced god Janus, who was believed to look both backwards at the previous year and forward into the future. The Romans made sacrifices to Janus and promised their good behaviour for the new year.In this day and age however, New Year’s resolutions are mostly secular and tend to focus on self-improvement. What are the most popular New Year’s resolutions? And does anyone actually keep their resolutions? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is breaking?What is the cosmic calendar?What is an immunity passport?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 04.01.2021
    3 MB
    03:40
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    What is breaking?

    What is breaking? Thanks for asking!In early December, the IOC officially announced it was adding breaking to the list of Olympic sports for the Paris 2024 Games. First and foremost, breaking is a form of art which was pioneered in the 1970s by members of the New York hip-hop movement.Oh right, you’re talking about breakdancing!Well yes, but the term breakdancing was actually invented by the media. This form of urban dance was originally known as “breaking”, as any self-respecting Bboy or Bgirl will tell you. Those are the terms for male or female practitioners.So why is it called breaking? How did breaking make it into the Olympics then? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is an immunity passport? What is vlogmas?What is a black hole?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 02.01.2021
    3 MB
    03:25
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    What is the cosmic calendar?

    What is the cosmic calendar? Thanks for asking!OK, so you’re looking for a new calendar on which to mark family birthdays, Covid-19 dependent holiday plans and dentist appointments in 2021. Well, sorry the cosmic calendar won’t be of much use to you.It’s totally different to the Gregorian or Islamic calendars, which measure individual days. The cosmic calendar is actually a method of scaling down the entire 13.8 billion year history of the universe, to match a 365-day year. Everything is in chronological order, so one can visualise cosmic evolution, the evolution of life, the relatively short evolution of humans and the even shorter period since history began. In 1977 astrophysicist Carl Sagan published an essay called The Dragon of Eden, in which featured the first cosmic calendar.OK, so how does it work?Us humans are accustomed to measuring time in seconds, minutes and hours. Sagan’s concept helps us to have a better idea of the chronology of the universe. Each day in the cosmic calendar represents 37.8 million years of “real” time, while even a single second is equivalent to 438 years. The calendar visualisation starts off with the Big Bang at midnight on January 1st, with the universe expanding, cooling and gravitating since. The present day is shown at the very end of the cosmic calendar year, on December 31st.You can follow the cosmic evolution of the universe, such as the forming of the first stars and galaxies in early January. Believe it or not, our Milky Way Galaxy only forms on May 11th, with the Sun and Earth appearing in September.Dinosaurs show up at Christmas time, but are then extinct five days later. The first sight of “anatomically modern humans”, also known as homosapiens, is only five minutes before the end of the year. Meanwhile recorded history, based on written records, only covers the final 10 seconds.Well consider my mind blown! All those years of human history are just a flicker of time really... In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is vlogmas?What is a black hole?What is Western Sahara?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 31.12.2020
    3 MB
    04:08
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    What is an immunity passport?

    What is an immunity passport? Thanks for asking!After testing and vaccination in 2020, the immunity passport is likely to be one of next year’s Covid-19 hot topics. Apps on our smartphones will be able to show whether we have been tested or vaccinated. The upside? It could lead to the reopening of international travel, meaning we’ll be able to go on holiday again as a result, and access other freedoms.Big Brother’s watching us - It all sounds a bit creepy to me!Well the idea of a vaccination card as an entry mechanism is actually far from new. Over a century ago, certain American schools required students and teachers alike to show evidence of their smallpox vaccination. A more recent example is the yellow card, a travel document created by the World Health Organisation in the 1960s. It’s used to prove whether a person has been vaccinated for yellow fever. I’m guessing the 21st century version must come in the form of an app? Has there been any opposition to the idea of immunity passports? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is vlogmas?What is a black hole?What is Western Sahara?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 30.12.2020
    3 MB
    03:21
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    What is vlogmas?

    What is vlogmas? Thanks for asking!Well, there you have it, Christmas 2020 has come and gone faster than you can say “socially distanced celebrations! Some influencers will nevertheless be relieved to take some time off, after a full month of Vlogmas. The idea is to post a video per day from December 1st through to Christmas, like an Advent calendar. Sometimes this practice can extend through to the New Year. So if you love vlogs and love Christmas too, well this is perfect for you.Beauty and lifestyle Youtuber Ingrid Nilsen is credited with creating the tradition back in 2011, when she was known as Missglamorazzi. At the time, daily vlogging was relatively rare and the project was a spur-of-the-moment thing. Since then however Vlogmas has become a real phenomenon, with online content and searches growing year-on-year. What’s the idea then - festive-themed vlogs? Since Vlogmas first appeared, December has become an important month for influencers. It’s like a marathon for vloggers, in particular for lifestyle Youtubers. Every day is a new immersion into the influencer’s daily life, more or less around the theme of Christmas, taking in activities like buying and putting up decorations, last-minute shopping and of course unwrapping gifts.Some posts get hundreds of thousands of views and a simple search for “Vlogmas” on Youtube yields a seemingly endless number of results. It sure sounds like a lot of work during the holiday season! What’s in it for the influencers themselves then? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is a black hole?What is Western Sahara?What is Furoshiki? A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 28.12.2020
    3 MB
    03:31
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    What is a black hole?

    What is a black hole? Thanks for asking!The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists for their breakthroughs in understanding one of the Milky Way’s darkest secrets: the black hole. The winners were British physicist Sir Roger Penrose, American astronomer Andrea Ghez and German astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel. The closest black hole to Planet Earth is situated 1011 light years away and it’s believed one exists in every galaxy. Black holes generally form when a large star collapses in upon itself. As you may have guessed, black holes don’t emit any light and are therefore invisible in space. Their pulling force is so strong that nothing can escape, not even light.If black holes are invisible, how can we even be sure they exist?Black holes are indeed invisible, but astronomers have come up with ways to locate them. They have had to closely observe material and stars around black holes, which allows them to better understand the characteristics and behaviour of the black holes themselves, like their size and mass.There are actually three main types of black hole: primordial, stellar and supermassive. Evidence suggests that all large galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their centre.Scientists were able to detect the supermassive Sagittarius A* black hole in our galaxy by noticing that stars were orbiting around something that couldn’t be seen. Their presence in other galaxies has been revealed by high-energy jets of material, which can be emitted when a black hole consumes a star for example. How can black holes be so powerful that they can even trap light? Are you saying we’ve never been able to look directly at a black hole? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is low tech?What is gender dysphoria?What is The Cartel Project?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 26.12.2020
    4 MB
    04:29
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    What is Western Sahara?

    What is Western Sahara? Thanks for asking! On December 10th, US President Donald Trump recognised Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region. The announcement came as a surprise, and has significant consequences, such as the normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel. Following the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, Morocco is the fourth Arab League country to recognise Israel in recent months.Situated in the North-west of Africa, the region of Western Sahara has a surface area of over 100,000m₂. It is one of the world’s most sparsely populated territories, consisting mainly of desert flatlands. It can be found to the south of Morocco, the north of Mauritania, and also shares a border with Algeria. The region has been contested for several decades now, and is one of the world’s last remaining major non-self-governing territories. So who does the Western Sahara region actually belong to then?Well, it was actually a Spanish colony from the late 19th century through to 1975. A self-determination referendum was due to take place that year, but Morocco expressed its opposition, having continually claimed the territory since the 1950s. Following the Spanish withdrawal, Morocco annexed two-thirds of Western Sahara. It would go on to gradually secure control of around 80% of the territory, including all major cities and natural resources, which it continues to administrate. The remaining 20%, the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, is controlled by the Polisario Front. This group is an indigenous independence movement which was founded in 1973, and has the support of Algeria.What has caused the situation to escalate in recent months? Could this fighting have any impact on the US-brokered deal? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is low tech?What is gender dysphoria?What is The Cartel Project?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 24.12.2020
    3 MB
    03:38
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    What is Furoshiki?

    What is Furoshiki? Thanks for asking!In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Christmas Eve today, which means it’s time for the annual custom of last-minute gift wrapping. If you’re feeling creative, here’s an eco-friendly technique which dates back to 8th century Japan: Furoshiki wrapping.Furoshiki is the art of wrapping objects in fabric, which was first used by Japanese nobles to protect valuable objects. The word literally translates as “bath spread”, as people carried their clothes in such fabrics when going to public baths. When sewing machines were invented, the practice became more and more common, for transporting shopping items or food. Until plastic bags came along in the 20th century, that is.Is Furoshiki another victim of those damn plastic bags then?That seemed to be the case, but increasing awareness of environmental issues has seen a furoshiki revival since the turn of the century. The Japanese Minister for the Environment has been promoting it officially for some time now, even publishing a guide on various wrapping techniques such as the Otsukai Tsutsumi, Katake futuro and Yotsu Musubi.Great, I just wish I understood Japanese! In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is low tech?What is gender dysphoria?What is The Cartel Project?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 23.12.2020
    3 MB
    03:48
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    What are the Christmas Blues?

    What are the Christmas Blues? Thanks for asking!Ho, ho, ho, Christmas time is here! For many people, the holiday season brings to mind decorations, gifts, and happy moments spent in good company. But that’s not the case for everybody, and we would all do well to remember that. Some people find Christmas a difficult moment to live through, which causes sadness known as the Christmas blues.Who are these people who don’t love Christmas then?Well, there are actually several different types of Christmas blues that people experience. Firstly, you’ve got people who simply don’t like Christmas or find the period particularly joyful. Everyone has their own reasons, but it’s often linked to the apparent obligation of celebrating Christmas with false cheer. Some feel forced to see family members they don’t get on with, just because it’s a tradition that comes around once a year. And that can bring negative thoughts and feelings to the surface. Others feel excluded and lonely during the holiday season, especially if they don’t have family around. It can be difficult to come to terms with being on your own, when everyone else is gathering with several generations of family around the dinner table.Christmas Blues are also caused by the build up to the big day, which can be stressful for financial reasons. It’s no secret that Christmas goes hand-in-hand with gift giving. Many people are already struggling to make ends meet each month during the current economic downturn. So the pressure to spend extra money on presents can lead to feelings of shame about financial hardship.So how can we help those feeling the Christmas blues, and avoid suffering from it ourselves? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is low tech?What is gender dysphoria?What is The Cartel Project?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 21.12.2020
    3 MB
    03:28
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    What is low tech?

    What is low tech? Thanks for asking!In the struggle against climate change, politicians are getting behind technological innovation. But some experts believe that, rather than high-tech, we should instead be banking on the simple, robust and reparable solutions offered by low tech. The all-powerful nature of high-tech has been called into question for decades, with regular controversies and debates on subjects like robots, satellites or artificial intelligence. As far back as the 1970s, author Ivan Illich published “Tools for Conviviality” about the proper use of technology, in which he argued that society should “give people tools that guarantee their right to work with independent efficiency”. In this day and age, tools are overwhelmingly controlled by specialists. For example, very few of us know how to build or repair a smartphone, car or washing machine. Isn’t the awesome thing about technology that it’s guaranteed to become more and more complex?Well not everyone agrees with that. Experts have warned that renewable energies, nanotechnologies and biotechnologies all use up scarce resources, which are complex and difficult to recycle. The idea behind low tech is effectively to do more, better, with less. From a technical point of view, a low tech object should be durable, robust and reparable or recyclable. It should also consume little in the way of raw materials and energy. So designers are coming up with low-tech houses, cars, agriculture and even computers. But remember that renewable materials don’t last forever. It would be foolish to think we can maintain current production levels with different techniques. So before figuring out how to optimise production techniques, we need to accept that producing less is a necessity. OK so we’re talking about people who want us to go back to the stone age basically! In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is The Cartel Project?What is an mRNA vaccine?What is Fast Fashion?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 19.12.2020
    3 MB
    03:20
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    What is gender dysphoria?

    What is gender dysphoria? Thanks for asking! Gender dysphoria describes the unease that people can feel when there is a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity. So for example a person with male genitals and facial hair might not identify as a man. This unease can cause depression and anxiety in some cases, and have a real impact on a person’s daily life.How is this label different from more commonly used terms like transidentity?The term transsexualism, which appeared in the 1950s, was used for almost everything until recently. In medical jargon, it has gradually been replaced. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association included it in its list of mental illnesses, as a psychosexual disorder. In 2013, it clarified that gender dysphoria itself wasn’t a mental disorder, but that its main characteristic was the resulting discomfort. It’s important to recognise that not all transgender people experience gender dysphoria, as they may feel perfectly at ease with their bodies. In recent years, there’s been a shift in terminology, with gender dysphoria increasingly being used instead of other long-standing terms like “identity disorder” or “transidentity”. And yet, the term itself isn’t new! The notion emerged in 1973, around the time when gender studies were developing. It was coined in the United States by psychiatrist Norman Fisk and plastic surgeon Donald Laub.What can people with gender dysphoria suffer from? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is The Cartel Project?What is an mRNA vaccine?What is Fast Fashion?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 17.12.2020
    3 MB
    03:28
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    What is The Cartel Project?

    What is The Cartel Project? Thanks for asking! In early December, the Forbidden Stories consortium unveiled The Cartel Project, which continues and publishes the work of other journalists who are victims of threats, prison sentences or murder.It takes its name from the work of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, who was killed in 2012 while investigating links between drug cartels and politicians. Martinez was working for a weekly investigative news magazine called Proceso when she was found dead in her home.For several months now, 60 journalists from 18 countries have been continuing her work as part of the project, and looking into the suspicious circumstances of her death. They come from 25 different media outlets, including the Washington Post, the Guardian, El Pais, La Prensa and Le Monde.That’s impressive! How have all these media outlets managed to work together?Everything has been coordinated by Forbidden Stories. It’s a global network of investigative journalists which was created in 2017. Forbidden Stories was also behind the Daphne project, named after Daphne Caruana Galizia, a journalist who was murdered in Malta that year.But let’s get back to The Cartel Project. 199 journalists have been killed in Mexico since the turn of the century, with eight victims this year. These figures make it the world’s most dangerous country for reporters. A large proportion of these crimes are committed in the Veracruz region, where drug cartels have a strong influence. Working on links between politicians and drug cartels in Mexico is certainly a dangerous business. Founder Laurent Richard has gone on record as saying the Cartel Project is the most dangerous investigation that Forbidden Stories has ever opened.After 10 months of work, a lot of information has come out, in particular evidence that Mexican drug cartels continue to prosper with impunity for crimes against journalists. It has emerged that 99% of such crimes against Mexican journalists are never solved. If it’s so dangerous, why is the project looking into Mexico in particular? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is Fast Fashion?What is microwork?What is retrospective contact tracing?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 16.12.2020
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    What is an mRNA vaccine?

    What is an mRNA vaccine? Thanks for asking!The first two COVID-19 vaccines to pass clinical trials have a significant point in common. They are both mRNA vaccines, and in fact, it will be the very first time vaccines of this kind have been made available to the public. Patients in the UK already started being vaccinated a week ago, but some observers are concerned by the unknown characteristics of this technology.RNA is an abbreviation of ribonucleic acid. Inside our bodies, this substance transports the information contained in DNA, and produces proteins. Scientists have been aware of RNA for decades, but are still far from unravelling all its mysteries. Many studies have sought to find medical uses, like treating cancers or genetic disorders for example. There had already been some unsuccessful mRNA vaccine tests in the past. But the Covid-19 pandemic really caused research in this area to accelerate. What’s the difference between a traditional vaccine and an mRNA vaccine? Conventional vaccine procedures see patients injected with either a weakened or destroyed virus. As a result, the organism learns to recognise it and produce its own defences. The difference with an mRNA vaccine is that the person receives genetic material that encodes the viral protein. After this is injected, the person’s own cells are able to produce antigens and generate an immune response.On average, conventional viruses take between 10 and 15 years to develop. On the other hand, mRNA vaccines can be produced far more quickly, and at less cost, as they are constructed using only the pathogen’s genetic code. Given the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was essential to come up with a new vaccine to deploy on a large scale as soon as possible.That all sounds great, but aren’t we at risk of becoming genetically modified humans? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is Fast Fashion?What is microwork? What is retrospective contact tracing?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 14.12.2020
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    What is Fast Fashion?

    What is Fast Fashion? Thanks for asking!Fast fashion is to fashion what fast food is to dining. That is to say a poor-quality imitation, which everybody criticises but still nevertheless consumes!Adopted by many clothing brands, this strategy consists of regularly bringing out new collections and offering low-price items. Customers are therefore encouraged to buy new clothes almost constantly. These practices haven’t just come about by magic. They meet an increasing level of demand caused by expanding middle classes across the world, especially in developing countries. These consumers want more clothes and in particular cheaper clothes. The MacArthur Foundation estimates that by 2050, clothes sales will have at least tripled worldwide.The fashion industry has no reason to sell less, as explained by Ryan Gellert, managing director for brand PatagoniaThe apparel industry has become one of the most polluting in the world. As an industry we're creating product that people don't need by stimulating demand, and creating this sense that if you don't buy it now it's not gonna be available. There's this race to the bottom on price and quality that is an unsustainable model. This all seems rather bleak, so what can we do? Stop wearing clothes and turn to naturism? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is retrospective contact tracing?What is the Iranian nuclear program?What is cultured meat?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.12.2020
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    What is microwork?

    What is microwork? Thanks for asking!Microwork is paid work which usually involves short and repetitive tasks carried out on a smartphone or computer. It could be identifying objects shown in an image, watching videos, labelling data, translating short sentences or recording one’s voice for example. Charging electric scooters or taking photos of products for an app could also be considered microwork.That sounds simple enough; what is life like as a microworker then? Generally speaking, each task is paid at a rate of a few cents so microwork is rather unstable. On the other hand, this kind of work is available to all as it doesn’t require specific qualifications. Another benefit is flexibility, with microworkers able to work when and where they want, as long as tasks aren’t time-sensitive. It’s as simple as registering on a platform which acts as the middle man between workers and companies. Amazon Mechanical Turk is an example of one such platform. Many companies use microwork to develop technology like artificial intelligence. To educate machines, we have to talk to them. For example, Alexa and Siri learn to understand our voices thanks to microworkers who record themselves saying all kinds of phrases, each with their own accent and sound environment of course.And driverless cars are able to recognise trees and pedestrians thanks to humans identifying them on millions of photos. This form of work is relatively recent, having emerged in the United States in the 2000s. Back in 2011, it was estimated that microwork contributed $375M to the world economy. However, 22% of microworkers live under the poverty line. And there are other drawbacks too, in addition to the lack of economic security. Some may be demotivated by the apparent lack of meaning in their tasks. Often, microworkers don’t know the name of the company they’re working for, or anything about the project to which they’re contributing.So are we saying robots aren’t yet ready to replace humans in the workplace? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is retrospective contact tracing? What is the Iranian nuclear program?What is cultured meat?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 10.12.2020
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    What is retrospective contact tracing?

    What is retrospective contact tracing? Thanks for asking!Vaccine is the word on everyone’s lips right now when talking about COVID-19. While making a vaccine available is of course important, it’s not the only option for countries continuing the long struggle against the virus. Another tactic, used successfully in Asia, but so far to a far smaller extent in Europe, is retrospective contact tracing. That aims to identify the source of infection of each case.looped mindMany European countries came out of lockdown in the early summer, with public authorities highlighting the importance of testing, tracing and isolating. That approach had limited success and since the continent was hit by a second wave, experts have been looking at how to improve tracing methods. Until now, the main focus has been on identifying who else a sick person may have infected, and testing those contact cases. But now, it’s being suggested that retrospective tracing may be more useful, to determine who exactly infected that sick person in the first place.If the person’s already infected, what’s the point? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is cultured meat?What is impostor syndrome?What are minks?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 09.12.2020
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    What is the Iranian nuclear program?

    What is the Iranian nuclear program? Thanks for asking! On November 27th, nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was shot dead a few miles away from Iranian capital city Tehran.Iran has accused Israel of being behind the assassination, using a remote-controlled weapon with the help of an exiled opposition group. Taking out Fakhrizadeh is seen as a direct attack on the Iranian nuclear program, which has been a subject of controversy for many years.So when did the Iranian nuclear program actually begin? It was launched in the 1950s by Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi, with the help of the United States. Ensuring the peaceful use of nuclear power was a critical global issue for some time, with the International Atomic Energy Agency formed in 1957 and the UN’s Non-Proliferation Treaty signed in 1968. Then in 1979, an Islamic revolution took place in Iran, with Ayatollah Khomeiny taking power. The country’s nuclear program was put on standby and things weren’t helped by a war with neighbouring Iraq in the 1980s, which saw a nuclear reactor bombarded and destroyed.Fast forward to the 2000s and Iran began to advance in the development of its Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant. Many international powers suspected the country of using the program as a cover for developing nuclear weapons. It was revealed that a uranium-enrichment site was under construction to the south of Tehran.Were the suspicions founded then? What’s gone wrong since the 2015 deal? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is cultured meat?What is impostor syndrome? What are minks?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 07.12.2020
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    What is cultured meat?

    What is cultured meat? Thanks for asking!The world’s ever-growing human population is eating meat in greater quantities than ever before. Yet at the same time, we’re also increasingly conscious of the environmental impact, as well as ethical issues around animal slaughter. So imagine if you could eat meat without any animals being harmed, and with 96% less greenhouse gas emissions! Well, that is actually possible with cultured meat, which is grown via cell culture in a lab rather than from an animal. It’s also been described as “clean meat”, due to its perceived benefits, but this term has been criticised for not being neutral enough. So how is cultured meat actually made?Firstly, you take tissue cells from an animal and isolate them so they can grow in-vitro in perfect lab conditions. To do this, they need warmth and oxygen, as well as to be fed with salt, sugar and protein. The cells are effectively tricked into thinking they are still inside the animal they have come from. This enables them to grow and become food. With this alternative solution, there’s no need to raise and slaughter animals. Energy costs could be cut by up to 45%, with water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions dropping by a massive 96%. Considering that livestock farming accounts for a sixth of global emissions, that would make a huge difference.The world’s first cultured hamburger was introduced in London in 2013, by Pr Mark Post. His team from Maastricht University spent 2 years and $300,000 creating the 5-oz Frankenburger. Since then, famous names including Bill Gates and Leonardo Di Caprio have invested in cultured meat companies, which aim to bring the phenomenon to the mainstream. By next year, cultured meat could be available at the same price as traditionally farmed meat.Great, what are we waiting for then? Why aren’t we all already eating cultured meat? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What are minks?What is a mixtape?What is the circular economy?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 05.12.2020
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    What is impostor syndrome?

    What is impostor syndrome? Thanks for asking!Impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon which causes many high achievers to feel like frauds who haven’t really earned their success. Those affected think their accomplishments are simply down to luck, or other factors out of their control. Up to 70% of people are affected by impostor syndrome at some point in their life, according to the Journal of Behavioural Science. In the worst cases, it can be a crippling barrier which prevents us from achieving our potential.How did we get to know about impostor syndrome? The term was coined in 1978 by American psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes. They first looked at impostor syndrome in female college students, but further research has shown that men also experience such feelings. Clance later created a multiple choice survey, scored out of 100, which helps individuals evaluate the extent to which they have impostor phenomenon characteristics.Another impostor syndrome expert is Dr. Valerie Young, author of The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women. Young categorised impostors into five subgroups: perfectionists, superwomen or men, natural geniuses, soloists and experts.Even some of the human race’s highest achievers can experience feelings of fraudulence. Award-winning author Maya Angelou is one example, as is Albert Einstein, who described himself as an “involuntary swindler”. It’s important to underline that impostor syndrome isn’t necessarily a permanent state, rather a reaction to several factors which cause us to doubt ourselves. Where does this need to put ourselves down come from? How can we effectively deal with impostor syndrome? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What are minks?What is a mixtape?What is the circular economy?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 03.12.2020
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    What are minks?

    What are minks? Thanks for asking!After the pangolin, another kind of animal is getting increased attention due to Covid-19. That’s right, we’re talking about minks, which were recently culled in their millions in Denmark following an outbreak of the Cluster 5 coronavirus strain. The fear is that this particular strain, hosted by minks, could prove resistant to vaccines being developed. French authorities have since taken similar action, albeit in far smaller numbers. Controversies around mink farms are actually nothing new.That is the sound of the mink. If you’re having trouble picturing one, they belong to the weasel family, along with ferrets and otters. Minks are around 50cm long, have slender bodies and live in forests, alongside water. They’re semi aquatic predators and not afraid to hunt prey which are larger in size, like fish, rats or even swans. There are two species of mink: European and American. European minks are in danger of extinction and this decline is likely due in no small part to competition with their American cousins.What are American minks doing in Europe then?Humans have been breeding American minks on fur farms for decades. Mink fur is soft, silky and warm, which explains its popularity in the fashion industry. During that time, some have escaped from captivity, or been released by animal rights activists, and provided fierce competition for European minks.Does anyone actually still wear fur in this day and age? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is a mixtape?What is the circular economy?What is unicorn?A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 02.12.2020
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    What is a mixtape?

    What is a mixtape? Thanks for asking!Not as long as a studio album, but longer than an EP, a mixtape is a collection of music from one or more artists, which is usually released free of charge and with little notice. This format came from hip hop culture and is now being used more widely in pop music too, increasing creativity within the music industry.The name mixtape refers to the cassettes on which such compilations were originally recorded. The humble cassette may seem like an alien concept to anyone under the age of 20, having been created back in 1962. At the time, it was a revolutionary invention, its compact design allowing people to listen to music in the street with a walkman, or while driving a car. Even better, you could even record music onto a cassette. That’s how mixtapes emerged in the US hip-hop world: DJs would compile their tracks and the tapes would be passed around within the community. Younger generations may think of a mixtape as the equivalent of a playlist in today’s terms.But since then cassette tapes have disappeared, haven’t they?They have indeed, but mixtapes are still alive and well. The term has evolved and it’s now used most often to talk about a rapper’s first project, like a rite of passage. Or it could be a light release in between two studio albums. Often distributed free, mixtapes allow artists to create a buzz without investing the same time and money that goes into a meticulously worked album.A lot of modern-day rappers, like Kendrick Lamar, Young Thug or A$AP Rocky, have seen their career take off thanks to a mixtape. Just last weekend, Lil Wayne released the third edition of his No Ceilings mixtape series. No Ceilings 3 is hosted by DJ Khaled and features guest appearances by artists like Drake, Jay Jones and Cory Gunz. That being said, albums are still more accomplished works right? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is the circular economy? What is unicorn? What is Tourette's Syndrome? A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 30.11.2020
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    What is the circular economy?

    What is the circular economy? Thanks for asking!The circular economy is an economic system where all resources are continually used and nothing is wasted. Goods and services are produced in such a way that primary resources are preserved as far as possible. European policy aims to support the transition towards a circular economy, but it requires significant change.The concept of a circular economy first appeared in the 1970s, as an alternative to the dominant linear economy model, which consists of a take-make-use-dispose approach. The increase in consumerism over the 20th century led to a tenfold increase in the extraction of natural resources, which aren’t always renewable. So in concrete terms what is the difference with today’s system?Think of the notion of a cycle, as the term circular economy suggests. Let’s take the example of an organic cotton T-shirt. Once used, rather than being thrown away and burned, it could be used to manufacture a couch. When the couch in turn becomes damaged, the cotton would then be recovered and reused to create glass wool. If years later the cotton fibres haven’t been exposed to chemicals, they could go back into nature, to grow more cotton. Are we saying the circular economy is a kind of economic utopia? Is this transition likely to lead to job losses? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What are microplastics? What is cultural appropriation?What is Big Pharma? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 28.11.2020
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    What is a unicorn?

    What is a unicorn? Thanks for asking!A unicorn is a privately-owned start up company valued at over $1bn when launched on the stock market. That’s right, we’re not talking about mythical animals, but economy and finance! The term was popularised in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, with the choice of word reflecting the rarity of such success stories. Even more rare are decacorns and hectacorns, which have a value of over $10bn and $100bn respectively. Business analytics platform CB Insights reported that there were 450 unicorns in the world as of October 2020. That number has quadrupled since 2014. Some of the largest are well known, like Byte Dance, Snapchat or AirBNB for example, but most are unknown. Around a half of unicorns are American, and over a third are from Asia. Meanwhile, 16% are from Europe. According to GP Bullhound, the UK is Europe’s leading country by number of unicorns, with 30 in total and a combined value of $87bn. Five new UK companies have achieved that status since last year: Snyk, Checkout.com, Rapyd, HealthTech Babylon and MagicLab.Are you saying all I need is a good idea to turn into my very own unicorn? Well you need a strategy too and most importantly investors. Raising capital is where unicorns are particularly strong and to do that they go through external funding rounds. When a project appeals to investors, they take a chance on the future success of that startup. There’s no expectation of an immediate result, but in the long term investors will get back a return on their investment when the company is sold or launches on the stock market.Well if a company gets to be worth over $1bn, its investors must become super rich! In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is Tourette's Syndrome? What is Cluster 5?What are microplastics? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 26.11.2020
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    What is Tourette’s Syndrome?

    What is Tourette’s Syndrome? Thanks for asking!Tourette’s syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder which usually begins in childhood. It’s estimated that around 1% of all school-age children and teenagers have Tourette’s, with boys several times more likely to be affected than girls. The main symptoms are involuntary sounds and movements known as tics. Some examples of physical tics are blinking, grimacing and shoulder shrugging. Meanwhile, vocal tics can be as simple as coughing or sniffing, or more complex like saying random words. More rarely, people may repeat sounds or sentences which can include obscenities. While it is often associated with the syndrome in the eyes of the public, swearing only actually affects around one in ten people with Tourette’s. The syndrome was named by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, after his student Georges Gilles de la Tourette.What causes people to have Tourette’s?The causes and origins are still somewhat unknown. It’s suspected that a dysfunction in certain parts of the brain leads to abnormal activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Aside from being linked to reward and pleasure, dopamine is responsible for controlling body movements. Genetic factors also have a role to play; studies have shown that Tourette’s is highly heritable. Nevertheless, no single gene has been identified as the cause and it’s likely that many different ones are responsible.If the tics aren’t permanent, how do they appear? Is there any treatment for Tourette’s? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What are microplastics? What is cultural appropriation?What is Big Pharma? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 25.11.2020
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    What is Cluster 5?

    What is Cluster 5? Thanks for asking! At the start of November, the World Health Organisation announced that six countries had reported COVID-19 cases in mink farms. These include Denmark, which is the world’s biggest producer of mink fur, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Italy and the United States.This development led Denmark to take the radical decision of culling all 15 million minks in the country. The Prime Minister claimed a mutated strain of the virus, known as Cluster 5, had been transmitted back to humans, with 12 cases identified. So where does this particular strain come from?After spreading across the world, the coronavirus was transmitted from humans to minks. Its presence in these animals requires a mutation, which is how the Cluster 5 strain was created. And now the new strain has in turn been passed back to humans. According to the WHO, Cluster 5 has “moderately decreased sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies”, which could in theory threaten the effectiveness of a COVID-19 vaccine. Scientists believe the mutated strain of the virus was transmitted by farm workers to minks over the summer. During the mutation, it’s possible the spike protein of the virus changed, which is used to penetrate into human cells. Pharmaceutical companies seeking to develop a potential vaccine are mostly working on this particular protein. That includes the Pfizer vaccine, which the latest estimations have found to be effective in 90% of cases. There’s not yet any proof that this strain could scupper a vaccine, but the mutation identified means it’s theoretically possible.If all those millions of minks have been culled, does that mean things are now under control? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What are microplastics? What is cultural appropriation?What is Big Pharma? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 23.11.2020
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    What are microplastics?

    What are microplastics? Thanks for asking!There are tiny fragments of plastic pretty much everywhere in the ocean, in the ground and inside animals, including humans! These are known as microplastics, and their potential impact on human health and the environment is a cause for concern. Microplastics aren’t a specific type of plastic per se. The term is used to refer to any fragments which are under 5 mm in length. Some examples are polystyrene, polypropylene, polythene and a bunch of other poly-things. They come from large plastic objects, like cosmetics or synthetic fabrics in clothing. Where are microplastics spreading the most?The obvious example is on ocean floors, where scientists have estimated there are 14 million tonnes of microplastics. Every minute, we fill the oceans with the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic. And then you’ve got microplastic pollution in soils. That causes damage to creatures like mites and larvae which maintain land fertility.There must be some protected locations out there, surely? What about in the mountains or at the North Pole? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is Big Pharma?Who are the Grey Wolves?What is food play? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 21.11.2020
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    What is cultural appropriation?

    What is cultural appropriation? Thanks for asking! Think of Katy Perry in her video for This Is How We Do, Madonna in a traditional Berber outfit at the 2018 VMA awards, or Adele with her hair in Bantu knots to mark Notting Hill Carnival. That’s right, we’re talking about cultural appropriation in today’s episode. It’s a practice which has caused regular controversy in the world of pop culture. Most often, white artists are accused of using ideas, symbols or other items which come from non-Western minority cultures. The definition of cultural appropriation itself is somewhat controversial, with many saying it is often misapplied by the general public. Its meaning has evolved over time to have negative connotations. It’s problematic when someone belonging to a dominant community uses cultural elements from an oppressed people, for their own artistic or commercial benefit. In 1976, art historian Kenneth Coutts-Smith wrote one of the first essays to discuss cultural appropriation. He didn’t actually use the term itself, but brought together the ideas of class appropriation and cultural colonialism.I don’t understand the issue, what’s wrong with mixing cultures?It can be OK to mix several cultures, as long as it is a true exchange and not a one-way street. In the case of cultural appropriation, the minority culture doesn’t have the choice of accepting or refusing. In some cases, the original meaning of cultural items isn’t respected, or the elements are used in a way that reinforces stereotypes.The concept applies to more or less the entire cultural landscape. In recent years, designers and fashion creators have also come under fire for supposed cultural appropriation. High-profile shows have seen white models sporting dreadlocks or wearing African wax prints. Meanwhile at the same time in the fashion world, black models are underpaid or struggle to find work at all. So it’s not an exchange on any level. Another case would be rock and roll, a style of music which was taken from black musicians in the 1950s. The white-dominated music industry chose to promote white artists instead, with Elvis being the most famous example.So what could they do differently? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is Big Pharma?Who are the Grey Wolves?What is food play? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 19.11.2020
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    What is Big Pharma?

    What is Big Pharma? Thanks for asking!At a time when the whole world is waiting for an effective COVID-19 vaccine, do citizens really trust the companies likely to be responsible for producing it? A few multinationals dominate the global pharmaceutical market and they are collectively known as Big Pharma. Common criticisms include a lack of transparency, lobbying and high prices.The term first appeared in the United States in the 1990s. Much along the same lines as Big Food or Big Oil, it describes an industry which is dominated by a small number of players. In the pharmaceutical industry, these are Novartis, Roche, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi. The 10 largest companies currently generate $500bn in turnover each year, a figure which has doubled in the last decade. So Big Pharma consists of a handful of companies who have huge power on a global level! Some observers have commented that they have even more power than states. The Big Pharma label is often used by conspiracy theorists, who believe these companies are hiding cures for cancer or forcing dangerous vaccines upon us. Most recently, it’s alleged that Big Pharma companies have deliberately blocked effective drugs from being used to treat COVID-19. All to inflate their stock price, rather than helping people with their health problems. I don’t get it - does Big Pharma actually exist, or is it a conspiracy theory? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is food play?What is Baby Shark?What is carbon neutrality? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 18.11.2020
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    Who are the Grey Wolves?

    Who are the Grey Wolves? Thanks for asking!The Grey Wolves are a Turkish ultranationalist organisation which has come under the spotlight in several European countries of late. In France, for example, the group has now been officially banned, while there have been calls for the same action to be taken in Germany.Tell me more about the history of the Grey Wolves and their ideology.The organisation was founded in the late 1960s as the militant wing of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Its aims include creating a pan-Turkish state, stretching from the Balkans to Central Asia. The Grey Wolves ideology focuses strongly on Turkish history and identity, blended with Islam. Also known as the Idealist Hearths, the group is hostile to virtually all non-Turkish peoples in the country, including Kurds, Armenians and Christians for example. It has a history of political violence against left-wing activists, journalists and intellectuals, dating back to the 1970s. On an international level, perhaps the most notorious Grey Wolf member is Mehmet Ali Agca, who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in St Peter’s Square in 1981. The Pope was shot and wounded, suffering severe blood loss, but nevertheless survived. The Grey Wolves salute consists of joining together the middle finger, ring finger and thumb to look like the side of a wolf’s face, while raising the little and index fingers in the form of ears. It was banned in Austria early last year, while German politicians have also proposed making it illegal, suggesting it is reminiscent of the Nazi salute.Why are the Grey Wolves currently being targeted by European governments? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is food play?What is Baby Shark?What is carbon neutrality? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 16.11.2020
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    What is food play?

    What is food play? Thanks for asking!In a sexual context, food play is a form of fetichism, where participants are aroused by the use of food in an erotic situation. Also known as sitophilia, it’s not necessarily a disorder or perversion as such. You could class it as a form of paraphilia, which is the experience of arousal relating to atypical objects or fantasies. For those who partake in food play, it’s mostly a bit of harmless fun which brings together two essential human pleasures: sex and eating!OK, tell me more about what goes on in food play.When solid foods are used, it’s most often for penetrative purposes. Their phallic shape makes them suitable for vaginal or anal insertion. Some examples include bananas, carrots, cucumbers and courgettes. Non-solid foods, such as whipped cream, honey or chocolate sauce can be spread over a partner’s body and then licked off.I’ll never look at those foods in the same way again! Why would you want to bring food into your sex life anyway? Can this practice become problematic for individuals or couples? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is carbon neutrality? What is Islamism?What is a non-essential shop? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 14.11.2020
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    04:07
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    What is Baby Shark?

    What is Baby Shark? Thanks for asking!On November 2nd, Baby Shark made internet history by becoming the most-viewed YouTube video of all time, with over 7 billion plays. This children’s song about a family of sharks is driving the whole world crazy, for good and for bad! No-one really knows where the song originally came from. It may have been sung in children’s summer camps in the 1970s, or invented following the release of Hollywood blockbuster Jaws in 1975. A German version called Kleiner Hai had some success in 2007. Whatever Baby Shark’s origins, Korean educational entertainment company Pinkfong was particularly taken by the song. It published its own version on Youtube in 2015, sung by 10-year-old Korean-American girl Hope Marie Segoine. The video features children dressed up as fish, making dance moves to represent various members of a shark family. It instantly became a hit in Asia, largely thanks to K-pop groups singing it in concert. But only in 2018 did Baby Shark really go global. The Baby Shark Challenge hashtag went viral on TikTok and the song made it onto American TV, first on the X Factor and then on The Late Late Show where it was sung by Sophie Turner and Josh Groban. In 2019, the US Marine band even played Baby Shark at a White House ceremony for World Series winning baseball team the Washington Nationals. Baby Shark has been officially translated into eleven languages, including Spanish, Japanese and German. There’s also an almost endless number of remixes online, with various styles of music.How can a simple children’s song become such a phenomenon? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is carbon neutrality? What is Islamism? What is a non-essential shop? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    3 MB
    03:31
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    What is carbon neutrality?

    What is carbon neutrality? Thanks for asking!All over the world, states are committing to reaching carbon neutrality in coming decades. That means achieving net zero CO2 emissions, by not emitting more than what planet Earth is able to absorb. If humanity doesn’t manage it, climate change could quickly become irreversible. We’re already feeling the effects of global warming through heatwaves, rising water levels, flooding, mudslides and loss of biodiversity. And it’s only just getting started, unless humanity manages to follow the IPCC’s recommendations to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. That’s what 195 countries signed up for with the 2016 Paris Agreement. One of the main ways of meeting that target is through carbon neutrality.Does that mean we’ll totally stop emitting CO2?No, it simply means we’ll limit our greenhouse gas emissions to a level that nature is capable of absorbing. Certain reservoirs, known as carbon sinks, are able to absorb more carbon than they release. These include oceans and forests for example.How close are we to reaching that balance right now? That’s a lot of work to do, in not a lot of time! How on earth are we going to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050? Isn’t there a way of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is a non-essential shop?What are incels? What is blasphemy? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 11.11.2020
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    03:33
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    What is Islamism?

    What is Islamism? Thanks for asking! A spate of terrorist attacks have been carried out across Europe in recent weeks, most notably in France and Austria. Political leaders have attributed the violence to Islamists, calling for a united front in battling this form of radicalism. Nevertheless, use of the term “Islamism” is somewhat controversial.So what’s the difference between Islam and Islamism?It’s important to make the distinction between the religion Islam itself, which is practised by all Muslims, and the separate political concept of Islamism. Islamism is related to forms of activism which advocate that society should be guided by Islamic principles. So that includes social and political life, in addition to individuals” personal lives. In some cases, movements call for Sharia Law to be fully implemented in an Islamic state, where non-Muslim influences would be removed. Sharia is derived from the Quran and fatwas issued by Islamic scholars. Most Islamists believe in peaceful mobilisation to pursue political change. But some justify the use of extreme violence, such as terrorist attacks. Well-known extremist groups include Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Taliban. For example, Al Qaeda recently released a statement saying it is the right of every Muslim to kill a person who insults the Prophet Mohammed.What’s so controversial about the term Islamism then? Are there other better alternatives to talking about Islamism? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is a non-essential shop?What are incels? What is blasphemy? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 09.11.2020
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    02:53
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    What is a non-essential shop?

    What is a non-essential shop? Thanks for asking!Many countries in Europe and other parts of the world are experiencing a second wave of the covid-19 pandemic. A new lockdown began in England last Thursday, due to last until at least December 2nd. The rules are seen as stricter than earlier in the year, coming at a time when trust in the government is low. Certain businesses have already been designated as non-essential and forced to close during the four-week period.So how do we know which shops and products are essential or not?Well this can vary between countries as the rules are different. Prior to the covid-19 pandemic, there was no real precedent for governments to refer to. According to a dictionary definition, “essential” refers to something which is “necessary, indispensable or unavoidable”. In theory, the decision is taken primarily based on what is genuinely needed to survive. So you’re talking food and healthcare products for example. But other businesses are also allowed to remain open, like petrol stations, banks and hardware stores.By that logic, you could make an argument for all consumer products being essential! In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is blasphemy? What is mental health?What is antimicrobial resistance? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 07.11.2020
    3 MB
    03:07
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    What are Incels?

    What are Incels? Thanks for asking!Incel is a portmanteau word which is short for “involuntary celibate”. These people are single despite themselves, and have abandoned any hope of one day finding love or even sex. The incel community is overwhelmingly made up of young men, who are particularly active online, expressing their hatred towards women. Members of this subculture are obsessed by the fact that women apparently refuse to have sex with them. Ironically, the term itself was actually invented by a woman.How can that be the case? Back in 1997, a female Canadian student built a website known as Alana’s Involuntary Celibacy Project. She intended to create a community for sex-deprived people of all genders, to discuss their lack of sexual activity, whether it be due to social awkwardness, being marginalised, or any other reason. Since then, tens of thousands have joined incel forums online and community groups. But in most cases, they are straight men between 18 and 35 years old. Their common idea is that women are responsible for their long-term single status. Many incels openly display their resentment towards women in online posts, labelling them as “pathological liars” for example, or using misogynistic insults like “slut” and “whore”.Incels have their own jargon, calling supposedly more attractive men and women “Chads” and “Staceys”. These people are able to choose their sexual or romantic partners, whereas incels can’t. That’s violent language! Has Incel anger ever manifested itself in physical attacks? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is mental health?What is antimicrobial resistance?What is K-Pop? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 05.11.2020
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    03:00
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    What is blasphemy?

    What is blasphemy? Thanks for asking!An act of blasphemy is an insult or offence committed towards a deity. Blasphemy is often a sensitive subject, and one which can lead to tragic consequences. So should insulting God or a religion be a crime or recognised as a basic right? The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have long condemned blasphemy. In the Middle Ages, the notion was written into law in certain places. It was feared that insults to god would anger him into causing natural disasters and contagious diseases. Is blasphemy still illegal in this day and age?It is indeed in some places, such as Italy where blasphemy is clearly outlawed. gavel Meanwhile in Germany, Poland and Greece among other countries, there are laws against religious defamation which could apply to blasphemy. In Saudi Arabia or Iran, blasphemy is punishable by the death penalty. Other countries have actually gone the other way and scrapped previously existing blasphemy laws, like Denmark in 2017. That was the case in France too as far back as 1881, when a law on freedom of the press was introduced. Sometimes, the legal distinction can be subtle. While it may not be illegal to make general criticism of a religion, it is usually a criminal offence to insult somebody based on their faith.There has long been a tradition of drawing religious figures in satirical cartoons or works of art. Think about the Piss Christ painting created by Andres Serrano back in 1987, or more recently the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which has frequently published cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed.Such works make national or even international headlines, generating significant public debate. Amid the controversy, there is often a violent backlash from religious extremists.If national laws are clear on the subject, why is there still so much debate around blasphemy? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is mental health?What is antimicrobial resistance?What is K-Pop? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 04.11.2020
    3 MB
    03:27
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    What is mental health?

    What is mental health? Thanks for asking!New lockdown measures are due to come into effect across England this week, following Boris Johnson’s announcement on Saturday. Pubs, restaurants, leisure facilities, most shops and places of worship will be forced to close, with remote work encouraged where possible. These new restrictions are sure to have an impact on the population’s mental health. The World Health Organisation defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” One in four people experiences some kind of mental health issue during their lifetime.What are some signs of mental health disorders? Well, there are over 500 different kinds, so the answer is it really depends. It could be something like difficulty in controlling emotions or getting a good night’s sleep. Then you have more serious disorders like bipolar or schizophrenia. The most common mental health issue among Europeans is anxiety, followed by depression. A study found that the continent’s most affected countries were Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland and France. Meanwhile at the lower end of the scale were Romania, Bulgaria and Poland.These disorders don’t just happen overnight do they? To what extent is mental health recognised by states? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is antimicrobial resistance?What is K-Pop?What is the Electoral College? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 02.11.2020
    3 MB
    03:43
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    What is antimicrobial resistance?

    What is antimicrobial resistance? Thanks for asking!Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR for short, refers to how bacteria are able to become resistant to antibiotics. This phenomenon has been increasingly common since the turn of the century and is of great concern to public health authorities. AMR could become one of the highest causes of mortality across the world. Back in 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the first ever antibiotic. It was revolutionary in the world of medicine and antibiotics ended up increasing human life expectancy by 10 years! But the widespread uptake of such treatments has led to the development of AMR. To put it simply, antibiotics are becoming less and less effective.So are we saying that doctors prescribed antibiotics too often, leading to this problem?That’s partly true, and sometimes for conditions or illnesses which didn’t really require antibiotic treatment. But that’s not the only issue. Antibiotics are also used on animals, in livestock farming. Research published in Science magazine last year showed that resistance rates had doubled at some farms since the start of the century. When resistance develops in animals, it can be transmitted to human beings, especially through food. After being exposed to antibiotics, bacteria can evolve and develop defence mechanisms, eventually being able to resist the impact of medicine. Even worse, when this resistance develops in one species of bacteria, it can be transferred to others too. In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is the Electoral College?What is synthetic DNA?What is tax evasion? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 31.10.2020
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    03:57
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    What is K-Pop?

    What is K-Pop? Thanks for asking!On October 15th, Big Hit Entertainment debuted on the Korean stock exchange. If you’re not familiar with the company itself, you’re more likely to have heard of BTS, one of the bands they created. In barely 24 hours, the success of the IPO had exceeded all expectations. A single day of trading was enough to bring the value of Big Hit Entertainment up from $4.5bn to nearly $7.4bn. Also known as the Bangtan Boys, BTS are the most famous boy band from South Korea, and a global music phenomenon. Particularly popular among teenagers, the group’s last single “Dynamite” reached 350 million views on Youtube in under a month.So what’s the magic K-pop formula?There are two essential ingredients really. Firstly a flashy look, usually accompanied by an equally extravagant hairstyle. And the second key part is of course the Korean language. K-pop band members are generally young and quirky. Throw in a strong marketing push and you’re ready to turn these young people into stars. K-pop bands really are popular icons for the youth of South Korea. The songs themselves talk about various themes like friendship, love, life and death, right and wrong, and of course sex!It sounds like a neatly packaged commercial product! In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is the Electoral College? What is synthetic DNA?What is tax evasion? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 29.10.2020
    3 MB
    03:52
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    What is the Electoral College?

    What is the Electoral College? Thanks for asking!In the United States, the President isn’t actually directly elected by citizens. That responsibility goes instead to the electoral college. The system means it’s actually possible for the candidate elected president to have less votes overall than their defeated opponent. Since the year 1880, Election Day has taken place on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. Next week, Americans will go to the ballot and cast their votes in the 2020 election. As you may well recall, four years ago Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went head-to-head. What if I told you that Clinton actually won that election? I’d say you were living in an alternative universe!Well, Hillary Clinton received 48% of all votes, while Donald Trump got 46%. There was an overall difference of 3 million votes between the two candidates. Don’t get carried away, Donald Trump didn’t cheat. He did win the electoral vote. But Clinton won the popular vote. It was only the fourth time that had happened in the history of the US election. How is that even possible?! In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is synthetic DNA? What is tax evasion?What is a think tank? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 28.10.2020
    3 MB
    03:41
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    What is synthetic DNA?

    What is synthetic DNA? Thanks for asking!Humanity is faced with the complex issue of how to store and archive all the digital data it produces. Sometimes the solutions to our problems are right before our eyes. Or even in every cell in our body! Soon enough, we may end up using synthetic DNA to store our data. In the last few years, scientists have made significant progress in sequencing and synthesising DNA. We are now able to create DNA quickly, without needing to use chemistry. And this progress is leading to great hope. But what’s the point of producing DNA?Synthetic DNA can be used to create new medicines, produce better quality food and cruelty-free meat or leather for example. Researchers are trying to use this technology to meet a wide range of modern-day challenges. But we hear most about the promise of synthetic DNA in relation to the digital world. With the ever-expanding internet and increasing number of connected devices, there’s an endless amount of data that needs to be stored somewhere. For the moment, we rely on enormous data centres, which have to be permanently cooled, consuming billions of litres of water to do so. They’re expensive to maintain, they take up a lot of physical space and they’re really not good for the environment.So are we going to replace massive hard drives with tubes of DNA? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!To listen the last episodes, you can click here: What is tax evasion? What is a think tank?What is QAnon? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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