Quicklinks: 30 January – 5 February 2023

I’ll start this set of links off with this beautiful 150-year-old tree from Japan.

Imagine if you went walking in the forest and then encountered this fantastical creature!

Tim Urban shares with us a very interesting fact about February.

I don’t know if this will be of interest to anyone not involved in science but, if you’ve worked in a laboratory, you’ve certainly come across parafilm. It’s a pretty cool substance that can be used for many different things. This article gives the history of parafilm.

I used to be a huge Cradle of Filth fan. They are an extreme metal band from the UK and definitely won’t be to everyone’s taste. I could talk about what lies underneath the originally harsh music, like Dani’s beautiful and poetic lyrics, but I just want to share a song I didn’t expect. Most of their songs have religious, historical and/or mythological themes but one from their most-recent album is actually all about human-caused ecological collapse and how it will come back to us in time.

A simple fact, vast errors weigh
Thus Terra acts to curb our play
A coffin for the world handmade to measure
From forests’ twisted treasures
Now lost to frost forever
The end has come

Jungles culled, sold on or cindered
The Angel of Death slips through the burning leaves
Everywhere we touch polluted
Trees of wisdom long since rooted

Inhumankind now drives mass extinction
No escape from an enemy of billions
Pity the poor creatures that suffer our dominion

Another big surprise in the previous week was that it didn’t take long for the Australians to find that missing radioactive capsule!

Another piece about problems at the University of Cape Town from the former head of the philosophy department. It’s frustrating to constantly see the state that the university is in and I really hope that it can be fixed before things get much worse. If it ever gets as bad as the country’s leadership then it will be very difficult to pull it back.

According to Sandi Tosvig, the UK and Iran are the only two countries in the world where religious leaders are automatically given seats in parliament. She’s promoting a petition to change that. Certainly worth paying attention to if you are in the UK.

While we all, hopefully, condemn Putin’s cruel and unprovoked war against Ukraine, it’s worth remembering that Russians also suffer under Putin’s rule. This article talks about how the Russian government is banning LGBT media and punishing people who says its alright to live a non-traditional life.


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