This is ‘The Broth’, a melting pot of weekend wisdom from around the tinterwebs and beyond.
It’s also the first, in what I hope will be a series of weekly posts. Let me know what you think.
What I’m watching
Currently I’m Goggleboxing ‘Our Planet’ with Sir David Attenborough, who I secretly want to be my Grandad.
Despite having the best voice known to man however, even his dulcet tones can’t soothe the stark warning pervading the series, that we’re royally messing up our planet.
I’ve only watched two out of eight so far, but the introduction to each episode says it all:
“Just 50 years ago, we finally ventured to the moon. For the very first time, we looked back at our own planet. Since then, the human population has more than doubled”
It seems no coincidence that research shows a 60% decrease in animal populations from 1970 to 2014 and a 40% loss of arctic summer sea ice (by 2040 it’s predicted to have disappeared entirely).
On the bookshelf
So I’ve finally picked it up; after sitting beside my bed for months, I’ve started reading Homo Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.
Although I’ve procrastinated over this for a long time, I’m already loving it, especially the start of the book, which touches on evolutionary psychology and how it applies to our existential foibles in a digital age.
Sadly, the book also outlines our early knack of driving other animals into extinction. Even back in our earliest foraging days, we decimated multiple populations of megafauna due to our rapid expansion, including the giant American eight-tonne sloth.
As we enter an increasingly anthropocene epoch, some commentators downplay the feasibility of mitigating our damaging actions on the environment, preferring to champion new (and often unproven) technology as our tools of saviour.
But, we have to beware of quick fixes among the synthetic options available to us.
Thoroughly testing technology, both in economic potential, and more importantly, scientific safety, seems vital to avoid unintended catastrophes if our hands are forced by growing climate concerns and global warming.
On a lighter note, I was delighted to recently discover The Red Hand Files; a website and newsletter created by the man and legend himself, Nick Cave.
This writing does what all good blogs should, by drawing us into a private world, where Mr Cave answers, very poetically, all manner of interesting fan-based fare.
In a world of noise, this signal cuts through the crap, a shiny beacon of light in the inky void.
Due to frantic wielding of shears in a new allotment project, Edward Scissor hands-style, I recently suffered a pesky bout of lower back pain.
Luckily it was just a muscular strain rather than a more serious, discogenic problem.
A great technique I’ve frequently utilised at such times is the old two-tennis ball technique, particularly adept at relieving tight muscles or trigger points in the lower back.
Placed next to each other on the floor, they sit perfectly either side of your spinous processes (the bony bits you can feel when you run your hands down your back).
When you lie on top of them, they push into your sore spots, relieving muscular tension and discomfort.
For bonus brownie points and frequent users, you can even tape the two balls together, or if you’re really hardy, use solid hockey balls for an extra dose of pleasure/pain.
And that’s it for our first week of interestingness. If you want more juicy goodness delivered to your inbox every week(ish), then sign yourself up below.