Study: Living Near Trees is Good for Your Health

The large study builds on a body of prior research showing the cognitive and psychological benefits of nature scenery — but also goes farther in actually beginning to quantify just how much an addition of trees in a neighborhood enhances health outcomes. The researchers, led by psychologist Omid Kardan of the University of Chicago, were able to do so because they were working with a vast dataset of public, urban trees kept by the city of Toronto — some 530,000 of them, categorized by species, location, and tree diameter — supplemented by satellite measurements of non-public green space (for instance, trees in a person’s back yard).

Source: Scientists have discovered that living near trees is good for your health

Trees on public ground would generally be closer to bigger streets. One imaginable way they improve the conditions could be that they filter toxic waste from car exhausts.  We know that exhaust can affect the expression of our DNA.  The study is everything but precise, but it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable conclusion.

The benefits being compared to having more wealth is also interesting.  I wonder if a contributing factor could be that having more plants around indicates to humans on some level that resources are more abundant.  Which in turn makes me think about ultra-dense population centers, like the skyscrapers in Hong Kong…

How Nature Can Mummify a Brain

Brains, like everything else, decompose. But nature has a way of halting that decay.

Source: How nature can mummify a brain

The woolly mammoth is really interesting.  We actually get to see what such an animal looked like.  Dinosaurs?  We can’t decide about feathers, much less colour of…

We’ve lost a lot of information in places where you can’t bury the dead.  For example, “sky burial” was practiced in the area around Tibet.  Sky burial was where the body would be cut into pieces, left for carrion birds (IE vultures).  As our population increases, the need for real estate increases.  So burial sites are likely to turn into what we already see in the Middle East, where your remains will get added to a box containing your ancestors.