Gen Z in the house, ants can farm, and more feel-good news from this week
Just a bunch of great news to end the week on...
words Rhys Thomas
Another week, there’s actually only another six full weeks of 2022. Wooosh. 2023 is here soon. Who knows what’ll happen then. This week, there’s been plenty of feel good happenings. From farming ants to Zac Efron’s new ‘do, underwater vegetables to Cleopatra’s tomb (maybe). Nice, right? Yeah. A load of good facts and vibes to take into your weekend, here’s some more:
Good wellness news
STIs get own morning after pill. Huge breakthrough for the shaggers. A “significant proportion” of bacterial STIs (including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis) were prevented with a dose of doxycycline after unprotected sex. It was very effective for men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender women with HIV or those on on PrEP.
Cannabidiol solutions reduce anxiety and improve cognition. You may have suspected, but now there’s evidence from an ‘open-label’ study by researchers in America which has found that cannabidiol “significantly reduces anxiety levels but also appeared to improve scores on several cognitive-related tests”. Another good news day for CBD.
Walking fast is good for heart health. Is not walking slow your entire personality? Well it might be good for you, so well done. Studies have suggested that 112 steps a minute is a great pace to aim for in order to improve heart health while walking.
Italian village has secret to long health life. It would be nice to live in a village set on the shores of Lake Garda, in northern Lombardy, for many reasons. But perhaps the best reason to live there (especially if you’re born there) is that about 12% of the residents have a gene which seems to destroy fat at a ridiculously fast rate. Experts have been studying their blood for decades.
Good people news
12 year old Ukrainian refugee to play for Dundee. Stanislav Drbych, known as Stas, moved to Monifieth with his family after fleeing the war in Ukraine. When he turned up to school and started playing football, word quickly got around that he was very good at it. His head teacher then tipped off Dundee United, who offered him a trial. They agreed, and now he’s signed for the Scottish Premier League side’s academy. Go on, Stas.
First Gen Z elected to Congress. Maxwell Alejandro Frost is 25, and has just been appointed US Representative-elect for Florida’s 10th congressional district, having won the 2022 election as a Democratic nominee. He’s the first ever Gen Z in Congress and decided to celebrate by watching The 1975 live. Trump could never.
Charli XCX appointed as an executive producer. After writing "Hot Girl" for A24’s Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, which came out this summer, Charli XCX has announced her next venture in entertainment is with Amazon Studios, as an executive producer on Overcompensating, a new comedy by her bestie Benny Drama.
Zac Efron’s Farquaad haircut and general buff presence. Speaking of A24, images of Zac Efron as Kevin Von Erich, a real-life professional wrestler born in 1957, have emerged and he looks incredible. The film is going to be called The Iron Claw, and is a sports biopic. There’s no news on when it’s out yet, they’re still filming.
Good animal news
Octopus fends off harasser. This clever cephalopod decided that actually, the annoying male octopus trying to mate with her had given her the ick, and started throwing silt to make him go away. It’s the first time this kind of behaviour has been recorded, but the experts are pretty sure it was intentional. Good for her.
AI can help us speak to animals. Though still emerging in practice, theoretically, we’re getting a lot closer to being able to communicate with animals thanks to AI. The idea is that patterns in how animals vocalise their thoughts and feelings could be found, and therefore we’d be able to make a sort of Google translate that’ll help us talk to animals one day.
Ants can farm. You may have known the highly organised creatures can carry up to 100 times their own bodyweight, but now it turns out there’s evidence that in at least 15 different instances ants have cultivated plants for food and shelter purposes. So yeah, ants can farm. Clever.
Sociable monkeys have better gut biomes. Weird, right? But research suggests that monkeys who are more social (which is defined as them grooming each other often and/or with many different grooming partners) tend to have higher levels of healthy bacteria. Whether this is the same for humans we don’t know, but if you are a monkey, friends are good for you.
Good culture news
The MOBO Awards announce new category: Best Dance/Electronic. Yes, finally the Dance/Electronic category you’ve all been waiting for is here, thanks to MOBO. This year’s nominations are: FKA Twigs, Sherelle, Anz, Eliza Rose, JaxJones, and Nia Archives. Congrats! The awards take place later this month.
Arca does painting now. Arca makes art. They posted a vivid, grotesque, creepy looking painting to their Instagram with the caption: “my pain things 🖼 mis cuadros ❤️🔥” – previously they had made AI-generated art work broadcast on billboards, but this is the first oil-on-canvas-looking creation.
Low bass makes people dance more. No treble. Okay, maybe a little bit of treble, but definitely big dirty stinking bass. If you want to dance, that is. Specifically, inaudible low-frequency bass makes people dance about 12% more than when it isn’t there. Inaudible too, so it’s literally good vibrations.
Stüssy X Dries Van Noten announce collaboration. Streetwear royalty meets the coolest brand to come out of Belgium, if not Europe, if not the planet: Dries Van Noten. Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers is all over the shoots looking wild. The clothing is, in a word, fun. Bold graphics, trippy patterns, all sorts. It goes on sale 18 November.
Cleopatra’s tomb might be found. An archaeologist at the University of Santo Domingo has been searching for (arguably the first celebrity, and former Queen) Cleopatra’s tomb for nearly 20 years. Finally, she thinks she’s made a huge breakthrough. Martinez’s team has found a 4,281-foot tunnel about 43 feet underground. There’s a huge religious centre, and even a lake. Now, they just need to follow the tunnels to, hopefully, a tomb.
Good science news
Mission to explore asteroid worth more than global economy. Psyche is the name of a metal-rich asteroid in space. It might even be the core of a planet that died a long time ago. Anyway, it’s worth $10,000 quadrillion, apparently. Planet earth is worth $5 quadrillion, so of course, we are super keen to try and investigate the asteroid.
Korea has developed a heart organoid. A joint team between Clicell and Konkuk University has made a heart organoid which mimics the shape and function of a human heart for the first time.
Memes make us feel good, lolz. A new study from Sheffield Hallam University has found evidence to suggest that memes can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Especially when they’re about depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Mainly, it’s because they can help us to “express difficult emotions in new and creative ways”.
Divers have been growing vegetables underwater. It looks really cool and pretty, but beyond that there’s been a lot of interesting breakthroughs about the produce: it seems to be self-sustaining, nice and easy to look after. And in the case of a 2020 study, basil grown underwater actually had more antioxidants in it than land-grown basil does. Maybe that’ll be the new ‘grass-fed’ buzzword.