The Best of the Web

In this week’s best of the web we discover the effect of air pollution on the brain, what’s behind the Snapchat and Instagram photo wars, why we should celebrate shyness, and one woman’s response to wearing makeup.

THE GUARDIAN: Toxic air pollution particles found in human brains

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A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has suggested that toxic nanoparticles from air pollution have been discovered in human brains in ‘abundant’ quantities. It is also an important risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. The brain tissue of 37 people in Manchester and Mexico was examined. Particles of magnetite, an iron oxide was found; these particles can create free radicals explains Prof Barbara Maher, at Lancaster University. Although the study shows that magnetite from air pollution can reach the brain, the effect it has on the brain or overall health is not fully known.

Read the full story HERE

 

THE ATLANTIC: How Instagram opened a ruthless new chapter in the teen photo wars

Teens Look At Their iPhones At The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

CLEVELAND, OHIO – JULY 3: Teens look at their iPhones July 3, 2015 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

Instagram recently launched a new feature called Instagram Stories similar to Snapchat Stories where users exchange videos which last 24 hours, after which it is deleted. In a conversation with his younger brother Robinson Meyer explains how Snapchat has become a mechanism to measure popularity, and teens who are using it frequently tend to do better in high school hierarchy. Rob’s brother discusses how Snapchat’s feature is a lot less formal than Instagram, hence its popularity with younger people. “I think on Instagram, if you make someone look unattrative, that’s what you’re saying. On Snapchat, there’s an assumption that you’re advertising all this stuff only to your friends.” says Rob’s brother.

Read the full story HERE

 

BBC FUTURE: Why we should celebrate shyness

'Au risque de vous Plaire' TV programme, Paris, France - 25 Dec 1967

Mandatory Credit: Photo by DALMAS/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock (4621173a) Francoise Hardy ‘Au risque de vous Plaire’ TV programme, Paris, France – 25 Dec 1967

David Robson and cultural historian Joe Moran contemplate the benefits of shyness, and why it isn’t always a bad thing. While countries like the USA may perceive shyness to be a mental condition which can be ‘cured’, Nordic regions such as Denmark celebrate shyness and its positive qualities. Moran makes a particularly interesting point: “When we talk, it’s always an approximation of what you feel,” he says. “I think that’s true of everyone but maybe shy people are more aware of that imperfection.”

Read the full story HERE

 

THE TELEGRAPH: Woman gives perfect response to ‘Power of Makeup’ selfie ‘shamers’

kelsie-swygart-on-instagram

Credit: Kelsie Swygart

A woman from Ohio made headlines after posting a photo on Instagram with half her face covered in makeup and the other half bare to raise awareness about body image. However, Kelsie Swygart didn’t expect the raft of abuse and support she received. In a response to body shamers she wrote: ‘Most days I don’t wear any makeup at all unless I’m at work and even then it’s just brows, liner and mascara. For everyone saying “Too much” or “Too dramatic” etc. can suck on eggs. Even if I did this full glam look every day, it would be nobody’s concern but my own. I do feel beautiful with or without makeup.’

Read the full story HERE

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