Best of the Web

In accordance with the release of Blade Runner 2049 we have a slightly more dystopian take on the best news stories this week. Themes include, isolation, technological thought control, and new discoveries in our sleeping patterns.

The New York Times: 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to 3 Americans for body clock studies 

Last week the Nobel Prize was awarded to various individuals in different fields and this year’s prize in Medicine went to scientists who have discovered molecular mechanisms involving the sleep cycle of living organisms. A protein was found in a gene which generates during the night and degrades during the day. The conclusions from the study found that our inner clock adapts to our physiology and the different phases of the day.

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The Guardian: ‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

There’s no shortage of literature on the detrimental effects of smartphones, however when it comes from the mouth’s of the people who came up with the Facebook ‘Like’ button the irony is hard to ignore. With over 95,000 shares, this article has resonated with many for its foretelling of a dystopian future where our ‘attention economy’ is slowly eroding and social media is ‘chipping away at our ability to control our own minds’.

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Creative Boom: Vanessa Smith’s intense paintings of empty rooms that look out onto photographed wastelands 

Our creative story of the week looks at Vanessa Smith’s paintings of rooms with views. Her work has an eerie quality, with windows looking out onto desolate landscapes — an abandoned house or a forest of leafless trees. The complementing interiors are equally disturbing. Smith has said she ‘finds beauty in the stillness and silence.’ We admit it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but there is something thought-provoking about it.

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National Geographic: Meet the quirky hermit who lives on a sacred cliffside 

A Columbian monk has lived on a mountaintop in Lebanon for the last 17 years. The trilingual, 83-year-old, Father Dario Escobar resides in the Qadisha Valley, where hermits seek solitude. Accompanied with beautiful photography the article discusses Escobar’s life in the 13th century sanctuary, including his routine of praying 14 hours everyday!

Read the full story here

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