Things I learned This Week: Of Lonely Elephants and Sunscreen Overdose

Categories TILTW

Here are a few of the most interesting things I stumbled upon this week:

    • My heart broke just a little bit (okay, a lot) this week when I read about a female elephant roaming the Knysna forests all alone. She seems to be the last of this almost mythical elephant population. What makes this extra sad is the fact that elephants – especially females – are highly gregarious and form tight family units. This poor lady is estimated to be around 45 years old and has been roaming on her own for a long, long time. While she seems to be physically quite healthy, she is showing signs of stress, which is possibly related to her solitary existence. Read more here.
    • If you thought you had full control over your digital identity – which photos you upload, who you ‘befriend’ and which brands you follow – sadly you’re wrong. As an article on Quartz points out, this is just the outside layer of the pungent onion that is our online life. When you start peeling this away, you will find a layer of metadata that you wouldn’t necessarily want to share with people, like your real-time location and what this says about your relationships. “By looking at location patterns that reveal devices that often meet in the same office buildings or ‘sleep’ together in the same houses, tech companies can tell a lot about who you spend your time with,” the article reads. An even deeper layer is made up of interpretations of the first and second layers. It’s all quite complicated, but you should read the article – it’s quite alarming indeed.
    • A “rogue band of researchers” (headed up by a dermatologist, I might add) are arguing that we have been horribly misled about sunscreen and that the drawbacks far outweigh the benefits. Kind of like the margarine vs butter debate. Read more here.
  • If you’ve been following the Schweizer-Reneke Laerskool race debacle, this article is an excellent piece of journalism laying the whole awful incident out in a three-part story. It’s well worth a read.

Featured image: Channey on Unsplash

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