Edible cups, how is the Internet of Bodies changing our world and why is going to the park better if it isn’t square? Our round-up of provoking thoughts, penetrating insights and digital curiosities.
Save plastic – eat your cup
Air travel is a significant contributor to climate change – but one airline has come up with a novel way of helping its passengers reduce their impact on the environment. Instead of serving coffee in plastic cups, it is trialling edible cups made from vanilla-flavoured biscotti, Business Traveller reports. The cups are leak proof – and not only reduce plastic waste but provide a tasty snack, with a chocolate-coated version apparently on its way soon.
Read more: Your next vacation may be virtual
Internet of Bodies brings new frontiers
You may have heard of the Internet of Things – but what about the Internet of Bodies? According to Forbes, the term includes wearable technology like smart watches or step counters, as well as internal devices like pacemakers. But the third generation of the Internet of Bodies is bringing new challenges around privacy and security, and how the technology is used, it said. The new wave of tech includes products like embedding microchips in employees to give them access to company buildings or smart contact lenses that can monitor health based on information from the eye.
Climate change models were correct
Climate change models going back to the 1970s have provided accurate predictions about global warming, despite the difficulties and limitations in making such forecasts. A new study examining the accuracy of models from the past 50 years found they “did remarkably well”, the Guardian says. This suggests that current climate model predictions, warning that the world is on track for temperatures rising 3˚C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, are likely to be correct, it says.
Birds shrinking as temperatures rise
Birds are getting smaller, while their wings are getting longer – as a result of climate change, researchers believe. According to Science Daily, North American migratory birds have been shrinking over the past 40 years, in line with rising temperatures, while the increased wing span could help offset the body mass loss. A further study will look at whether these changes are linked to the ability of species to modify their development in response to changing environmental conditions.
Regular exercise – in irregular parks
Getting outdoors and enjoying nature has long been regarded as a way to keep fit and healthy, and therefore potentially live longer. Now a study has found that while parks and green spaces are important, their shape is also key in aiding longevity. Medical News Today reports that a review covering seven countries found that living next to green spaces promoted better mental health, better gut bacteria and fewer unhealthy cravings. But parks with irregular shapes were associated with a lower risk of mortality than square green spaces, the research found. While it wasn’t clear why, the findings could be used by city planners to potentially improve citizens’ health.