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What Would Happen If Every Human Suddenly Disappeared?

Every human disappearing would be catastrophic for humans.
What about everything else?
This video has a crack at explaining.
(I sometimes think I wouldn’t mind giving it a go, but this does point out that my go wouldn’t last very long at all.)


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Therapeutic Lying (via Larissa MacFarquhar at The New Yorker)

An in-depth article in The New Yorker dealing with dementia care and the way its practictioners struggle with the lying and untruths that are part of the life of carers and patients.
Over the decades and even within among practitioners differing points of view and practices have been dominant and then given way to others.
Consider what it is to work day by day in a world where truth is often judged as being what the patient needs to hear.

In dementia care, everybody lies. Although some nursing homes have strict rules about being truthful, a recent survey found that close to a hundred per cent of care staff admitted to lying to patients, as did seventy per cent of doctors. In most places, as in Chagrin Valley, there is no firm policy one way or another, but the rule of thumb among the staff is that compassionate deception is often the wisest course. “I believe that deep down, they know that it is better to lie,” Barry B. Zeltzer, an elder-care administrator, wrote in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias. “Once the caregiver masters the art of being a good liar and understands that the act of being dishonest is an ethical way of being, he or she can control the patient’s behaviors in a way that promotes security and peace of mind.” Family members and care staff lie all the time, and can’t imagine getting through the day without doing so, but, at the same time, lying makes many of them uncomfortable. To ease this “deception guilt,” lying in dementia care has been given euphemistic names, such as “therapeutic fibbing,” or “brief reassurances,” or “stepping into their reality.”

Read The Comforting Fictions Of Dementia Care at The New Yorker.


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In The Doghouse

This video clip from the South China Morning Post starts off as an eccentric story about a Chinese man who builds a $500,000 house for his dog to live in.
As the story unfolds it becomes something else, a remarkably poignant insight into the power relationships and family love; both those that are ruptured and those that remain.

Toward the end a comment is made that contrasts relationships that are broken with those that endure.


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Waiting To Serve While The Business Is Closed

This is a heart-achingly sad feature article by Garry Maddox on Fairfax about the Olympia Milk Bar (Parramatta Road, Sydney) and its owner.
The Milk Bar was forced closed by the local council due to severe structural problems in the building, along with other signs of disrepair.
And yet, within the milk-bar that never opens a solitary figure carries out a daily routine, just as if it were still open.
Its impossible not to think of the similarity to this sad situation to numbers of churches.

The beginning of the article.

The old Olympia milk bar – a landmark on Parramatta Road at Stanmore – has kept sadly declining since it closed late last year.
The sign out front is full of gaps: “SNACK_, SMOKES, S_E_ _S,” it reads. The window is partly boarded up. The awning is black with dirt.
But anyone passing who has a moment to pay attention might see a figure moving in the shadows at the back of the shop. If they ever dropped in for a milkshake, tea or a quick meal after a movie when the Olympia was open, they will recognise him.
Eight months after its last customer, elderly owner Nicholas Fotiou still spends his days – apron on as though ready for work – at the Greek milk bar that has been his life.
“Seven days a week,” he says with a thick Greek-Australian accent.

Read the rest here.


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Still Probably Safer Than The Pick Avenue – Jubilee Highway Intersection

This looks like a snap compared to Mount Gambier’s notorious Jubilee Highway – Pick Avenue Intersection.


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The Vocal Talents Of Tara Strong (via Great Big Story)

You may not recognise Tara Strong, but you may be familiar with voice which features on a variety of animated shows.
In this video she introduces us to some of those characters and speaks about how to convey story and character through vocal inflection alone.


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Does The ‘Close Door Button’ In An Elevator Do Anything? (via Mental Floss)

Articles about why ‘Close Door’ buttons on elevators don’t work, and the reasons why pop up from time to time.
The practicalities behind their non-function make sense, but their presence in elevators even when not connected is still a bit odd.

Read about it at Mental Floss, or search around the internet for plenty of comparable pieces.