The Daily Dose: If New York is dead then so is Tokyo and London and Berlin…

“New York is dead” has been getting a lot of mileage on social media lately. And while the city’s crumbling commercial real estate industry is a definite concern, they aren’t alone by any means. A poll conducted by Reuters found that Tokyo is experiencing similar problems. According to their study, “Some 62% of firms in the Reuters Corporate Survey said office utilisation fell 10-20% in early August from a year ago, while 25% said it had decreased 30-50% and 9% said it had more than halved over that period. The survey showed firms were giving workers more flexibility during the pandemic and were starting to rethink the traditional office in a possible departure from the long hours and packed commutes that have come to symbolise Japan’s strong work ethic.” Residents also appear to be joining in the exodus. If the trend continues, one thing is clear. The future is now.

Now that Russia’s announcement regarding its COVID-19 vaccine is in the rear view, the World Health Organization has now sought more information and clarification about the potential new drug. Per the Associated Press, “Catherine Smallwood, a senior emergency official at WHO Europe said the agency had begun ‘direct discussions’ with Russia and that WHO officials have been sharing ‘the various steps and information that’s going to be required for WHO to take assessments.’ WHO’s Europe director Dr. Hans Kluge said the agency welcomed all advances in vaccine development but that every vaccine must submit to the same clinical trials. Russia’s vaccine has so far only been tested in a few dozen people.” We’re glad someone stepped in. With countries around the world cutting every corner possible in the race for a vaccine, oversight is definitely welcome.

Religion is supposed to be good for the soul. Yet anyone with eyes can see that, paradoxically, it keeps people apart as well. Turns out sports may be the answer. Researchers observed how playing together was enough to improve how Christians and Muslims viewed each other. “Mousa randomized Christian Iraqi refugees to soccer teams that were composed of either all Christian players or a mixture of Christian and Muslim players (see the Perspective by Paluck and Clark). Playing on the same team as Muslims had positive effects on Christian players’ attitudes and behaviors toward Muslims within the context of soccer, but these effects did not generalize to non-soccer contexts. These findings have implications for the potential benefits and limits of positive intergroup contact for achieving peace between groups.” History is full of examples of sports bringing warring factions together.

A meteorite that recently fell to Earth and scattered over Agua Zarcas, Costa Rico is a hot commodity, especially among scientists. According to reports, “The dull stone was, as far as rocks go, practically alive. Aguas Zarcas, as the fragments would soon collectively be called, is a carbonaceous chondrite, a pristine remnant of the early Solar System. The vast majority of meteorites are lumps of stone or metal. But carbonaceous chondrites are rich in carbon—including organic molecules as complex as amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.” Panspermia lives on.

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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