Amazon has invented tiny plastic buttons that allow for instant product ordering

It’s 2AM and you’re changing your baby when you realize you’ve just used up your last diaper. Or you go to reach under your sink to grab another roll of toilet paper only to discover you’ve forgotten to order more. And maybe you eat nothing but mac and cheese, and did not correctly calculate your stockpile, so that you’re stuck actually having to cook real food one night. This is not the sad, black-and-white world of late-night infomercials, but real life, Amazon says. The company is rolling out new hardware today called the Dash button that promises to solve these scenarios. It’s a small physical button that you can stick wherever, and press when you want to order more of something. Need more diapers? Hit the diaper button. Need more toilet paper? Just hit the toilet paper button. Find yourself running low on mac and cheese, razor blades, Gatorade, or laundry detergent? There is now a button for each one of those things. The future where you can just be lazy and spend money with a push of a button from Amazon is here, and it’s very real.

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Arn Chorn-Pond: why the arts are as important as hospitals in Cambodia

Of all the ways to learn a musical instrument, Arn Chorn-Pond’s experience is one of the more unusual. When the ultra-communist Khmer Rouge regime seized Cambodia in 1975, he was spared the murder that befell 80-90% of the country’s artists and musicians, including his parents, who ran an opera group. Instead, the cadres running his labour camp forced him to learn the flute to play propaganda songs that the regime would blast from speakers to dull the screams of victims as they were tortured and killed.

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Medieval eye remedy ‘kills MRSA’

The leechbook is one of the earliest examples of what might loosely be called a medical textbook It seems Anglo-Saxon physicians may actually have practiced something pretty close to the modern scientific method, with its emphasis on observation and experimentation. Bald’s Leechbook could hold some important lessons for our modern day battle with anti-microbial resistance.

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Joyce Carol Vincent: How could this young woman lie dead and undiscovered for almost three years?

And then I saw her. It was Joyce, unarguably. She turned and smiled at someone behind her. Catching the light, her earrings gleamed. She turned back and I panicked, I had lost her. But she turned around once more. It was Joyce – moving and alive. I had found her. The power of the moving image hit me, the power to resurrect. I rewound the tape and timed Joyce’s appearance. Four seconds. I slowed the footage down and watched. One hundred frames, hundreds of dancing pixels. Joyce, who died alone in her bedsit, anonymous and seemingly forgotten, had once had her image transmitted live to millions of living rooms in the 61 countries where the show was broadcast.

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Are we ready for the next volcanic catastrophe?

No volcano erupts without warning signs, caused by rising magma triggering earthquake swarms and inflating the ground surface. The problem is that out of our world’s 1,300 or more active and potentially active volcanoes, we monitor only a few hundred. The Tambora eruption reinforces the unofficial volcanological axiom: the longer the wait, the bigger the bang. That rule of thumb is borne out by the fact that fully half of the biggest eruptions since 1800 originated at volcanoes that had previously been dormant throughout history. What we should be keeping a special watch on then, in order to prepare ourselves for the next arrival of Vulcan’s shock troops, are those seemingly innocuous volcanoes that have kept their heads down for centuries or even millennia. While there are too many candidates to keep a serious eye on, the numbers can be narrowed down by focusing on those that have been recently “restless”; perhaps best regarded as the volcanologists’ term for “bubbling under”. Beyond that, though, it’s anyone’s guess.

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Amazon Makes Even Temporary Warehouse Workers Sign 18-Month Non-Competes

The work is repetitive and physically demanding and can pay several dollars above minimum wage, yet Amazon is requiring these workers — even seasonal ones — to sign strict and far-reaching noncompete agreements. The Amazon contract, obtained by The Verge, requires employees to promise that they will not work at any company where they “directly or indirectly” support any good or service that competes with those they helped support at Amazon, for a year and a half after their brief stints at Amazon end. Of course, the company’s warehouses are the beating heart of Amazon’s online shopping empire, the extraordinary breadth of which has earned it the title of “the Everything Store,” so Amazon appears to be requiring temp workers to foreswear a sizable portion of the global economy in exchange for a several-months-long hourly warehouse gig. The company has even required its permanent warehouse workers who get laid off to reaffirm their non-compete contracts as a condition of receiving severance pay.

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Crossing your fingers might reduce pain, says study

A study has found that crossing the fingers can confuse the way the brain processes feelings of hot, cold and pain – in some cases reducing painful sensations. Scientists believe the phenomenon could ultimately be harnessed to help treat chronic pain patients, who suffer from painful sensations, often long after a physical injury has healed. Professor Patrick Haggard, the study’s senior author at University College London, said: “Interactions like these may contribute to the astonishing variability of pain. Our research … raises the interesting possibility that pain levels could be manipulated by moving one part of the body relative to others.”

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Smiling Scots, worried Welsh and lazy Londoners: survey maps regional personality types

Much of Wales and districts in the midlands had high levels of anxious, depressed and temperamental people. The south west, southern England and most of Scotland had more emotionally stable populations, where people came over as more calm and relaxed. These traits might in some way be infectious, Rentfrow said, with emotional feelings spreading and taking hold in communities.

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Innovations that offer independent living to young adults with complex needs

Life hasn’t always been so sociable for the 26-year-old, who has a learning disability and whose hyperactive, challenging behaviour meant he’d previously struggled in shared accommodation. But two-and-a-half years ago he became one of the first residents of Broom Lane, a specialist residential scheme for young adults with complex support needs. Owned by the housing association Great Places and managed by support provider City Care, the environment is designed to help the 19 residents – most of whom have autistic spectrum disorders and receive tailored, support around building life skills – live fuller, more independent lives.

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