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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Solar sails set course for a new journey into renewable energy

“Solar is moving from being a hard, inflexible and one-colour product to being soft lightweight, flexible, and maybe even multicoloured,” he said. “In solar everybody only knows those glass panels going on roofs and on farmland, fields, solar farms. Why can’t solar be everywhere in all different types of aspects?

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Naked ambition: when the Greeks first stripped off

Nudity was a kind of costume, an idea enhanced by the fact that much time seems to have been spent oiling oneself up and scraping oneself down. The best condiment for the body was that olive oil produced from the sacred olive trees given to Athens by Athena and awarded as prizes in the games that accompanied her birthday. The resulting salty “boy gloop” or paidikos gloios was sometimes collected and used to treat ailments and signs of ageing.

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A splash of tonic to cure your ills

The lesson is that tonic water isn’t just something to swill with your gin; it’s powerful stuff. Quinine, taken in the form of bark from the cinchona tree, was taken to alleviate the effects of malaria. It originally came only from the Spanish colonies in South America. The British struggled without a regular supply. In one disastrous encounter during the Napoleonic wars, known as the Walcheren Expedition, 106 British soldiers died in combat, but over 4,000 died from malaria.

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