The hunting of exotic wild animals is a very polarizing topic. When Cecil the lion was killed a few months ago, there was an outcry. Last year a hunting expert won an auction to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia, news which also faced public criticism. In this podcast, the RadioLab team interviews hunter Corey Knowlton about winning the auction for $350,000, and follows him on his recent rhino hunting trip to Namibia. Knowlton says he would never kill an endangered animal if he didn’t think there was a good reason for it. He says the hunt is justified because the auction money goes directly towards conservation in Namibia, and only very aggressive, old male rhinos who have killed other, younger rhinos are allowed to be hunted. Knowlton believes he is actually saving the rhinos as a species, by hunting one.
Algae. Photo by Josef Reischig via Wikimedia commons
This Brooklyn-based lab has invented a way to stop bleeding that could completely change the way doctors deal with wounds. Vetigel is a gel made mainly of algae, which forms a mesh that clots blood and can stop bleeding in around 10 seconds, including arterial bleeding. So far it is only approved for use on internal bleeding in animals, but the inventor hopes it can be used for humans within two years.
Ellen De Generes chooses some hilarious songs to sing in her lip sync battle with Jimmy Fallon. Fallon often outdoes his guests in these battles, but this battle was extremely evenly matched. Fallon first does a very true and passionate rendition of “Mr Brightside” by The Killers, and DeGeneres performs a bizarrely sweet enaction of Diana Ross’s Do You Know Where You’re Going To”. Then the competition seriously heats up and Fallon busts out current hipster dancefloor anthem “Watch Me (Whip/NaeNae)” by Silento, complete with true-to-viral-video dance moves. DeGeneres then blows everyone away with her fantastic gangster performance of Rihanna’s “B***h Better Have My Money”. Watch this right now.
In this witty and hilarious interview the always-awesome Jimmy Fallon discusses motives, concerns and benefits of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. I have been bemused by Trump’s seemingly effective campaign antics over the last few weeks, and thought this video would be purely be making fun of Trump, as Fallon has done previously. But instead Maddow talked about how much she loves reporting about Trump, and how Trump has made the presidential race so much more interesting and amusing to report on than usual. They also talk about (which is something I’ve often wondered) whether or not Trump really seriously wants to be president, or whether he is just doing this to see how far he can get. Maddow also wonders how he is managing to keep his multitude of businesses running smoothly while working full time on his presidential campaign. I’ve only ever seen Maddow doing serious interviews and journalism, so it was refreshing and interesting to see her making funny yet insightful remarks (and sometimes swearing) about current affairs.
This deeply moving and sometimes painful-to-read novel was recommended to me by my great aunt. She has been my book guru since I was a child. She gave me the first Harry Potter book in 1997 when it had just been published, and I read it before all of my friends had heard of it. “The Light Between Oceans” is set just after the end of World War I and follows the difficult and at times wonderful post-war life of Tom Sherbourne as he makes a living as a lighthouse keeper with his wife on a beautiful, remote Australian island. When a healthy but tiny baby and a dead man in a dinghy wash up on the island, their lives become immediately more complicated, as they decide whether they should keep the baby as their own, or try and find her family. The novel explores that magical and almost frighteningly close bond between parents and children, and the ethical struggles parents go through to do the best thing for their children and for themselves. Right before I finished the book, I was excited to discover it is being made into a film starring Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender, and Rachel Weisz.
I’m intrigued by anything to do with the International Space Station (ISS), and now a new webseries on Time.com is following an astronaut who is spending a whole year on the ISS. I first became interested in the ISS because of astronaut Chris Hadfield. He took beautiful photos of the earth, and made awesome short videos about life in space. Now astronaut Scott Kelly is going to be the first person to spend a whole year in space. The documentary will follow his flight, plus his relationships with family on earth.
I absolutely love the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he is always hilarious and always has brilliant guests. But this past week it was better than ever! After two weeks off because he somehow severed his finger with his wedding ring, Jimmy came back with a roar and the best guests ever! I was almost falling off my chair with laughter watching his interview with Amy Schumer. She is usually funny, but paired with Jimmy, wow! But how could this get much better? Well then he has my other two favorite comedians on TOGETHER – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler! Comedy overload is an understatement. Then he has the wonderful Ian McKellen come on! He is one of my favorite actors. And there were plenty of other awesome guests this week including the cute, charismatic and enviably talented Cara Delevigne, and the always charming and comical Paul Rudd. Please subscribe to this channel and watch the above videos! (No I don’t work for NBC.)
Reading this headline, you’re probably thinking, is this the beginning of the robo-apocalypse? I am so interested in artificial intelligence, partly because it’s exciting, and partly because I’m extremely worried that robots are going to take over. I saw the fantastic and chilling movie Ex Machina a few months ago and that got me thinking about how quickly artificial intelligence is developing. This article highlights how robots can now be aware of themselves, which is one of the first steps towards being artificially intelligent. But in a (most likely) illogical way after watching Ex Machina, I can’t help thinking that once robots are self-aware, they could become self-absorbed and selfish. I’m sure (and I hope that) in the onward development of AI, scientists will make sure they can safely guide AI so that it develops in a way favorable to human life.