Aside Archives

He has been called the “superman pope”, and it would be hard to deny that Pope Francis has had a good December. Cited by President Barack Obama as a key player in the thawing relations between the US and Cuba, the Argentinian pontiff followed that by lecturing his cardinals on the need to clean up Vatican politics. But can Francis achieve a feat that has so far eluded secular powers and inspire decisive action on climate change?

The Guardian on Pope Francis’s edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches. Definitely the coolest pope in my lifetime.

“Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as ‘remarkable’.” — Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system, study finds.

Harper’s had a great article on fasting a few years ago it’s not online at the moment but here’s a PDF of it. It’s also common in yoga and folks trying to live longer. I haven’t tried it myself yet, but perhaps will at some point this year — I like the idea of doing something by doing nothing.

“They modelled data up to 1970, then developed a range of scenarios out to 2100, depending on whether humanity took serious action on environmental and resource issues. […] The book’s central point, much criticised since, is that “the earth is finite” and the quest for unlimited growth in population, material goods etc would eventually lead to a crash. So were they right?” The answer lies in Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse.