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Category: Whatnot (page 1 of 48)

In a bid to reduce single-use plastic waste, Chanel is offering a gold-coloured water bottle with a lambskin ‘flask bag’ at Harrods for £4,400

That’s equivalent to over $7500 Canadian, or about US$5600.

More » The Independent

Self-centred men “are much more likely to own a high-status car such as an Audi, BMW or Mercedes”

A new scientific research published paper has stated that self-centred men “are much more likely to own a high-status car such as an Audi, BMW or Mercedes.”

Those are also the same personality traits that explain why they can be such aggressive and unethical drivers.

The paper, entitled “Not only assholes drive Mercedes. Besides disagreeable men, also conscientious people drive high‐status cars,” was published in the International Journal of Psychology by the Swedish School of Social Science at the University of Helsinki.

Jan-Erik Lönnqvist, professor of social psychology, has concluded that owners of German luxury cars are more likely to drive recklessly and ignore traffic laws.

“I had noticed that the ones most likely to run a red light, not give way to pedestrians, and generally drive recklessly and too fast were often the ones driving fast German cars.”

Lönnqvist authored the report after studying 1,892 car owners to measure openness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and to determine whether wealth and personality traits affect driving habits.

His conclusions »

Self-centred men who are argumentative, stubborn, disagreeable and unempathetic are much more likely to own a high-status car such as an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes. … These personality traits explain the desire to own high-status products, and the same traits also explain why such people break traffic regulations more frequently than others.

Yle News »

However, Lönnqvist said he was surprised his research also found that other types of personalities are drawn to high-end vehicles – the conscientious. He described this group as talented, reliable, well-organised people who are thriving at their careers.

“The link is presumably explained by the importance they attach to high quality. All makes of car have a specific image, and by driving a reliable car they are sending out the message that they themselves are reliable,” the professor reasoned.

Another notable finding in the study was that the conscientious personality type who drove top shelf vehicles included both men and women, while the drivers of fancy cars who had self-centred personality traits were exclusively male.

More » Press ReleaseToronto Star (paywall), FastCompany

How to make the perfect cup of coffee – with a little help from science

Jamie Foster, University of Portsmouth and Christopher H. Hendon, University of Oregon

Have you ever wondered why the coffee you make at home tastes different from the drinks you buy in cafes? Or why coffee from the same place can taste different throughout the week? You may be quick to blame the barista for changing the recipe, but our recent study, published in Matter, suggests that this variation is down to an inherent inconsistency of common brewing methods.

Luckily, we believe to have discovered a path to making a great espresso – to your taste – every time.

The quality of a cup of coffee depends on the coffee’s variety and origin, its roast and the water chemistry. The brewing method also plays a critical role in determining the overall flavor. Espresso is certainly the most complicated brewing method because it requires precise measurements. However, espresso also happens to underpin all coffee menus, as it is the basis for lattes and cappuccinos. Continue reading

100 seconds to midnight » Doomsday Clock moves closest ever to midnight

I long been fascinated, and just a little terrified, by the Doomsday Clock that is updated every January by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

It had last been set at two minutes to midnight. However, the symbolic countdown that represents the likelihood of a man-made global catastrophe was reduced by 20 seconds, and now sits at 100 seconds to midnight thanks to the “existential danger” from nuclear war and climate change.

Civilization-ending nuclear war—whether started by design, blunder, or simple miscommunication—is a genuine possibility. Climate change that could devastate the planet is undeniably happening. And for a variety of reasons that include a corrupted and manipulated media environment, democratic governments and other institutions that should be working to address these threats have failed to rise to the challenge.

The Doomsday Clock, created at the University of Chicago by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in 1947, is intended to metaphorically alert mankind to our march toward nuclear Armageddon.

Originally set at seven minutes to midnight, it retreated as far away as 17 minutes from global catastrophe following the signing of the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the US and the Soviet Union along with the break-up of the Soviet Union. It had reached just two minutes to midnight in 1953 at the height of the Cold War.

“The former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, said »

We are 100 seconds from midnight and the planet needs to wake up.

In a statement on the change, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists President and CEO Rachel Bronson said:

As far as the Bulletin and the Doomsday Clock are concerned, the world has entered into the realm of the two-minute warning, a period when danger is high and the margin for error low. The moment demands attention and new, creative responses. If decision makers continue to fail to act—pretending that being inside two minutes is no more urgent than the preceding period—citizens around the world should rightfully echo the words of climate activist Greta Thunberg and ask: “How dare you?”

More » Wikipedia, Ars Technica, BBC

Canada ranked 2nd best country in the world

Canada has been ranked as the second best country globally, according to the 2020 Best Countries report by US News & World Report.

This year’s rankings are:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Canada
  3. Japan
  4. Germany
  5. Australia
  6. United Kingdom
  7. United States
  8. Sweden
  9. Netherlands
  10. Norway
  11. New Zealand
  12. France
  13. Denmark
  14. Finland
  15. China
  16. Singapore
  17. Italy
  18. Austria
  19. Spain
  20. South Korea

Canada climbed one spot from 2019’s ranking, where we were ranked third behind Switzerland and Japan.

Switzerland has held the first place in the annual ranking for fourth consecutive year.

Read the whole US News & World Report.

Ukraine International Airline jet crashes killing 176, including 82 Iranians and 63 Canadians

Another Boeing 737 jetliner crashes. This one only 3 years old.

Ukranian owned. American built. Departing from Tehran, Iran. Headed for Kyiv. No Russians or Americans on board.


Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 to Kyiv went down just minutes after taking off from Tehran’s airport at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).

The majority of passengers were from Iran and Canada.

Ukraine’s Tehran embassy initially blamed engine failure but later removed the statement.

It said any comment regarding the cause of Wednesday’s accident prior to a commission’s inquiry was not official.


Among the victims were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians including all nine crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Britons and three Germans, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said. Fifteen of the dead were children.

In a press conference later in the day, Prime Minister Trudeau revealed that 138 passengers on Flight PS752 from Tehran to Kyiv were connecting to Canada.

More » CBCThe Guardian, ReutersAssociated Press

Watch » Facing It

A brilliant animated short film by Sam Gainsborough about social anxiety.

via Vimeo »

Shaun always feels separate and isolated from the confident, happy world around him. Whilst waiting for his parents in a busy pub, Shaun struggles valiantly to join in with the admirably happy people in the crowd, but the more he tries, the more he goes awry. As everything in the pub goes from bad to worse, Shaun finds himself confronted by the painful memories that made him who he is. His feelings, memories and desires overwhelm him and by the end of the evening he is ready to explode…

More at Vimeo »

Michelle Obama sends Greta Thunberg message of support

The simple fool proving once again just how lacking in good judgment he is »

The Guardian »

Michelle Obama has sent a public message of support to the 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg after the teenager was mocked by Donald Trump.

“@GretaThunberg, Don’t let anyone dim your light,” the former first lady wrote following a visit to Vietnam. “Like the girls I’ve met in Vietnam and all over the world, you have so much to offer us all. Ignore the doubters and know that millions of people are cheering you on.”

The former First Lady’s Tweet »

Number of Canadians banned from entering USA has almost doubled

The number of Canadians who have been restricted from entering the U.S.A. has has almost doubled, according to new data.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection offered no explanation for the surge of 5-year bans and told CBC News there have been no recent policy changes.

Sophia Harris, writing for CBC News »

Between October 2018 and September 2019, U.S. border officers issued expedited removals — which “generally” result in a minimum five-year ban — to 616 travellers attempting to enter the U.S. by land from Canada. That’s an almost 100 per cent increase compared with 312 in the previous 12-month period. The statistics were provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The spike in expedited removals — which are issued without a hearing — comes as no surprise to some immigration lawyers, who say that in their experience, suspect cases that used to result in a simple denied entry can now lead to a five-year ban.

“If they just think you’re being sneaky, that’s all it takes,” said Vancouver-based immigration lawyer Andrew Hayes. “The benefit of the doubt is not being afforded to people.”

Read the whole article at CBC News »

Meet Seven, the man who only wears red and white

Great Big Story via YouTube »

Meet Seven (yes, that’s his real name). He lives in Bangalore, India, and he wears nothing but red and white. And he drives a red and white car. And every item in his home is… Can you guess? This is the story of how one man came to show his true colours.

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