What matters this week: The secret behind the human scream, obesity epidemics, Instagram bans, seal culling and discussing death. Here at everydayhero we have put together a short list of what you need to know about important issues at the forefront of our national news this week.Scientists discover the secret behind why a baby’s scream can hijack our brains and why it is important for our survival.
1. Scientists discover the secret behind why a baby’s scream can hijack our brains and why it is important for our survival.
If you were to ask your colleagues to record themselves screaming it is safe to say that most would ignore your request, that is of course, unless you are Dr Luc Arnal. He has collected and studied a whole variety of human screams to investigate the influence they have on our brains and why we react the way we do. He has found that the rougher the scream, the more we are likely to be frightened by it. Arnal says screams have been neglected as an area of study but are biologically very relevant. Screams trigger a reaction in the brain’s fear centre which suggests that the scream itself has evolved to match the brain’s structure. More study is required on the topic but he does hope to expand his research into other animals and we look forward to the findings.
2. Current weight loss strategies failing as research shows only a 0.4% chance of obese patients ever returning to normal weight.
As if losing weight wasn’t hard enough, a new study has found that the odds are not in our favour. A study of 278,982 men and women found that only 1,283 men got back to normal weight and 2,245 women. Dr Alison Fildes said that the main weight loss treatments on offer for obese patients were not working for the vast majority and “The greatest opportunity for fighting the obesity epidemic might be in public health policies to prevent it in the first place at a population level.”
3. Women of Instagram are reclaiming their bodies with the hashtag #curvee
When Instagram banned the use of the hashtag #curvy they may not have anticipated the backlash they have since received. Women on Instagram have been bombarding the image platform with over 1000 posts denouncing the ban and adapting this new hashtag to represent their female form. Instagram claims they have removed the hashtag because it violates their nudity guidelines, but this group of powerful protesters aren’t taking this news lying down. So chuck out #curvy and chuck in #curvee to your photo captions to get on board with this positive body movement. #girlpower
Update: #Curvy is back!
4. South Australia has refused calls to kill seals and has instead opted for a much more humane approach to protect fishing areas.
As the number of long-nosed fur seals around Coorong has sky rocketed, the impact they are having on fishing crews along southern Australian and New Zealand has increased. This in turn has resulted in a private member’s bill being put forward to enable shootings of the seals to reduce their numbers, but the South Australian government rejected this idea. Ian Hunter, South Australia’s enviornment minister said that “The best science is showing that culling is not the answer to managing interactions between fur seals and fishers,”. Instead they are investing $100,000 into humane, non-lethal deterrents such as underwater explosives.
5. Could the key to a happy life really be discussing death over the dinner table?
It may not be everyone’s top point of discussion when they catch up with loved ones but that is exactly what Unversity of New South Wales professor Alex Broom is telling us to do. He is warning us that the taboo around death is actually negatively impacting our quality of life and that it is important as a society to break this. He says “We are all going to face death over and over again throughout our lives. We need to prepare for it so it’s not an ongoing challenge.” Professor Broom acknowledges that often a lack of cultural resources to help make sense of why death might not be such a negative experience made it a tough chat to have but “Still, many groups do have strong faith in afterlife and therefore it’s not the end.”
If these news stories have inspired you to look for new ways to help create change and make a real difference in the world, everydayhero is a great place for you to get stuck in. You can fundraise, donate and volunteer for a cause close to your heart, so what are you waiting for? Your journey begins here.