Weekend Links: The Importance of Biodegradable Mardi Gras Beads, 6 Possible Scientific Reasons for Ghosts and More

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

Is Our Constant Use of Digital Technologies Affecting Our Brain Health? We Asked 11 Experts.

Brian Resnick, Julia Belluz, and Eliza Barclay writing for Vox

If it’s true that constant digital distractions are changing our cognitive functions for the worse — leaving many of us more scatterbrained, more prone to lapses in memory, and more anxious — it means we’re living through a profound transformation of human cognition.


Dogs and Their Owners Share Similar Personality Traits

Megan Schmidt writing for Discover

You may have heard that dogs and their owners really do look alike. Now, new research has shown that owners and their pups often share personality traits, too.


There Is a Word for the Trauma Caused by Distance From Nature

Ephrat Livni writing for Quartz

You’ve got problems. Perhaps more than you know. Apart from all the usual woes—work, relationships, money, time—the civilized life may also be causing you psychological trauma.


Made From Microalgae, These Mardi Gras Beads Are Biodegradable

David A. Taylor writing for Smithsonian

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a famously unholy mess. After the 2018 celebration, some wondered if it had gone too far. Apart from bacchanalian excess, the parade left behind 950 tons of debris in souvenirs, trash and beads, reported the Times-Picayune, with over 620 tons heading to landfills by mid-February. City crews after the holiday hauled up 46 tons of beads alone that clogged water catch basins across the city.


6 Possible Scientific Reasons for Ghosts

Sabrina Stierwalt writing for Scientific American

Are there possible scientific explanations for that tingling sensation you get on the back of your neck, or the sudden feeling of uneasiness with an origin you can’t quite place?


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