Well everyone, it's the final Friday before Christmas and here at Abbey Research we are wrapping up what has been an exciting and transformative year for the company! We'll be taking a little break from blogging over the holidays but wanted to ensure we got our final 5 Friyays in before we close up shop! We know that this week is full of last minute errands, meetings, and get togethers, so we both hope you've found some time to unwind and enjoy some peace and quiet. These are my (Dr. Hinson) five most interesting bits and bobs from this week - let's see what I came up with!
1. Yesterday marked the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, something which has been celebrated by countless cultures and societies throughout the course of human history. Of particular interest was the 50th anniversary of the discover of Newgrange, the 5000 year-old, neolithic burial tomb in Co. Meath, Ireland. Every year during the winter solstice a beam of light shines through an opening in the central chamber, and lucky lottery winners arrive from around the world to witness the phenomenon. This year Newgrange live streamed the event, and thousands more joined the spectacle!
2. In tech news this week, Apple has confirmed that they intentionally slow down phone batteries as they age. Though common knowledge argued they did this in order to ensure we all have to buy new phones every few years, the company is claiming it's to help with shutdown issues as the lithium-ion batteries age. (ICYMI - I reviewed Brian Merchant's brilliant history of the iPhone this week!)
3. The Cornell Higher Education Research Institute released a study this week detailing how humanities and social science researchers are finding more happiness post-PhD outside the not-so-green pastures of academic tenure. Both Dr. Donnelly and I knew the difficulties we would face trying to adhere to what we feel are outdated standards for PhD's and were excited to find new opportunities outside the traditional paradigm. Looks like we're not alone!
4. Do you know a man who suffers from 'man-flu'? For years, the phrase has been used to poke fun at men who suffer greatly from the common cold and flu. Well, a recent study released in the BMJ Medical Journal claims that men are more susceptible to complications and have a naturally weaker immune system. The wonders of science teaching us to be more empathetic!
5. Ending the list, and the week, on a very positive note, I leave you with this delightful music video, Spare Change 'A Pittsburgh Story' highlighting some fabulous spots around town as well as the generous spirit of the city I love to call home! The collected money went to buying toys for the Batch of Toys fundraiser held annually by the Best of the Batch Foundation. Spare Change is a Pittsburgh-based web series raising money for people in need through a series of heartwarming musical videos!
That concludes our final Friyays for 2017! We wish everyone peace and joy at this time of year and look forward to sharing new Abbey Research ventures with you in 2018! What have you been talking about around the keurig this week? Let us know below!