Bouquet #15: Eclectic Mind Food (Medieval Urine Exam, Space Station, Music Industry, Spinsters, Africa's Oil)

This week's bouquet brings discussion on Medieval Urine Exam, futuristic Space Station, collapse of the Music Industry, Spinsters revolution, and Africa's Oil

Bouquet #15: Eclectic Mind Food (Medieval Urine Exam, Space Station, Music Industry, Spinsters, Africa's Oil)
Photo by Dave Hoefler / Unsplash
Decorative motif, circa 1935, by Frances Hodgkins. Purchased 1976. Te Papa (1976-0017-1)
Photo by Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa / Unsplash
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ― Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

1. Urine Test - deciphering the body

A UK based historian looks at the prctice of Uroscopy or examining urine to check on the diseases.  Physicians in medieval Europe would get sexual history, disease, and impending death by studying the body's liquid excretions

In Ayurveda, it was called Tailabindu pariksha.  It is is a diagnostic tool of urine examination in Ayurvedic texts.  It is part of the Asthavidha Pariksha or eight-fold examination.  It is critical technique of diagnosis via a series of examinations in Ayurveda.  Objective is to identify the various causes behind diseases.  You can read about it here - Applied aspect of Ashtasthana Pariksha w.s.r. to tools used in current era

Most of such techniques are now lost and eveerytime you go to a doctor you are sent to undergo scores of tests - many of them meaningless.  The ability to "know the body" is now gone.

Troubled Waters: Reading Urine in Medieval Medicine
From cabbage green to course meal, medieval manuscripts exhibit a spectrum of colours and consistencies when describing urine. Katherine Harvey examines the complex practices of uroscopy: how physicians could divine sexual history, disease, and impending death by studying the body's liquid excre…

2. Futuristic Space Station model for International Space Station

Airbus has unveiled plans for a three-deck space station, named LOOP, that is more spacious than existing stations. It could be launched within the next decade and is designed for a crew of four. The module features a habitation deck and a science deck, connected by a central tunnel. The final floor is a centrifuge that creates Earth-like gravitational conditions, reducing the impact of weightlessness on the human body. The centre of the station's structure is a three-storey column acting as a greenhouse for growing crops.

Here are some concept pictures

Source: Daily Mail

The entire concept looks like it is out from Star Trek.

Space station concept with a GREENHOUSE that could launch in 10 years
The Airbus ‘LOOP’ module (pictured) is designed for a four-person crew and hosts three floors including a centrifuge that creates Earth-like gravitational conditions.

3. How the music industry collapsed

After years of great evolution of recorded music via vinyl records and tapes, the industry was turned upside down by a small toy.

The iPod allowed users to carry "1,000 songs in their pocket", as Jobs promised. It helped save the music industry from piracy by providing access to legally purchased music through iTunes. Additionally, the iPod allowed users to listen to music beyond the limitations of their home stereo system. They could connect it to their headphones, car radio, computer at work, or hi-fi system at home.  Suddenly music was everywhere.

The End of the Music Business
A century of recorded music has culminated in the infinite archive of streaming platforms. But is it really better for listeners?

4. The Spinster revolution

In the new millennia, women prefer to remain unencumbered. Lure of marriages is dropping rapidly.  

The Office for National Statistics shows that women not living in a couple, who have never married, is rising in every age range under 70. In the decade-and-a-half between 2002 and 2018, the figure for those aged 40 to 70 rose by half a million. The percentage of never- married singletons in their 40s doubled.

And thi is not just a West phenomenon.  From China’s sheng nu or the “Leftover Women” or women in Japan known as “Christmas cake” (because they were past their sell-by date) or the "Old miss" in South Korea.

Why Are Increasing Numbers of Women Choosing to Be Single?
The word ‘spinster’ is still freighted with pity and misogyny, yet the number of women living this way is growing. Emma John says it’s time to reconsider what it means to be ‘never-married’.

5. Drilling Africa's last frontier

A Canadian company is currently drilling exploratory wells in Namibia. The project has the potential to uncover a major oil and gas reserve. However, there are concerns from local residents and conservationists that the drilling may use up limited water resources and cause ecological damage downstream to the Okavango Delta, which is a world-renowned area for its natural beauty.

One of the last Wild places left, Okavango River Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  It is on northern edge of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana - a place with some of he oldest rocks on the planet.

Will an Oil Racket Destroy One of Africa’s Most Sacred Places?
A Canadian company has begun drilling near the protected Okavango River Delta, promising jobs for locals and endless fossil fuel for investors. So far, there’s been no oil — but there have been big…

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