An Entire Town On The Move

If you haven’t heard of Kiruna, a town in northern Sweden, you’ll want to read this. The town and its 18,000 residents is moving. That’s right, the entire town is relocating to New Kiruna which is two miles to the east of the original town. They are undertaking this monumental task over the course of 20 years. Learn more about this fascinating story and why it’s taking place.

The Art of Japanese Vending Machines

You’ve probably never given much thought to Japanese vending machines, but if you’ve visited Japan then you might know what we mean. There are over 5.5 million vending machines in Japan – one for every 23 people! This is the highest ratio in the world and you can find machines that sell just about everything. The machines include vibrant colors and bright lights that really stand out at night. Now, photographer Eiji Ohashi has created a book showcasing these machines at night. The book is called “Roadside Lights.”

As Ohashi said, “I started this project nine years ago, when I noticed a shiny vending machine near my home as I was coming back from my night shift. At the time, I was living in a town in the north of Japan that would get hit by terrible blizzards during the winter months. I’d drive my car in (these) conditions and use the light of the vending machines to guide me.”

The crime rate is also very low in Japan, allowing the machines to stand in rural areas without being vandalized. As Ohashi said, “You can put them anywhere and they won’t be stolen or harmed. Furthermore, they work even when they’re buried in snow as they are maintained regularly — something which shows how methodical Japanese people are.”

His exhibit is at Galerie &co119 in Paris from Dec. 7, 2017 to Jan. 18, 2018.

A Hot Spot in Iceland

If you’re looking for a unique and exciting place to vacation, this is it. Located at the 5 Million Star Hotel in Skalholt, which is near the river Hvita, each room includes a clear pod for sleeping and eating. There are five variations including the Una, Asta, Thorunn, Vladis and Maria pods and they have slight variations – but accommodate two people in a double bed in each.

There is heating, of course, so that the bubble will stay warm and the structure is kept inflated by a slight over-pressure from a ventilation system. The price starts at (£135) for each pod, per night. The place was founded by Robert Robertsson when he spoke with travelers who didn’t enjoy staying in the cold to see natural phenomenon.

Can Chocolate Help Prevent Heart Attacks?

Could eating chocolate actually help you to prevent a heart attack? The new research comes from the VA Boston HealthCare system’s analysis of 148,465 US veterans who were part of the Million Veteran Program. This program monitors their health over time. 90% of the participants were men, and the average age was 64. What they found was certainly surprising. Overweight people who eat chocolate at least five times a week are less likely to have a CAD (coronary artery disease) episode such as a heart attack. Those who never eat chocolate, in contrast, are more at risk for having a CAD-related episode.

The strangest part of the study is that they found that the positive effects don’t occur for people within a healthy BMI range or who are underweight. The US researchers hypothesized that this might be because the impact of eating this amount of chocolate is small so it only impacted those who have a higher risk of a CAD event.

The participants were followed for 2.5 years and were asked how many times a week they eat 28 grams of either milk or dark chocolate without extra flavorings added. The results showed that overweight people who had five or more servings of chocolate a week had the least amount of CAD related events.

This Town Will Pay You To Relocate

Here is one way to encourage people to come to your town – pay them to move there. The mayor of Candela, Nicola Gatta, is paying people who are willing to resettle. This little medieval town used to have more than 8000 people living in it. Today there are only 2700 residents.

As an incentive, Mayor Gatta is offering up to 200 euros to encourage people to come.

Stefano Bascianelli, the mayor’s right-hand man said,

“This is how it works: 800 euros for singles, 1,200 euros for couples, 1,500 to 1,800 euros for three-member families, and over 2,000 euros for families of four to five people.”

What do you have to do to get the money? You’ll need to become a resident of Candela, rent a house and have a job with a salary of at least 7500 euros a year.

As Bascianelli said, “We don’t want people flocking here thinking they get to live off the town hall’s revenues, all new residents must work and have an income.”

Can Pesticides Hurt Pregnancy Chances?

Here is a disturbing study for those who are trying to get pregnant. A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine has found that consuming fruits and vegetables high in pesticide residue is associated with a lower chance of pregnancy and a higher risk of pregnancy loss. Dr. Yu-Han Chiu, a research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and first author of the study explains.

As she said,

“There have been concerns for some time that exposure to low doses of pesticides through diet, such as those that we observed in this study, may have adverse health effects, especially in susceptible populations such as pregnant women and their fetus, and on children. Our study provides evidence that this concern is not unwarranted.”
The study included 325 women between 18 and 45 who were under the care of a doctor for infertility treatment at the Massachusetts General Hospital. They found that women who ate 2.3 servings or more of high-pesticide-residue fruits and vegetables had 18% lower chance of getting pregnant and 26% lower chance of giving birth to a live baby.


As Dr. Chiu explained, “A reasonable choice based on these findings is to consume low-pesticide-residue fruits and vegetables instead of high-pesticide-residue ones. Another option is to go organic for the fruits and vegetables known to contain high pesticide residues. It is very important to keep in mind that, as far as we are aware, this is the first time that this association is reported, so it is extremely important that our findings are replicated in other studies.”


Certainly, there were limitations to the study and more investigative work is necessary.