Microbial communities are ubiquitous in both natural and artificial environments. However, microbial diversity is usually reduced under strong selection pressures, such as those present in habitats rich in recalcitrant or toxic compounds displaying antimicrobial properties. Caffeine is a natural alkaloid present in coffee, tea and soft drinks with well-known antibacterial properties. Here we present the first systematic analysis of coffee machine-associated bacteria. We sampled the coffee waste reservoir of ten different Nespresso machines and conducted a dynamic monitoring of the colonization process in a new machine. Our results reveal the existence of a varied bacterial community in all the machines sampled, and a rapid colonisation process of the coffee leach. The community developed from a pioneering pool of enterobacteria and other opportunistic taxa to a mature but still highly variable microbiome rich in coffee-adapted bacteria. The bacterial communities described here, for the first time, are potential drivers of biotechnologically relevant processes including decaffeination and bioremediation.
More here – Scientific Reports
Long story made short – your home espresso machine is full of bacteria. Hopefully we might see some form of selective mutation that leads to a variation of Pseudomonas which is fatal to hipsters.
There has been much talk on the Googlebox about us being saved by a Christmas rally and I thought what an ideal topic for a chart. So I went and had a look at the average December gain for a variety of markets over the past 20 years and the results are below.
As you can see the average December gain for our market is hardly anything to write home about. If interpreted literally (a dangerous thing to do with averages) it would mean that the All Ords would gain about 89 points from where it currently sits. However, averages are problematic and the December move could be anywhere between a loss of 2.6% to a gain of 6.1%. When looking at any set of numbers it is the dispersion of those numbers which conveys more information than simply using the average. Variance is important but often overlooked. So the statement “on average we have a rally in December” doesn’t really tell us much, whereas looking at the possible range of outcomes tells us a lot more about what might happen.
However, it is important to note that none of these numbers convey anything other than a bit of statistical mangling on my behalf. These numbers become a problem when they become part of peoples narratives and therefore part of their expectation. Expectation for traders is a problem because it involves a sense of ownership as to the outcome and it is ownership of what is thought to be the right outcome. As opposed to an understand as to all possible outcomes and what action might flow from the trader when one of those possible outcomes eventuates.
A year ago I received an invitation from the head of Counselling Services at a major university to join faculty and administrators for discussions about how to deal with the decline in resilience among students. At the first meeting, we learned that emergency calls to Counseling had more than doubled over the past five years. Students are increasingly seeking help for, and apparently having emotional crises over, problems of everyday life. Recent examples mentioned included a student who felt traumatized because her roommate had called her a “bitch” and two students who had sought counseling because they had seen a mouse in their off-campus apartment. The latter two also called the police, who kindly arrived and set a mousetrap for them.
Faculty at the meetings noted that students’ emotional fragility has become a serious problem when it comes to grading. Some said they had grown afraid to give low grades for poor performance, because of the subsequent emotional crises they would have to deal with in their offices. Many students, they said, now view a C, or sometimes even a B, as failure, and they interpret such “failure” as the end of the world. Faculty also noted an increased tendency for students to blame them (the faculty) for low grades—they weren’t explicit enough in telling the students just what the test would cover or just what would distinguish a good paper from a bad one. They described an increased tendency to see a poor grade as reason to complain rather than as reason to study more, or more effectively. Much of the discussions had to do with the amount of handholding faculty should do versus the degree to which the response should be something like, “Buck up, this is college.” Does the first response simply play into and perpetuate students’ neediness and unwillingness to take responsibility? Does the second response create the possibility of serious emotional breakdown, or, who knows, maybe even suicide?
More here – Psychology Today
Reviewing a handful of studies on the subject, Harvard Health contends that “gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
So it’s no wonder expressing gratitude is the first social habit most of us acquire. We’re taught to say thank you around the same time that we’re busy sorting out whether or not Play-Doh is food. The fact that so many of us struggle with the practice long into adulthood means we aren’t just disappointing our parents. We’re also hurting our health and careers.
More here – FastCompany
A brilliant American financier and his exotic wife build a lavish mansion in the jungles of Costa Rica, set up a wildlife preserve, and appear to slowly, steadily lose their minds. A spiral of handguns, angry locals, armed guards, uncut diamonds, abduction plots, and a bedroom blazing with 550 Tiffany lamps ends with a body and a compelling mystery.
More here – Outside