All about mosquitos

A small town in Sweden has a mosquito catching contest. Sound like fun?

“The Unofficial Mosquito-Catching World Championship” (from Atlas Obscura)

Looks like they do something similar in Russia, too:

“With 43 bites, 9-year-old wins ‘tastiest girl’ competition at annual Russian Mosquito Festival” (from the Washington Post)

What unsual contests have you heard of or participated in? If you could create an original contest, what would you have people do?

And speaking of mosquitos, here’s an unusual, counter-intuitive strategy to get rid of the pests:

“To Shrink Mosquito Population, Scientists Are Releasing 20 Million Mosquitoes” (from NPR)

Meanwhile, in Scotland one railway company has installed a “mosquito device” — a device emitting an annoying sound — to keep young people from loitering around train stations.

“Anger over Hamilton station ‘mosquito’ device” (from BBC)

Can you think of better ways to prevent loitering?

Rule breaker

Here’s another short film you can explain, like we did in some classes recently with Pixar and other short animated films.

  • What rules do you follow (or not)? Which of those rules would you like to change? How would you change them?
  • Which rules would you get rid of completely? Why?
  • Do you know *why* some of these rules exist? What do you think the purpose of the rules are?
  • Are there rules that you didn’t like when you were a child but that you understand now? If and when you have children, will you make the same rules for them?

The right to recline

In recent years, there have been countless incidents on airplanes in which passengers get into fights about space: Who gets the armrest? Is it ok to recline? This article talks about ways to prevent such arguments:

“How to Resolve Fights over Reclining Airplane Seats: Use Behavioral Economics” (Evonomics, May 12)

Reading this reminded me of a bus ride I was on in Cambodia. Across the aisle, I saw a man reclined in his seat, sleeping peacefully, while the mother and child behind him looked less than comfortable.

What do you think? Should the man have checked first before he reclined fully? Or is it the responsiblity of the bus manufacturer to design better buses, trains and plances, to make sure kids-on-laps aren’t squished?

Four years of trash in a Mason jar

It’s an idea for a 30 Day Challenge. See how little trash you can produce in one month and how many of the changes you make to your daily life are sustainable for you.

It’s also a good research project theme: how much trash and food waste do Japanese businesses produce, and how easy would it be to change policy in ways to encourage them to produce less waste? A lot of supermarkets now charge ¥2 or ¥5 or ¥10 for plastic bags, but convenience stores don’t. Should they?