35 articles from SUNDAY 18.7.2021

How can you become a space tourist?

Thrill-seekers might soon be able to get their adrenaline kicks—and envy-inducing Instagram snaps—from the final frontier, as space tourism finally lifts off.

What is the Covid workplace testing scheme Downing Street is part of?

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were due to be part of a pilot trialling tests instead of self-isolationCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageCould Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have avoided the need to self-isolate for 10 days despite being contacts of the health secretary, Sajid Javid, who tested positive for Covid-19? On Sunday morning, Downing Street claimed they were due...

Wally Funk Is Going to Space Aboard Jeff Bezos’s Rocket. Here’s Why That Matters

There’s a good reason for all the fuss about Wally Funk this week. On July 20, Funk, 82—an aviator, the first female air-safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the first female inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)—will climb aboard a Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft and fly a suborbital arc more than 100 km (62 mi.) up,...

Do you work too hard? It might be time to try being imperfect | Barbara Rysenbry

Accepting that all we can control are our actions and our values is a simpler and more empowering way to liveThe modern mind is a column where experts discuss mental health issues they are seeing in their workAs a psychologist working in the Sydney CBD, I see many people working in high-performance workplace cultures across various business sectors.Nicole was one such client referred for therapy...

The Guardian view on Covid and the world: the pandemic’s impact is growing | Editorial

Cases are soaring in many countries, and the social and political effects are becoming clearer“At the root of every pandemic is an encounter between a disease-causing microorganism and a human being … It is a social phenomenon as much as it is a biological one,” writes Laura Spinney in her book Pale Rider, arguing that Spanish flu “pushed India closer to independence, South Africa closer...

Why England’s sudden lifting of covid restrictions is a massive gamble

England is about to take a huge gamble.  On Monday, July 19, the country is ditching all of its remaining pandemic-related restrictions. People will be able to go to nightclubs, or gather in groups as large as they like. They will not be legally compelled to wear masks at all, and can stop social distancing. The government, with an eye on media coverage, has dubbed it “Freedom...

How data could save Earth from climate change

Using a name inspired by Indonesian farmers, Subak will share information and fund hi-tech solutions to fight global heatingAs monikers go, Subak may seem an odd choice for a new organisation that aims to accelerate hi-tech efforts to combat the climate crisis. The name is Indonesian, it transpires, and refers to an ancient agricultural system that allows farmers to co-ordinate their efforts when...

Masks, hugs and hand washing: 18 new rules for protecting yourself and others

When should you open the windows, wear a mask and take a lateral flow test? As we enter the ‘personal responsibility’ era, here’s an expert guideFreedom day is here, at least for those of us who live in England, and we’re back in the place nobody wants to be. On one hand: yay, freedom. On the other: an uneasy sense that the relaxation of restrictions has very little to do with the data,...

Is 57 a prime number? There’s a game for that.

The Greek mathematician Euclid may very well have proved, circa 300 BCE, that there are infinitely many prime numbers. But it was the British mathematician Christian Lawson-Perfect who, more recently, devised the computer game “Is this prime?” Launched five years ago, the game surpassed three million tries on July 16—or, more to the point, it hit run 2,999,999—after a Hacker News post...