28 articles from SUNDAY 2.1.2022

Five great reads: medical mysteries, stolen attention and easy-to-keep resolutions

Guardian Australia’s summertime round-up of written interest and joy selected by Alyx GormanGood morning, happy new year, and welcome to Five Great Reads, a weekday summer story round-up selected by me – Alyx Gorman – lifestyle editor of Guardian Australia.If you’re not getting this as an email, you could be by signing up in the box below. If you are getting this as an email, there will be...

Mexican fish extinct in wild successfully reintroduced

There once was a small fish called "tequila splitfin" or "zoogoneticus tequila" that swam in a river in western Mexico, but disappeared in the 1990s. Scientists and residents, however, have achieved the return of a species extinct in nature—but conserved in captivity—to its native habitat.

The Guardian view on the next pandemic: can we learn Covid’s lessons? | Editorial

Preparation means not just improving surveillance and buying more protective gear, but rethinking the way we liveThough at times it can feel hard to believe – especially in recent weeks, perhaps – this pandemic will not last for ever. With more than 5 million dead and huge economic and social costs, its toll has been immense, and unnecessarily so. Secrecy in China, complacency in Europe,...

Life rebooted: why ‘pruning’ friends has been so common during the pandemic

People have become ‘more insular and bonding-oriented’ amid Covid, and now many aren’t sure how to start rebuilding their social livesPruning is usually a technique applied to roses in winter, but more recently the gardening term has been cropping up whenever sociologists talk about our social lives. People have been pruning friends.Confined to our homes, or separated by borders, with too...

When grit isn’t great: letting go rather than pushing through can help our wellbeing | Gaynor Parkin

People with high levels of perseverance often persist with difficult tasks to their own detriment. There is value in knowing when to quitThe modern mind is a column where experts discuss mental health issues they are seeing in their workIs it possible to let that go? Is there someone else who can help you? Could you defer it for a week?To each of these queries and other similar ones, Mary gave a...

To the moon and beyond: what 2022 holds for space travel

From lunar missions to anti-asteroid defence systems, there are plenty of exciting scientific developments to look forward toThis year promises to be an important one for space exploration, with several major programmes reaching the launch pad over the next 12 months. The US is to return to the moon, undertaking a set of missions intended to establish a lunar colony there in a few years. China is...

We often fail to keep resolutions – but writing in a notebook brings great rewards

Scribbling down our thoughts is a great way to make sense of things – and very satisfyingIn 1989, when I was 16, I moved into a pub with my parents and my younger brother, Matty. It was highly exciting. I took to barwork as I liked the chat, and also enjoyed the opportunities offered for eavesdropping. I was curious about the adult world and up until then had learned most of what I knew from...

Can you think yourself young?

Research shows that a positive attitude to ageing can lead to a longer, healthier life, while negative beliefs can have hugely detrimental effectsFor more than a decade, Paddy Jones has been wowing audiences across the world with her salsa dancing. She came to fame on the Spanish talent show Tú Sí Que Vales (You’re Worth It) in 2009 and has since found success in the UK, through Britain’s...

Understanding, not judgment, should shape our response to those who remain unjabbed | John Harris

The start of the coming year will be defined by the UK’s vaccination gap, but the issue is more complex than you thinkAmid rocketing Covid infection rates, rising hospitalisation numbers and test shortages, the opening weeks of 2022 are going to be defined by the UK’s vaccine gap.According to the latest official figures, 91% of people aged over 18 in the UK have had at least one Covid jab, 88%...

Climate change, new construction mean more ruinous fires

The winter grassland fire that blew up along Colorado's Front Range was rare, experts say, but similar events will be more common in the coming years as climate change warms the planet—sucking the moisture out of plants—suburbs grow in fire-prone areas and people continue to spark destructive blazes.

Your attention didn’t collapse. It was stolen

Social media and many other facets of modern life are destroying our ability to concentrate. We need to reclaim our minds while we still canWhen he was nine years old, my godson Adam developed a brief but freakishly intense obsession with Elvis Presley. He took to singing Jailhouse Rock at the top of his voice with all the low crooning and pelvis-jiggling of the King himself. One day, as I tucked...

Can you capture the complex reality of the pandemic with numbers? Well, we tried… | David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters

Throughout 2021, two leading lights of the Royal Statistical Society Covid-19 Task Force drew on data for a weekly Observer column, and found themselves in the middle of Covid culture warsIndividual experiences and suffering are, of course, at the heart of the pandemic. But one way to understand what has happened is through putting those experiences together – and statistics are those personal...

Measures, not lockdowns, are only way to keep Covid at bay says expert

Professor Mark Woolhouse says not enough was done to protect the vulnerableThere was a distinctive moment, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, that neatly encapsulated the mistakes and confusion of Britain’s early efforts to tackle the disease, says Mark Woolhouse. At a No 10 briefing in March 2020, cabinet minister Michael Gove warned the virus did not discriminate. “Everyone is at...

Nasa’s Webb telescope is a joy. But it’s the private ventures that push at limits | Martin Rees

Spacefaring adventurers, living and experimenting with new technology, could potentially spawn a post-human eraAfter years of delay, and massive cost over-runs, the James Webb space telescope (the JWST) was launched on Christmas Day. It will need to perform complex automated operations now it’s in space.The first and most challenging is happening this week: unfurling a heat shield the size of a...