WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Incest-prevention apps, dark horse Popes and others

“People can now easily, and on the go, look up how they are related to other Icelanders. And a precious feature, using the bump technology, allows people that meet to just bump their phones together, to instantly see if they are too related to take things any further. The engineers’ slogan for this feature was: ‘Bump the app before you bump in bed’.”

In Iceland, almost everyone is related. Now, finally, there’s an app to make sure you don’t sleep with a (close) relative.


“Cardinal Bergoglio expected his trip to be brief. He was already carrying in his black leather briefcase the airplane ticket that would return him home in time for Holy Week, the most important week of the year for a Catholic prelate. His Easter Sunday homily was already written too, and in the hands of parishioners back home.”

Although Bergoglio was runner up to Ratzinger in 2005, he’d faded from contention by 2013 and wasn’t expecting to stay in Rome long. Here’s a detailed look at the lead-up to his election as Pope.


“Breathe easy, she told herself. Do not panic. Help will come. She stared at the low, gray clouds. She had not noticed the noise as she hurtled down the mountain. Now, she was suddenly struck by the silence.”

The Pultizer winners were announced this week, with John Branch taking away the feature writing award for this amazing, heart-breaking piece on an avalanche at Tunnel Creek.


“Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind. Today, we have reached the same point in relation to information that we faced 20 years ago in regard to food. We are beginning to recognise how toxic news can be.”

Turns out news is bad for you and giving it up will make you happier. Who’d have thought? (This doesn’t include insightful blogs… obviously).


A great TED talk for your weekend.  Joshua Prager searches for the man who broke his neck in car accident decades earlier.