Blinded by the Light – for Research
Scientists spent 40 days in a cave without any sunlight or cell phones. They called it a “deep time” experiment and the goal was to see how lack of daylight, clocks, or technology would change their sense of time. When it was over, the eight men and seven women emerged with fascinating stories to tell.
One woman says she may have wanted to stay longer and would not turn on her smartphone for a few more days. One man ran laps inside to keep in shape. Others enjoyed the lack of daily responsibilities.
The Human Adaption Institute started the study to discover how people would adapt to extreme living conditions. Losing a sense of time was the first result. The project director, Christian Clot, was shocked at not being able to mark time withdaylight or cell phones: “And here we are! We just left after 40 days … For us, it was a real surprise. In our heads, we had walked into the cave 30 days ago.” Another participant guessed the time underground to be 23 days.
The team members used their own sleep cycles and hunger cues to figure out when to wake, eat, sleep, and meet for other research studies. Basically, they did things when they felt like it was the right time to do them. As one participant, Marina Lançon, said, “It was like pressing pause.”
Portugal’s Heart-Pounding Pedestrian Suspension Bridge
It’s 1,693 feet long, has a footpath wide enough for two people, and it’s 576 feet above the Paiva River in Arouca, Portugal. It is officially the world’s largest walking bridge, and it takes about ten minutes to cross. The bridge crosses a gorge in the Arouca Geopark. The span features views of lush greenery, waterfalls, and the swift currents of the river below. Steel cable construction and a see-through metal grid walkway gives travelers the best possible views.
Arouca is a small area with an aging population: Many young people are moving into the cities. Locals believe this bridge will bring new interest to the area and boost the economy with tourism.
Local Arouca residents were given the first chance to cross the bridge. Hugo Xavier was the first, but he was soon followed by other locals. As Xavier reached the other side, he said: “I was a little afraid, but it was so worth it. It was extraordinary, a unique experience…”
Addressing a Joint Session
The long-awaited national speech in front of members of Congress revealed the Biden administration’s goals and objectives. A small gathering of U.S. senators and representatives sat in the House chambers to hear what Mr. Biden had accomplished in his nearly 100 days in office. Joining the president on the dais was Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The president claimed he had the highest job increase of any president in the first 100 days of office. He talked about his plans for free childcare and assistance for education. Also made it clear he was against the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea, saying they “present a serious threat to America’s security and world security.” Biden then promised to work with allies to prevent more nuclear weapons.
The address was a mix of plans that involve pushing a vision of more government action.