Everyday Heroes and Open-minded Vikings

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Everyday Heroes and Open-minded Vikings


  Last updated January 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm


Emergency First Responders are Civilian Bystanders

In one of the worst US shooting massacres, on October 1 2017, it’s been shown that it was good Samaritans that saved the lives of many. It took first emergency responders up to 30 minutes after the shooting began to arrive at the scene. By that time, survivors had already been cleared out, either taken out of the venue or transported to nearby hotels, or hospitals. The majority of injured reached trauma centres and hospitals in private cars, pickup trucks and taxis.

The delay of sheer panic, confusion and pandemonium means that it takes medical services longer than expected to reach emergencies. Furthermore, as the injured are transported to various sites around the city, it can be harder to delegate resources in a timely and ordered manner. In the first critical minutes, it can be also hard to pinpoint the origin of the emergency, as was experienced with the Las Vegas shooting.

Interestingly, difference phone apps listed different hospitals in Las Vegas as the quickest to reach which helped to prevent overcrowding at a single hospital. Experts say that such events highlight the importance of prepping the public in how to help the wounded, likening it to nonmedical soldiers knowing how to attended the wounded. Being prepared is the best chance we have to save lives.

Losing the Viking Battle but Winning the Culture War

Were Vikings an insular Nordic people only interested in their own customs? Or were they an openminded and inclusive society? The evidence behind a recent theory might not stack up, but the larger story still probably rings true. A researcher from Sweden was investigating the burial clothes of Viking women who died in the tenth century. She noticed some geometric designs, and theorised they may represent the Arabic word for god. This idea was such an intriguing concept that it quickly caught on, and was reported by the media.

But it didn’t take long for another researcher, from Texas, to debunk the theory – on Twitter, naturally. The shapes on the burial clothes resemble Arabic lettering that was not in common use for 500 years after the Viking women died. And, the original researcher had to extrapolate out from the edges of the scraps of material she had. But while this example probably isn’t true, the fact of a multicultural Viking society probably is.

Crush of the Week: Mini-Mathematicians 

In every episode of Switched On, Kelly and Casey discuss, debate, and analyse trending topics where the social, cultural, and political meet the scientific.

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