Trend Watch June 2019

Norman Foster is 84 and he Instagrams better than you:

Norman Foster only began to casually upload photos to Instagram in 2017. But don’t be fooled by his short tenure on the social media platform, writes ArchDaily.

What makes his feed more charming, they say, than Bjarke Ingels’, more impressive that Richard Branson’s, is a mix of je ne sais quoi, athletic prowess, and a taste of ‘he’s just like us!’

Foster posts behind-the-scenes images that reflect a full life – of exercising, spending time with family and taking holidays – as well as working.

If we are moving beyond the age of ‘cults of personality’ cultivated by the media, say ArchDaily, “it’s fascinating to see Norman Foster take full advantage of the one-to-one relationship between public figure and the public by openly showing us what he enjoys, treasures, and strives to achieve.”

Norman Foster’s Instagram feed.

Adorable koala drinking fountains help them hydrate:

In Gunnedah, a remote, rural part of Australia, six hours’ drive from Sydney, summer heat waves hit 45°C (113°F). To help local koalas survive the heat and drought, researchers are testing water fountains, writes Fast Company.

Koalas usually get their water from eating leaves, not drinking. But climate change means that the leaves no longer contain enough water. Eucalyptus leaves also can’t be eaten in huge quantities to try to access more moisture, because toxins inside them can make koalas sick.

The University of Sydney researchers tested fountain prototypes in trees, including a complicated platform. The koalas ignored it. But they did drink from a simple bowl – rigged up to automatically refill from a larger tank via a gravity-fed system.

Over the first 12 months of the study, koalas drank from the water stations on 400 visits, often ravenously.

“I have footage of animals drinking for seven, 10 minutes straight. That’s impressive for any animal, let alone one that is not supposed to drink much,” says Valentina Mella, postdoctoral research associate in life and environmental sciences.

The fountains could be useful throughout Australia, say the researchers, with the town of Campbelltown also starting to test water stations. The researchers have published tips for private property owners on how to build fountains of their own.

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Trend Watch April 2019

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