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Heroes and villains

A Spanish bishop | Oysters | Free time


Oysters, which could stop ocean levels from rising, says Kimberly Mas in Vox. The mighty molluscs grow on top of each other, forming sturdy reefs that defend coastlines by softening the force of incoming waves. And while manmade water breakers need to be rebuilt over time, oyster reefs, when undisturbed, grow stronger and stronger.


Boris Vishnevsky and Boris Vishnevsky, two “spoiler candidates” running in a Russian election to undermine the chances of a Putin critic who really is called Boris Vishnevsky. Opposition politicians are used to the Kremlin fielding fake candidates with the same name to confuse voters, says The Guardian, but in this case the two fake Borises are also lookalikes.


Spanish bishop Xavier Novell, who has resigned from his post after falling in love with Silvia Caballol, the divorced author of the satanic-themed erotic novel The Hell of Gabriel’s Lust. Church colleagues fear he has been possessed by demons and Pope Francis has reportedly urged him to undergo an exorcism, but he has refused.


Free time, too much of which makes us miserable, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. They found that while levels of wellbeing initially rise as free time increases, the trend quickly breaks down. “The sweet spot is a moderate amount of free time,” said Dr Marissa Sharif. “We found that having too much time was associated with lower subjective wellbeing due to a lacking sense of productivity and purpose.”


The General Chiropractic Council, which has cleared one of its members after a patient’s neck broke during treatment, concluding that it was an “entirely unforeseeable consequence”. Chiropractor Arleen Scholten, whose 80-year-old patient died the day after his neck broke, was this week absolved of misconduct and allowed to carry on working.