Why the eight-hour workday doesn’t work

The 8-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach. The 8-hour workday was created during the industrial revolution as an effort to cut down on the number of hours of manual labor that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor. This breakthrough was a more humane approach to work two hundred years ago, yet it possesses little relevance for us today. Like our ancestors, we're expected to put in 8-hour days, working in long, continuous blocks of time, with few or no breaks. Heck, most people even work right through their lunch hour! This antiquated approach to work isn't helping us; it's holding us back. ...

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Study shows people are strongly influenced by gossip even when it is explicitly untrustworthy

New research in the journal Emotion suggests that people are highly influenced by gossip, even when it is explicitly identified as untrustworthy. The findings indicate that qualifiers such as "allegedly" do little to temper the effects of negative information on a person's likeability. "Words and phrases like 'apparently', 'allegedly' or 'is suspected of' are frequently used in daily communication, in social media and in media coverage about people, in order to signify the questionable veracity of information. These terms even serve a legal purpose and are intended to prevent false accusations, prejudgments and defamations," said study author Julia Baum of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Berlin School of Mind and Brain. "Until now, however, little has been known about how our brain processes verbally communicated person-related information of dubious reliability and how this affects our judgments. Do we consider the uncertainty...

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Pay for play: Experimental drugs and vaccines on FDA’s Fast Track

With its recent approval of fast track status for ImmusantT's experimental vaccine Nexvax2, which has been designed to protect celiac patients against the adverse effects of gluten exposure,1 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is off to another big year in the accelerated licensing approval process for new drug therapies and biologics (vaccines). What Does "Fast Tracked" Mean? The FDA defines drug-approval fast tracking as "a process designed to facilitate the development, and expedite the review of drugs to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need. The stated purpose is to get important new drugs to patients earlier."2 Fast tracking was originally created by Congress in legislation designed to address "a broad range of serious conditions," although that term is now applied more liberally than was initially intended. ...

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Weighted blankets might ease insomnia and anxiety, here’s what to know before purchasing one

If 2017 was the year of the Instant Pot, 2018 was the year to gift or get a weighted blanket - a duvetlike bed cover weighing from five to 25 pounds. Never heard of one? Neither had I, until I got this assignment. But they are a hot commodity. For example, the Gravity Blanket, which began as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017, reports $16.5 million in sales for 2018. The theory is that a heavier-than-normal blanket hugs a sleeper, and may prevent tossing and turning. As a result, the sleeper feels more secure, and sleeps more soundly and for longer periods of time. The concept isn't new. Heavy wraps have been used as a calming mechanism for children with autism, ADHD and other sensory disorders for more than a decade. Parents have swaddled their newborns for centuries. And the idea...

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Benefits of garden-based learning for children

The time you spend in the garden with your children is invaluable. If you have children or work with children, then you probably have noticed that hands-on experiences help them make connections to the lessons they are learning. This is especially true when the lesson involves something you enjoy or have made a hobby out of, such as gardening. Hands-on learning experiences surround us if we take the time to look, and educational opportunities abound with a little ingenuity to turn daily tasks into lessons. Help your children establish a sense of responsibility surrounding planning, caring for, and harvesting their own gardens. Older children can even get in on the spacial awareness, science, and finances behind it all. These lessons easily transfer to a larger picture: namely, how their own responsibilities and care of something living is integral to their...

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Agenda pushing: Majority of EAT-Lancet authors (over 80%) favored vegan/vegetarian diets

The EAT-Lancet report, published by The Lancet last week, has been presented as the product of 37 scientists from around the world who gathered to evaluate the science on diet and both human health and the health of the planet. These are separate scientific questions that each deserve careful evaluation. It's important to note that there are significant scientific controversies on both these questions. On diet and health, I can safely say that there is an enormous amount of legitimate scientific dispute surrounding the question of whether a plant-based diet is best for health and also whether minimizing red meat in the diet is healthy or even safe. The best, most rigorous (clinical trial) evidence supports the idea that red meat does not cause any kind of disease. There are also a number of analyses showing that diets low in...

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Holy schmeat! Beyond Meat has plans to make plant-based bacon and steak

Popular vegan meat brand Beyond Meat has plans to make plant-based bacon and steak, CNBC reports. The brand became a favorite around the globe when it launched its iconic Beyond Burger, a vegan patty made from pea protein that looks, cooks, and tastes like beef - it even "bleeds," thanks to the addition of beet juice. Now, Beyond Meat has its sights set on other areas of the plant-based meat market. CEO Ethan Brown revealed to CNBC, "We want to make bacon, we want to make steak, we want to make the most intricate and beautiful pieces of meat." ...

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The new APA guidelines: A symbolic castration of men?

The anthropologist Margaret Mead famously quipped that a fundamental challenge for any culture is what to do with the young men. Without guidance, young men can become violent and destructive. In every society of which we have substantial knowledge, men are more likely than women to commit violent crimes. This male/female disparity appears to hold not only across all known human cultures but across the primate order as well. Male chimpanzees engage in violence much more often than female chimpanzees do, and the male/female disparity in violence is larger among chimpanzees than among humans. For example, Jane Goodall and her colleagues found that adolescent male chimpanzees often kill and eat monkeys; adolescent female chimpanzees almost never kill monkeys, preferring a more vegetarian diet. In the classroom, girls are more likely to seek to please the adult; boys are more likely...

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The ‘silent treatment’ is a sign of an unhealthy relationship

Communication is one of the most important factors in any healthy relationship - whether it's with family, friends, loved ones, coworkers, bosses, or whomever. And much of the social conflict we experience in our lives is due to some type of miscommunication or lack of communication. One study published in the journal Personal Relationships has identified one pattern that's common in most negative and toxic relationships. Psychologists looked at over 100 married couples in the U.S. and had them keep diary reports of the status of their marriage and current marital conflicts. The participants also rated their individual depressive symptoms. By analyzing these reports, researchers discovered that a "demand-withdraw" pattern was one of the biggest predictors of marital dissatisfaction and symptoms of spousal depression. A "demand-withdraw" pattern is when one individual attempts to "demand" a change from their partner, and...

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How super is your poo? The search for ‘super poo donors’ for fecal transplants

Claudia Campenella, 31, works as a student support administrator at a UK university, and in her spare time she is a poo donor. "Some of my friends think it is a bit weird or disgusting, but it doesn't worry me. It's very easy to donate and I just want to help with medical research. I'm glad to contribute." Her faeces, teeming with "good" bugs, will be put into the bowel of a sick patient to help their poorly gut get better. Claudia knows her donation is extremely useful - that is why she does it - but is her poo extra special? ...

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