1. Intimacy for rent?
Who doesn't love to cuddle! Well, did you know that you can now hire a professional cuddler from cuddlist.com to hold your hand? Even though studies have shown there are many benefits of human touch, does paying for it turn intimacy into a commodity? Maybe in the future, paid cuddling can evolve and nobody will feel weird about it. (Quartz)
2. Food never fails to bring people together.
And, if social media is any indication, it's especially effective in easing political tensions. British chef Jamie Oliver's take on paella, a classic Spanish rice dish, included chorizo. This addition was so offensive to Spaniards, who've been experiencing divisive tension for the better part of a year, that they united in tweets against him. (The Guardian)
3. Robert Bezeau is making homes out of plastic bottles in Bocas del Toro, Panama.
In some of the most forward-thinking sustainable design we've ever seen, discarded bottles are used to fill metal cages that are stacked on top of each other to form homes. They insulate well in warm climes and, since they're filled with air, walls will float and can serve as lifeboats in a tsunami. With more than 150 tons of plastic in our oceans at the moment, it's this type of thinking that will save our planet. Bravo, Bezeau. (Materia)
4. More women than ever are seeking out a certain kind of cosmetic surgery.
A first-of-its-kind study found that young women are becoming increasingly worried that their genitals don't look "normal" and are asking their GPs about cosmetic general surgery. The study's author suspects that the fashion industry, online pornography, and societal perceptions of beauty are likely spurring the concern. (The Guardian)
5. How a to-do list can make your job feel more meaningful.
Did you ever think that if you make just a few changes to your to-do list it could potentially make your job feel more meaningful? According to University of Texas psychologist Art Markman, eliminating all the small tasks that make life feel mundane and filling that list with larger, more long-term goals (but dividing it in a way in which they feel manageable) will truly be life-changing. (NYMag)
6. Read the label, folks.
PepsiCo is being sued for exaggerating the health benefits of Naked Juices since the fruity beverages actually contain a whole lot of natural sugar from fruit. But if you take a look at Naked labels, they clearly list all the ingredients and the amounts, down to every last apple, blueberry, and leaf of spinach. Folks, it's not that hard — just read the label! (Fortune)
7. Is Ina Garten joining Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign?
The Barefoot Contessa is blowing up Instagram after posting a selfie on the White House lawn. According to the Washington Post, Garten is in D.C. to film a Food Network special about dining in the district, but she'll be spending time in the kitchen with White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford and will also have tea with the first lady. (TIME)
8. If you're still arguing that sleep doesn't make that big a difference in your life, talk to the NFL.
Wellness experts have long touted the importance of sleep for performance, and now the NFL is taking that seriously. Their notoriously secret training techniques now includes sleep-monitoring technology, and several teams have sleep doctors on the payroll. We're not naming names, but they say the payoff has been worth it. (Bleacher Report)