8 Things You Need To Know Today (August 11)
1. The Sydney Opera House wants to take away as much carbon as it emits.
One of many global landmarks threatened by rising sea levels due to climate change, the concert hall will aim to be carbon neutral by 2023, its 50th anniversary. It plans to use metering upgrades, air-conditioning improvements, and recycling targets to get there. (Business Green)
2. Are Olympians getting too much exercise?
Past studies have indicated that people who get tons of exercise in their lifetime (specifically marathon cross-country skiers) are more likely to develop atrial fibrillation, making those of us tuning in to the Olympics a bit concerned about the long-term health of our favorite athletes. According to a recent study, getting tons and tons of exercise doesn't have any negative long-term effects on the heart — but it may change its shape. (NYT)
3. Fidgeting is officially in.
If you're guilty of tapping your foot or shaking your leg, you can stop apologizing for it. According to new research, your fidgeting habit is good for blood flow and heart health, especially if you're sitting all day long. Still, don't forget to walk it out once in a while! That's even better for your heart. (HealthDay)
4. Elon Musk is raising the roof on sustainability.
The SolarCity CEO is working on a roof constructed entirely of solar panels. "There are 5 million new roofs installed every year in the U.S. and if your roof is about to need to be replaced, you don't want to invest in solar panels to install on it since you are about to take it down, but if the solar panels are the roof and you need to redo it anyway, there's no reason not to go with a power-generating roof," a project director explains. (EcoWatch)
5. Your after-hours work emails are a serious stressor.
It may sound obvious, but a new study also found something surprising: Even if people don't actually spend a lot of time on emails outside of the office, the mere expectation that they're receiving emails increases emotional exhaustion and stress. (HealthDay)
6. Extra weight may also be bad for your brain.
A new study suggests that being overweight or obese may actually cause people's brains to prematurely age. The researchers found a 10-year difference in white matter in the brains of obese and lean people. (HealthDay)
7. Breadfruit could help hunger in tropical countries.
This protein- and vitamin-rich food is being introduced to farmers in places like Haiti, Jamaica, and Nigeria to help solve hunger issues and provide a new export for farmers. The FDA just cleared breadfruit flour for sale in the United States, so soon you'll be able to try it too. (NPR)
8. Incas know their stuff when it comes to food innovation.
It turns out the Incas have been freeze-drying food before electricity and well before NASA. A traditional food called Chuño consists of potatoes that have been preserved by using the heat of the sun and the cold night air of the highlands of Bolivia and Peru. The dried food is easily portable and can sustain people in periods of drought. (NYT)
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