1. Climate change may make us run out of food.
In November, the United Nations' Environment Program said that the temperature of the world could increase by as much as 3.4 degrees Celsius (38 degrees Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial temperatures. Which isn't great news, considering that new research conducted out of the University of Chicago found that the warming of our planet may mean that by 2100, wheat harvests will be cut by 20 percent, soybeans by 40 percent, and corn by 50 percent. (Food Dive)
2. Luxury developers are putting a greater focus on in-home wellness than ever.
We've seen wellness become more of a lifestyle trend than ever, and now it's finding its way into luxury properties. Things like acoustics, natural air and light, and eco-friendly tech and design are playing an integral role in the planning and execution of higher-end homes. (Telegraph)
3. Need a new way to cope with stress? Read Harry Potter.
There's been a resurgence of interest in J.K. Rowling's record-breaking series, and authorities suggest it's something people turn to for respite in times of emotional stress or hardship. A professor at Monmouth College who teaches a course on the series said, "They offer a way to face the difficult things we encounter in our own lives," she said. Personally, we couldn't agree more. (Man Repeller)
4. Are sex toys safer than children's toys?
Yup. A Swedish study found that a sampling of sex toys contained 2 percent of chemicals banned by the government, versus 15 percent of children's toys surveyed the year before. We're all for healthy sex activities but think it's time to hold our kids' toys to the same standard. (The Guardian)
5. New study shows the complexity of ant life.
Researchers at Rockefeller University have genetically modified ants to study the determinants of their social roles. In editing DNA they've created ants who exhibit anti-social, nurturing, or aggressive behavior, suggesting the origin of ant roles is biological. (NYT)
6. A powerful woman in science is finally being celebrated.
Maria Sibylla Merian was an influential scientist 17th-century Germany who made groundbreaking discoveries about plants and insects. However, her work was ultimately left out of the history books—until now. Now scientists are finally giving this pioneer the recognition she deserves in an international symposium that celebrates her findings. (NYT)
7. There's a reason for your post-dessert guilt.
According to psychologists, pleasure-induced self-loathing (like when we eat a pint of ice cream and then immediately feel terrible) happens because of a conflict between different life goals. And usually, our longer-term goal of being healthy overshadows our short-term goal of enjoying that delicious dessert. (Science of Us)