1. There's one trait that can change the way you see the world.
A new study published in the Journal of Personality Research shows that people who are open to new experiences—a trait closely linked to creativity and imagination—can quite literally see things differently. When given a visual test, this group was more likely to see a blending of two colors instead of alternating colors displayed one at a time. The researchers suspect that the brains of these people are "able to engage with less conventional solutions" and see more possibilities in the world. (Science of Us)
2. The Pulitzer Prize is spotlighting green issues.
Art Cullen of the Storm Lake Times, a local newspaper in Iowa, won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing this year—one of the reporting world's most prestigious honors. Recognized for his series of editorials about fertilizer runoff that is contaminating Iowa rivers, his win is an encouraging sign that people are starting to be vocal about environmental negligence, and we're all listening. (Grist)
3. Does being anxious while pregnant make you a better mom?
In an effort to better understand how to support the changing brains of expectant and new mothers, a small-scale study of 43 women investigated the neurological effects of anxiety during pregnancy. Researchers "observed greater attentional processing in the brains of anxious women who were shown images of infants with ambiguous facial expressions," suggesting they may be more attentive (and wired to attend) than non-anxious women. (Psy Post)
4. Not loving your gym? Consider joining this one.
The LA gym Nerdstrong wants you to get a good workout in—but they also want you to feel like you're in your favorite video game or movie. From Lord of the Rings-themed workouts to high-intensity interval training that makes you feel like you're in Dungeons & Dragons, exercise doesn't get more fun than this. (NYT)
5. To create big change in the world, we need to start small first.
So we want to save the planet and encourage a more empathetic populace—and thinking small is the way to get there. Smaller groups of activists can eventually affect mass movements for positive change, according to Richard D. Bartlett. "I believe the root of that challenge is essentially cultural, and the best place to grow culture is in small groups." Smaller groups will help people cultivate better habits, practice tolerance, and you can start where you are today. (Medium)
6. What will dinner look like after climate change?
One artist has attempted to find out. Her project, Flooded, depicts a meal after the seas rise, with seafood, carob (in lieu of climate change-threatened cocoa), and desalinated water to drink. "I felt this need to subversively convince people," the artist said. "I wanted to hook them more emotionally, with something they can relate to." (NPR)
7. It turns out salty foods DON'T make you thirsty?
While everyone thinks salt makes us thirsty, it hadn't actually been tested until recently. What did scientists find? Salt doesn't make us crave water, but it does make us eat more. Who knew! (ScienceDaily)