7 Things You Need To Know Today (September 28, 2017)

Photo: J.R. PHOTOGRAPHY

1. If everyone made this one change, the planet would be a lot better off.

It turns out, lessening our environmental impact doesn't mean that we have to totally overhaul our lives. In fact, Americans could get 72 percent of the way to our 2020 emissions goals if we all made just one simple change: swapped beef for beans. Yep, you don't even need to go full-on vegan to make a huge difference. (Digg)

2. These are the cities that maaaay hold up OK with climate change.

We've all seen lists of the places that will be hit the hardest by global warming, but what about the ones that are (relatively) safe? According to the latest polls, Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco will hold up the best over the next five decades. In a separate study, these were also found to be some of the most eco-friendly cities in the country. Coincidence? We think not. (Futurism)

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3. If you think anxiety is all in your head, you're probably wrong.

If you're experiencing stomach pains, immediate fullness when you try to eat, or dizzy spells, consider this: Your extreme physical symptoms could be originating from your brain—more specifically, your anxiety. So if your doctor is running a series of tests on you and coming up with nothing, it might be worth suggesting your own diagnosis. (The Cut)

4. This writer has found a way to work full-time while suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

A writer reflects on the difficulties of being part of a workplace while having schizophrenia and the many ways the structure of jobs doesn't allow for mental illness. She's recently found a silver lining, however: working from home to accommodate her mental health needs. Her plight highlights the many ways that, while we've made destigmatization progress, we have a long way to go before truly accommodating mentally ill people. (NYTimes)

5. Pigeons are better multitaskers than humans, study explains.

Scientists compared the mental ability to switch from one task to another, and pigeons were just as fast, and in some cases faster, than human beings. They suspect it's due to the density of neuronal cells in their tiny brains. Bigger isn't always better! (Science Daily)

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6. This "ceremonial" drink is showing promise for treating eating disorders.

A group of Canadian scientists recently published a study in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs showing that the psychedelic drink ayahuasca may be therapeutic for people with eating disorders. It's been used in the past for addictions and is somehow able to help people better regulate their emotions. (PsyPost)

7. New science is forcing researchers to take a closer look at the power of human consciousness.

The brains of patients with otherwise intractable epilepsy sometimes undergo a procedure that surgically severs the left hemisphere from the right. In the Nobel Prize-winning studies of neuroscientists Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga, the left and right hemispheres of patients with "split-brain syndrome" acted independently, suggesting consciousness is a physical attribute. Data from a new study from the University of Amsterdam call this belief into question. While the relationship between the left and right brains of their test patients was significantly altered by severing the corpus callosum, the relationship did not cease to exist. Translation: Human consciousness is more mysterious than ever. (Quartz)

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