When it comes to innovation, follow the bouncing ball
There's a tendency in certain circles to think of creativity and innovation as something that can be artificially created by introducing all kinds of cool-looking toys and doodads into the office. It all started with foosball tables, lava lamps and scooters in Silicon Valley, but now it looks like "staid employers" are also embracing some of these toys and gimmicks. As the Wall Street Journal explains, the latest creativity fad is the use of exercise balls instead of chairs in the office. (Yep, big, round bouncing balls that sell for less than $25!) Apparently, those annoying rubber balls that were such a big hit in the gym are now finding their way into the office:
People have searched for the perfect office chair for decades,
one comfortable, adjustable and easy on the back. Now some professionals are
abandoning chairs altogether -- in favor of parking their hind quarters on a
giant rubber ball.
Long used by fitness buffs and physical-therapy patients, those
big spheres you see at the gym (commonly known as exercise balls) are rolling
into an increasing number of workplaces as a seating option.
Google, a company that prides itself on its unconventional office
culture, displays several balls on its campus in a recruitment video available
online. But more-staid employers, including
BMW AG and Bain & Co., the international consulting firm, are allowing
employees to bring in balls or ball chairs for personal use as well.
Manufacturers and distributors report that sales of the balls are up sharply.
They even made an appearance on the TV show "The Office," when one character,
irritated by the incessant bouncing, stabs a colleague's ball.
Employees claim that these rubber balls are more comfortable than regular chairs, that they promote better posture and that they make them feel younger and more creative. As one Connecticut-based HR manager points out, "It kind of reminded me of when I was a kid..." (Maybe this is what she had in mind?) Call me small-minded, but I'm perfectly happy with the latest from Herman Miller.
From computer hacking to biohacking, Dave Asprey has embarked on a quest to reverse the aging process.
- As a teenager, founder of Bulletproof, Dave Asprey, began experiencing health issues that typically plague older adults.
- After surrounding himself with anti-aging researchers and scientists, he discovered the tools of biohacking could dramatically change his life and improve his health.
- He's now confident he'll live to at least 180 years old. "It turns out that those tools that make older people young make younger people kick ass," he says.
French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
- The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
- French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
- Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
A new study estimated the untapped potential of wind energy across Europe.
- A new report calculated how much electricity Europe could generate if it built onshore wind farms on all of its exploitable land.
- The results indicated that European onshore wind farms could supply the whole world with electricity from now until 2050.
- Wind farms come with a few complications, but the researchers noted that their study was meant to highlight the untapped potential of the renewable energy source in Europe.