Running: Now Even Healthier

Today, Tara-Parker Pope of the New York Times "Well" blog reports on a flurry of studies suggesting that, contrary to popular opinion, running may in fact be good for your knees. Not only does the repetitive strain have little ill effects, but it can also prevent the arthritis associated with other impact sports. The reason for this is, because running involves constant repetitions of the same movement, the knee’s cartilage becomes accustomed to the motion and creates a “groove” that is resistant to injury. The only danger to this biological trick is that another injury may slightly realign the stride, leading the knee away from the groove and towards arthritis.

Author Christopher McDougall agrees that running is a natural, healthy movement programmed into humans by evolution. In fact, he suggests that the major evil pulling runners away from their natural strides and towards injury is running shoes. The solution? Run barefoot.

In his bestseller Born to Run, McDougall makes the case that humans have been programmed to be runners since the evolutionary days of persistence hunts, and that jogging is not only a healthy lifestyle choice, but a path to enlightenment. Following in the footsteps of our ancestors and running barefoot gets a host of extra muscles, like the toes, involved in running, and they align the stride in such a consistent manner that injury can become a thing of the past.  But don't throw the sneakers away just yet.  If your knees have adjusted to heavily cushioned shoes, graduating out of them can be a tricky process, and doctors advise you take it slow.

Though they likely don’t run barefoot, two Big Thinkers swear by their daily jogs:  Newark mayor Cory Booker and foreign policy journalist Ronen Bergman.

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
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Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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