Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Does Your Neighborhood Have Enough Trees?

Why you might want to find ways to get more greenery onto your block.

Who doesn’t like a stroll through the park after a long day or on a weekend morning just after breakfast? It seems that humans have been attracted to greenery since the beginning of time. But trees in your neighborhood aren’t just pretty to look at. They’re also a critical part of your mental and physical health.


A longitudinal study of certain nurses found that those who lived in areas with more greenery lived longer than those who did not. The differences are thought to be related to improved mental health, social engagement, physical activity, and air quality, all of which are byproducts of living closer to green spaces. Researchers were most surprised that the mental health impacts of living near trees could have such a large impact on physical health in the long run.

Another impact of living among greenery is that it helps to avoid the “heat island” effect that comes from too many man-made structures and not enough plants. Trees help reflect sunlight, or evaporate water with the energy, which causes cooling. Dark buildings, on the other hand, absorb heat, which increases energy costs and related greenhouse gas emissions.

Do you have enough trees around? Take a look outside and think about how long it takes you on a daily basis to access greenery. You might want to consider finding or starting an organization that plants trees in residential areas. Take the San Francisco-based group Friends of the Urban Forest for example. The organization makes it easier for local citizens to identify places where trees could be put in, and even pays for some of the cost.

We might not all have access to such an organization, but we can be better-informed about our immediate environment and the impacts it may have on us. And maybe one day we’ll all live in the midst of a sufficient amount of trees.


Image: Flickr

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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Climate change melts Mount Everest's ice, exposing dead bodies of past climbers

Melting ice is turning up bodies on Mt. Everest. This isn't as shocking as you'd think.

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Surprising Science
  • Mt. Everest is the final resting place of about 200 climbers who never made it down.
  • Recent glacial melting, caused by climate change, has made many of the bodies previously hidden by ice and snow visible again.
  • While many bodies are quite visible and well known, others are renowned for being lost for decades.
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Creativity: The science behind the madness

Human brains evolved for creativity. We just have to learn how to access it.

Creativity: The science behind the madness | Rainn Wilson, David Eagleman, Scott ...
Videos
  • An all-star cast of Big Thinkers—actors Rainn Wilson and Ethan Hawke; composer Anthony Brandt; neuroscientists David Eagleman, Wendy Suzuki, and Beau Lotto; and psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman—share how they define creativity and explain how our brains uniquely evolved for the phenomenon.
  • According to Eagleman, during evolution there was an increase in space between our brain's input and output that allows information more time to percolate. We also grew a larger prefrontal cortex which "allows us to simulate what ifs, to separate ourselves from our location in space and time and think about possibilities."
  • Scott Barry Kaufman details 3 brain networks involved in creative thinking, and Wendy Suzuki busts the famous left-brain, right-brain myth.

New study explores how to navigate 'desire discrepancies' in long term relationships

With the most common form of female sexual dysfunction impacting 1 in 10 women, this important study dives into how to keep a relationship going despite having different needs and wants in the bedroom.

NDAB Creativity / Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • A new study highlights the difficulties faced by women who struggle with decreased sexual desire, and explains how to navigate desire discrepancies in long-term relationships.
  • Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is one of the most common forms of female sexual dysfunction, impacting an estimated 1 in 10 women.
  • Finding other ways to promote intimacy in your relationship is one of the keys to ensuring happiness on both sides.
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