What I learned this week, August 18, 2021

Carnival Valor, Caribbean Sea

Sit all day for work? A simple step can cut your health risk

Take a work break: A small, new study suggests that getting out of your chair every half hour may help improve your blood sugar levels and your overall health.

Striding Figure (RomeI), Thomas Houseago, ydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

How to Adopt the Japanese Approach to Accepting Life’s Challenges, “Ukeireru”

Experts explain how the concept may help you overcome almost anything.

Escaping the Efficiency Trap—and Finding Some Peace of Mind

The more productive we are, the more pressure we feel. It’s time to break the busyness cycle.

Car fire just north of downtown, Dallas.

Here Are the Urban Highways That Deserve to Die

The Congress for New Urbanism once again ranks the most-loathed urban freeways in North America—and makes the case for tearing them down.

Freeways Without Futures

The Organizing Method That’s Gearing Up to Replace KonMari

First there was Marie Kondo, who asked us to only keep things that sparked joy. Then came The Home Edit’s Clea and Joanna, who made arranging our books by color and shopping our pantries officially a thing. So what’s next? Get ready to organize from the inside out.  

Highway 75 at Sunset (click to enlarge)

Mathematicians have solved traffic jams, and they’re begging cities to listen

Most traffic jams are unnecessary, and this deeply irks mathematicians who specialize in traffic flow. They reserve particular vitriol for local transport engineers. “They do not have competencies in the field of system-related increases in traffic performance,” says Alexander Krylatov, a mathematics professor at St. Petersburg University. “If engineers manage to achieve local improvements, after a while the flows rearrange and the same traffic jams appear in other places.” Burn!

What the science actually says about weighted blankets

The concept of a weighted blanket is pretty self-explanatory. They’re blankets stuffed with pellets—usually made of glass or a plastic like polyethylene—and can weigh as much as 25 pounds. You can readily find one online for around $150, though they’re simple enough to make that you can find plenty of DIY guides for making your own at a fraction of that price.