August 11, 2017

Weekend reads: Stricken with cancer, author goes on the record to answer questions about death

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Death is 'the hardest thing I have ever done.' As her cancer worsened, Australian novelist Cory Taylor went on the record with her answers to some of the most commen questions people have about death and the process of dying. Writing in the New Yorker, Taylor shares her answers—unchanged, she says, since she first was diagnosed in 2005—including her thoughts on "assisted dying" (an option she wished she had), her sense of fear ("I'm scared, but not all the time"), and what she'll miss in death (her husband, her children, "the world and everything in it"—but not the process of dying itself, which she calls "by far the hardest thing I have ever done"). Taylor passed away on July 5, 2017.

    Your tap water could be causing your skin problems. Good hydration is key to healthy, glowing skin, according to aestheticians—but a small group of medical experts warn that using tap water to wash your face, could "be the root cause of some of your peskiest beauty problems," Megan McIntyre writes for Racked.  For instance, according to Dennis Gross, a dermatologist in New York City, tap water often contains "heavy metals"—such as copper, iron, lead, magnesium, and zinc—that can generate "free radicals" on your skin, destroying collagen, causing wrinkles, spurring inflammation, and exacerbating skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. While McIntyre says more research is needed, experts currently recommend people use micellar water instead—a no-rinse makeup remover—or use products that have a lot of antioxidants.

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    The nouveau prune. The once-frumpy prune has become chic, Mark Glover reports for the Sacramento Bee. It's no secret that the fruit's high fiber content makes the prune a natural laxative—and a target for comedians. However, the prune's image as a staple for seniors is starting to change. Dane Lance, president of Sunsweet Growers, cited market studies showing that the company is "getting much more traction in the 15 to 25 age group." The individually wrapped "Sunsweet Ones," with one 100 calories per serving, are popular among consumers 25 to 35, Glover reports.

    A place to go and break things. So-called "anger rooms" where people can go to destroy things recreationally "are all the rage," with one Manhattan outfit, the Wrecking Club, seeing nearly 1,500 customers since March, Penelope Green reports for the New York Times. At the Wrecking Club, customers pay $30 to spend 30 minutes using a bat and a crowbar to destroy objects such as a televisions, computer monitors, and dishes. According to Tom Daly, the Wrecking Club's proprietor, visitors come "to work something out" or just "to have some fun." Daly noted that customers are "a little timid" initially, but then, "after the first hit, they go crazy." Other "anger rooms" include the Rage Room, with several locations throughout the world, and the Anger Room, in Dallas. 

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