November 15, 2019

Weekend reads: Do you text while walking? You might want to read this.

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    How to stop texting while walking. Texting while walking, also known as "twalking," is more dangerous than you might think, Brian Chen writes for the New York Times. Chen explains that while there's only limited data on the dangers of distracted walking, recent federal data showing that overall pedestrian deaths in 2018 hit their highest levels since 1990 certainly suggests that "being fixated on a screen while walking can't be safe." But how do you stop yourself from habitually checking your phone while you're walking? According to Melanie Greenberg, a clinical psychologist, you should ask yourself four questions when you reach for your phone: Whether checking your phone is the most important thing you should be doing at that moment, whether you're actively controlling your destiny or letting technology control it for you, whether your posture is healthy or harmful, and, lastly, whether checking your phone will cause yourself harm. Chen also lists other recommendations, such as making your phone more difficult to reach by stashing it in your purse, looking at your phone only when you've stopped walking and are standing in a safe spot, or even using your phone's "do not disturb" function to temporarily limit notifications.

    Meet Narwhal, the puppy with a tail on his face. All things considered, Narwhal is an average puppy, but with one exception: He has a second tail sprouting out of his forehead. His condition has some calling him a "unicorn" puppy. According to the dog's veterinarian, the tail on its head doesn't have bones inside, unlike normal dog tails, which means the head tail can't wag. Narwhal's vet said that the growth isn't likely to affect the quality of the dog's life. "This puppy could not be happier," the vet said.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    Three lost cows reappear after hurricane. Most visitors get to the barrier islands in North Carolina's Outer Banks by boat, but park officials last month found three "bedraggled-looking cows" on the shores of the Cape Lookout National Shore, who likely got there a different way, Antonia Noori Farzan reports for the Washington Post. B.G. Horvat, the spokesperson for the park, said that while no one knows for sure how the cows arrived there, he imagines "the cows certainly have a gripping story to share." Horvat believes that the cows were part of a herd of "feral 'sea cows'" living on the nearby Cedar Island, who after being swept out to sea by Hurricane Dorian in September probably swam at least four miles to the islands.  A lot of wild horses and cows died during the storm, but these cows got lucky, according to Horvat. "They all 3 look healthy and well," a Facebook user wrote on a page dedicated to wild horses on Cedar Island.

    Paralyzed army veteran finishes the New York City marathon—with a robotic exoskeleton. Former Army sergeant and Vietnam veteran Terry Hannigan Vereline last week made history at the New York City marathon by becoming the first person to finish the marathon with a robotic exoskeleton. Vereline, who is paralyzed, completed the marathon by walking 26.2 miles over three days. Vereline first got her robotic exoskeleton five years ago, learning to walk on her own with the device after just a month of training sessions. When she crossed the finish line at the marathon, Vereline said she felt "ecstatic. I was doing something I never thought I would be able to do." Vereline hopes that more people who are paralyzed will have the same opportunity she had. "Hopefully, someday, we'll have more devices like this to get people up and moving around," she said. "Especially the kids."

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