What you need to know about the forces reshaping our industry.


December 3, 2021

Weekend reads: How our hobbies became work

Daily Briefing

    Does exercise have an impact on appetite; the potential future of plant poison control; and more.

    Vivian Le's reads

    How our hobbies became work. The pandemic has helped bolster the rise of the "attention economy," which encourages efficiency and productivity in all activities, including hobbies. Instead of just watching their favorite shows, some people are now taking detailed notes, making spreadsheets, and even running statistical analyses about what will or won't happen. Writing for The Atlantic, Shirley Li explains why some people have begun optimizing their hobbies and whether this could help stave off burnout—or make it even worse.

    The potential future of plant poison control.  When your pet or child eats an unknown plant or fungi in the wild, it can be nerve-wracking trying to figure out whether it was toxic, especially over the phone to poison control, which may take hours to make an identification. A fast-growing Facebook group, "Poisons Help; Emergency Identification for Mushroom & Plants," is now helping with that, crowdsourcing quick identifications of unknown plants and assessing their poison risk for people in need of help. Writing for Vox, Chia-Yi Hou describes the rigorous work of this global community of experts and enthusiasts and how their efforts may change the way plant poison control operates.

    Alyssa Nystrom's reads

    Sea lions are back on the coasts of New Zealand. After being hunted for hundreds of years, sea lions have made an unexpected return to the New Zealand coasts. Writing for the New York Times, Charlotte Graham-McLay explains how New Zealanders can share their coasts as the sea lion population continues to grow.

    Does exercise have an impact on appetite? A new study suggests that exercise may not help people eat less or lose more weight. Writing for the New York Times, Gretchen Reynolds explores some of the unexpected and contradictory ways exercise can affect weight and hunger.

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