Daily Briefing

Weekend reads: How can you make travel easier on your body?


How "dementia villages" work, whether turning the A/C off when you're not home actually saves money, and more.

Allie Rudin's reads

Spiders are just one victim of a global web of misinformation. No, they aren't insects—and no, that probably wasn't a black widow bite. Arachnologists are tired of our small, eight-legged friends being misunderstood, and a recent study explores how inaccurate and sensationalist news stories encourage a fearsome (and unearned) reputation. Writing for the New York Times' "Trilobites," Oliver Whang breaks down what researchers learned about the prevalence and spread of spider misinformation in the news, as well as the findings' implications for the information ecosystem at large.

How "dementia villages" work. In a Dutch city outside of Amsterdam, 180 residents with severe dementia are living in a new kind of care facility that looks more like a miniature town than a nursing home. Nicknamed "dementia villages," this style of facility eschews staff uniforms and cafeterias in favor of grocery stores and outdoor spaces. Christophe Haubursin explains for Vox's "Design" video series how this growing concept aims to maximize residents' quality of life by centering freedom in its design. Watch the video to get a peek inside the facility and learn about what could become a more humane approach to dementia care.

Lex Ashcroft’s reads

How can you make travel easier on your body? Preparing for a vacation is a task by itself, with travel approaching pre-pandemic levels this summer. What many people don’t prepare for is the physical toll that travel often takes on the body. Making movements or patterns your body hasn’t been trained for can result in pain and even injury. Writing for The New York Times, Melinda Moyers offers tips to prevent such risks, including: packing lightly, using roller bags and neck pillows, stretching often, keeping books and tablets at eye level to prevent strain, and making adjustments for physical limitations.

Does turning the A/C off when you’re not home actually save energy?  Most people have heard of the recommendation to completely turn off central air when not at home, in an attempt to save energy and money. But does it really work? A team of building system engineers (and authors of this article) ran simulated models to find out. Writing for The Conversation, Aisling Pigott et.al outline the process of determining the most efficient method, which will vary based on the following factors: climate type, insulation level, type of A/C technology used, and the temperature setback, or length of time.

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