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September 2, 2022

Weekend reads: Why you shouldn't be afraid to share hard truths

Daily Briefing

    The backlash to pumpkin spice lattes, the rise of smart clothing, and more.

    Allie Rudin's reads

    Will your dog get dementia? A new study enrolling over 15,000 dogs is shedding light on canine cognitive dysfunction, also known as "doggy dementia" and often considered the dog counterpart to Alzheimer's disease. A key finding of the large study, part of ongoing investigation the Dog Aging Project, reveals that many of the risk factors for cognitive dysfunction may mirror that of their human companions and dementia, Jan Hoffman explains for the New York Times. For example, factors that increased the odds of dogs having the disease included exercise level, age, and neurological disorders like impaired hearing or sight.

    Pumpkin spice lattes—and the backlash, and the backlash to the backlash. In 2003, Starbucks released the game-changing pumpkin spice latte (PSL), a beverage about which everyone seems to have an opinion. And as of Tuesday, it's back! Writing for Vox's "The Goods," Rebecca Jennings traces the origin of the PSL and its changing cultural roles from social media hashtag to internet thinkpiece subject. Whether the orange-hued, sugary drink and the controversy around it is really about capitalism, classism, sexism, or nothing at all, one thing is certain: Starbucks will still sell a lot of it this year.

    Lex Ashcroft’s reads

    Robotic pants? Smart clothing is coming, slowly but surely. In labs around the world, scientists and designers are working together to develop and advance clothing that can help keep people healthy, using robotic technology. Researchers believe in the next decade consumers will be able to buy apparel that can promote good blood flow, track heart rates, improve posture, and even help people stand up. Writing for the Washington Post, Pranshu Verma describes how technology is being used to develop different types of smart clothing, and the challenges researchers are being faced with in its production.

    Sharing hard truths may be uncomfortable, but it’s a surer route to happiness. There are many logical reasons to not always say what you think, especially when it can lead to professional or social consequences. While telling a white lie to avoid conflict or an awkward interaction may make life easier in that moment, it won’t necessarily make you happier. Writing for The Atlantic, Jan Buchczik explains three ways to make sure your honesty improves your life: seek and accept honesty (be able to dish it out and take it), offer truth to heal (not harm), and make the truth appealing (reframe as needed).

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