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Why Walking Spurs Creativity and Other Fascinating News on the Web

Apr 30, 2014

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1. Walk and Roll

Want to be more creative today? Strap on some comfortable shoes and take a walk. A new study from Stanford researchers found that a person's creative output can increase by as much as 60% when walking. According to the study's authors: "Many people anecdotally claim they do their best thinking when walking. We finally may be taking a step, or two, toward discovering why." (Walking is fine, but I bet they came up with that line in the shower.)

+ "The president is among a growing number of executives who’d rather walk than sit in a conference room when they want to mull and make important decisions. While certainly not brand new ... walking has become a full-fledged fad among executives."

2. Needle and the Damage Done

"6:39 PM – Inmate tries to talk. Says man and appears to be trying to get up. Doctor checks on inmate. Female prison official says, 'We are going to lower the blinds temporarily.' Prison phone rings. Director of Prisons Robert Patton answers the phone and leaves the room - taking three state officials with him." How Oklahoma botched a an execution (even though Clayton Lockett died 45 minutes later of a heart attack) and how it affects the death penalty debate.

+ The Daily Beast: "Regrettably, Lockett’s gruesome death was far from extraordinary.

+ Yesterday, I linked to a few very interesting pieces about the death penalty, including one on the dark figure, the number of innocent people on death row.

3. Heard That One Before

The views expressed in the now infamous recordings of banned LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling may have been upsetting and offensive, but for many Americans, they also sounded pretty familiar. A fifth of Americans say they would not want a close relative marrying a black person, and a third say blacks shouldn't push themselves where they're not wanted. The NYT shares the numbers.

+ FIveThirtyEight: Three Leagues, 92 Teams And One Black Principal Owner.

+ Could Oprah be part of a group that buys the Clippers?

4. Nigerian Nightmare

"The kidnapped girls were both Christian and Muslim; their only offense, it seems, was attending school." The New Yorker's Alexis Okeowo on Nigeria's more than 200 stolen girls.

+ "We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls. They said there had been mass marriages and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants."

5. The Return of the Sting

"Get ready to crawl into a hole, forever: Gonorrhea, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia are just some of the infectious diseases that are becoming resistant to antibiotics." According to The World Heath Organization, we are entering the post-antibiotic era.

+ NYT: Why do dangerous supplements linger on store shelves? (And how did they get there in the first place?)

+ "Then, like a switch went on, I went from being anxious to analyzing my anxiety from the outside. I realized that nothing was actually happening to me objectively. It was real because I let it become real. And, right when I had that thought, I saw a cloud of black smoke come out of my body and float away." From The Atlantic: Prescribing Mushrooms for Anxiety.

6. The Narcs

"Getting enough sleep is key to living a happy, healthy life; a person can exist longer without food than without sleep. Yet it’s the first thing we sacrifice to get our jobs done. Sixty-five percent of Americans are sleep-deprived." Aleks Mencel shares the stories of five people who struggle to sleep in NYC, the city that never does. (Every city that has Internet access is now the city that never sleeps.)

7. Across the Line

"The work speed is so unrelenting that it has forced workers to urinate and defecate in their clothing while working." You don't want to work the line at a factory-scale poultry slaughterhouse.

8. Wrestling with the Plot

"They don't have time to write out and rehearse every body slam, clothesline, and Irish whip. In some cases, the two wrestlers will know who's supposed to win, how long the match is supposed to take, and then plan out with their opponent the sequence of three or four moves that will make the finishing montage, ending with the pin (1-2-3), the count-out, the disqualification, or general mayhem." From Marc Ambinder: Here's what a pro wrestling script looks like.

9. Minecraft University?

"It’s an implicit way for them to develop self-regulation skills that then transfer to offline spaces -- through having this freedom to create on Minecraft, they learn how to identify and work towards offline goals like finishing class assignments or graduating from college later in life. Playing Minecraft teaches kids useful skills." I'm pretty sure my seven year-old son ghost wrote this article about Minecraft.

+ Kindergarten show canceled so kids can keep studying to become 'college and career ready.' (You laugh, but in the Bay Area, being in Kindergarten means being about three years away from selling your first software company...)

10. The Bottom of the News

At long last, here are ten handy phrases for bluffing on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. (NextDraft will help you bluff on everything else.)

+ Twelve obvious things confirmed by science. (Yes, meetings suck.)

+ If you are a pet and you want more pampering, these are the places where you should move.

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