Summary of “Mental Performance Can Be Hurt By Even Mild Dehydration”

Now there’s evidence that too little water can hurt cognitive performance, too, making complex thinking tasks harder.
A growing body of evidence finds that being just a little dehydrated is tied to a range of subtle effects – from mood changes to muddled thinking.
How long does it take to become mildly dehydrated in the summer heat? Not long at all, studies show, especially when you exercise outdoors.
For an average-size person, 2 percent dehydration equates to sweating out about a liter of water.
“Most people can’t perceive that they’re 1.5 percent dehydrated,” Casa says.
Already there are subtle – maybe even imperceptible – effects on our bodies and our mental performance.
“We did manage to dehydrate them by [about] 1 percent just by telling them not to drink for the day,” says Nina Stachenfeld, of the Yale School of Medicine and the John B. Pierce Laboratory, who led the research.
Dehydration didn’t hamper performance on all the tests; the women’s reaction time, for example, was not impeded.

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Summary of “Walmart stumbles with its ‘last mile’ package delivery plan”

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Standing before an audience of 14,000 people last year, Walmart Inc executives described a radical plan to help it fend off Amazon.com Inc and other online delivery services from stealing its customers.
Walmart quietly retreated from its original vision for the pilot program – launched in New Jersey and Arkansas – and ended it altogether in January, according to company documents obtained by Reuters and interviews with more than two dozen Walmart employees.
The story behind the foundering employee delivery initiative, which has not been reported, offers insight into Walmart’s ongoing attempts to find unconventional ways to close the gap with Amazon in the game of cheap, rapid, doorstep delivery of packages.
Walmart is now testing a more modest service with just four Walmart employees who deliver goods from a single store in Woodstock, Georgia, Reuters has learned.
Globally, Walmart is experimenting with deliveries by motorbike in Mexico and with new small supermarkets in China to make deliveries in 30 minutes or less.
The East Brunswick Walmart paid store associates $2 per package, with participants making three to five total drop-offs during a typical trip within a ten mile radius, participants told Reuters.
To build demand, Walmart will waive the fee for the first delivery order if it is for $50 or more, according to a Walmart promotional pamphlet at the store.
An internal document seen by Reuters provides Walmart delivery workers with a specific new protocol.

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Summary of “3 Public Speaking Tips Inspired by Stand-Up Comedy”

In addition to presenting in my classes, I typically give a talk per week in front of groups.
If you give a bad talk, you worry that the stench of that talk will stick to you for the rest of your life.
Your audience will forget most of your talk soon after you give it.
Once you realize that the downside of speaking is really not so bad, it gets easier to give talks.
Work It Out on the Road. Once you start giving public talks, you’re likely to speak on the same topic several times.
Take advantage of opportunities to give several talks on the same topic.
Your talks should get better over time not only because you are more practiced at giving them but also because you have edited them based on feedback.
In my book Smart Thinking, I talk about the observation that people remember roughly three things about any experience they have.

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Summary of “E-sports leagues are starting to look a lot like the NFL and NBA”

Now, some of the biggest professional e-sports leagues in the world are starting to look a lot like the NBA or NFL. That includes big-money owners, a structured schedule, and things like minimum salaries and other benefits for players.
Even the NBA has launched its own league, partnering with publisher Take-Two on the 17-team NBA 2K League.
By having permanent teams that fans can become attached to and owners can invest in for the long-term, these leagues are hoping to build something that can eventually compete with more established professional sports leagues.
For many of these owners – who reportedly paid a $20 million fee to be part of the league – the familiar structure of a traditional sports league like the NBA was comforting, in large part because the business model is proven, something that’s not true for many e-sports leagues.
If Blizzard can make good on translating the global, inclusive nature of Overwatch to the players in the Overwatch League, it could represent a significant advantage over the traditional sports leagues it’s aiming to compete with.
“It’s a really fascinating case study that a lot of leagues will look to to learn about the idea of regional teams, and building strong brands within cities,” says Hopper.
Last February, game publisher Take-Two announced a partnership with the NBA to launch a new professional league based on NBA 2K, one of the best-selling sports games in the world.
The NBA has long been one of the most forward-thinking sports leagues in North America.

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Summary of “Are Stock Buybacks Starving the Economy?”

The new Roosevelt and NELP research examines public firms in three major but notoriously low-wage industries- food production, retail, and restaurants-weighing buybacks against worker compensation.
The restaurant industry spent 140 percent of profits on buybacks between 2015 and 2017, meaning that it borrowed or dipped into its cash allowances to purchase the shares.
All in all, public companies across the American economy spent roughly three-fifths of their profits on buybacks in the years studied.
“The amount corporations are spending on buybacks is staggering,” Milani said.
How much might workers have benefited, if companies had devoted their financial resources to them rather than shareholders? Lowe’s, CVS, and Home Depot could have provided each of their workers raises of $18,000 a year, the report found.
The report examines the period just before President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut came into effect, leading to an even greater surge of buybacks and thus an even greater surge of new wealth for the owners of capital, as wages have continued to stagnate.
The tax legislation cut both the top marginal corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent-dropping the estimated effective tax rate on profitable businesses to just 9 percent, well below the effective tax rate for households-and encouraged firms to bring money back from overseas.
At a Wall Street Journal CEO confab held last fall, the former Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn asked a room of executives, “If the tax reform bill goes through, do you plan to increase your company’s capital investment? Show of hands.” Most participants sat still, prompting Cohn to ask, “Why aren’t the other hands up?” Surveys showed that corporations were planning to shunt money to shareholders, rather than putting it into research, mergers and acquisitions, equipment upgrades, training programs, or workers’ salaries.

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Summary of “Which Water Is Best For Health? Hint: Don’t Discount The Tap”

Which Water Is Best For Health? Hint: Don’t Discount The Tap : The Salt Scientists weigh in on whether Americans really need to pay for alkalinized, mineralized, or purified water from filters or bottles.
As it turns out, scientists say that most tap water in the U.S. is just as good as the water in bottles or streaming out of a filter.
U.S. tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, which sets safety thresholds for the amount of microorganisms, chemicals and other contaminants in the water.
If you want to investigate the safety of your water further, this tool can show you if your water is in compliance with federal drinking water standards.
Say you live somewhere with safe water and want to run your tap water through a filter before drinking it.
At the end of the day, if you are trying to improve your health, help the planet, and save your wallet, filling up a reusable water bottle with tap water is a good way to start.
Faebian Bastiman, the chief technical officer of the high-tech water filter company Mitte, featured in the video mentioned above, argues that the water delivered to your house only has to legally comply with not having “Significant amounts of bad stuff in it.” He also says municipal governments don’t regulate the pipes inside your house or apartment complex.
The University of Michigan’s Batterman notes that water utilities design and operate their systems to maintain a residual level of disinfectants to be in the water at the tap that should prevent microbial growth or biofilms.

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Summary of “How to Write a Thank You Note for Any Occasion”

After every birthday party, Christmas, or any other occasion where someone had given me a gift, my mom wouldn’t let me rest until I’d written a thank you note to every last person.
Why write a thank you note to begin with? In some cases, the need is obvious.
If you receive a birthday gift you should write a thank you note both to show your gratitude and to let the person know you received their gift.
Do you send your boss a thank you note forgiving you a job? What about your who helped you during their office hours? You can’t spend all your time writing thank you notes, after all.
The type of thank you note you write to a professor who helped you pass Calculus is going to be different from the kind you write to a friend you’ve known since childhood.
To break you out of that paralysis, here’s a format that works for any thank you notes you’ll need to write.
Send the Note ASAP. Now that your note is error-free and polished, send it as soon as you can.
I hope this post has shown you how to write any kind of thank you note you could ever need.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ringer Top 100 TV Episodes: When Do TV Shows Peak?”

We can examine whether the growing pains that Apatow described-and the hypothetical decline that Rogen alluded to-are typical of TV shows on the whole.
TV shows aren’t necessarily subject to the same forces that govern human maturation and mortality, but there is a pattern to their progression and a point at which they typically peak.
To trace the life cycle of the average TV series, we gathered episode-by-episode IMDb user ratings for the nearly 1,500 shows with at least 5,000 votes.
Granted, the quality of a creative endeavor like a TV episode can’t be quantified as easily as an athlete’s exploits: As writer/producer Alec Berg says via direct message, “The very best episodes of an unbelievably innovative show may meet with a thunderous lack of response from an audience. They don’t get it, at all.” In some cases, Berg adds, the audience rating may be less a direct reflection of a show’s merit and more a measurement of when viewers “Start to ‘get’ the show and when they tire of it.”
As it turns out, the conclusions we can draw from the stats align in some ways with what casual TV viewers might expect, as well as what TV creators have told us about the process of producing long-running shows.
To generate our TV aging curves, we filtered out documentaries, any show in the sample with only one season, and all active shows with fewer than five seasons, so as not to skew the trajectories by including series that are still in the early stages of their life cycles.
The average quality for all shows combined is close to the top end of the 1-10 range because the sample is restricted to series that were popular enough to draw the minimum number of votes required to qualify.
“After a season or two, writers on successful shows get plucked with overall deals or a pilot, not unlike a championship team losing players and front-office personnel. Supporting actors that gained traction on a drama get a series commitment on another show and now you can’t use them anymore. New stars get movies and realize they’ve committed themselves to a TV show for seven series and now wish they hadn’t, and on some occasions their performance suffers.” Witness the swoon that The West Wing went into as creator Aaron Sorkin dealt with stress and budget constraints and finally left the series along with colleagues including Falls.

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Summary of “The world’s first “high-tech eco village” will reinvent suburbs”

A half-hour commute from Amsterdam, a piece of farmland is slated to become a new kind of neighborhood.
A “Village OS” tech platform will use AI to simultaneously manage systems for renewable energy, food production, water supply, and waste.
The 50-acre neighborhood, which will be nearly self-sufficient as it collects and stores water and energy, grows food, and processes much of its own waste, was initially planned for construction in 2017.
“We can connect a neighborhood the way it’s supposed to be connected, which is around natural resources,” says James Ehrlich, founder of ReGen Villages.
Electric cars, for example, which will be parked on the perimeter of the neighborhood to keep streets walkable, can store some of the extra power from the neighborhood’s solar panels and other renewable energy.
Because of the expected arrival of self-driving cars in coming years, and to encourage walking and biking, the houses aren’t designed with parking; a new bus line along the edge of the neighborhood, with a dedicated bus lane, can take residents to the town of Almere or into Amsterdam.
A “Living machine,” a system that uses plants and trees to filter sewage, and a separate anaerobic digester, can handle the neighborhood’s sewage and provide irrigation or water reused in energy systems.
The company has plans to build future developments near cities like Lund, Sweden, and Lejre-Hvalso, Denmark, and it ultimately hopes to bring a low-cost version of the neighborhoods to developing countries.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Extreme global weather is ‘the face of climate change’ says leading scientist”

The extreme heatwaves and wildfires wreaking havoc around the globe are “The face of climate change”, one of the world’s leading climate scientists has declared, with the impacts of global warming now “Playing out in real time”.
Climate change has long been predicted to increase extreme weather incidents, and scientists are now confident these predictions are coming true.
“This is the face of climate change,” said Prof Michael Mann, at Penn State University, and one the world’s most eminent climate scientists.
“We literally would not have seen these extremes in the absence of climate change.”
“The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle,” he told the Guardian.
“We can see the fingerprints of climate change on local extremes,” he said.
Prof Mann said that asking if climate change “Causes” specific events is the wrong question: “The relevant question is: ‘Is climate change impacting these events and making them more extreme?’, and we can say with great confidence that it is.”
Serious climate change is “Unfolding before our eyes”, said Prof Rowan Sutton, at the University of Reading.

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