Welcome to our weekly editors’ round-up, featuring the week’s news, inspiration, and big ideas for body, mind, and spirit. This week: How one simple chore can lead to increased happiness, the reason behind disappearing bees, why dirt in your diet is actually a good thing, plus, sculpture meets the sea...
The Simplest Practice for Happiness
Seeking a more peaceful, productive, happy life? Start by making your bed. In this post over at ApartmentTherapy
, writer Jackie Ashton explains how the simple act of making your bed can inspire other positive changes in your life, because it is a “keystone habit”—a routine or practice that, once ingrained, cultivates other good habits. What other keystone habits can you identify in your life, where you can make simple, positive change? Read more on keystone habits, and hear from experts on habits and happiness, over at apartmenttherapy.com
Eat More Dirt
The old farmer adage, often used when biting into a piece of grit in a fresh salad, is “God made dirt, and dirt don’t hurt”—and the saying might be truer than ever these days. A recent New York Times op-ed piece
examines the link between modern cleanliness—from hand sanitizers to distilled water—and the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders such as Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and more. The reason? Before we became a hyper-clean society, all those germs actually strengthened and primed our immune systems. From NYT.com:
As nature’s blanket, the potentially pathogenic and benign microorganisms associated with the dirt that once covered every aspect of our preindustrial day guaranteed a time-honored co-evolutionary process that established “normal” background levels and kept our bodies from overreacting to foreign bodies.
Read more, and find out how the rise in farmers markets might help heal us, over at nyt.com
The Real Bee Killer
Scientists believe they have finally solved the mystery behind the recent rise in Colony Collapse Disorder, the mysterious phenomenon in which honey bees abruptly disappear. Since 2006, CCD has been of growing concern, as the economic and ecological impact of losing millions of honey bees would be devastating. But now, according to a recent study from Harvard School of Public Health
, researchers have the culprit: imidacloprid, a common agricultural pesticide. The sad irony is that the bees are exposed to this pesticide not just through the nectar of pesticide-sprayed plants, but also through the high-fructose corn syrup that bee keepers often feed their bees. More at sciencedaily.com
One for the Road
We were spellbound this week by these incredible, ethereal images
featuring the work of Jason deCaires Taylor
, an artist who plants sculptures along seabeds to create surreal, thriving artificial reefs. Taylor designs the installations to harbor marine life—a sculpture of a car is outfitted with holes for fish to swim through, for instance—and photographs them over a period ranging between months and years to capture the evolution of the ecosystems that slowly develop there. More at thisiscolossal.com