Weekend Thoughts - 7.25.15

Image by  Take Back Your Health Conference , courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Image by Take Back Your Health Conference, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. Adam Frank explorers the meaning of the buzzword "mindfulness" and the legitimacy of the health claims that surround mindfulness practices such as reducing stress, lifting depression, and improving overall levels of happiness. Also goes into a discussion about the ramifications of removing the spirituality aspect from one's mindfulness meditation practice.

2. The United States Federal Court has ruled that hanging air fresheners, rosaries, or sporting pro-police stickers on your car is a legitimate reason for cops to pull you over. In my experience, it's best to just abstain from putting any sort of bumper stickers on your car. Ironically, the cop in the deciding case suspected the driver was transporting drugs, and although the driver was not transporting drugs, the officer was able to use civil asset forfeiture to confiscate the cash in the vehicle.

3. The NY Times brings us an article about some scientific research that was done that shows how taking walks in nature can improve our mood. The subjects in the study that took a nature walk showed slight, but meaningful improvements in their mood over a control group that took their walk along a busy highway. The study's method made me chuckle a little bit—of course the people walking through nature are going to be less stressed than those walking next to the highway—but this article is good motivation and a reminder that sometimes it can really help to go take a walk in nature!

4. Construction company VolkerWessels has revealed plans to produce plastic roads that are improved over current asphalt roads. In addition to reusing otherwise-discarded materials, the plastic roads would last three times longer and withstand greater temperature ranges. In addition, due to their hollow nature, they can contain cabling within them, which is pretty neat. This is still in prototype phase, but it is interesting and you should check it out!

5. As a fan of reading, I enjoyed Lifehack's 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day. From improved focus and concentration to vocabulary expansion to stress reduction and mental stimulation, reading offers a lot of benefits. I would like to take this time to thank you for reading this site—hopefully you are getting some benefit from it, and I appreciate the support!

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.