Designing Buildings That Battle Obesity

A new handbook produced by New York's design and construction department sets out guidelines for creating buildings that encourage activity.

We talk a lot about designing greener buildings, but how about designing healthier buildings? The NYC Department of Design and Construction has been hard at work establishing guidelines for the relationship between public health and public space. A new handbook they've published, Active Design Guidelines, is focused on not only the green-design principles outlined by LEED certification but also "active design," constructing areas that encourage things like physical activity and interactive play.

Designed by Luke Hayman and Shigeto Akiyama of the New York firm Pentagram, the handbook is a spiral-bound binder that's easy to read at your desk or take into the field. The book is divided into two sections, urban design and building design, and also offers commentary on LEED and New York's impressive sustainability plan, plaNYC. Large photos of enticing spaces and urban environments include lots of open space, bike parking, and gardens—all located within New York city limits. The book is available for purchase as a hard copy but perhaps best of all, it can also be downloaded for free as a PDF.

It's incredible to see how decisions designers make within a space—even little things, like the placement of stairs—can make a huge difference to the well-being of the people who use it. Active Design Guidelines helps make these invisible benefits visible, and anyone who reads this will begin to notice where improvements can be made to the city all around you.

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

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Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

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A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

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