GOOD
via Anadirc / Flickr

We spend roughly one-third of our life asleep, another third at work and the final third trying our best to have a little fun.

But is that the correct balance? Should we spend as much time at the office as we do with our friends and family? One of the greatest regrets people have on their deathbeds is that they spent too much of their time instead of enjoying quality time with friends and family.

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom have made a significant pledge to reevaluate the work-life balance in their country.

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Lifestyle

Innovative Japanese Preschool is Built to Encourage Puddle-Jumping

Creative architecture helps create a space where children feel free to play, and learn, at the exact same time.

image via (cc) flickr user sixybeast

As a small child, I was absolutely petrified of thunderstorms. I can’t quite pinpoint what exactly caused my phobia, but whenever a bad storm would roll through town, the first rumble of thunder would send me scrambling under the bed, fingers stuffed firmly in my ears, to wait until things settled down. But as much as I may have been afraid of the thunder and lightning itself, I loved what usually came next. As a “reward” for making it through the storm, my parents would coax me out from my hiding spot, take me outside, and let me loose for a few glorious minutes of uninterrupted, adult-sanctioned, puddle jumping. For me, as scary as the storm may have been, running free to stomp, tromp, and splash my way from puddle to puddle was well worth the fright.

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Why Robots Are the Future of Elder Care

From electronic monitors to mechanized bears, robots are increasingly becoming a part of everyday life for the world’s aging population.

Illustration by Tom Eichacker

It’s no secret that Japan is facing severe socio-economic pressures due to its aging, shrinking population. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the field of elder care. Many in the nation are aging out of their working years, without enough children born to replace them in the workforce. This means elder care will require an increasing amount of resources and workers out of a progressively smaller total pool. As of 2012, 22 percent of Japan was already over 65 and by 2060 the government expects the population to shrink from 127 million people to 87 million, as the over-65 demographic grows to almost 40 percent of the nation. In 2010, Japan already had 30 million elderly and infirm individuals in care facilities, but had substantially fewer than the projected 2 million caregivers needed to look after them—and turnover amongst those employees was already 17 percent per year.

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Artist Mariko Mori Uncovers Parallel Universes With New Show

One of the biggest art stars in Japan brings her intergalactic sculptures to NYC’s Sean Kelly Gallery.

Photograph by David Sims. Courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery.

Though you might not have heard her name, in her home country of Japan 48-year-old polyglot artist Mariko Mori is a superstar. Her pieces, spanning from video, to film, to sculpture, seem like missives from the future, juxtaposing a Sci-Fi sleekness with a deep humanity that in some works, like her Rebirth series, can border on animism. Since her formal introduction to the western art world two decades ago, Mori has shown at the Brooklyn Museum, the MCA Chicago, and the Serpentine Gallery (among many others), and is now currently exhibiting at the Sean Kelly Gallery in NYC. The exhibit, Cyclicscape, which we had the pleasure of walking through with Mori late last week, is a stunning paean to humanity’s intrinsic ties with nature, modern spirituality, and the ways the environment and technology dance through our lives.

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Japan’s Underemployed are Forced to Live in Internet Cafes

Japan’s internet cafe refugees are a symptom of a larger labor issue.

A new documentary is shining a light on Japan’s “internet cafe refugees.” Since the late 1990s, underemployed workers with no means to secure housing have been choosing to live in these close, tight, ephemeral spaces. The phenomenon is a symptom of many larger issues with the country’s labor culture and laws.

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This Japanese Robot Will Dispense Whole Tomatoes Into Your Mouth While You Run

An 18 pound humanoid robot that perches on the shoulders of runners and feeds them.

Japanese ketchup company Kagome is trying to make tomatoes the next “it” thing for distance runners. This past weekend at the Tokyo Marathon, the company, in conjunction with kooky design firm Maywa Denki, debuted Tomatan, an 18 pound humanoid robot that perches on the shoulders of runners and feeds them whole tomatoes as they go.

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