Things Are Good: Kids are Really Good at Detecting Bullshit

Parents already know this. Kids are really good when it comes to detecting bullshit health claims according to a new study on health. Kids were asked if certain health claims are true or not and the kids were remarkable good at deciphering bogus claims when they thought about it. The bullshit being referred to here ...

Things Are Good: A Bold, Bodacious Beard Club

Beards are wonderful. I say this not has a biased individual who has a beard, but has a person who understands that beards are more than they seem. In the province of Newfoundland there is a beard club that spends their time making the world a better place. The best part of beard club is ...

Things Are Good: Treepedia Lets Cities See Where Trees are Needed

Treepedia is a new tool from MIT that uses Google street view to asses what the coverage of trees are in specific areas. It lets you know what your neighbourhood is like and doesn’t just bias cities with big inaccessible parks. This means that cities (and people!) can use this tool to find where trees ...

Things Are Good: Practicing Meditation Changes Your Brain and Sense of Self

Achieving mindfulness through mediation can help you relax and even assist you in achieving a more fulfilling life. Recent fMRI studies have shown that this can be proven by looking at the brain itself; indeed, structures inside your brain tend to alter based on how much meditation one does! This is really neat stuff because ...

Things Are Good: 6 Hour Workdays Work Fine

The eight hour work week that has become standard in the developed world is a result of the industrial revolution and the efforts of unions for reasonable working conditions (without unions who knows how long the workday would be!). Today the long workday doesn’t seem to be justified though. In Sweden a municipal government experimented ...

Things Are Good: Teen Substance Abuse Decreases When They Have Fun

Being a teenager is hard with all the chaos that is finding one’s identity and dealing with the incoming stresses of life. In many places around the world, teens react to these pressures by using illicit substances or otherwise “misbehaving”. Iceland was having a huge problem with teens drinking and smoking throughout the 90s, then ...

Things Are Good: Work for Your Future Self

If you have trouble motivating yourself to start a new project or change something about yourself, change your perspective from now to the future. By thinking about what will benefit your future self you’ll be able to gain the motivation to act today instead of tomorrow. The best time to reshape your thinking is, of ...

Things Are Good: Being a Lazy Vegan is Easy

A vegetarian diet is simple: stop eating meat. A vegan diet is also simple: don’t consume any animal products. In practice, these diets can be seen as difficult for people because of the culture surrounding them. Vegans can be seen as aggressive in their opinions, but that’s a vocal minority. Most vegans are cool with ...

Things Are Good: Caring People Have More Sex

It turns out that nice guys do get the girl (but not these nice guys), and nice girls too! Altruism has been linked to more sexual partners and better relationships. There is a growing body of research that connects people who are emphatic are good partners to have in life. Over at Scientific American they ...

Things Are Good: Slavoj Zizeck on the Ethics of Consumption

Slavoj Zizeck is a modern thinker that has done a great job of critiquing the overarching assumptions in our society when it comes to power dynamics and the insidiousness of neoliberalism. In the video above his views on capitalistic consumption are summed up rather nicely. It’s worth the ten minute coffee break to watch it. ...

Things Are Good: Teenage Pregnancy Rates Plummet Thanks to Birth Control

Just over a decade ago the documentary The Education of Shelby Knox looked at how pathetically backwards sex education is in the USA. Thanks to documentaries and compounding evidence that asbstinance-only education has no impact on teen pregnancy rates (it does increase STI/STD rates though!) sex education is no different. The USA is catching up ...

Things Are Good: 30 Minutes in Your Local Park is Perfect

Urban parks are great and now some Aussie researchers have found another reason to create more of them: it’s really good for your health. We’ve known for years that spending time in nature is good for people but his research augments that knowledge with a timeframe. It takes only 30 minutes of being in an ...

Things Are Good: Hitting Children Doesn’t Help

We now have solid evidence that spanking is more harmful than good for children. In the largest study of its kind researches have found that children who were spanked displayed more adverse socialization than others. They also conclude that spanking does not improve the behaviour of children when they are hit or afterwards. Spanking is ...

Things Are Good: Studies Reveal Vegetarians Are Intelligent And Empathetic

Good news for vegetarians! If you’re a vegetarian then you’re probably smarter than the average person according to some research. It turns out that people who opt for a meat free diet tend to be better able to confront the reality of the modern diet (which is that we don’t need to kill animals to ...

Things Are Good: Be Happy With What You Have

It’s often thought that if one had more money they would be happier, bills would be easy to pay and work would be less stressful. It turns out that that is not the case. Once one has their basic needs met the more they earn the less of an impact it has on their happiness. ...

Things Are Good: Shower Once a Week

In the developed world people tend to use more water than they should, in fact water consumption in many nations have done irreparable damage. Canadians are really bad at water conservation and we have a lot to learn from other places in how we regulate our water usage. Governments can only do so much with ...

Things Are Good: Healthy People Don’t Diet, They Listen

Diet fads come and go, but there is one diet that will always work: listen to your body. If you feel like you’ve had enough then stop eating, and if you feel like you should have more lettuce then go get some! New research confirms old knowledge that people with a healthy weight do monitor ...

Things Are Good: Be Conscious How Social Media Impacts Your Mental Health

Last year a study was released that identified Facebook as a contributor to people’s depression, it’s likely that other forms of social media do the same. Researchers are finding that if you use social media and compare yourself to what you see posted there will indeed make you feel worse; however, if you use social ...

Things Are Good: Pub Proximity Produces Pleasure

How close you live to a pub impacts your happiness, the closer you are the happier you’ll be! Oxford University and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) released the study proving this fun bit of knowledge last week. CAMRA is all about keeping British pub culture alive and strong bro people keep drinking beer, which ...

Things Are Good: Lessons on Happiness From the Happiest Man Alive

What’s the key to happiness? Not thinking about yourself. Matthieu Ricard is a Tibetan Buddhist monk who has been deemed the world’s happiest man. Researchers scanned his brain to prove it. He has used his training to hone his brain to be ‘light’ and not carry burdens – something we can all learn from. A ...

Things Are Good: Increase Your Happiness by Prioritizing Time Over Money

Modern capitalism as informed us that greed is good and we should only work for money. However, if your goal is to live life then working might not be the best use of your time. If you’re looking to be happy in your life then you should definitely value your time over how much money ...

Things Are Good: Cut Out Sugar and Improve Everything

Some new research points out by simply cutting out sugar one can improve basically all that ails them. In a recent research study children gave up sugar for nine days and found that much about their health improved. This implies that it might be more important to monitor one’s sugar intake more than one’s caloric ...

Things Are Good: Rethinking Addiction

Johann Hari wanted to find out why people get addicted to drugs and ended up making some startling conclusions. Yet, not surprisingly, all the war on drugs policies countries have implemented have only increased the addiction problem. Addiction is more complex to solve than just hurting the people who use drugs. What really causes addiction ...

Things Are Good: Germs Are Everywhere, Don’t Worry About it

Recently, a study by Weill Cornell Medical College found that the New York City subway is filled to the brim with germs. They are plentiful and easily get on you, but don’t worry. Most of the germs are good for you and the rest are more or less harmless. Over at CityLab they wondered then ...

Things Are Good: Other People’s Poop May Make You Happy

OK, that headline is bit out there but stay with me. Poop transplants are proving super effective against a bunch of problems some people have with their bodies. Now there’s a field of research looking into why this works and how it can be used to impact our emotions. Until then I’m going to stick ...