SAVING TIME: The Key To Happiness

There are some tasks that you are simply going to hate, no matter what! Instead of suffering, science says that you should pay someone to do them for you.

We know, it sounds obvious. But studies say that the key to happiness lies in saving time, not money. If there is a task that, just thinking about it fills you with dread, then it is time to figure out if you can afford to buy your way out of it!

The studies of more than 6000 people found that people who paid others to do those hated tasks reported greater satisfaction in life. They compared this to individuals who spent the same amount on material goods, and still had to do their dreaded chores.

Participants were given $40 to spend on a service or a personal treat such as clothes or shoes. Those who outsourced their hated tasks reported feeling more bang for their bucks than those sporting new heels.

Of course, paying for those services is not something everyone can afford, but if you can put money toward chores that reduce your stress, it can seriously pay off in the end. Study participants who did had a better mood at the end of each day than their counterparts.

So, if you can do without that expensive coffee once a week and instead pay for someone to clean your bathrooms, go for it! You will be glad you did!

Jackson Pollock Treasure Found WHERE?

When an appraiser was called out to catalog the estate of an elderly Arizona man who was being moved to a retirement community, he was in for quite a shock. Josh Levine had initially been called to the estate to look at a 1992 L.A. Lakers Poster. They signed a contract to auction the contents of the estate, and that is when they found many paintings previously stored away. In addition to paintings by such artists as Kenneth Noland, Hazel Guggenheim McKinley, Jules Olitski and Cora Kelley Ward stored in the garage, he discovered what looked at first blush like an original Jackson Pollack. The splatters reflected work done from 1936 to his death in 1954.

Over the next few months, tens of thousands of dollars were spent to verify that the painting as a true Pollack. During the research, it was discovered that the garage was owned by the half-brother of a former New York socialite named Jennifer Gordon Cosgriff. In the 1950’s, Cosgriff mingled in New York’s elite art circles and built friendships with many of the artists discovered in the garage, including Pollock himself.

When Cosgriff passed away in the early 90s, she left her art collection to her half-brother in Arizona where they stayed in storage until January 2016, when the auction company came to auction off the estate.

After tracking its background, specialists analyzed the makeup of the paint and accurately dated it to the mid twentieth century, meaning no pigments or binding media introduced in the late 1950s or 1960s were detected, verifying the possibility that it could be a genuine Pollack.

Despite some water damage and staining from secondhand smoke (a common problem in households from the mid-20th century), the June 20 auction for the piece is expected to fetch anywhere from $10 million to $15 million. The starting bid for the 22.5-inch by 32-inch piece is a cool $5 million.

So, have you checked what’s in your garage lately? Could be worth a look!

Mathematicians Solve 400 Year Old Problem

Stacking fruit has never been a subject that garners much attention (although we bet your grocer sure has an opinion about it). We all have an intuition about how it should be done: the pyramid, right? Well up until now, the idea that a pyramid was the most efficient way to stack shapes like fruit was only a theory, at least mathematically.

Fresh fruit display in a supermarket.

Johannes Kepler was a 17th century mathematician and astronomer who came up with the pyramid theory, called Kepler’s conjecture. However, in his time the theory wasn’t about stacking fruits (because there definitely wasn’t the selection we have now in every market), but rather for stacking cannonballs on ship decks. This would have been a very important problem to solve in the 1600s, because ship space was limited, and boats were important not only militarily, but also as a means for transport and commerce. Maximizing what they could hold, therefore, had far-reaching implications.

However, the very definition of a conjecture is a conclusion you come to without all the facts. While Kepler was pretty sure he was right about the pyramid being the best way to stack spherical shapes, he couldn’t prove it. Indeed, no one could prove it for 400 years, until Thomas Callister Hales led an international team of mathematicians to prove it by “exhaustion”, meaning that they split the problem into a number of cases and each examined those cases. Their proof was so convoluted and hard to understand that it would only be verified by a computer!

This wasn’t just some frivolous exercise, however. Though your grocer already knew the solution, the algorithms Hales’ mathematicians used to find it could be used to better the technology in driverless cars, among other things. Remember, math and science are never done in a void, and even if we don’t know the why of an experiment that seems already solved, it may become important later!

Man Plants Huge Forest By Hand

In the heart of India, in the province of Assam, on an island called Majuli in the middle of the Brahmaputra River, one man has spent 38 years planting a forest larger than Central Park… by himself and by hand! This is the story of Jadav Payeng, who was born on Majuli at a time when environmental destruction was eroding the island and turning it into a wasteland unfit for native plants or animals. And his wasn’t the only one; neighboring island Jorhat was encountering the same problems, so Payeng decided to do something about it.

He says at first it was hard to plant, both because there was nothing to go off of and because he had to gather the seeds from outside sources. However, now his trees are old enough that he can gather their seeds on site and replant in the surrounding area, in an effort to speed up their natural processes. It truly has been a return to natural order for the small islands; they now host 115 elephants for part of the year, as well as many rhinos, deer, and tigers (!) year round. He wants to continue this until the forest is no longer a novelty on part of the islands, but rather covers both of them.

His neighbors have not always been the most understanding people when it comes to Payeng’s intense environmentalism and guardianship of the forest. They still come every once in awhile to harvest the trees for their own personal use, but Payeng decries the practice whenever he’s able. “I tell people, cutting those trees will get you nothing,” he says. “Cut me before you cut my trees.” Still he’s hopeful for the future, in light of all he has already accomplished. And he’s nothing if not determined. “I will continue to plant until my last breath.”

 

Meet the Man Who Planted a Forest

This man began planting a forest in 1979—and now it's the size of Central Park. http://on.natgeo.com/1Woq730

National Geographic 发布于 2016年5月10日

Take A Remote Year, Like Yesterday!

You’ve probably heard of a gap year by now – the trend of taking a year off to travel between high school and college – but we’re betting a lot of our readers are new to the concept of a “remote year.” The concept is similar, actually, only it’s for adults and is a little easier to stomach on a budget. That’s because people who take a remote year don’t stop working at all while they’re travelling – hence the “remote” part. If you’re able to do your work remotely, there are now organizations that can help you travel with other young professionals who also work remotely, building a community and exploring the world together!

That was certainly the appeal for freelance photographer Richard Silver. He was about to take a very cushy New York real estate job when something made him hesitate. He ended up turning the position down and jumping on a plane with remoteyear.com, where he’s been moving to in a new city every month for a whole year. He says the experience is everything he expected and more.  “Remote Year has been pretty amazing. I have traveled through South America before but to really explore other areas of the countries has just made it so much more than the adventure I expected.”

Silver loves to play with panoramas and tilt-shift techniques, enjoying the editing process of his photos almost as much as he enjoys shooting them. And his remote year has afforded him incredible opportunities to shoot sites all around the world, from cathedrals to landscapes to urban areas and beyond. However, he credits the people he’s with for his most enjoyable experiences. “I was hoping to explore the world in a new way and be inspired by other people — and I am, so far.”