We're all stuck at home and many are getting bored which is making them do new creative activities to keep their mind busy. Is this needed, is this normal?
In fact the study that I just read went over 11 studies involving spending 15 minutes in a room with absolutely nothing else to do but think. The most dramatic finding was that over 2/3rds of men and 1/4th of women would rather hurt themselves with a shock than continue to sit with just their thoughts!
Additional studies looked giving a suggested topic to think about during the 15 minute time period, however none increased the enjoyment of the thinking time. Another study looked at if the boring lab environment was to blame, and encouraged people to do nothing for 15 minutes at home, which did not bring up anyone's reported enjoyment.
Disliking being bored is pretty normal for today's average person. When doing anything is better than doing nothing I'm extra thankful for all of the video games to keep people entertained during this crisis.
I would love to see a followup study looking at a writers brain during that 15 minutes of absolutely nothing to do but think. I hypothesis that those with active creativity and curiosity would enjoy it significantly more!
Read the original study text here! Do you think you could survive 15 minutes without shocking yourself?
Corporate responsibility and sustainability reports, shorted to CRS, are produced every year particularly by bigger, corporations to help guide their environmental and ethical goals for the year. It is not a mandatory practice in the US, though EU directive 2014/95 does state that large companies much reveal information such as how they operate and run their social and environmental challenges. Those who report generally keep to standards such as ISO 260000.
Why does this matter to me? The report shows the path that a company is taking in the future. This is how one can know if a company is really fixing their issues, or not.
For example many years ago Nike had major backlash because their shoes were made in sweatshops. Since then their CRS includes a report on audits made at all factories that work for their brand. Any that weren't up to the listed standards go through a remedial process to improve worker conditions. This report shows that they are dedicated to change, and that they're taking corrective actions to make sure that it doesn't happen again.
Where can I find these reports? Google the company name and CRS and it should bring you straight to their page, where you can download the report.
What should I look for in these reports? Look for what matters to you and are relevant to the company! As a chemist who cares about the environment I often look for reduction of fluoronated compound emissions (PFCs) which primarily come from factories or fridges. I also look for greenhouse gas reductions as well as sourcing of products and supplier responsibility. That means they know that they aren't purchasing metals that might finance armed conflict, or paper that came from taking down a whole forest.
What should I do if I find something I do or don't like? Let them know! Often corporations don't expect much PR out of their CRS. The fact that they could get an email or letter about it lets them know early that the public does or doesn't care about the same objectives, and they have the time to adjust their goals accordingly!
Homework: Go skim one CSR report for a company that you shop for right now! Do you agree with what their goals for the year are? Let me know in the comments!
I have a German Shepherd whom I give peanut butter as a treat. I have also seen a couple infographics online about checking for a newly added chemical, xylitol, that is in peanut butter. For a while I checked every jar we got, but none had it. Was this a regional change? A chemical addition for a particular country?
I've done the research so you don't have to!
First, what is xylitol? It's a natural sweetener often found in chewing gum. It's find for human consumption and can lead to major issues if dogs ingest too much of it.
Secondly, which common peanut butter's are safe? The usual US brands such as Jif, Skippy, Peter Pan, and Planters are completely fine.
Third, which peanut butter's are dangerous? Many peanut butters that advertise themselves as having more protein, less sugar, and less fat. Many website list five peanut butter brands that have xylitol (most advertising to body builders), but since this became a hot topic many have removed the xylitol or removed the product completely. The only one I could confirm at this time is Nuts'n More.
If you're worried that your dog has digested xylitol please go to this Animal Hospital page to determine the best course of action.
How do you save and sort information when doing research for a novel?
In the past I used OneNote. This allowed easy copy and pasting of pictures and ideas when doing research. It has lots of functionality and free with the Word Suite. It was a good choice when I was in high school/college (due to the free part) and it was simple to use, with an overall small learning curve for those already used to Office. I can see using it again in the future.
I've tried Scrivner but that distinctly didn't work for me. All of the features that are supposed to save a writer time seem to take up more time for me. (Both for the research and writing phases.) I knew plenty of writers who love this software, but it's not for me.
Recently I used DokuWiki to make my own Wiki for the world. There's an extra time allotment needed to get the level of formatting that I want but it's the easiest at showing off holes in world development, or ties between a character and the world. As long as I have time this is worth the investment.
Aeon is my newest experiment. It's a timeline device that was designed for writers. It's great for keeping track of dates and it'll automatically tell me how old everyone was during specified events. So far it's worth it's weight in gold just for that, but I'm sure I'll post again with a thorough review after playing with it some more.
What software do you use when researching a novel?
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