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iStock

People Really, Really Don’t Like Taking the Stairs

iStock
iStock

People will do a lot to avoid having to take the stairs. They’ll wait for an elevator, even if it’s going to take longer. Or they’ll walk far out of their way just to get to an escalator. 

In a new study, an urban planner and a psychologist observed almost 34,000 pedestrians using 13 stairways and 12 pairs of escalators in shopping centers in Montreal, and found that people would take the escalator unless the stairs were much more convenient. Doubling the distance between the stairs and the nearest escalator increases the likelihood that someone will climb by 95 percent, according to their statistical analysis. 

Granted, shoppers don't always have the same habits as, say, someone dashing to work. But people's aversion to stairs is pretty well documented. City leaders from New York to Turkey have called for residents to skip the elevator for better health. A small Canadian study found that climbing stairs is twice as difficult on the body as walking up a steep incline or lifting weights. A 2008 study found European men (but not women) who lived on higher floors of elevator-less apartment buildings had lower BMIs than their neighbors on lower floors. 

The problem in America? Because of fire safety regulations, stairs are often hard to find. Researchers have previously called for better stair design to combat rising obesity rates. Usually hidden in unmarked corners and blocked by heavy fire doors (sometimes programmed to set off alarms when opened), stairs in most urban buildings are designed to look and feel like emergency exits rather than regular routes. It’s no surprise that people don’t venture up them very often. Contrast that with the large, airy central stairs featured in buildings built before the elevator, like New York’s iconic Grand Central station. They look like they’re meant to be used. 

Incidental exercise—meaning the workout you get from going about your day, not hitting the gym—can have major impacts on public health, researchers have found. Taking the stairs more often isn’t the same as going for a 30-minute run every day, but minor everyday exertions shouldn’t be discounted, either. Because realistically, most people aren't going to stick to their gym schedule anyway. 

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Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
The Covers of Jack Kerouac's Classic Titles Are Getting a Makeover
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press

Readers have been enjoying classic Jack Kerouac books like The Dharma Bums and On the Road for decades, but starting this August the novels will have a new look. Several abstract covers have been unveiled as part of Penguin’s "Great Kerouac" series, according to design website It’s Nice That.

The vibrant covers, designed by Tom Etherington of Penguin Press, feature the works of abstract expressionist painter Franz Kline. The artwork is intended to capture “the experience of reading Kerouac” rather than illustrating a particular scene or character, Etherington told It’s Nice That. Indeed, abstract styles of artwork seem a fitting match for Kerouac’s “spontaneous prose”—a writing style that was influenced by improvisational jazz music.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of The Dharma Bums, which was published just one year after On the Road. The Great Kerouac series will be available for purchase on August 2.

[h/t It's Nice That]

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Apple
Here's a Preview of the 70 New Emojis Coming to Your iPhone
Apple
Apple

Get ready to add a whole new set of symbols to your emoji vocabulary. As CNN reports, Apple has released a sneak peak of some of the 70 new emojis coming to iOS in late 2018.

In February 2018, the Unicode Consortium announced the latest additions to their official emoji database. Software makers have since been working on customizing the designs for their own operating systems, and now iPhone and iPad users are getting a preview of what the new emojis will look like on their devices.

One of the most highly anticipated new symbols is the redhead emoji, something people have been demanding for a while. A curly haired option, another popular request, will be added to the line-up, as will gray-hair and bald emoji choices. Each of the new hair types can be added to the classic face emoji regardless of gender, but when it comes to specific characters like the bride or the jogger emojis, users will be limited to the same hair options they had before.

If Apple users ever want to express their inner superhero, two new super characters, a man and woman, will let them do so. They will also have new "smiley" symbols to choose from, like a party emoji, a sad eyes emoji, and a frozen emoji.

In the food category you have a head of lettuce and a mango, and for dessert, a cupcake and a mooncake—a festive Chinese pastry. New animals include a peacock, a kangaroo, and a lobster. The lobster emoji stirred some controversy in February when Mainers noticed the Unicode version was missing a set of legs. The design was quickly revised, and Apple's version is also anatomically correct.

These images just show a small sample of the emojis that will be included in an iOS update planned for later in 2018. Users will have to wait to see the final designs for other the symbols on the list.

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

[h/t CNN]

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