What We’re Reading: December 14-18

Spreading holiday cheer, Star Wars (3 spoiler-free and 1 SPOILER WARNING), oranges, decorations, crowd sourcing, Millennials, amenities, drones, emoji use, and life imitating art.

You’re no longer the worst sounding caroler, and you weren’t the first to send out an awkward holiday greeting card!

Whoever is putting out these bootleg toys definitely turned to the Dark Side.

For those among us that are soccer fans as well as Star Wars fans, this quiz you will enjoy.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” Someone better tell Han Solo that people are legitimizing that “hokey religion.”

If you want to compare reviews for all the Star Wars installments, look no further (but beware of SPOILERS — the newest review is at the end)!

Peeling oranges: we wouldn’t say you’ve been doing it wrong, but you could’ve been doing it this way.

Tacky or festive? You tell us15910633977_98505b4a55_m My Photo Journeys/flickr/2014

NYPL has a new project to crowdsource transcription of 19th and early 20th century real estate records.

Will more millennial weddings lead to more millennial homebuying? One portfolio manager thinks so.

Doorman, pool, fitness center, bike storage…ski slope? Which condo amenities are important to you?

Have a drone? Aware of the newest regulations including registration requirements? After you register, fly to your heart’s content with a long-life hydrogen fuel cell!

Use your words. Emoji have a time and place for use, but passwords aren’t one of them.

Perri-air is real, President Skroob! This stuff is canned in Canada, though, not Druidia.


What We’re Reading will take a break next week. It will return the week of December 28-January 1.





What We’re Reading: December 7-11

Pantone, phones, gift giving, Star Wars, smart toys, urban wildlife, Secret Santa, Japanese chocolate, light display, and Serial!

Cerulean, aqua sky, sand dollar, and honeysuckle. What do these colors have in common?

How often do you check your phone? Do you feel like you’re missing an arm if you leave your phone at home? Obsess much? Anyway, here’s a tip to make your iPhone perform faster. And find tips here for the best way to browse the web on your phone.20768870169_c7c0423e51_m Ken Walton/flickr/2015

Have a reader on your gift list this holiday season? Find inspiration from Amazon’s best-seller list.

Speaking of gifts, how do you approach choosing closing gifts? These agents have some extravagant ideas!

Do you employ finesse or Force when assembling a faux tree? Need a place to stay for the holidays, far, far away? Too much? This might help you avoid Star Wars burnout.

How smart should our children’s toys be?

Really? Chicago has airport sheep? This discusses what cities can do to make the urban landscape healthier. While we’re on the subject of green, Google’s Project Sunroof has expanded to seven more states — are you in one of them? 16160625930_72f73e668b_m stanze/flickr/2015

Think playing Santa at the mall is a cushy gig? Read about the behind-the-scenes secrets of the jolly Head Elf.

Sliced chocolate because reasons.

We think this makes a few strings of lights on the porch look a bit lame.

#MailChimp! Serial is back! The podcast phenomenon has returned with a new subject!

Designing for Wellness

I have been teased about my workplace health habits. A lot.

I have gone through three fitness trackers(1&2 now defunct, & 3), two ergonomic kneeling chairs (1 & 2), one standing desk of my own making, and am now on an active seating stool called a Swopper. I also take advantage of my employer’s health and wellness program. It would be an understatement to say that the topic of health and wellness in the workplace matters to me, but I’m not the only one who cares about this stuff.

The CDC recommends implementation of health and wellness programs at the workplace to combat the negative impact of our sedentary office lifestyle. Studies have found that the health of agents and staff improve the business activity of the office in surprising ways.

The design of buildings and offices shape our workplace habits. Provision of active spaces, open pedestrian corridors, fitness-promoting policies and programs, and bright and welcoming gyms can have a big impact on employees’ health and habits. Incorporation of more subtle healthy design such as proper lighting, hydration stations, and use of color design encourage wellness. Humans want a view, natural light, and a certain amount of privacy to feel connected to the natural environment – these are the quintessential corner office perks that satisfy our biophilia.

Office building designers have started to embrace the idea of workplace wellness by outfitting spaces with standing desks, bike racks, and workout spaces to discourage sedentary habits; clean indoor air to reduce molds and allergens; inclusion of natural indoor plant life to help filter air and provide a connection to nature; incorporating green rooftops, large windows, and rainwater collection systems to provide access to sunlight and nature; and providing access to healthy food options.

Source L&L Holding CompanyFosterPartners Source: L&L Holding Company/Foster + Partners

Delos is capitalizing on this trend by creating the WELL Building Standard®, purported to be the world’s first building standard focused entirely on human health and wellness. Styled after the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, it is intended to provide guidelines for building design that fosters employee happiness, health, and productivity. CBRE adopted changes based on this standard a few years ago, including ergonomic furniture, a juice station, and non-porous countertops to prevent bacteria growth.

It will be interesting to see the spread of wellness office buildings as they are newly designed and as existing buildings are retrofitted. In the meantime, what experiences have you had with wellness design initiatives in your office?

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What We’re Reading: November 30-December 4

Flash, posture, WiFi, Adele, Zuckerbaby, YA coding, packing tip, merchandising, climate change, and mermaids.

Adobe is phasing out Flash, much to our delight!

We are concerned about health and posture at work, but this is a strange solution.

Does it feel like your WiFi has gotten weaker since decorating for the holidays? How close is your string of lights to your router21133237815_40783fb549_m Christiaan Colen/flickr/2015

Everyone reacts differently to Adele — adults, babies,…dogs.

We bet you were on the receiving end of gifts if you had children. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife went the other way. Of course there is some debate to the altruism of the act. And of course, there has been a response to the accusations.

Our lives would have turned out so differently if Kristy and the gang were into coding and not just whether Mary Ann and Logan would get together. In the end, though, should all kids really have to learn how to code?

We could have used this tutorial for annual! Oh well, there’s always next year!

We’d be more impressed if this ice cream was made from the milk of Tauntauns and frozen in ice harvested from Hoth.

There was a time when business attitudes toward climate change were different than today.

Always be yourself. Unless you can be a mermaid, then always be a mermaid.