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How Your Phone Makes You Dumber, According to Experts

A new study reveals the presence of one’s smartphone reduces the brain’s cognitive capacity and impairs cognitive functioning.

You ought to take some time away from your phone after reading this. According to a new study, the mere presence of smartphones can reduce a person’s brain power—even if it is turned off.

Researchers from McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin revealed that a person’s cognitive capacity is significantly lowered when a smartphone is within reach.

In the said experiment, McCombs Assistant Professor Adrian Ward and his peers tested the cognitive capacity of about 800 smartphone users using a series of tests with their phones nearby and outside the room.

Cognitive abilities are brain-based skills which is related on human’s abilities to learn, solve a problem, focus and remember. It includes skills such as attention, memory, language, perception, motor skills, visual and spatial processing and other executive functions.

The first group that was tested had their phones near them, either in their pockets, their bags, or their desks. The phones were turned into silent mode. The second group had their phones on another room.

Participants with their phones on the desk scored the lowest.

Meanwhile, those with their phones on another room also outperformed those with their phones on their pockets.

The results revealed that participants that are more dependent to their phones performed worse than those who were less dependent. However, less dependent participants who had their phones within reach also had bad scores.

The study suggests the mere presence of a smartphone impairs cognitive functioning even if a person is focusing on a current task. Ward added that smartphones reduces cognitive capacity:

“We see a linear trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more noticeable, participants’ available cognitive capacity decreases. Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process—the process of requiring yourself to not think about something — uses up some of your limited cognitive resources. It’s a brain drain.”

“It’s not that participants were distracted because they were getting notifications on their phones. The mere presence of their smartphone was enough to reduce their cognitive capacity.”


New Mini Scuba Device Allows Divers to ‘Breathe Underwater for 10 Minutes’

An underwater breathing device called Scorkl promises an incredibly carefree scuba diving experience for 10 minutes.

Kickstarter is an online crowdfunding platform that often highlights new technology developed by start-ups. These small companies need added financial support for developing and manufacturing their products. One of the most talked about creations featured in Kickstarter is Scorkl, which is described as an underwater breathing device. The man behind it is a scuba diving fanatic named David Hallamore, who is based in Australia.

Scorkl's main selling point is that it functions as a a "mini scuba diving equipment" that's fuss-free. It promises to make it possible for its user to "breathe underwater for 10 minutes." Although it is much smaller, the Scorkl cylinder has the same specifications and manufacturing standards as a normal scuba cylinder.

The Scorkl promises "carefree scuba diving."


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Teen Girls Invent Solar-Powered Tent for Homeless People

The girls, who didn’t have any training in engineering, mostly relied on YouTube and Google searches to complete the project.

A group of girls from the San Fernando High School just came up with a great invention for the homeless people in Los Angeles. The students created a solar-powered tent that can be rolled into a backpack and now they’re getting a lot of attention and recognition from it.

According to a report by BoredPanda, the teens were recruited by non-profit organization DIY Girls. Evelyn Gomez, DIY Girls executive director, oversaw and assisted in the girls’ project. The nonprofit aims to teach girls from low-income communities to learn engineering, math, and science.

Girl students from the San Fernando High School invented a solar-powered tent for homeless people.


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This Seven-Story Wooden Building Can Survive A 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake

Very interesting! We need more of these buildings nowadays…

Earthquakes are scary mostly because of the potential death and destruction it can bring. While it sure helps to be prepared, another factor that can be a big benefit for all of us is to have earthquake-resistant structures.

Yes, it is possible to have sturdy structures that can withstand strong shakes as can be seen in the video below. Apparently, Simpson Strong-Tie and the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulations (NEES) worked together to test out a seven-story wooden building that turned out to be earthquake-proof.

This seven-story wooden structure was built to be tested if it can withstand a strong earthquake.


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