I think we can all agree: Standing up for long periods of time is just ... it's really hard.


The struggle is real. GIF from "Arrested Development."


No one knows this struggle better than a surgeon.

It takes a lot of skill to keep your razor-sharp focus and stay on your feet for hours at a time while someone's life is on the line beneath your scalpel.


That's why one company invented the world's first wearable ... chair?

Yes, you read that right: wearable chair. Sure it sounds ridiculous, but it's actually pretty simple — and pretty cool.

The wearable chair, called the Archelis (a rough phonetic translation of "walkable chair" from Japanese), supports key pressure points on the legs to ease the wearer's fatigue, re-creating the sensation of sitting while maintaining an upright position. It was designed through a collaboration between the Japanese company Nitto and Chiba University’s Frontier Medical Engineering Center.

Basically, it's a pair of high-tech leg braces that hold your butt (and thighs and ankles) while you're standing.


GIF from Archelis/Archelis/YouTube.

Just a few years back, a Swiss company called Noonee introduced a similar creation called the Chairless Chair.

Wired described this hydraulic-powered titanium frame as, "a really bad-ass wearable or an especially lame exoskeleton."

The company's CEO, Keith Gunura, said that the device can give the body "microbreaks" of three to 10 seconds to relieve the stress of standing and compared the sensation to sitting on a barstool. It could also come in handy in workspaces where there's just not enough room to store chairs.

GIF from Noonee/YouTube.

While the concept of a wearable chair was originally designed to aid surgeons during seemingly-endless shifts, the design has plenty of potential outside the hospital.

Aside from the general exhaustion of standing all day, musculoskeletal disorders caused by physical strain, repetitive movements, and poor posture factor into 33% of workplace injuries and illnesses.

And, of course, surgeons aren't the only ones who face this kind of risk. A wearable chair could go a long way to ease the strain on all the people who work in restaurants, retail, and factory production lines and stay on their feet for hours at a time.


GIF from "(You Drive Me) Crazy."

You know who else could benefit from a wearable chair? Anyone who spends their day sitting at a desk.

It's easy to understand the pain of someone who's forced to stand all day. But it turns out that excessive sitting isn't good for us either.

Aside from the general mind-numbing-ness of staring at Excel spreadsheets all day, the passive lifestyle of a desk job could lead to a whole host of ailments, one of the biggest being hunched posture — which can lead to migraines, back pain, breathing problems, and much more.

This is all assuming, of course, that the boredom doesn't kill you first.

Though not necessarily meant for all-day sitters, the Archelis does help the user maintain ideal posture and allows for easy switching between sitting and standing. Something like that could definitely come in handy for those dreary desk-bound days.

GIF from "The Incredibles."

At the end of the day, no one should have to spend six to eight straight hours sitting or standing.

Moderation is a good thing. In a perfect world, we'd find a way to restructure the entire labor system so that productivity and physical strain weren't so intertwined, regardless of whether you're on your feet or in a chair.

But until that happens, at least we have cool tech like the Archelis to help us hit that Goldilocks sweet spot between sitting and standing. It's not perfect, but it's a start.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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