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5 Awesome Things That Happen When You Read Fiction, According to Science

“Getting lost in a book” is good for your mind, body, and social life, says experts.

With social media, Netflix, video games, and all forms of digital distractions around us today, we sometimes couldn’t help but wonder: Do people still take the time to read books?

Personally, when was the last time you picked up and finished a book? A few days or a few weeks ago, perhaps? Several years?

Well some experts are reminding us all that reading, particularly of fictional literature, actually brings numerous benefits. If you’re not reading anything at the present, this just might motivate you to drop by a nearby bookstore or library. Or at least dust off your old paperbacks!

In an NBC News feature, Melanie Green, PhD, associate professor in the department of communication at University at Buffalo, shared:

“One of the benefits to reading fiction is simply that it provides enjoyment and pleasure. It can provide an escape from boredom or stress.”

Here are 5 advantages you can get from reading fiction.

1. Reading helps you realize what kind of person you want to be.

Source: Pexels

According to Keith Oatley, PhD, professor emeritus in the department of applied psychology and human development at University of Toronto:

“You give up some of your own habits and thoughts, and you take on your own idea of being a different person in circumstances that you might otherwise never had been in…

“It is very important in the social world to understand others, to understand ourselves, and not just get stuck.”

Meanwhile, a 2009 study by Oatley and his team likewise discovered that people who read fiction “changed in their personality traits more” and felt “higher level of emotions” compared with non-fiction readers.

2. Reading makes you feel happier.

Source: Pexels

In fact, University at Buffalo researchers conducted an experiment involving 140 undergraduate students. The participants read either “Twilight” or “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” for 30 minutes and they later reported that immersing themselves in the characters’ worlds made them feel happy and satisfied, similar to feelings we get during real-world social interactions.

As UB associate professor of psychology and study author Shira Gabriel pointed out:

“Social connection is a strong, human need. Anytime we feel connected to others, we feel good in general and feel good about our lives.”

3. Reading improves your social skills.

Source: Pexels

As we encounter different scenarios and personalities in fictional settings, we increase our capability to understand others in your real-world interactions.

Besides, fiction can be considered “the mind’s flight simulator,” said Oatley.

No wonder, Oatley’s research tells us that avid fiction readers scored higher on empathy and social ability tests.

The expert further explained:

“We get to enter the minds of these other people. And in doing that we understand other people better.”

4. Reading stimulates your brain – and even makes you live longer.

Source: Pexels

Of course, we all know how the habit of reading can grow our grammar but on top of that, neuroscience research likewise indicates that it stimulates our brain’s neural networks which is good for us. In fact, it may even help us live longer lives.

Avni Bavishi, an MD candidate from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, put it this way:

“Reading, by engaging the brain, may keep the brain active enough to prevent cognitive decline that is associated with a variety of diseases associated with earlier mortality.”

5. Reading provides you with a much-needed “escape.”

Source: Pexels

We all face varying degrees of stress everyday and fiction, in a way, gives us temporary escape from all that.

Green taught:

“People who are absorbed in a story world aren’t ruminating on their own personal concerns.”

Indeed, researches confirm that books, along with music, movies, and other types of media, can be helpful in managing moods.

Science

Research Claims Earthquakes Trigger Other Quakes On The Opposite Side of ThePlanet

“Evidence shows that triggering does take place,” said the experts.

We all know that aftershocks often follow large earthquakes but a new research is telling us something else. As you've read in the headline, one study is claiming that a big earthquake not only triggers aftershocks but may also cause other quakes on the opposite side of the Earth.

The research was conducted by Oregon State University scientists and was recently published in Scientific Reports. Now many are saying that the discovery is an "important step toward improved short-term earthquake forecasting and risk assessment."

Apparently, major quakes activate quakes on other parts of the world.

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Science

6 Strange Public Restrooms That Might Make You Think Twice Before Using Them

Would you have the guts to use #1 and #4?

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Nowadays, people have been more creative than ever. Even the most mundane of public places can get an unexpected makeover.

Just take a peak at these weird and crazy public bathrooms around the world. If you are adventurous enough, come, sit and flush at these strangest bathrooms ever!

#1. Take a poop in a busy street

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Science

New Dinosaur Discovered In Utah Has Elaborately Spiky Head Armor

Akainacephalus johnsoni could take on any predator with its massive full-body armor.

It's always exciting when scientists discover a new dinosaur. However, the paleontologists from the University of Utah, Natural History Museum of Utah, and James Cook University have unearthed a truly awesome specimen. Akainacephalus johnsoni belongs to a group of armored dinosaurs. Interestingly, it stands out for its elaborate spiky head armor and massive tail club.

Akainacephalus johnsoni was recovered at the Kaiparowits Formation in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Kane County, Southern Utah. Paleontologists Jelle Wiersma and Randall Irmis found the bones and discovered that it is a new specimen. They unearthed a complete skull, the vertebral column, its tail club and a nearly complete synsacrum. The paleontologists also recovered some of the limbs as well as a suite of postcranial osteoderms.

The skull of Akainacephalus johnsoni is covered in elaborate spikes.

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