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The beach is good for your brain, studies show

Nearly 77% of employees don’t take all of their eligible time off, according to a survey from Glassdoor. And that’s a shame because slaying away at work and at home all day every day can take a toll. In case you needed more motivation to set that pile of work papers aside and hit the beach, know that recent research shows that spending time near the water does your body and mind a lot of good. According to an analysis of English census data published in the journal Health Place, people who live by the ocean report better physical and mental health than those who live inland. And living in a home with an ocean view can make you feel calmer than those without, according to a study published in the Journal of Coastal Zone Management. So it makes sense that Hawaii is regularly ranked as the happiest state in the United…

Sand dollar sugar cookies make a splash for Shark Week

Shark Week returns to the Discovery Channel this Sunday. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the annual Shark Week event, so expect new television shows centered on the sea’s most fascinating predators. Over the past three decades, the mid-summer shark series has gained quite the following — it’s practically a national holiday at this point. The shadowy feeling shows air just as many Americans are heading to the beach, increasing the nervous anticipation of a run-in with the ocean’s apex predator. But fear not! As the series frequently demonstrates, sharks want nothing to do with you, mere human. So instead, celebrate! Dare to sink your teeth into these delicious sand dollar sugar cookies. They’ll make a big splash at the office or at your own home-viewing party. They stack well too, so take them to the beach or give them as a pretty summer-inspired gift. Sand Dollar Sugar Cookies Ingredients 3/4 cup butter, softened 3/4…

Use plastic bags in Kenya and get time in prison

If you lived in Kenya, you’d think twice before heading to the store without your stack of reusable shopping bags. The East African nation has made a big push for its citizens to reduce or eliminate plastic bag usage by making the production, sale or use of any single-use plastic bags punishable by four years in jail or up to a $38,000 fine. More than 40 other countries already have similar laws prohibiting or taxing plastic bag users including China, Rwanda and the United Kingdom. One major problem with the plastic bags is they take lots of energy and oil to produce, but are only used once before ending up in a landfill. Since plastics can’t biodegrade, they will last centuries underground. Some estimates say they can take between 500 and 1,000 years to break down. A third of all plastic bags are also ending up in our oceans. The bags are broken down into micro plastics…

Try these themed sweet treats for Shark Week

If you’ve missed out that it’s Shark Week, you’ve clearly been living under a rock — errr, under the waves somewhere. Welcome Shark Week with these cute-as-can-be shark treats. Whether you’re hosting a party or just catching some shows after work, these are guaranteed to make shark-sized smiles. Shark Week is an annual week-long programming block produced by the Discovery Channel. Originally premiering in 1988 as an effort to correct misconceptions about sharks, the popularity of the summer television event has only grown over the past 29 years. Shark Punch You’ll feel like you’re at the ocean with this foamy blue beverage. Life Preserver Donuts Can you think of anything cuter? These sweet treats are quick and easy to make. Shark Week Waffles To celebrate sharks all day, you have to start in the morning. Try waking up with this Shark Week inspired waffle creation. Shark Frenzy Ice Cream This ocean blue…