OSU Study Finds Believing Leisure is Wasteful Leads to Stress and Depression

According to a new study at OSU those who believe that leisure time is wasteful and unproductive may have less happiness and be at risk for higher levels of depression and stress.

Through a series of studies, the researchers looked at the effects of the common belief in our modern society that productivity is the ultimate goal, and that having fun is a waste of time.

Study authors found that people who strongly agreed with this belief reported poorer mental health outcomes and received less benefits from leisure activity. They stated that there is a large body of research suggesting just that—leisure has mental health benefits and make us more productive and feel less stress.

In the new data they found that the belief that leisure is wasteful is linked to being depressed and stressed. However, one unexpected outcome of the study was that leisure skeptics could enjoy fun activities if something beyond leisure itself was the end goal.

If leisure can be framed as ultimately being productive, leisure skeptics get some of the same benefits.

The “Journal of Experimental Social Psychology” published the results.


Posted in OSU

OSU Bringing Autonomous Food Delivery to Campus

OSU is unveiling a new autonomous food delivery service on campus. The service will let students, faculty and staff order and have delivered food from on-campus cafes and restaurants. The program currently includes 50 rovers, about the size of a picnic cooler, that will deliver food and beverages to the campus community.

Zia Ahmed, Senior Director of Dining, said they are trying to solve two problems here. First, cost of delivery. Second, the delivery time.

Ahmed said that in the surround area of the campus it takes about one hour to food delivered on campus. And that it costs an average of $5-$6 per delivery. The rover program intends to reduce that delivery time to just 30 minutes and only $2.50 per delivery.

Abby Silone, a second-year student, who works for dining services says that long delivery times also affect food quality. Imagine a frozen drink. It gets sat on a counter until someone is available to pick it up for delivery. Within an hour the drink is ruined. It is melted. The whipped cream is gone.

With the robots, she said, we can start the delivery the moment the beverage is completed.

On campus customers will be using the current GrubHub app they already use to order food. There will be an option of rover delivery through the app.


New OSU Project Brings AI to Environmental Studies

One can see that a new 30-foot tower on the edge of the OSU Airport has been erected. However, this has nothing to do with air traffic control of the thousands of take offs and landings at the airport each year.

This tower is the center of a new OSU research project that will look into AI connected to a variety of sensors to monitor the environmental conditions as they happen.

The other key part of the project is the machine learning program that can interpret the data as it is collected. It is a way for researchers understand environmental conditions in urban areas, like noise, air pollution and carbon emissions and how they change in real time.

They will be able to collect data and use AI generated models of all the information to get insights into things like the impact of air travel on the local environment.

National Ecological Observatory Network designed and built the tower. NEON is involved in 81 permanent field sites which are operated by Battelle and are funded by the National Science Foundation. NEON sites across the US collect data on changing ecosystems.

OSU is the first to host temporary and mobile field site using a NEON tower.

OSU Researchers Try to Answer, Do Batters Keep Their Eye on the Ball?

OSU researchers are looking into the answer to one of the oldest questions in baseball—do batters really keep their eye on the ball?

In reviewing the little previous evidence available such as film and lab studies, researchers determined that yes, they are keeping their eye on the ball, but they are moving their heads, not their eyes, to do it.

In some studies researchers found that at the last moment some batters shift their view to home plate. Researchers suspect they are trying to anticipate where the ball will be when in range of their bat. However, not all batters took their eye off the ball in a similar move.

After examining all the previous studies, they collected on head and eye movements in baseball batters, OSU researchers found they couldn’t come to a consensus on what combination of eye or head movements were best. However, further investigation to lead to a new kind of eye gaze training for batters in the future.

Study authors stated that because they know batters do keep their eye on the ball, but with head movements instead of eye movements there must be an advantage to tracking the ball with head movements, they just don’t know the answer to “why” yet.


Common Weed Could Become New, Green Bio Jet Fuel

A new study by OSU researchers found that the common farm weed, pennycress or commonly known as stinkweed, could make a greener jet fuel. It would have less production-related impacts on the environment than other biofuels.

The study found that growing stinkweed requires less pesticide and less fertilizer than other plants appropriate for making renewable jet fuel. Both are would be a win for the farmland and surrounding environment it was grown in.

Stinkweed also requires fewer physical operations like tiling of the soil than other biofuel crops. This would reduce the environmental cost of tiling like carbon dioxide emissions and other emissions.

The study also found that additional environmental impacts could be lessened by techniques that keep fertilizer on the field instead of it becoming run off to local watersheds.

Study authors stated that these changes will not mean just incremental changes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from air travel but a fundamental change in how the industry has been producing fuel and where it comes from.

The Journal “Applied Energy” published the article online.