Imagine a skyscraper that can be deployed in minutes. Consider a load-bearing helium balloon rising from the ground floor, unfurling levels as it ascends hundreds of feet in the air. Inspired by the mechanics of an accordion, Skyshelter.zip is a lightweight structure well-suited for disaster zones where space is usually tight—it is air lifted and dropped into place by three helicopters, so you don’t need any construction on the ground. After it’s no longer needed, the skyscraper can be folded, packed up, and reused in another disaster area.
It turns out that happiness is a learnable skill. It’s not true that we can’t change our outlook or that we are stuck being whomever we think we are. Scientists have learned that the brain is vastly more plastic than long had been thought. By being mindful of our thoughts and deliberately turning them around to be more positive and optimistic, we can, over time, create new neural pathways so that our overall disposition is happier. In short, happiness is an inside job. Once you realize that happiness is a trainable skill, it becomes obvious that it is also a choice we make to be more happy or less. I definitely wish I knew this when I was 18, but it probably requires a little more self-awareness than most 18-year-olds are wired for.