17 Things You Need To Know Today (October 1)
1. Ellen Page shares a powerful message on sexuality on The Late Show.
Page got emotional as she opened up to Stephen Colbert about her experience coming out last year, saying, “[Staying in the closet] is toxic, and I wish no one had to live that way.” (YouTube)
2. Only 38 percent of recent grads think their college degree was worth the money.
A new Gallup poll asked 30,000 alumni who graduated in the past decade whether they thought their education was worth the hefty tuition. (Washington Post)
3. You can now take an eye exam in the comfort of your home.
Opternative makes it possible — all you need is a smartphone, computer, and 12 feet of space. Glasses or contact lens prescriptions cost $40; it's $60 for both. (NYT)
4. The North Face goes for an epic adventure in its first global ad campaign.
The new commercial seamlessly moves from action sports to outdoor professionals like a photographer and marine biologist, all to spread the spirit of adventure. (Fast Co. Create)
5. There might be a cure for blindness (yes, really).
Scientists developed an innovative operation using embryonic stem cells to cure the cause of roughly 50 percent of blindness cases. A woman in the U.K. was the first of 10 people to undergo the procedure last month and scientists just announced that it was successful. (CBS News)
6. Meet Tesla's Model X.
The $130,000 electric vehicle goes zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds, gets you 250 miles on a charge, and carries seven people. (WIRED)
7. Nursing homes are exploiting Medicare.
A report issued by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services found that nursing homes routinely file claims for the most expensive therapies — whether the patient needs or wants it. (NYT)
8. Jessica Biel, Whitney Cummings, and Joy Bryant could be your new sex ed teachers.
In a new video series from Funny or Die and WomanCare Global, the hilarious trio candidly talk about their experiences with everything from condoms to birth control in an effort to address common questions and misconceptions about reproductive health. (AdWeek)
9. Childhood stress is linked to health problems in adults.
A new study finds that experiencing emotional distress while growing up can increase the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes later on — even if the adult years are low-stress. (NPR)
10. The U.K. approves womb implants for 10 women.
Following a successful procedure in Sweden, the Health Research Authority has given ethical approval to a clinical trial that will implant wombs in 10 women who, for various health reasons, could previously only have children through adoption or surrogacy. The wombs will come from donors classified as brain-dead. (The Guardian)
11. You might be unable to detect certain smells.
A new study suggests that up to 20 percent of the population may not be able to smell certain odors, or aren't sensitive to certain smell profiles (aka specific anosmia). The smells most likely to be undetected were higher in molecular weight, meaning the smell was less volatile and therefore less likely to pass through nasal mucus. (Brain Decoder)
12. Mindfulness could make for better athletes.
The U.S. Men’s National BMX team joined with the Center for Mindfulness at the University of California–San Diego (talk about an unlikely pairing!) for a brain-imaging study and found that after seven weeks of mindfulness training, the riders were better at responding to stressful situations. (NYT)
13. Turns out breast-feeding probably doesn't raise your kid's IQ.
A British study of almost 12,000 children born between 1994 and 1996 found that breast-feeding was not associated with higher IQ in adolescence. (NYT)
14. Facial? Psychic reading? Take your pick at these resorts.
With luxury spas offering "metaphysical readings" as routinely as they do massages, a skeptic puts their psychics to the test. (WSJ)
15. Plastic-eating worms may offer a solution to mounting waste, Stanford researchers discover.
An ongoing study by Stanford engineers, in collaboration with researchers in China, shows that common mealworms can safely biodegrade various types of plastic. (Stanford News)
16. Gut bacteria may contribute to asthma risk.
Adding to the wealth of information about our microbiome — the universe of tens of millions of bacteria (the good kind) that live in and on our bodies — scientists have identified four types of bacteria that are linked to asthma risk. (TIME)
17. The fast and the herbivorous.
Plant-based diets are becoming more mainstream than ever as young people continue to seek out meals that are kind to their bodies and to the planet. About 79 percent of millennials wish there were more convenient and on-the-go healthy food options. Enter these recently opened restaurants, which have all the bases covered. (Cassandra Daily)