12 Things You Need To Know Today (October 23)
1. A Mediterranean diet could keep your brain from shrinking with age.
Researchers found that Americans over the age of 80 who ate lots of vegetables, fish, legumes, and olive oil had larger brain volumes than those who didn't follow a Mediterranean diet. The difference was enough to equal about five years of aging. (Los Angeles Times)
2. More Americans are now using marijuana.
As attitudes and laws around the drug change, a new study finds that pot use among adults has more than doubled since 2001 — along with abuse and dependence problems. (Reuters)
3. Lululemon's first creative director is an executive from Nike.
Did anyone know the company they never had a creative director in the first place?! (Racked)
4. President Obama announces new program to combat prescription drug abuse.
The White House said it will take steps to decrease heroin and prescription drug overdoses, which now kill more Americans every year than traffic accidents. The efforts include increased training for doctors around the safe prescription of opiate medications, as well as expanded access to drug addiction treatment. (Washington Post)
5. An ambivalent marriage might be worse for your health than not being married at all.
Historically, we've been told that getting married and staying married is good for us, not just emotionally but physically. A new university study is suggesting that the boost in heart health experienced by happily married couples goes out the window for those in ambivalent marriages (ones in which there are high levels of both positivity and negativity). On top of that, members of ambivalent relationships reported lower levels of spousal responsiveness and intimacy. (BYU)
6. The Internet is changing the landscape of bullying — for the worse.
Environment has been recognized as a determining factor in the severity of pre-Internet bullying. Victims in urban locales had recourse by means of outside friend groups and alternative school options. Rural children might spend their childhood and adolescence with the same small group of peers, thus trapping them in the role of victim. Cyberbullying, done in forums visible to all your social networks, can be similarly isolating, and even harder to escape. (APA)
7. Why more than half of U.S. counties have no mental health professionals.
Regardless of their specialty, most health care professionals leave school with a mountain of debt. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are some of the lowest paid, making going into those specialties less appealing, from a financial perspective. Add inadequate reimbursement from insurance plans, and it's easy to see why the 43 million people with a diagnosable mental disorder might have trouble finding the care they need. (Washington Post)
8. The IRS will recognize same-sex marriages regardless of where they were performed.
On the heels of the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriages in every state, the IRS and Treasury Department have proposed regulations ensuring that same-sex couples are treated equally under the law. The regulations include interpreting "husband" and "wife" to apply to same-sex couples, thus ensuring that all married couples receive the benefits entitled to a spouse under the law. (SFGate)
9. Yes, 2015 is probably the hottest year on record.
This year so far has topped last year's temperatures by a substantial margin. The U.S. meteorological agency said that last month was the hottest September to date and the year as a whole has been the hottest since 1880. (NYT)
10. Forget bank statements; these French ATMS are dispensing short stories.
Grenoble, the capital of the French Alps, just installed eight new ATMs that pop out short stories ambling city-folk can read to pass time (CityLab).
11. Major corporations are refusing to sell genetically engineered apples.
Wendy's, McDonald's, and Gerber are all turning away "Arctic apples" — apples that have been genetically engineered to resist browning when sliced. Though approved by the USDA, the fruit has Wendy's reps saying that "it's becoming increasingly clear that there is no demand for this new GMO." (Friends of the Earth)
12. The entrepreneurs behind Thug Kitchen have quite an interesting backstory and a great message alongside it.
“We’re not going to tell you how to feel. We’re just trying to get people to eat some damn vegetables.” — Thug Kitchen co-founder Matt Holloway (NYT)