14 Things You Need To Know Today (October 29)

1. Sugar is definitely toxic.

That’s what scientists have concluded from a first-of-its-kind diet study involving overweight kids. (TIME)

2. The first two years of parenting can be more detrimental to happiness than divorce, unemployment, or the death of a partner.

Of couples surveyed just before they had children and again after they became parents, 70 percent showed a decrease in happiness equal to or greater than what they would experience after deeply traumatic life events like the death of a partner. (Demography)

3. This moving photo series highlights the prejudice faced by interracial couples.

Inspired by the resilience of these couples, photographer Donna Pinckley created a series of photos featuring interracial couples and the cruel insults they've faced. Set in the Southern United States, the project is called Sticks and Stones. (BuzzFeed)

4. Parents allow 5-year-old daughter to make end-of-life choice.

The parents of Julianna Snow, a young girl who is dying from Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital for more painful treatments or to stay home and go to heaven. She has chosen to stay home with her family. (CNN)

5. Abby Wambach's next goal: retirement.

With 184 goals under her belt, the most in international soccer history, the 35-year-old sports legend says she is retiring at the end of the year. (ESPN)

6. Obama has the best interpretation of what "playing like a girl" means.

When President Obama honored the World Cup–winning U.S. Women's National Team on Tuesday, he stated that "playing like a girl means you're a badass." He continued by saying, "Playing like a girl means being the best! It means drawing the largest TV audience for a soccer match — men's or women's — in American history." (CNN)

7. Rudeness could be fatal in medicine.

A study published in Pediatrics found that rudeness in hospitals led to more than a 50 percent decrease in performance among doctors and nurses. In hypothetical life-or-death medical situations, rudeness from a third-party doctor damaged cognitive systems, the ability to think, "manage information, and make decisions ... and that hurts patients." (NY Mag)

8. Beware of restaurants mislabeling "wild" salmon.

Oceania (an advocacy organization) tested salmon in restaurants and found that it was mislabeled as "wild" when it was actually farmed 67 percent of the time. Salmon is seasonal, so that number is lower when wild salmon is in season (usually midsummer). (USA Today)

9. Top athletes who are refugees will be allowed to compete at the 2016 games in Rio, for the first time.

The president of the International Olympic Committee announced that refugee athletes will compete under the Olympic flag instead of a national flag. (CNN)

10. Walgreens bought Rite Aid.

If the $17.2 billion deal is passed following an antitrust review, the combined pharmacy chain will have about 13,000 U.S. stores, compared to CVS's 7,800 stores. (CNN Money)

11. People probably wish you were touching them a lot less.

Scientists studied where on the body people feel comfortable having strangers, friends, and family touch them. While we only want strangers to touch our hands (surprise, surprise), some of the more interesting insights were related to a person's nationality. Brits are the least comfortable with being touched while Finns are the most comfortable, and Italians are less comfortable with touch than Russians. (University of Oxford)

12. Someone just paid $23,000 for a cracker.

The flour cracker survived the sinking of the Titanic and it's been preserved in an envelope for the past 103 years. A Greek collector snatched it up (for well beyond its auction price) on Tuesday. (NY Daily News)

13. New study reveals how problematic "big poultry" production really is.

Oxfam America's "Lives on the Line" report describes the gruesome conditions in most of the country's largest poultry production facilities. Workers are expected to process thousands of chickens an hour, which takes a serious toll on workers' health and well-being. (Oxfam)

14. Serena Williams uses affirmations in her passwords.

One more reason to love Serena: The tennis star revealed in Wired that to help stay positive she uses affirmations as the passwords for her phone and computer. "You should try it," she wrote. "You’ll be surprised how many times a day you log in and have an opportunity to trigger the positivity. I love that I can use technology that way." (The Cut)

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