12 Things You Need To Know Today (December 19)
1. You can now buy bottled air from the Rocky Mountains (yes, really).
A Canadian company is trying to meet the demand for clean air in China, where pollution recently reached a record high, by selling bottled Rocky Mountain air for up to $20. (BBC)
2. That guy from "The Office," aka John Krasinski, is now crazy-buff.
He gained 25 pounds of muscle for his next action flick, in which he'll play a Navy SEAL. (Men's Health)
3. Does this mean we can stop spelling "nut mylk" with a "y" now?
Vegan brand Just Mayo was given permission by the FDA to continue to call itself mayonnaise despite the lack of the traditional mayonnaise ingredient: eggs. (AP)
4. Jessica Biel is a restaurateur now.
The actress and mother is opening a new L.A. restaurant that will be both kid-friendly (with activities like finger-painting) and serve healthy, organic fare. (Eater)
5. This new app could be the future of group therapy.
Koko, a new social media platform, focuses on mental health and gives users the opportunity to crowdsource advice after anonymously sharing their problems and questions on the forum. (Wired)
6. Bradley Cooper is all for equal pay.
In an interview with Barbara Walters, the actor talked about the gender pay gap in Hollywood, saying, "In general, we live in a patriarchal society." (Refinery29)
7. Could raising liquor taxes lower rates of STIs?
A new study finds that when Maryland hiked taxes on alcohol in 2011 from 6 to 9 percent, the rate of new gonorrhea infections fell by 24 percent. The researchers suggest that the decreased alcohol consumption led to less risky sex. (NYT)
8. There may soon be a new screening for ovarian cancer.
Researchers report that there's a promising new way to test for the cancer, which uses a formula to interpret blood results, called the risk of ovarian cancer algorithm (ROCA). Although more research is needed, the study found that deaths decreased 20 percent for women who were screened with the method. (NYT)
9. Cate Blanchett says her sexuality is no one's business.
In her new movie "Carol," the actress has a sexual encounter with Rooney Mara, and earlier this year, she was quoted in Variety as saying she had had relationships with women ''many times," though they never specified whether they were sexual in nature or not. (mbg)
10. L.A.'s weed-buying process may be legitimized, but New York's is customized.
While L.A.'s legal weed dispensaries are the Willa Wonka Chocolate Factory of marijuana, New York provides a variety of on-demand, to-your-doorstep services tailored to your personal pot-consumption needs. (The Cut)
11. Lightsaber fitness classes are now a thing.
Lightsaber-sparring classes are popping up across America. Fans get to sweat it out in character, practicing moves just like the lightsaber battles from the movies. (mbg)
12. Scientists discovered the first link between brain chemistry and autism.
MIT and Harvard University researchers found that autistic behavior is associated with a specific neurotransmitter in the brain known as GABA. (Harvard Gazette)