16 Things You Need To Know Today (February 19)

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1. Ever wonder how Katy Perry deals with stress?

She's a big fan of Transcendental Meditation. (Pop Sugar)

2. Global warming is messing with the Maine lobster industry.

Warmer ocean temps are breeding saltwater diseases that are attacking the shells of lobsters, making them inedible. (Washington Post)

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3. The James Beard Award nominees are in, and they're veg-friendly.

Semifinalists include casual vegan burger joint Superiority Burger for best new restaurant and locavore-driven Take Root's Elise Kornack for rising-star chef of the year. (James Beard Foundation)

4. Yet another reason to steer clear of sugar.

A recent study found that baby rats that were fed sugar showed similar damage in the areas of the brain that deal with memory and stress as rats that suffered extreme anxiety at a young age. (Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience)

5. Period pain may be more serious than we thought.

Despite a serious lack of research and attention, menstrual pain affects about one in five women and can be "almost as bad as having a heart attack." (Quartz)

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6. A hat tip to Snickers for recognizing the absurdity of Photoshop.

An ad on the back cover of this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition featured some truly terrible Photoshopping with an image poking fun at the very magazine it was featured in. (Adweek)

7. For pregnant women, a diet rich in vitamin D can help their kids' allergies.

A new study finds that mothers who consumed higher levels of vitamin D while pregnant had a 20 percent lower risk of having children with hay fever. Fish, eggs, dairy products, mushrooms, and cereals contain vitamin D, but the study found that vitamin D supplements did not have the same benefit. (U.S. News & World Report)

8. This woman ate the healthiest food at fast-food restaurants — and nothing else — for a week.

Kate Taylor ate nothing but fast food, three meals a day, for five days. Apparently, it's the cheapest, easiest, most convenient diet she's ever tried. (HuffPo)

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9. Like humans, coral gets sick when it's under stress.

Environmental changes like higher water temps cause coral to release algae, which drains them of their vibrant colors, eventually bleaching them. And like viruses in humans, coral bleaching in one area can cause viral outbreaks of corals. (Quartz)

10. IBM Watson Health just spent $2.6 billion on the acquisition of a health-data-collection company.

Truven Health Analytics collects patient data in hopes of providing more effective, less expensive patient care (also known as "value-based care"). The Watson Health strategy aims to democratize data. The more information health care providers have, the more efficiently they can treat patients and cure diseases. (Business Insider)

11. Social media has a dangerous influence on teenage girls.

Author Nancy Jo Sales presents an interesting exploration of how our online environment "blends age-old sexism with a new notion of sexual liberation through being provocative" and what this means for impressionable teenage girls. (TIME)

12. The first-ever black president of a major TV network was just appointed.

Over at ABC, Channing Dungey has been named entertainment president, making her the "first female African-American to run a broadcast network." (Hollywood Reporter)

13. Global warming could affect how you think and behave.

"Hotheadedness" is a real thing after all, and there are compelling examples of people becoming more irritable and aggressive during warmer weather. (Grist)

14. Kylie Jenner just inked a deal with Puma ...

... much to the dismay of her brother-in-law, sneaker designer Kane West, who said he was "mad for a little bit." (Racked)

15. Ethiopian runner Genzebe Dibaba set a new record for the indoor mile.

She ran it in 4:13:31, breaking a record that had been in place for 26 years. (Runner's World)

16. Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama are on the same page when it comes to mental health.

FLOTUS is praising Duchess Kate's column for Huffington Post UK in which she said she "would not hesitate" to seek mental health help if her children needed it. (BBC)

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