17 Things You Need To Know Today (March 16)

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1. Ever wonder why we kiss?

Researchers are digging into the evolution and purpose of kissing more deeply than before. The results are, if nothing else, enlightening: "Kissing may have evolved from primate mothers' practice of chewing food for their young and then feeding them mouth to mouth. Some scientists theorize that kissing is crucial to the evolutionary process of mate selection." (Scientific American)

2. For the next two weeks, certain United Airlines flights will run on sustainable biofuel.

Though it's a temporary change, it speaks to a larger shift in the aviation industry. (TreeHugger)

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3. Even a little exposure to pesticides can mess with bees.

It changes their floral preferences and hinders their ability to extract nectar and pollen. (Science Daily)

4. If you're still smoking, here's the best way to quit.

Science says quitting "cold turkey was 25 percent more effective than gradually cutting down on cigarettes." (TIME)

5. The amazing photo series helping refugee girls see themselves in their dream careers.

By photographing the girls dressed as what they want to be when they grow up, the International Rescue Committee hopes to inspire support and serve as a reminder of how far they can go. (Rescue.org)

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6. This woman is fighting harassment in an incredibly clever way.

Emily Temple-Wood, a 21-year-old science student, writes a Wikipedia entry for a female scientist every single time she receives a harassing or sexist online comment. (BBC)

7. Why it might be harmful to call breastfeeding "natural."

A new report in the journal Pediatrics argues that using the word "natural" to promote breastfeeding could be unintentionally sending the message that nature and medicine are at odds, and that the natural approach is always better. While it often can be, the researchers explain that this message could potentially fuel anti-Western medicine thinking. (The Cut)

8. An unhealthy environment causes 1 in 4 deaths.

A WHO report finds that more than 12.5 million deaths around the world each year are associated with living in an unhealthy environment. (TIME)

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9. The organic food market in Europe is predicted to reach $39 billion by 2020.

Due to high demand for organic produce and products, technology research company Technavio says the revenue will grow by 7 percent over the next few years. (Business Wire)

10. Young female boxers in Pakistan are punching through gender barriers.

For the past six months, about a dozen young women between the ages of 8 and 17 go to the club after school to practice their jabs, hooks, and uppercuts in the hope of one day bringing a medal home to Pakistan. (The Guardian)

11. These products are so dangerous, ER doctors ban them from their homes.

The list includes trampolines, button batteries, Ramen noodle soups, and other more surprising items. (CNN)

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12. Kanye, Ellie Goulding, and other musicians are teaming up to bring awareness to global poverty.

Spearheaded by Global Citizen co-founder and CEO Hugh Evans and Mumford & Son's Ben Lovett, the album will feature original "lyrics from words and stories told by people around the world, raising awareness of efforts to eradicate extreme poverty, fight climate change, and confront injustice internationally." (Billboard)

13. The White House just made its first trans person appointment, as LGBT liaison.

Obama appointed Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, a transgender woman, as the White House's primary liaison for LGBT issues. She made history by becoming the first openly transgender White House staff member last year. (BuzzFeed)

14. Male birth control pills could soon be a reality.

At the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), scientists claimed they're close to finally making the male birth control pill a reality. (New York Daily News)

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15. Etsy is the latest company to offer gender-neutral parental leave.

The online marketplace for handmade goods joins other companies like Facebook, Netflix, and Patagonia in offering paid gender-neutral parental leave. (NY Mag)

16. The NFL finally admitted football can lead to CTE.

This is a huge deal because the NFL denied the direct relationship for years. For the Cliff's Notes version, rent Concussion. (NY Times)

17. Your yoga mat could have a second life as a masterpiece.

Just hand it over to Alex Ebstein, an artist who's creating yoga mat collages invoking a Matisse-like look. (SELF)

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