17 Things You Need To Know Today (April 1)
1. Donald Trump is officially a yogi.*
He took our advice and started getting his downward dog on. Now he's only red in the face when he's upside down. He's become so flexible, he's even willing to apologize for all the offensive misogynistic things he's said.
2. Meditation will be a sport at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.*
It might not be the most exciting event to watch, but it'll definitely be the most Zen-tertaining. Pro meditators have been training for years at high altitudes for optimal deep breathing rates. Jon Kabat-Zinn will be head judge, and in a press release, he said, "I can't wait to give out the first-ever gold medal for transcending."
3. Sugar is no longer the devil.*
Just a couple of months ago, the World Health Organization announced that it is cutting its recommended sugar intake for adults in half, from the original 10 percent of total daily calories to 5 percent. But with new surprising research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, it has changed its recommendation to a whopping 20 percent, adding in the report, "Sugar's been wrongly vilified." Time to chug those Pixy Stix and chase 'em with Mountain Dew!
*APRIL FOOLS!!!!!!!!! (Mua-ha-ha-ha)
Now, for the real news:
1. Juicero is the juicer startup that everyone's talking about.
mbg's own Colleen Wachob weighed in about the company's owner, Doug Evans, "This is not some guy who looked at a Bloomberg terminal and said, ‘Juice is trending.' He’s been into this since before it was cool.” (NY Times)
2. World Cup winners accuse U.S. Soccer of pay discrimination.
Five key players from the U.S. women's national team—Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, and Carli Lloyd—announced that they had filed a complaint, asking the EEOC to investigate U.S. Soccer for gender discrimination in pay. A lawyer for the players said that the women's players made as little as 40 percent of what the U.S. men's national team made—and it doesn't end there. (NY Times)
3. Siri is now capable of discussing sexual assault.
After research showed Siri and other smartphone assistants did not understand confessions of rape or abuse, Apple partnered with the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, or RAINN, to step up Siri's responses. Now when you say statements like "I was raped," she'll direct you to the National Sexual Assault Hotline, or 800-656-HOPE. (ABC News)
4. The ice caps are melting a lot faster than we thought.
A new climate model predicts that the Arctic ice sheet could melt fast enough to raise sea levels 6 feet by 2100—something scientists previously thought would take hundreds, if not thousands, of years. (NY Times)
5. When women feel pressure to be perfect, it takes a toll on their sex lives.
In the first in-depth study of how different types of sexual perfectionism affects women over a period of time, researchers found that it contributes to a negative self-image and takes a toll on their sex life. (Science Newsline)
6. Doctors successfully performed the first organ transplant between HIV-positive patients.
Surgeons at Johns Hopkins announced that the HIV-positive recipients of the first liver and the first U.S. kidney transplant from an HIV-positive donor were doing well. The success of the surgeries, which took place a few weeks ago, gives hope to thousands of potential recipients living with HIV. (CNN)
7. Long-term antibiotic treatment doesn't ease chronic Lyme symptoms.
There's been a debate in the medical community over how to treat patients who experience pains, aches, and exhaustion years after standard Lyme disease treatment. Some groups encourage long-term antibiotic use to ease symptoms while others insist that antibiotics after the initial two-week course don't help. Now, a new study supports the second recommendation. In the clinical trial, patients who received prolonged antibiotic treatment did no better than those who received a placebo. (NPR)
8. A new bill in New Jersey would test all school water for lead.
New Jersey’s Senate leader Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat, criticized Gov. Chris Christie’s administration for a lack of urgency in responding to lead contamination at Newark schools and called for the state to require all 589 school districts to test drinking water. (WSJ)
9. Leonardo DiCaprio's environmental activism could get him deported.
Following his public outrage over Indonesia's palm oil industry, the local government is threatening to make the actor leave the country immediately. We wish this was an April Fools' joke. (EcoWatch)
10. People have finally caught on that soda's not the greatest.
Soda consumption has fallen to a 30-year low in the United States. Diet soda sales have been especially weak due to consumers becoming increasingly skeptical of artificial sweeteners like aspartame. (Fortune)
11. Governor vetoes bill to defund Planned Parenthood at a Planned Parenthood clinic.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have blocked the state's Department of Health from providing non-Medicaid funds to any entity that performs abortions. And for the cherry on top: He did it at a Planned Parenthood health center in Richmond. What a hero. (The Cut)
12. Male birth control could soon be a thing.
A promising new study suggests that a condomless, reversible form of male birth control could be on the market within a few years. In the study, the nonhormonal injection—called Vasalgel—was tested in rabbits and was found to be almost 100 percent effective. (Newsweek)
13. Trader Joe's is undercutting Whole Foods big time.
Deutsche Bank analysts found that similar items were 26 percent cheaper at TJ's compared to Whole Foods, which is significantly cheaper than previous estimates. The move caught "Whole Paycheck" off guard, as they were forced to cut prices on similar items. (Business Insider)
14. A huge aquaponics lab will open in Brooklyn this summer.
Aquaponics—a closed-loop food production system that uses fish waste to fertilize plants—is expected to bring 180,000 pounds of sustainable salad greens to local grocery stores. (Fast CoExist)
15. Chipotle is getting into the burger game.
The Mexican chain applied for a trademark for "Better Burger" this Wednesday. They have yet to give more details about the new venture. (USA Today)
16. The FDA supports expanded use of medical abortion pill.
American women are about to have easier access to a prescribed abortion pill, thanks to updated prescription guidelines. The new guidelines have expanded use to "70 days of gestation from the current 49 days, cutting the recommended dose of the drug and reducing the number of required visits to a doctor." (Reuters)
17. "Real sugar" is being used to market sweet soft drinks.
The appeal is supposed to be that the sugar is natural as opposed to fake or GMO. Remember that although some types of sugar may even contain certain vitamins or minerals, it is still not a reason to reach for them to get those nutrients. (WSJ)