1. Cuteness is messing with our heads.
Many researchers believe that traits associated with "cuteness" are evolutionary signals to parents that their offspring is healthy and worth caring for. Looking at cute things releases dopamine and creates positive feelings toward the cute subject. So, using big-eyed, fluffy characters as mascots for brands or products is a way of playing on our biology and encouraging us to buy. (Washington Post)
2. The promise of free pizza is more motivational than money, apparently.
Whether you're trying to lose weight or you're saving for a big vacation, you probably think you'd prefer cash over a slice of hot pizza, right? Not so, according to an experiment conducted at a factory in Israel. The experiment found that workers were the most productive when promised free pizza, the second most productive when given a compliment, and the least motivated when offered a cash bonus. Ah, the power of pizza—with a cauliflower crust, of course. (Science Of Us)
3. America just made a huge renewable energy deal.
Iowa just approved plans for the nation's largest wind energy project, which will power 800,000 homes once completed by the end of 2019. (EcoWatch)
4. Generic EpiPens will soon be easier to obtain.
Mylan NV will soon start selling a generic version of its EpiPen at half the price. This comes after the company raised the price of the pen by 400 percent over nine years, topping off at $600. (Bloomberg)
5. An app for Alzheimer's patients — created by a 12-year-old.
Emma Yang was inspired to create her creation, called Timeless, out of sheer frustration in trying to connect with her own grandmother,who lives in Hong Kong. “The distance makes it hard to stay engaged with her, especially as the illness progresses,” said Yang. (NextAvenue)
6. Should you let your children quit?
Experts are now agreeing that elementary-school-age children should be exposed to a range of activities and urged to pursue them, because as they get older, a natural winnowing occurs. (WSJ)