1. Apparently orgasms are all about rhythmic timing.
In a new paper, a Northwestern University researcher sheds light on how orgasm works in the brain. Neuroscientist Adam Safron has come up with a theory in which rhythmic sexual activity influences brain rhythms. "The idea that sexual experiences can be like trance states is in some ways ancient," Safron said. "In theory, this could change the way people view their sexuality. Sex is a source of pleasurable sensations and emotional connection, but beyond that, it's actually an altered state of consciousness.” Sexual healing indeed! (Science Daily)
2. Yes, skipping a workout when you're stressed is probably a bad idea.
While a stressful day at work might leave you craving a pint of ice cream and a Netflix binge, you're so much better off hitting the gym or yoga studio. According to a new study, being physically fit fights stress-related health risks—and will probably make you feel a lot better than that ice cream we mentioned. (Science Of Us)
3. Spinach could be an expert bomb detector.
Yes, the green that's been playing second fiddle to kale for the past few years has the ability to read an environment and communicate whether anything is amiss. Researchers at MIT have discovered that when implanted with small cylinders of carbon, spinach plants, "could detect nitro-aromatics, the chemical compound found in landmines and buried munitions" and emit a fluorescent light that can be read by an infrared camera. How's that for bringing "superfood" to a whole new level? (Munchies)
4. Does Facebook deserve a place in your health routine?
Social media is often portrayed as the enemy of meaningful social interaction, but a new study says that this might not be the case. The research out of U.C.-San Diego found that people who spend more time on Facebook actually live longer since they often have healthier, more active social lives. "The research confirms what scientists have known for a long time about the offline world: People who have stronger social networks live longer," said a news release on the report. (NYT)
5. Can oral sex really raise your risk for cancer?
We're hesitant to break this news, but a new study shows a link between men who had recently performed oral sex and a higher incidence of oral HPV infections (which can lead to head and neck cancers). The more partners a man had, the higher his risk. For whatever reason, women often build up an immunity to HPV, proving yet again that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. (Oxford Journals)
6. Breast cancer patients don't need implants to feel whole.
Reconstructive breast surgery, once standard following cancer-related mastectomies, may be on the decline, at least among some women who say the practice isn't for them. Advised by doctors who say implants help restore femininity, a growing number of women are declining the elective surgery, turning to social media to proudly reveal their scarred chests. Said one woman pioneering the trend of going flat, "Having something foreign in my body after a cancer diagnosis is the last thing I wanted." (NYT)
7. Eating ramen solo just got easier (and cooler) thanks to this Japanese restaurant trend.
Three weeks ago, Ichiran, the Japan- and Hong Kong-based ramen eatery opened its doors in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The food shop, which prides itself on a zen approach to dining, aims at providing diners with a low-interaction experience. In other words, you're eating alone while focusing only on the food that's presented to you—what we call "eating mindfully." Critics have presented opposing views on the actual food, but one thing is for sure: In a city like New York, there are very few places to eat alone with intention. (QZ)
8. Paid sick leave can make you (and your company) more productive.
According to a recent poll, each week 1.5 million Americans without paid sick leave go to work when they are feeling under the weather. This includes many hospital and restaurant employees, and it can greatly contribute to the spread of disease.The good news? Studies have shown that paid sick leave increases employee productivity, decreases turnover, and can even be linked to better health in the long term, which might motivate employers to start offering it more often. Win-win! (NYT)
9. Not surprisingly, cellphones and tablets are linked to less sleep in kids and teens.
Screen time continues to disrupt our lives and has even creeped into the lives of our kids. Children and teens ages 6 to 18 who use electronics close to bedtime have a harder time falling asleep and don't sleep as well. This is true even when unused electronics are kept in bedrooms overnight. While more in-depth research is needed in this age group, one thing's for sure: We all could use a little help unplugging. (NYT)