7 Things You Need To Know Today (December 14)

7 Things You Need To Know Today (December 14) Hero Image
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1. The water crisis is getting seriously scary.

The results of a yearlong investigation in rural communities across the country found that 4 million Americans drink water that has not undergone adequate testing for chemicals like lead. In more than 2,000 communities, lead tests were skipped more than once. (USA Today)

2. Sniff your way to sanity during this trying holiday season.

We've known for a long time that you can utilize scent to manipulate your mood, but finally, we no longer have to be the crazy lady stopped at airport security because she was carrying one too many essential oils. New technology has made way for some chic airport-friendly products that help us manipulate our sense of smell, including rubber incense. #Grateful. (The Guardian)

3. Period activism and menstrala art are reaching new heights.

Since the 1970s, artists have been attempting to reframe menstruation, forcing audiences to confront the shame, distaste, or discomfort that is often associated with this quintessentially female experience. In a new cabaret show Dr. Carnesky's Incredible Bleeding Woman at London's Soho Theatre, several artists are making powerful statements about the role of menstruation, intended to subvert the taboo. (The Guardian)

4. Reindeer are not exempt from the hazards of climate change.

Over the past 20 years, starvation has caused our favorite species of holiday deer to be born smaller and lighter. According to ecologists, this is because increasing temperatures create less snow and more rain—which freezes into ice—and prevents reindeer from accessing their food supply on the ground. If this makes you feel intensely sad, you are not alone! (Science Daily)

5. Weight-loss solutions are not one size fits all.

Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the obesity, metabolism, and nutrition institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, estimates that there are 59 varieties of obesity, each of which requires a different treatment. He compares obesity to cancer in that every variety needs to be handled with unique medications and therapies. (NYT)


6. Pipeline spills 176,000 gallons of crude into creek 150 miles from Dakota Access protest camp.

A pipeline leak has spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into a North Dakota creek roughly two and a half hours from Cannon Ball, where protesters are opposing the Dakota Access pipeline. State environmental scientist Bill Suess says a landowner discovered the spill on December 5 near the city of Belfield, which is roughly 150 miles from the epicenter of the Dakota Access pipeline protest camps. The leak was contained within hours of its discovery, but It's not yet clear why electronic monitoring equipment didn't detect the leak. (CNBC)

7. There's a reason we walk on our heels instead of our toes.

When human beings walk, our heels strike the ground before our toes do, unlike most animals, who walk on the balls of their feet. This gives humans extra "virtual limb" length, making us more efficient walkers than our animal friends. (Science Daily)

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