6 Things You Need To Know Today (April 7)

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1. Our contracting attention spans are shaping the evolution of pop music.

A new study out of Ohio State University that analyzed megahits from 1986 and 2014 found that instrumental introductions are shorter now than ever before, averaging five seconds versus the roughly 23 seconds of music before vocals began. This of course doesn't take other genres into account, only global pop hits. (Yahoo News)

2. A New York gym is turning off the news.

Ever feel stressed out while watching bad news on TV? Blink Fitness, a gym in New York and New Jersey, is turning off the bad news in favor of more "uplifting" programs. It's unclear what said uplifting programs are, but they're definitely not cable news. (Science Of Us)

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3. Despite "unequivocal evidence" of the harmful effects of tobacco on health, the number of smoking-related deaths has gotten worse.

An eye-opening new study in the medical journal Lancet found that in 2015, 11.5 percent of global deaths (approximately 6.4 million people) were attributable to smoking worldwide. The study used over 2,818 pieces of research identified through several sources, including the Global Health Data Exchange, World Health Organization, and International Smoking Statistics Database. (Market Watch)

4. It's time we start questioning the clothes on our backs.

A deep dive into the sustainable practices of today's biggest clothing brands yields mix results. While brands can make a real impact by cutting back on their water and chemical use, power their facilities with renewable energy, and developing new, greener fabrics, very few are actually doing so effectively. (The Economist)

5. You can learn a lot from 5,000 brain scans.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh just conducted the biggest study ever on the variations between the male and female brain. Results showed that they are mostly the same, but that there are key differences—which could help develop strategies to treat diseases that hit one sex harder than the other. (Science of Us)

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6. Seventeen states have formally challenged Trump over clean power plan.

On Wednesday, 17 states filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration's efforts to roll back climate change regulations. "The law is clear: the EPA must limit carbon pollution from power plants," Eric Schneiderman, New York attorney general, said in a statement. (Scientific American)

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