8 Things You Need To Know Today (January 12, 2018)
1. New mom Serena Williams opens up about her harrowing birth story.
After an easy pregnancy, Williams struggled through a frightening medical ordeal. When her baby's heart rate plummeted during birth, she was given an emergency C-section. Off her regular regimen of blood thinners to recover from surgery, the tennis star developed blood clots, which rushed her once again into the OR. Now both she and baby are home and happy and looking forward to life as a new family. (Vogue)
2. This game helps fight bias.
A new game called Buffalo has two decks of cards—one with adjectives and one with nouns. The point of the game is to yell out examples of people that fit the combined description you pull. The game's creators say it forces people to navigate around common stereotypes (think male nurse or female physicist). (NPR)
3. Nine-enders are more likely to do extreme things.
Research shows that when your age ends in "9," right before the start of a new decade, you are more likely to do something you never thought you could, like run a marathon. Fun fact: On average, almost half of first-time marathon runners are nine-enders. (The Atlantic)
4. Grass-fed beef is in trouble.
Farmers are saying that grass is becoming less nutrient-dense, which is making grass-fed beef less healthy. Researchers aren't sure exactly why but think it's due to industrial pollution. The cattle grazing on the grass can't get enough nutrients to sustain themselves. (Grub Street)
5. If you have the obesity gene, you're not doomed to be obese.
A new study published in the BMJ that dives into the nature-versus-nurture effect shows that people with the obesity gene benefit the most from healthy eating—lots of nourishing whole foods, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and high-quality proteins. More research is needed to determine nuanced cause and effect, but this particular study is part of a collection that attempts to dismantle the idea that genetic predisposition is not the be all, end all. Empowering! (HealthDay)
6. Dolphins are even smarter than we thought.
New research finds that dolphins are able to recognize themselves in a mirror, which is thought to be a sign of intelligence and self-awareness that few other animals possess (only humans, chimpanzees, elephants, and magpies, we think). (NYT)
7. Here's some news about your drinking water that you should know about.
According to a new report by the Environmental Working Group, 170 million Americans are drinking tap water that contains "radioactive elements at levels that may increase the risk of cancer." The watchdog organization tested 50,000 utilities nationwide between 2010 and 2015. Yet another reason to make sure you're using a good filter. (EWG)
8. Mindfulness makes us more empathetic.
According to new research, mindfulness—or the act of staying present—has benefits beyond reduced stress and lower blood sugar levels. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, also found that being mindful helps us be more empathetic toward strangers. (TIME)