Want to sleep more soundly and have a lot of extra time on your hands? Learning to play the didgeridoo, a wooden wind instrument popularized by indigenous Australians, could be your answer. Studies (yes, there have been studies on this) show that the "circular breathing" technique used when playing the instrument could help strengthen throat muscles and reduce snoring. (The Huffington Post)
1. This is the weirdest solution to snoring we've heard yet.
2. Could THC (yes, in marijuana) be the fountain of youth for our brains?
New research on mice shows that it's more effective than placebo for treating dementia-like symptoms. Mice close to the end of their lives who took a steady dose of THC had brains that looked and worked like brains of much younger ones. Treated mice were able to easily recognize other mice and maintained their orientation skills—two skills that usually go with cognitive decline. Next step: human trials. (Science Daily)
3. Gyms are replacing fast-food chains in the U.K.
Across the pond, "budget" gyms are popping up where fast-food restaurants used to be, and they're just as affordable. As a result, more and more people are hopping on the fitness train: A new report by the Leisure Database Company found that U.K. gym membership rose from 9.2 million to 9.7 million in the last year. (The Guardian)
4. Dove's new body washes are shaped like women.
Dove's the brand that’s been on a mission to get women to embrace their "real beauty" for a few years, and now it's upped the status quo with a new campaign to empower women to embrace their body shape. But many on Twitter aren't buying the ad pitch, citing the campaign as the apotheosis of "empowering advertising." In the United Kingdom for now, the company will sell a limited edition of six Real Beauty Bottles: unusually curvy shampoo bottles to showcase diversity. (Fast Company)
5. Having a sense of humor makes you healthier...right?
Well, kind of. A new study unpacks the long-held belief that humor makes people healthier, showing that while people with better senses of humor seemed better equipped to handle certain types of stressors, it could just be that people who were less distressed were better able to experience humor. Still, it never hurts to smile! (Science of Us)
6. Women's voices are left out of the health care conversation.
The health care bill passed last week was developed by 13 senators—all men. Republicans and Democrats are expressing concern that women may be disproportionately and adversely affected by a bill made without their input. "It’s offensive and it’s troubling that there are no women," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said of the flagrant lack of diversity. (NY Mag)
7. Are coincidences magical or just math?
It turns out, most coincidences are not, in fact, as "crazy" as we'd like to think. For example, the odds of someone winning the lottery four times (like Joan Ginther did) are about 5 million to one. But some coincidences defy logical explanation, and we choose to believe there's a little magic in certain moments of serendipity. (NPR)