You will respect my authority (warning: South Park clip). In one of the stranger moves of 2017, the American Diabetes Association tried really really, hard (think someone looking over your shoulder) to lockdown photo sharing via social media at their annual conference. Twits were greeted with “Thanks for joining us at #2017ADA! Photography isn’t allowed during presentations — we’d appreciate it if you’d delete this tweet.” Charming. And it gets better. The rebukes even came when people shared photos during an open innovation session. @MatthewJDalby said it best, “The first rule of open innovation: You don’t talk about open innovation.” We are a little jealous we didn’t come up with that one. We think the burden of privacy in today’s world sits with the presenter, not the audience. Agreed?
Britain’s NHS has been struggling to keep up with nurse staffing, just like the US, Japan, and seemingly most of the world. The UK health system is projected to have a shortage of 30,000 nurses in the next year, and Brexit isn’t helping that number any. About 1,300 EU nurses applied to work in the country the month after Brexit. That same figure in April? Just 46. That’s about a 96% drop. This InsightCity writer has seen drag shows with less dramatic drops. To be sure, this is a chronic shortage and the Brexit vote is definitely not the primary cause of it. But it’s something to keep in mind as the UK prepares to begin goodbye negotiations with the EU.
What’s in a name? Research from Stanford recently found it is human nature to prefer the unhealthy option. Measuring the habits of ~28,000 diners in the university cafeteria showed that vegetables prepared exactly the same fared quite differently among consumers when given different names. An indulgent name, like “twisted citrus-glazed carrots” sparked 25% more people to select the vegetable when compared to its basic name “carrots,” and 41% more people selected the indulgently named veg when compared to a healthy restrictive name like “carrots with sugar-free citrus dressing.” How do we use this info for good, not evil? We recommend names like sinful sweet potato alfredo and a 22 oz. slab o’ cow flesh.
Two options: honey lemon chicken or marinated tofu. I know, I know that’s not a tough choice and face it, even vegans would choose the chicken if they could. But for the 150 million+ diabetics worldwide, tofu and cooked millet may become your new favorite meal. OK, so the favorite part may be an exaggeration, but hey, if a vegetarian diet can increase weight loss and improve your metabolism then it’s worth a shot, or a taste. Yep, according a new study this veggie diet beat out the conventional diabetic diet on both counts, just not the taste category. Of course with diabetes prevalence expected to double by 2025 and with one-third of the world now considered overweight, we may want to consider rewiring our taste buds.
We all know about the orange glow that anyone using fake tanner gets…*ahem Mr. President*…but have no fear, there may be hope for fair-skinned individuals in the future. Recently, scientists studied a method that gives mice a tan without using ultraviolet radiation and found it works on human skin samples. Whereas self-tanning lotion just stains the skin, this new “tanning chemical” activates the production of the dark form of the skin pigment melanin which absorbs UV radiation and lessens damage to skin cells. So not only could you get a bit tanner but the chemical could help fair-skinned individuals battle sun damage. While it likely wouldn’t be a replacement for sun screen, maybe the two could be combined so that we don’t end up like this…
The hippocampus, that is. And this InsightCity writer thought alcohol only killed off the weak brain cells. On the contrary. A longitudinal study of 550 middle-aged people showed that increases in alcohol consumption are associated with increases in hippocampal atrophy. Not only is that a pretty rad band name, but it also leads to difficulties with memory and spatial navigation. Increasing risk of structural damage begins around 14-21 units of alcohol per week for men, while current US guidelines suggest up to 24.5 units per week is safe. Additionally, contrary to everything Grandpa believed, the study found no brain benefit to drinking low levels of alcohol. Wuuut? Next, you’re going to tell me my crystal meth isn’t the cavity fighting agent I claim it to be.
Feeling blue but don’t have the time/money/energy to go see a professional therapist? Or do you just hate interacting with people? Woebot may be just the “fully automated conversational agent” (AKA chatbot) you’re looking for. Chatbots are popping up all over, but this one has some research to back up its claims of being able to reduce depression. For $39 a month, Woebot will check in on you once a day and ask some simple, judgement free questions about how you’re doing. If you cancel your Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Showtime subscriptions, you can easily pay for this service and an extra latte or two. If you watch all of those, that might be a major source of the problem. This writer does what he can to help, free of charge.