Every week by this point you have undoubtedly spent nearly 100 percent of your time online watching videos of cats riding vacuum cleaners and finding out which character from Blossom you really are. Meanwhile, the world has been going on without you. Here are some things you missed while you were buried in the Internet:
Protein-Rich Diet May Kill You
In this week’s study-that-disproves-previous-studies-but-is-sure-to-be-proved-wrong-by-future-studies, a diet high in animal proteins—meat, eggs, cheese—could be as harmful to a middle age person as smoking. A study of more than 6,000 Americans concluded that a protein-rich diet during middle age could lead to a higher risk of cancer. And if that wasn’t scary enough for you, the same study found that not eating enough animal protein while you’re in your 60s also could lead to a higher risk of cancer! Good luck, everyone.
SAT Getting Reworked
Are you a nervous high school freshman? Are you the nervous parent of a procrastinating high school freshman? Either way, there’s good news from the fine folks who put together the SAT. Come 2016 they are making the essay portion of the test—which has existed only since 2005—optional. The official reasoning is that the testers want to “make the exam more representative of what students learn in high school,” but the real reason is likely that the essay was basically useless. As MIT’s writing director Les Perelman pointed out, (and as your author who is a former SAT tutor experienced personally) factual accuracy plays no part in whether an essay was considered good. They are essentially the talk radio of the college entrance exam.