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.
Edward Snowden at SXSW
Whether you’re worried about online privacy or are just a fan of models turned hackers, you should get yourself to Austin for the South by Southwest Interactive conference starting on Friday. NSA leaker Edward Snowden is going give a talk via teleconference on the ways technology can help protect us from mass surveillance. No word yet as to whether he’s going to Skype in to see that band you’ve never heard of but all of your cool friends like.
RT Anchor Resigns on Air
If you’ve never heard of RT, it is a news network—funded by the Russian government— that probably occupies some channel you didn’t think you got on your cable box. This week the network made waves when two of its anchors spoke out against their funding source and its actions in the Ukraine. One of those anchors quit on the air. Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn’t commented on the anchors’ comments, but all signs indicate he’s topless with anger.
Could it be true? With its focus on sustainable ingredients and ethically treated animals, Chipotle is like your friend who won’t shut up about his Prius, except that instead of smug self-importance it serves delicious burritos. That eco-friendly focus is what sent the entire population of Southern California into a panic when rumors began to swirl that their beloved guac could be taken away due unstable food prices caused by climate change. Fortunately, Chipotle nipped this one in the bud. So don’t worry everyone, your guacamole is safe for the time being.