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February 21, 2020

Weekend reads: The sugar high is a myth

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Looking to get married? Have your wedding in Hell. The small town of Hell, Michigan, located about 20 miles northwest of Ann Arbor, is looking for 29 couples in Michigan to get married for free on Leap Day, Feb. 29, at 2:29 p.m. in a mass ceremony. According to Reverend Vonn, who will perform the ceremony, each couple will receive a marriage license that says "married in Hell" on it. Vonn said, "There are also some couples [who] are paying officiant and chapel fees to be married in the chapel at different time slots." He added, "It is going to be one Helluva Day."

    There's one letter in the English language that's never silent. Do you know what it is? The English language is full of words that contain silent letters. But according to Merriam-Webster, there is just one letter in the English language that is never silent: the letter V, which always makes the same sound. Meanwhile, there are two letters that are only silent when borrowed from other languages: Z and J. The letter Z is silent in French words used in the English language like "chez" and "rendezvous," while the letter J is silent in just one word in the English language, "marijuana," which is a word borrowed from the Spanish language.

    Danielle Poindexter's weekend reads

    The sugar high myth, debunked. Some parents claim that their children get a "sugar high," or become more hyperactive, after eating a lot of sweets. But do sweets really make people hyperactive? According to Richard Klasco, MD, no, that's actually a myth. The theory first appeared in medical literature in the 1920s, but it became popular after appearing in the book "Why Your Child is Hyperactive" in 1975. In the book, Ben Feingold describes a young boy who went "completely wild" after eating candy and cake. Some studies supported the theory of the sugar high, claiming that high amounts of sugar can cause an increase in insulin secretion, which in turn triggers the production of adrenaline. But the data behind those studies is weak, according to Klasco. In a study published in 1994, a group of researchers studied normal children as well as children who were described as being sensitive to sugar. After nine cognitive and behavioral tests, the researchers concluded "there is no evidence that sugar alone can turn a child with normal attention into a hyperactive child." Another study conducted years later came to the same conclusion.

    Why we use (and hate) corporate buzzwords. If there's one thing American office workers can agree on, it's that corporate buzzwords are simultaneously useful and annoying, Olga Khazan writes for The Atlantic. In Silicon Valley, "disruption" is a good thing and "Big Data" is on the rise. The nonprofit sector can't seem to stop talking about giving "stakeholders" tools for their "tool boxes." In researching how people feel about buzzwords, Khazan found that people tend to hate the words from their own work sector the most. But if buzzwords are so annoying, why do we keep using them? In part, it's because buzzwords can help people communicate more quickly, Khazan explains. They can also help "dress up their otherwise pointless tasks," she adds. In addition, according to Khazan, people use the buzzwords to fit in at work. They "mark the boundary of work life," therefore allowing "workers to relate to one another," she writes.

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