August 4, 2017

Weekend reads: What Congress' busy schedule means for DC plastic surgeons—and their political clientele

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    How to be a climate change hero: Give up beef, study says. According to a new study in Climactic Change, the United States could achieve between 46 and 72 percent of the 2020 greenhouse-gas emission goals established by former President Barack Obama in 2009 with one simple—if gastronomically challenging—dietary substitution: Swap out all the beef you eat for beans. The savings stem from inefficient cattle processing, the researchers said, explaining how beans are included in cattle feed—and cattle eat a lot more beans than humans do. In fact, according to the United Nations, 33 percent of the arable land on Earth is used to grow livestock feed, and 26 percent of the ice-free land on Earth is used to graze livestock. So if Americans stopped eating beef and ate beans instead, there'd be significantly less deforestation and land degradation, the researchers concluded.

    Why do your muscles hurt so badly the day after working out? That virtuous pain you feel the day after your first workout in a while has a name—and understanding the science behind your muscle pain could help you recover faster, Sara Kiley Watson writes for Popular Science. According to Thomas Brickner, head physician for multiple sports teams at the University of North Carolina, that pain is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), and while many people think the pain stems from a build up of lactic acid, it's actually comes from diffuse microscopic injuries to your muscles and the resultant inflammation. The pain will likely dissipate on its own in a few days, but if you want to speed things up, Brickner recommends you stay hydrated, complete "contrast baths" (switching between hot and cold baths to open and close blood vessels) and get a gentle massage to aid healing.

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    What Congress' busy schedule means for D.C. plastic surgeons—and their political clientele. A busy congressional session has prompted scheduling changes for the D.C.-area doctors "who help their congressional clients save face," Kenzie Bryant writes for Vanity Fair. Citing the delayed start to the Senate's August recess—which has since begun—Ariel Rad, a plastic surgeon in D.C., said, "I have a sort of a backlog of patients who have been waiting for the dates to become much more clear so that they can schedule." Separately, Michael Somenek, a facial plastic surgeon, told Vanity Fair that there's been an uptick in certain "expedited" procedures since President Trump took office. Somenek pointed to the accelerated news cycle, saying, "Over the past six to eight months, we're really seen a surge in the non-surgical, skin-tightening realm." 

    The rise of the Maine lobsterwomen. Women are increasingly joining the ranks of the Maine lobster boat fleet, Murray Carpenter reports for NPR's "All Things Considered." According to Carpenter, the physically demanding nature of the job has meant it's "traditionally been considered a man's job." But times are starting to change: As of 2016, 434 of Maine's more than 5,000 lobster licenses belonged to women. Carpenter profiles Sadie Samuels, a woman in her mid-twenties whose father is a lobsterman. Samuels said while she still faces some skepticism from her customers when she tells them she caught the lobsters herself, her fellow fishermen "are far less skeptical," Carpenter reports—and the customers are "slowly coming around" as well.

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