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December 21, 2018

Long weekend reads: 5 hazards to watch out for this holiday season (including Santa)

Daily Briefing

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    This cat traveled 700 miles—in a box. Baloo, a young tabby cat from Nova Scotia, ended up 700 miles away from home when he crawled into a parcel that was headed to Alberta. In Montreal, 17 hours into his trip across the country, Baloo was discovered by a delivery driver. A local shelter used the package's tracking code to find Baloo's owners, and he was returned to his family on Saturday.

    Are high-fat yogurts the next food trend? While low-fat yogurts were once all the rage, higher-fat yogurts are gaining popularity. Low-fat yogurts came into favor in the 1990s, following dietary guidelines released in 1980 that endorsed a low-fat diet. Now, the tide may be turning, thanks in part to the Atkins diet, which promoted the virtues of fat and dangers of carbs. Sales of "opulent" high-fat yogurt increased by over 11% this year, Jamie Keiles reports for Vox.

    Ben Palmer's reads

    The 5 dangers of Christmas. For all its joy, Christmastime comes with a host of risks. According to experts and researchers, here's what to watch out for this holiday season: 1) This might come as a surprise, but Santa Claus—or at least his mall impersonators—can lead to injury. In fact, one study found hundreds of children were involved in Santa-associated injuries between 2007 and 2016, including falls from Santa's lap. 2) Knife and scissor injuries spike on Christmas, so be careful unwrapping presents. 3) Perhaps unsurprisingly, hanging Christmas decorations can cause injury as well, ranging from ladder falls to cuts from broken ornaments. 4) Dry Christmas trees present a fire risk, so buy fresh if you're investing in a real tree and keep it watered. 5) And finally, be careful how you dispose of that wrapping paper. Never burn it in your fireplace, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, as it can result in a "flash fire … because wrappings can ignite suddenly and burn intensely."

    Later school start times may mean better grades for students. Students in Seattle slept longer—and got better grades—after their school district delayed school start time by an hour, according to a study in Science Advances. Researchers tracked what happened after the Seattle School District delayed high school start times from 7:50 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.  The researchers found that school attendance improved and late arrivals declined—especially at a school with mostly economically disadvantaged students—and that students were less sleepy during the day. Median grades also increased 4.5% after the change, while first-period absenteeism declined from 15.5 per student per year to 13.6.

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