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March 29, 2019

Weekend reads: Drunk shoppers spent $40B online last year—here's what they bought

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Late-night snacker? Blame a lack of sleep, study says. Why do you feel the urge to have a late-night snack after eating dinner? According to a recent study in Current Biology, it could be a lack of sleep. For the study, researchers took 36 healthy people and put them in a lab for two weeks. For three nights, participants slept for nine hours a night, then they were randomly assigned to a "sleep restriction" group, where they were limited to five hours of sleep a night; a "sleep recovery" group, where they were limited to five hours per night, but were allowed to sleep in on the weekend; and a control group, where they continued to sleep for nine hours a night. The researchers found that while all three groups ate the same amount of calories, both of the sleep-deprived groups ate more of those calories later in the day—mostly from postprandial snacking—and experienced more weight gain than the control group.

    Study: Psychosis in teens linked to air pollution. Teenagers are at an increased risk of psychotic experiences if they live in an area with high air pollution, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry. For the study, researchers assessed data on 2,063 British teenagers whose health had been tracked from birth through age 18. The researchers found that, when compared with teenagers who lived in areas where air pollution was lowest, those who lived in more polluted areas were between 27% and 72% more likely to have a psychotic experience, depending on the type of pollutant. Exposure to nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxides accounted for 60% of the association.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    Here's how much drunk shoppers spent in 2018—and what they bought. Drunk American shoppers spent almost $40 billion online last year, according to an annual survey. The survey found that while fewer Americans are shopping under the influence, those who do are spending more money per person. The most popular purchases among intoxicated shoppers were—unsurprisingly—food items, accounting for 50% of purchases; followed by clothing and shoes, at 43%; and cigarettes, at 30%. However, some shoppers make bigger, long-term investments when intoxicated—about 14% bought vacations, 12% bought pets, and 11% bought cars. The survey also revealed that millennials spend the most when they drink and shop.

    The odds behind this man's flawless NCAA bracket. On Monday, Ohio resident Gregg Nigl became the first person in history to correctly predict 48 games of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Nigl, who followed the teams closely before making his record-breaking bracket, said he "couldn't believe it" when he heard the news—and mathematicians agree that the odds were stacked against the accomplishment. According to Tim Chartier, a math professor at Davidson College, if every game is treated as a 50-50 probability, the odds of someone guessing 48 games in a row are 1 in 281 trillion—and the odds that Nigl will predict the remaining 15 games are about 1 in 32,786, according to Sheldon Jackson, a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois. Nigl's bracket predicts Gonzaga will beat Kentucky for the national title, but he's "not very confident" that his bracket will remain perfect

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