November 2, 2018

Weekend reads: Stolen colon is flushed out of hiding

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    The mystery of the stolen colon. For days, residents of Kansas City, Missouri wondered who had stolen a 10-foot-by-10-foot, 150-pound inflatable colon owned by the Colon Cancer Foundation, a group that raises awareness about colon cancer. But on Monday, a days-long police investigation flushed the stolen colon out of hiding. No arrests were made as of Monday—in fact, the organization said it had dumped any plans to press charges. Suffice to say, investigators are likely pooped after an investigation of such scope.

    The most effective smoke alarm might be … your mom? A mother's voice is more effective at waking up children and getting them out of their room than a traditional smoke alarm, according to a study  in the Journal of Pediatrics. The researchers monitored 176 children ages five to 12 with EEG electrodes. Once the children fell asleep, the researchers set off either a standard smoke alarm or one of three recordings of the child's mother shouting the child's name and instructions. The researchers found that a mother's voice woke up almost 90% of the children and got them out of their rooms in less than 30 seconds on average. In comparison, a standard alarm only woke up about 50% of the children and took an average of nearly five minutes to get them out of their room.

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    The 26.2-mile-long road to recovery. As part of their recovery from opioid misuse disorder, a group of patients from Odyssey House—a drug and alcohol treatment center in New York—as well as supporters and former patients, will run the New York City Marathon. Odyssey House COO John Tavolacci, who has run 22 marathons, started the running group in 2001 as a supplement to treatment. He's seen the team help boost participants' self-esteem and fill time that might otherwise be used for unhealthy behaviors.

    Your Reese's Cup is going on a diet. Hershey's this week announced it will launch a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup that's 40% thinner than the original confection. Why? Hershey's President Michele Buck said the product is for consumers who "want something sweet with more permissibility." According to the Washington Post's Rachel Siegel, Hershey's is focusing on consumer's sense of guilt. Ravi Dhar, director of the Center for Customer Insights at the Yale School of Management, said, "The permissibility comes from the guilt that people feel and it creates a sort of rationalization."

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