Belated good news, released late last fall: fewer Americans are lighting up these days. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoking was down to 14%, versus more than 40% back in the mid-60’s.
Even the French have cut back. 2017 saw a drop of one million smokers, and there’s been a decline among teenage smokers as well.
I’m breathing easier just knowing this. Still, it’s hard to imagine that anyone still smokes these days, given the well-documented health risks. What’s happening in your country?
Scientists have learned what India’s snake charmers have known for years: flute music has calming properties. But it’s not just about stress relief: hearing certain instruments actually improved brain function in premature babies.
Quick — someone please commission this composer to create music for our government buildings!
The Nature Conservancy recently reported survey results indicating that Hawaiian coral reefs are showing signs of growth and stabilization after devastating bleaching occurred in 2015. The healthier reefs were generally further away from excessive exposure to “human influences”, but even the most vulnerable species are starting to recover.
What’s more, there’s good news for fish living on coral reefs impacted by climate change*. A new study suggests that these reefs can still be productive, as the fish get most of their food from the currents which flow past them.
Ruby chocolate is a variety of chocolate introduced in 2017 by the Callebaut cocoa company. It’s been in development since 2004, but was only recently unveiled to the public.
The chocolate is made from the “ruby cocoa bean“ (possibly, unfermented cocoa beans, which can be naturally reddish pink), with a taste described as “sweet yet sour”, and having “little to none” of the cocoa flavor traditionally associated with other types of chocolate.
In April 2018, Kit Kat announced the release of the ruby chocolate in the UK — have any of you UK readers tried it yet? — and we can expect to see ruby chocolate soon in the US.
Is there anything more stressful than seeing a rapidly-approaching/lights-flashing/siren-howling police car in your rearview mirror? Here’s some great advice for the best possible scenario if you’re ever pulled over. Happy Memorial Day, everyone, and drive safely!