No Bad News

In today’s world, there seems to be more bad news than good news. The truth is, there’s just as much good news out there; the media just isn’t reporting it. If you’re tired of being fed only bad news by the media, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find lighthearted news: inspirational, funny, uplifting and interesting.

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Our Skin Is Covered With Invisible Stripes

Think the tiger and zebra have cornered the market on stripes? Think again — humans also have stripes, we just don’t see them. Human skin is overlaid with what dermatologists call “Blaschko’s Lines” — a pattern of stripes covering the body from head to toe. The stripes run up and down our arms and legs and hug our torso. They wrap around the back of our head like a speed skater’s aerodynamic hood and across our face. The reason we don’t see them is because they can only be seen under UV light. In the early 1900s, German dermatologist Alfred Blaschko reported that many of his patients had rashes and moles that seemed to follow similar formations, almost as though they were tracing invisible lines. Those lines, however, didn’t follow nerves or blood vessels and didn’t represent any known body system. Today, we know what they are: cellular relics of our development from a single cell to a fully formed human. Each one of us began as a single cell, then a little glob of cells. As the cells divided, some became muscles, others bones, still others organs, and some became skin. As those skin cells kept dividing, they expanded and stretched to cover a quickly growing body. One cell line pushed and swirled through another like steamed milk poured into an espresso to make a latte. Blaschko’s lines are the molecular evidence of those swirls (see photo below). Most people will never see their own stripes, and maybe that’s a good thing.
Blaschko's Lines seen under a UV light

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The New Weight Watchers Is Diving Even Further Down the Rabbit Hole

Way back in the early 1960s, Jean Nidetch, an overweight mother from New York, tried unsuccessfully to lose weight on her own. It wasn’t long before she realized that she needed to create a community to hold her accountable. Weight Watchers was unofficially born when she invited 6 of her friends to her house so they could lose weight together. Charging a $3 membership fee, Nidetch provided a nutritional diet that banned alcohol, sweets, and fatty foods. Fast-forward to 2015 when talk show host Oprah Winfrey took over Weight Watchers and the diet began to become unrecognizable. Diet experts have boiled the failure of the new “WW” down to 3 words: too much freedom. Unlimited access to zero point foods proved to be too challenging for most dieters, not to mention the fact that there’s no such thing as a zero-calorie or negative-calorie food. Apart from foods that have been engineered to be calorie-free, like sugar substitutes, virtually all foods contain calories. The bottom line is that there’s simply not enough structure to the new diet plan. To add insult to injury, now WW is jumping into the prescription weight loss drug business using the diabetes drug Ozempic. There’s just one problem with that: doctors recommend that the drug ONLY be used by people who have diabetes. That’s because Ozempic is not FDA-approved for weight management. Speaking about Ozempic as a weight loss solution, Dr. Christopher McGowan, a gastroenterologist specializing in obesity medicine, said, “While it has received significant attention in the media, Ozempic and related GLP-1 medications are not designed to be used in this way. It can lead to potential adverse events, and ultimately the weight that is lost will be regained.” While no one wants to hear it, there’s only one way to lose weight: limit your calorie intake and increase your calorie expenditure through exercise.
Jean Nidetch

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Man Who Quit His Job and Moved To Hawaii Lives Only Spends $25 a Month

Robert Breton had been working as a cashier in Northern California when he decided it was time to live a more remote lifestyle. In 2011, he began traveling across the country, trying to find the perfect place to settle down. He finally opted to move to Hawaii, where he bought a quarter of an acre of land. The plot, plus building materials, cost him $29,850, and he now lives a sustainable lifestyle. It took the 35-year-old two years to erect a 200-square-foot house, which is raised 40 feet off the ground. He didn’t have to obtain a building permit because he lives in a “non-regulated agricultural zone.” The unconventional structure boasts a living area, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. He collects rainwater off the roof to drink, and it flows into the kitchen and bathroom. There’s also a greenhouse where Robert grows the majority of his food, including sweet potatoes, kale, and micro-greens. He occasionally buys grains, quinoa and other supplements from a market in a town more than an hour’s walk away. The house is equipped with solar panels that provide electricity to the tiny home, and all Robert spends monthly is $25 for Wi-Fi service. He manages to make a living through his social media, as well as his supplement business, New Earth Organic. He sees himself being off grid for the rest of his life and hopes to one day  teach others about its benefits by hosting seminars.

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From Meat to Junk Mail

A product name that came about in the 1930s has created quite a stir in the modern online world. Hormel Foods has been making and canning SPAM since 1937, but the Internet boom of the ‘90s associated the product’s name with a negative connotation: spam emails. The name actually originated with a Monty Python sketch in the ‘70s. In the sketch, a couple ordering breakfast is confronted with a menu that’s heavy on one specific ingredient: SPAM. The word’s unwanted repetition led to people online using it to complain about unwanted junk email. Today, employees who work at Hormel are forbidden from referencing spam email, having been instructed to refer to them as “unwanted emails.”

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