If a surgical face mask doesn’t quite make the fashion statement you’re hoping for, but you still want an effective physical barrier to protect yourself against cold and flu germs, there’s this: stylish scarves fitted with high-tech filters to prevent germs from reaching your mouth.
• Apparently, adding a plant to your desk can boost productivity, creativity and all-around well-being at work. And on a Tuesday morning, I’m sure we could all use a little boost in those departments, right? So, what are you waiting for? Go scoop yourself up a sweet succulent, stat. [Huffington Post]
There were two pieces of good news this week, and—surprise!—they both had to do with sugar.
I hope you washed your hands today if you got coffee from the office break room. A new study found that office kitchens and break rooms, where germ-ridden hands touch things like coffee pots and microwaves, are the germiest places in an office.
When Angelina Jolie announced in the New York Times, in May of last year, that she’d undergone a radical mastectomy, she wrote, “Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.” Her bravery was widely applauded, and she became “the new, gorgeous poster woman” for the procedure, which she chose to have because, like her mother, who died at age 56 from cancer, she carries the BRCA1 gene that increases the risks of both ovarian and breast cancer. In the wake of her announcement came a rash of news stories about other women—some as young as 21—who’d opted for the surgery, along with tweets by breast cancer survivors calling Jolie “so brave” (Sheryl Crow) and “admirable,” among other accolades.
Now, belatedly, science is catching up to the publicity buzz.
Like many of us, Glen Mills mom Kelly Barber spent much of her summer marveling at how the Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the world by storm. From pro athletes to celebrities to former heads of state, people have been happily dumping buckets of ice water on their heads in the name of awareness and fundraising for ALS. And it’s worked: The ALS Association says the challenge has raised $94 million in needed funds.
Which, of course, is awesome, except that the cause close to Barber’s heart isn’t ALS but childhood cancer—specifically, childhood brain cancer. See, her four-year-old daughter, Brielle, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called Analplastic Glioma Astrocytoma just about a month ago. This, after little Brielle battled a malignant tumor on her spine earlier this year.
“There’s not a lot of funding for research and trials for childhood cancer, and particularly brain tumors,” says Barber. “So I thought, ‘Hey, the Ice Bucket Challenge has been a huge success. Why not come up with something to bring awareness to childhood cancer?’”
Here’s one more reason to load up your dinner plate up with heirloom tomatoes tonight: A new study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that folks who eat more fruits and vegetables report feeling more creative and curious, and also feel a greater sense of purpose and engagement than those who skimp on their bananas and broccoli. Who knew veggies could get so, well, deep?