Why it matters:The US Food & Drug Administration held a hearing today about a drug called Palforzia. The drug, which is made by the pharmaceutical company Aimmune, claims to desensitize people to peanuts. Obviously, people with peanut allergies are eager for help, but the funny thing about Palforzia is that it isn't some super complex drug concoction: It's just peanut flour.
This piece shines a spotlight on some serious questions surrounding the trials of Palforzia and also highlights the estimated cost for the peanut flour in a capsule: $3,000 and $20,000 per year.
Why it matters: Each human finger is controlled by its own small portion of an area in the brain called the somatosensory cortex. When confronted with the challenge of not having hands to operate, the human brain can adjust by developing "maps" to other parts of the body like toes. Incredibly, the parts of the brain that develops in people without hands, does not develop in people with hands.
Why it matters: California utility PG&E announced an $11 billion settlement with insurance companies related to the state's wine country fires in 2017 and the Camp Fire in 2018. The insurance companies had reportedly been seeking around $20 billion.
Why it matters: I bet when many of you think of a stopwatch, you think of one particular stopwatch. That stopwatch has withstood the test of time and rolled through some of the most important news stories in history. Sure, the current version is now computer generated, but you still know what you are about to watch when you see that stopwatch.
Why it matters: About 14 years ago, a list started circulating around Hollywood of all the best movie ideas a select group of industry insiders had come across. What has since become known as "The Black List" has grown and become an important path to box office success for some lesser-known talent. This piece looks at the origins of the list, its potential flaws and if it can truly be relied upon as a predictor of successful movies.
Why it matters: We live in a world of constant distraction. Your phone is pinging with all kinds of notifications. Your computer alerts you to new emails, Slack messages and system checks. And then there are other humans.
Researchers have found that distractions not only harm our ability to focus, they can also shift the way we experience things -- to the point where we might remember things differently than how they actually occurred.
Why it matters: This song became a hit a couple months ago and spawned loads of viral videos in what became known as #TheGitUpChallenege (the dancing newscaster from Charlotte is hilarious). The song is fun and catchy, but I am sharing it on this Friday Fun Day for two more reasons:
The video: In a world where some music videos seem to be all about trying to out glitz and glam every other music video, Blanco Brown grabbed one camera, a floodlight and a cup and headed to a trailer park to make his video magic. Sometimes, simplicity is genius.
That ONE dance move: At the 2:40 mark in the video, Blanco Brown does a dance move where he rises up from squatting on one leg while the other leg is outstretched. My kids and I have watched that sequence over and over like it is the Zapruder film and we can't figure out how he does it. None of The Git Up Challenge videos I've seen feature people doing that move. I am now convinced that 10-second segment of the video is being shown in reverse of how it was filmed; meaning Blanco Brown actually dipped into that squat and didn't rise out of it. If I am wrong, then that move is next-level awesome.
Why it matters:To paraphrase Ferris Bueller: The evolution of modern media moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and eat a taco once and a while, you could miss it.
Texas Monthly magazine has added a Taco Editor to its staff. That's right. An industry that pays people to do things like write obituaries now pays a guy to write about tacos. I love it. What a great way to spice things up in the newsroom!
I enjoy tacos, but regular WYWW readers know I have a certain passion/affinity/lust for good burritos. So if any magazine out there is looking for a well-qualified Burrito Editor...
Why it matters: Many organizations hire outsiders to conduct test to try to penetrate their cybersecurity. However, most of those tests are confined to attempts to penetrate the "cyber" part of cybersecurity. When Dallas County in Iowa hired a company to test the cybersecurity of its court records, the company sent two employees to try to break into the actual courthouse. The men got caught and they are still sitting in jail while the company and the county attempt to sort out the fiasco.
Silver lining:I guess the county courthouse passed the brick-and-mortar portion of the cybersecurity test!
Why it matters: This story/video made me laugh out loud. Take a couple minutes to enjoy watching the maiden voyage of a lake-faring vessel known as the "HammockBoat" -- although me thinks calling it a "HammockRaft" would be more accurate.
The only way that video could be any better is if it featured Judge Smails and a champagne bottle.
Since I joined SmartBrief in 2003, I have produced content on a variety of topics including finance, energy, infrastructure, politics, telecommunications and international development.
As you might have guessed, "The Git Up" is a smash hit in my house. My wife and kids pride themselves on their dancing abilities (dad does not). When I first showed them the video and highlighted that squatting move, my wife and daughter declared, "That's easy." Needless to say, they have not yet pulled it off. If you can do that move, go ahead and send me a video and I will share it. However, you have to give a shout out to WYWW (so I know it is you) and you have to get all the leg angles right ... this Irish judge is a stickler for Technical Merit.
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In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man will poke out his eye to fit in.