Russian PBR & Other European Binge Drinkers

Curated by CLAI

RUSSIAN PBR? Pabst Brewing, owner of some of the most well-loved, all-American, blue-collar brews in the country, will soon be bought by a Cyprus-based beverage conglomerate that calls itself the biggest independent brewer in Russia. The iconic brand behind Pabst Blue Ribbon, the red-white-and-blue-canned lager founded in Milwaukee before the Civil War, announced late last week that it will be bought by Oasis Beverages, which runs breweries in Moscow, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Soon, none of these will be fully owned by American-based companies.

Soon, none of these will be fully owned by American-based companies. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

HEAVIEST EUROPEAN BINGE DRINKERS: Ireland is no surprise, but French binge drinking is one the rise. Other heavy drinkers include Belgium, Czech Republic, Austria, Finland, and Greece.

Prevalence of Binge Drinking in Europe

Prevalence of Binge Drinking in Europe (WHO 2010/WAPO)

40 years, 40 portraits, 4 sisters, & Hello Kitty’s 40th Birthday

Curated by CLAI

4 SISTERS, 40 PORTRAITS, 40 YEARS: Who are these sisters? The human impulse is to look for clues, but soon we dispense with our anthropological scrutiny — Irish? Yankee, quite likely, with their decidedly glamour-neutral attitudes — and our curiosity becomes piqued instead by their undaunted stares. All four sisters almost always look directly at the camera, as if to make contact, even if their gazes are guarded or restrained.

The Brown Sisters: Forty Years (Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie) 1975, New Canaan, Conn. (Credits: Nicholas Nixon, NYTIMES)

The Brown Sisters: Forty Years (Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie) 1975, New Canaan, Conn. (Credits: Nicholas Nixon, NYTIMES)

HELLO KITTY TURNS 40! Hello Kitty is celebrating a big birthday this year. In the time since the first simple coin purse was sold in Japan back in 1974, Hello Kitty has become a multi-billion dollar empire — $8 billion worth of products bearing her image sold internationally in 2013. The Japanese company that created the cartoon cat now oversees the production of products ranging from backpacks to lunchboxes to picture books.

Simone Legno's 2014 sculpture Kittypatra is on display at the Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. (NPR)

Simone Legno’s 2014 sculpture Kittypatra is on display at the Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. (NPR)

Rich, Middle Class, & Poor Jobs. Washington DC Highest Housing Cost

Curated by CLAI

JOBS FOR RICH, MIDDLE CLASS & POOR: Looking across incomes and rankings there are a couple of interesting things to note:

  • It’s good to be the boss: Being a manager is the most common job from the 70th percentile up to the 99th.
  • Doctors and lawyers are only found in the top two brackets. (There’s a reason our grandmothers wanted us to go to med school or law school.)
  • Sales supervisors are well-represented across all groups. It’s a broad job title that applies to people making as little as $12,000 a year all the way up to six figures.
Jobs Up & Down Income Ladder

Data from 2012, adjusted for inflation. Source: IPUMS-USA, University of Minnesota; American Community Survey Credit: Quoctrung Bui/NPR

DC MOST EXPENSIVE CITY: Wait a second – is D.C. really #1 in housing costs? More than NY? Yes. Washingtonians spend more on housing and related expenses (utilities, furnishings and equipment) than New Yorkers and San Franciscans.

  1. Washington, DC
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. New York, NY
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Baltimore, MD
  6. Los Angeles, CA
  7. Seattle, WA
  8. Boston, MA
  9. Philadelphia, PA
  10. Chicago, IL
Most expensive cities to live in the United States

Most expensive cities to live in the United States (Credit: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Are You Mom’s or Dad’s Favorite? Work in You Sleep?

Curated by CLAI

FAVORITE CHILD: We all know which kid Mom and Dad liked best, and odds are you’re thinking it’s not you. But does that really make a difference?

  • Many if not most parents do have a favorite child. And though parents usually strive to hide that, it’s not always successful. That differential treatment has been linked to problems with family relationships and risky behavior in teens.
  • But what matters is not how the parents actually treat the children, but how the kids perceive it.
  • In families that weren’t particularly close, the child who felt less favored was more likely to be a substance abuser. The more dramatic the difference they perceived in preferential treatment, the more likely they were to be using.
  • But when family members were more engaged with each other, the perceived favoritism had less impact, at least when it came to substance abuse.
After people learned to sort words while awake, their brains were able to do the same task while asleep.

After people learned to sort words while awake, their brains were able to do the same task while asleep. (Current Biology, Kouider et al.)

THINGS YOU DO IN YOUR SLEEP: For those who find themselves sleeping through work — you may one day find yourself working through sleep.  People who are fast asleep can correctly respond to simple verbal instructions. This may explain why you might wake if someone calls your name or why your alarm clock is more likely to rouse you than any other noise.

Hit the Brakes on Killing People & Animals

Curated by CLAI

½ WORLD’S ANIMALS DEAD: We’ve killed roughly half of the world’s non-human vertebrate animal population since 1970. Tropical areas saw greater declines, while temperate regions – like North America – saw lesser drops. Habitat-wise, land and saltwater species saw declines of roughly 39 percent. But freshwater animals – frogs, fish, salamanders and the like – saw a considerably sharper 76 percent drop. Habitat fragmentation and pollution (think algae blooms) were the main killers of freshwater species.

Decrease of vertebrate species populations since 1970 (World Wildlife Fund/WAPO)

Decrease of vertebrate species populations since 1970 (World Wildlife Fund/WAPO)

NO TEXTING AND DRIVING APP: Katasi, installed under a car, stops all incoming and outgoing text from those in the driver’s seat.

  • The telematics box sends a wireless message that the car is moving. The phone sends its own message about its location. Both sets of information — from the car and phone — are sent to Katasi’s servers.
  • Then, an algorithm weighs the incoming data with other information, like the location of the phones belonging to all the people who drive the car and the starting point of the trip; if the trip starts at Junior’s high school, and mom and dad’s phones are at work, the driver has been identified — Junior is driving.
  • So what happens when husband and wife share a car and Katasi’s servers say that both are in the car at the same time with their phones? Which one is driving? At that point, Katasi generally doesn’t block the messages on the assumption that the passenger will prevent the driver from texting. The system is capable of blocking calls, email and other data, but initially the plan was to block texts.