Cup Runneth Over
The average American bra size has increased from 36C ten years ago to a whopping 36DD. Is this extraordinary surge one of the “up sides“ of a nation in the grip of an obesity crisis?
"Earlier this week, Women's Wear Daily gave ‘breast men’ (and women) everywhere something to celebrate: Bra sizes are up! Way up! While the median size just 10 years ago was 36C, the median American rack now fills a porn-ready 36DD! But don't throw a party yet: As basically everyone who's covered the spike so far has pointed out, this is not a good thing. In fact, the consensus is that we're buying larger bras because -- you guessed it -- we're fat. Amy Odell at The Cut is so sure of this that she treats it as a foregone conclusion: ‘Our boobs are bigger because we are more obese, of course.’ Of course! Wendy Atterberry at The Frisky spins the news as a silver lining to the puffy cloud that is our national weight problem: ‘It's no secret that Americans are getting fatter each decade (obesity rates have doubled since 1980), but the news isn't all bad. The upside to our bigger waistlines? Bigger bustlines to go with them!’ At least Margaret at Jezebel is onto something when she points out that obesity alone is unlikely to have caused a ‘sudden 7.7 percent increase in sales last year.’ Huh. Could it be that obesity isn't the sole -- or even the primary -- factor here? Considering that in the past decade, cup sizes have ballooned while band sizes have stayed static at 36, it seems likely that this isn't just about weight gain. Sure, when we put on a few pounds, we're liable to store some of that fat in our breasts. But doesn't it stand to reason that bulking up would also make us at least a bit bigger all the way around?"
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.