News Flash: Ritalin Is Just Like Cocaine!

New research from Rockefeller University confirms what millions of teenagers have known for years, that the overly-prescribed methylphenidate, commonly known as Ritalin, is practically the same as coke.

Specifically, the research found that ritalin causes physical changes in reward regions of mouse brains that overlap with those of cocaine. The findings were published in the current issue of  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (For the record, both methylphenidate and cocaine are in the class of drugs known as psychostimulants. Hmmm.) "The study highlights the need for more research into methylphenidate’s long-term effects on the brain," the researchers say. What's alarming is that this further research wasn't conducted decades ago when doctors were essentially prescribing pills of blow to help kids finish their homework.

Is life after 75 worth living? This UPenn scholar doubts it.

What makes a life worth living as you grow older?

Culture & Religion
  • Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel revisits his essay on wanting to die at 75 years old.
  • The doctor believes that an old life filled with disability and lessened activity isn't worth living.
  • Activists believe his argument stinks of ageism, while advances in biohacking could render his point moot.
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Brazil's Amazon fires: How they started — and how you can help.

The Amazon Rainforest is often called "The Planet's Lungs."

Politics & Current Affairs
  • For weeks, fires have been burning in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, likely started by farmers and ranchers.
  • Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has blamed NGOs for starting the flames, offering no evidence to support the claim.
  • There are small steps you can take to help curb deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, which produces about 20 percent of the world's oxygen.
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Study: Sending emojis is linked to scoring more dates, sex

Emojis might contain more emotional information than meets the eye.

Sex & Relationships
  • A new study shows that people who frequently used emojis in text messages with potential dates engaged in more sexual activity and had more contact with those dates.
  • However, the study only shows an association; it didn't establish causality.
  • The authors suggest that emojis might help to convey nuanced emotional information that's lacking in strictly text-based messaging.
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