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The Zzzzzuper Bowl, and 4D needles


HDL 35, LDL 220, hike!

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Super Bowl Sunday is, for all intents and purposes, an American national holiday. And if there’s one thing we Americans love to do on our national holidays, it’s eat. And eat. Oh, and also eat.

According to research from LetsGetChecked, about 70% of Americans who watch the Super Bowl overindulge on game day. Actually, the term “overindulge” may not be entirely adequate: On Super Bowl Sunday, the average football fan ate nearly 11,000 calories and 180 g of saturated fat. That’s more than four times the recommended daily calorie intake, and seven times the recommended saturated fat intake.

Naturally, the chief medical officer for LetsGetChecked termed this level of food consumption as potentially dangerous if it becomes a regular occurrence and asked that people “question if they need to be eating quite so much.” Yeah, we think he’s being a party pooper, too.

So, just what did Joe Schmoe eat this past Sunday that has the experts all worried?

LetsGetChecked thoughtfully asked, and the list is something to be proud of: wings, pizza, fries, burgers, hot dogs, ribs, nachos, sausage, ice cream, chocolate, cake. The average fan ate all these, and more. Our personal favorite: the 2.3 portions of salad. Wouldn’t want to be too unhealthy now. Gotta have that salad to balance everything else out.

Strangely, the survey didn’t seem to ask about the presumably prodigious quantities of alcohol the average Super Bowl fan consumed. So, if anything, that 11,000 calories is an underestimation. And it really doesn’t get more American than that.

Zzzzzuper Bowl

Fueled up with 11,000 calories and 180 g of fat, the average Super Bowl fan will definitely be ready to rush the workplace field Monday morning, right? Just imagine the collective exuberance as an entire nation of double-burgered Andy Reids tackles the workday like it’s a punter after a failed fake kick!

Hardly, according to the buzzzzzz-kills [Ed. note: Why so many Zs? Author note: Wait for it ...] at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. In a report with the sleep-inducing title “AASM Sleep Prioritization Survey Monday after the Super Bowl,” the academy pulls the sheets back on America’s somnolent post–Super Bowl secret: We’re sleep deprived.

More than one-third of the 2,003 adults alert enough to answer the AASM survey said they were more tired than usual the day after the Super Bowl. And 12% of respondents admitted that they were “extremely tired.”

Millennials were the generation most likely to meet Monday morning in an extreme stupor, followed by the few Gen X’ers who could even be bothered to cynically answer such an utterly pointless collection of survey questions. Baby boomers had already gone to bed before the academy could poll them.

AASM noted that Cleveland fans were stumped by the survey’s questions about the Super Bowl, given that the Browns are always well rested on the Monday morning after the game.

The gift that keeps on grabbing

Riddish Morde

Rutgers, you had us at “morph into new shapes.”

We read a lot of press releases here at LOTME world headquarters, but when we saw New Jersey’s state university announcing that a new 4D-printed microneedle array could “morph into new shapes,” we were hooked, so to speak.

Right now, though, you’re probably wondering what 4D printing is. We wondered that, too. It’s like 3D printing, but “with smart materials that are programmed to change shape after printing. Time is the fourth dimension that allows materials to morph into new shapes,” as senior investigator Howon Lee, PhD, and associates explained it.

Microneedles are becoming increasing popular as a replacement for hypodermics, but their “weak adhesion to tissues is a major challenge for controlled drug delivery over the long run,” the investigators noted. To try and solve the adhesion problem, they turned to – that’s right, you guessed it – insects and parasites.

When you think about it, it does make sense. What’s better at holding onto tissue than the barbed stinger of a honeybee or the microhooks of a tapeworm?

The microneedle array that Dr. Lee and his team have come up has backward-facing barbs that interlock with tissue when it is inserted, which improves adhesion. It was those barbs that required the whole 4D-printing approach, they explained in Advanced Functional Materials.

That’s sounds great, you’re probably thinking now – but we need to show you the money, right? Okay.

During testing on chicken muscle tissue, adhesion with the new microneedle was “18 times stronger than with a barbless microneedle,” they reported.

The 4D microneedle’s next stop? Its own commercial during next year’s Super Bowl, according to its new agent.

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