Calories are not the first thing on my mind during the holidays—but maybe they should be. The “average” amount of calories the “average” person should eat daily is approximately 2000; younger people should eat more than older people, and men typically need more calories than women. At The New York Times‘ blog The Upshot, Claire Cain Miller, David Leonhardt, and other writers put together the multimedia story “What 2000 Calories Looks Like” to give you a better idea of just how much you’re consuming every day. To be honest, Shake Shack isn’t as bad as I thought.
In more comforting news, Refinery29 has a story about a beer, the “Problem Solver,” which allegedly provides the perfect blood alcohol content (BAC) for peak creativity. Refinery29 mentions a study completed in 2012 in which men who drank a certain amount of alcohol and men who didn’t drink any were asked to complete a number of puzzles while watching the film Ratatouille. The slightly tipsy men completed more problems, faster, than the sober men. While this isn’t proof that you should start drinking as soon as you hit the office—remember, Don Draper isn’t real—it’s interesting to note that a small amount of alcohol can open the floodgates of creativity. Problem Solver? I’m on my way.
Did you ever, by chance, think about the Star of Bethlehem as more than just a character in your elementary school nativity pageant? Like—maybe that it didn’t exist? Motherboard’s Becky Ferreira attacks that question in a well-researched article, addressing the believability of various theories–such as that the star was actually a comet, a supernova, or an exploding star. While I, like Ferreira, am not Christian, it’s still fascinating from a historical perspective.
Did you know artificial intelligence experts predict we’ll be having sex with robots by 2025? I didn’t either, and ew. At The Daily Dot, EJ Dickson, as always, bravely tackles the subject in a NSFW-piece about a 3D-printed model of a robot called the Soubrobotte, made by French artist Cesar Vonc. The mock-up has a fake uterus, arrows pointing towards lady parts, and a mechanical “spine” so the robot can move around. Is it unnerving? Absolutely. Is it the future? Most likely. Read Dickson’s awesome, NSFW-piece for more info.