Posts tagged with "Time magazine"

ESPN: Aaron Judge cashes in with nine-year, $360M Yankees deal

December 8, 2022

Yankees fans are exultant: Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York baseball team on a nine-year, $360 million deal, sources confirmed to ESPN early Wednesday morning, December 8—giving the slugger nearly $150 million more than what the team had offered him last spring.

The slugger decided to remain with the Yankees after flirtations with the San Francisco Giants, the team located about 100 miles from where Judge grew up in California; and the San Diego Padres, who have made it clear they are open to making big moves this winter.

The looming specter of Judge leaving for San Francisco or San Diego gave him the last bit of leverage he needed to land the highest average annual salary ($40 million) for any player in history—surpassing Mike Trout‘s $36 million per year from the Los Angeles Angels. But Judge already had done the bulk of the work in improving his bargaining position with his incredible 2022 season.

The Yankees had pitched a seven-year, $213.5 million deal at the end of spring training, and when Judge rejected that offer without countering, General Manager Brian Cashman revealed the team’s offer in a news conference. Cashman’s rationale for that decision was that the offer would be reported anyway and wanted transparency.

Judge felt differently, telling TIME Magazine in an interview published on Tuesday, December 6, that he felt the Yankees’ disclosure of the offer was meant to turn the fans and media against him as he moved closer to free agency.

But Judge never expressed those feelings during the season. Rather, he focused on performance and the team. Following a slow start that generated some boos at Yankee Stadium, Judge exploded. After going more than 50 plate appearances before hitting his first home run of the season, Judge clubbed 12 homers in May and 11 in June—and then he got really hot. In the second half of the season, Judge hit .349 with a .502 on-base percentage and .785 slugging percentage.

As Judge continued to produce after the All-Star break, he all but single-handedly saved the Yankees from one of baseball’s greatest collapses. As the Yankees’ big lead in the American League East nearly evaporated, Judge propped up the offense with seemingly daily heroics. In one series against the Toronto Blue Jays, he scored every run.

Judge hit his 60th homer of the season on September 20, tying Babe Ruth’s 1927 mark; then matched Roger Maris’ AL record with his 61st on September 28 in Toronto. On October 4, Judge passed Maris with a first-inning homer off the Texas Rangers‘ Jesus Tinoco.

Last month, Judge was named AL MVP for a season in which he hit .311 with 133 runs and 131 RBIs.

The Yankees have a long history of holding the line in contract talks, even with their own superstars, from Babe Ruth to Joe DiMaggio to Reggie Jackson to Derek Jeter. But the pressure on owner Hal Steinbrenner to sign Judge was perhaps unlike anything he had faced before, because of Judge’s production and popularity among Yankees fans.

Steinbrenner spoke with Judge repeatedly after the Yankees were eliminated in the AL Championship Series by the Houston Astros and, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, made an offer of about $300 million over eight years early in the offseason.

The Yankees’ uncertainty about Judge’s intentions only grew. In past negotiations, including those in the spring, Judge’s side would respond with a simple “no” rather than providing a counteroffer. As Judge met with the Giants and Padres, the Yankees weren’t sure what he would do. Nervousness grew within the organization to the degree that the front office prepared possible Plan B’s, such as a pursuit of a shortstop, maybe Xander Bogaerts.

Judge flew to San Diego on Monday, according to Passan, to meet with the Padres, who had previously made a record-high but unsuccessful offer to Trea Turner.

Steinbrenner pushed his offer to $360 million—nearly 70% higher than what the Yankees offered just eight months ago, a reflection of Judge’s value to the franchise and to the spiking free agent market.

Moving forward, the Yankees might have hard choices shaped by the contractual obligations on their books. They already owe about $105 million annually to Judge, pitcher Gerrit Cole and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton; along with long-term deals for DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks. They need to identify a shortstop, another starting pitcher and bullpen help.

But all that might feel a little easier now that they have retained their franchise anchor and clubhouse leader in Judge, who appears to be the heir apparent to Jeter as the team’s next captain.

MLB Network first reported that Judge would re-sign with the Yankees, while The Athletic first reported the terms of the agreement.

Research contact: @espn

In races for governor, few states change control

November 10, 2022

Gubernatorial elections resulted in few changes of control on Election Day, as Democrats held off challengers in several races that polls showed could be close—including Wisconsin, New York, and Michigan—while Republican incumbents won decisively in Florida and Texas, according to the Associated Press.

Democrats also prevailed in the only two states to flip, Maryland and Massachusetts, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In Maryland, The New York Times notes, Wes Moore, a celebrity author and nonprofit executive, is projected to take back the governor’s office for Democrats after eight years under Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican who has reached his term limit. Moore, who will become the first Black governor of his state, faced up against Dan Cox, a far-right state delegate.

In Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey, with more than 63% of the vote as of Wednesday morning, November 9, has fended off gubernatorial candidate Republican Geoff Diehl (with 35%), the Times reports.

One of the most hotly contested races in the nation was in Wisconsin, where incumbent Democrat Tony Evers is projected to have fended off Republican businessman Tim Michels. Evers ran on a platform of investing in education and infrastructure—opposing gerrymandering and supporting abortion access—while Michels said he would do more to fight crime and touted his support from former President Donald Trump.

In New York, incumbent Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul defeated Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, according to the AP. Zelden gained on her in recent polls, which gave Republicans hope he could become the first candidate from their party to win statewide office in two decades as he focused on voter concern about rising crime. Hochul campaigned on her record from her year in office, including new gun-control laws, COVID-19 pandemic management, and rebate checks for taxpayers. She will become the first woman elected as governor in New York history.

Robust victories for Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’ Greg Abbott put the two men into strong positions as they both prepare for possible presidential runs in 2024, according to political analysts.

Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer defeated conservative political commentator Tudor Dixon, who criticized the incumbent for the length of COVID-19 shutdowns and pledged to expand the state’s economy and stop the teaching of critical race theory in schools. Whitmer focused on her record repairing roads and increasing education spending.

New Mexico Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham defeated former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti, a Republican, according to the AP, in a race focused on issues including crime and abortion access.

In Maine, Democratic Governor Janet Mills won re-election over former Republican Governor Paul LePage. LePage hammered the incumbent over energy costs, while Mills touted her efforts to diversify the state’s energy sources.

Pennsylvania Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro beat Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano in the gubernatorial race, according to CNBC. After focusing his campaign on law-and-order issues and protecting abortion access, Shapiro will succeed departing Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.

Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp defeated former State House minority leader Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, according to TIME magazine. Kemp largely ignored attacks from Trump over President Joe Biden’s win in the state in 2020 and focused on his efforts to promote business development, loosen gun laws, and open the state quickly following COVID-19 lockdowns.

California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom easily won re-election, NBC reports, in the nation’s most populous state, after a campaign in which he spent much of his time feuding with Republicans and promoting liberal positions on such issues as climate change and abortion access.

Races that were too close to call in the early-morning hours on Wednesday, November 9, included Kansas and Nevada, where Democratic incumbents sought to keep their seat; and Alaska, where a Republican governor is campaigning for reelection.

Research contact: @WSJ

Why it might help Biden if Sanders runs in 2024

May 2, 2022

Last week, a lot of pragmatic Democrats in Washington let out a groan at the news that Senator Bernie Sanders’ inner circle was laying the groundwork for a possible 2024 White House bid—which would be his third in as many presidential cycles—and once again give voice to a progressive message that so far hasn’t landed wins in battleground territory, reports Time magazine.

The self-described democratic socialist from Vermont has animated a distinct corner of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, which, to be clear, is not where Sanders calls his home when he’s not seeking its White House

nomination. (In his last election to the Senate, he won the Democratic primary but declined it, opting to run as an Independent during the general election.)

Sanders’ agenda of Medicare for All, student-loan forgiveness, and massive social-welfare spending has an audience, but it hasn’t been a winning coalition to this point.

According toTime, there’s a significant chunk of the Democratic establishment who:

  • Openly loathe Sanders for standing in the way of a clean nomination for Hillary Clinton in 2016;
  • Despise him for not rallying his base behind Clinton more quickly while he instead wrote a book that made him a millionaire; and
  • Questions why he forced Joe Biden to defend his own policy beliefs across multiple focus groups in exchange for an endorsement two years ago.

Democrats last nominated an avowed hardcore liberal when they put up Michael Dukakis 1988 and he lost 40 states. The successful Democrats who have won the Oval Office were skilled—but closeted—centrists who convinced the party’s base they were safe and unthreatening.

Indeed, Time claims, Democrats often flirt with the liberal edge of their party but ultimately have always come home to a candidate who represents the most electable contestant.”

The memo put out by his allies that Sanders hasn’t closed the door on a 2024 run laid bare the problems the party faces. Reliable Democrats freaked out about the prospects of winning the next presidential election if there’s another potential primary where the frontrunner faces a Sanders-esque candidate. But they need to keep calm and not get ensnared by the sticky Vermont maple syrup. After all, there are some caveats in the signals coming out of Burlington. If you read between the lines, the Bernie bros aren’t actually preparing for an intra-party war. They’re just tilling the soil.

They’re only carefully saying Sanders would be open to running again for the White House if Biden chooses to forgo a second term.

For another, Sanders has yet to win the nomination, despite having run against two of the most easily attacked frontrunner candidates Democrats had put forward in decades. Hillary Clinton’s baggage is legendary, yet she still bested Sanders. Biden, whose record now is the product of 50 years in public office, often reflected the mores of the era—but those sometimes don’t look quite right when seen through today’s lens. Yet he prevailed.

Finally, Time suggests, it’s actually in Biden’s interest for Sanders and his pals to float this. Historically, the party in the White House faces steep losses in Congress in its first midterm elections, and Biden’s polling suggests this fall may be more brutal for Democrats than most. If Democrats are to stand a chance, they need every friendly voter, volunteer, and donor activated.

A drop-off in Sanders’ voters in 2016 may well have cost Clinton the election; two surveys found that roughly one-in-ten Sanders supporters voted for Donald Trump that year. Having lived through four years of Trump, those Sanders voters didn’t make the same choice in 2020, even if they didn’t exactly love Biden. The 2024 election could be a sequel if Trump attempts his expected comeback—but whether it’s a sequel to 2016 or 2020 may depend on the voters Democrats can inspire.

Biden’s Democratic Party isn’t capturing the imagination of the progressive wing of the party. But Sanders still knows the liberal zeitgeist. He can animate the activists who remain on his lists but perhaps on the sidelines.

If the prospect of a Sanders 2024 campaign remains an option, those progressive activists will keep clicking, retweeting, and donating. And, in doing so, they may accidentally build the foundation of a Biden re-election bid.

Thus, Time posits, in quietly signaling to the base that Sanders is open to a third bid, his allies may actually be preparing for the most unlikely of roles: keeping Biden in office.

Research contact: @TIME

Niksen is the Dutch lifestyle concept of doing nothing—and you’re about to see it everywhere

March 1, 2022

First, there was hygge, the Danish concept that made staying in and getting cozy popular. Then, there was lagom, the Swedish mindset of approaching life with an “everything in moderation” mindset. Now, there’s another Northern European trend that’s being embraced as a way to combat our increasingly busy and often stressful lives: niksen. The Dutch concept is as simple as, well, doing nothing, reports Time magazine.

Niksen “literally means to do nothing, to be idle or doing something without any use,” says Carolien Hamming, managing director of CSR Centrum, a coaching center in the Netherlands that helps clients manage stress and recover from burnout.

Practicing niksen could be as simple as just hanging around, looking at your surroundings, or listening to music—“as long as it’s without purpose,” Hamming says, and not done in order to achieve something or be productive.

Think “simply sitting in a chair or looking out of the window,” says Ruut Veenhoven, a sociologist and professor at Erasmus University-Rotterdam in the Netherlands who studies happiness.

Whereas mindfulness is about being present in the moment, niksen is more about carving out time to just be, even letting your mind wander rather than focusing on the details of an action.

“We should have moments of relaxation, and relaxation can be combined with easy, semi-automatic activity, such as knitting,” Veenhoven says. “One aspect of the ‘art of living’ is to find out what ways of relaxing fit you best.” There’s not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, you’ll discover which behaviors are most effective for you through trial and error, he adds.

In the Netherlands, niksen has historically been dismissed as laziness or as the opposite of being productive, Hamming says. But as stress levels climb in the U.S. and globally and their crushing health impacts, like burnout, are getting more recognition from the medical community: Doing nothing is increasingly being framed as a positive, stress-fighting tactic.

“Everyone is looking for some way back to ease and connection,” says Eve Ekman, director of training at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California-Berkeley, who calls the national levels of stress among adults and teens in the United States “daunting.”

But Ekman, who studies stress and burnout, says the research is strong when it comes to the benefits of slowing down, from emotional perks—like reducing anxiety—to physical advantages—like curtailing the aging process and strengthening the body’s ability to fight off a common cold. These potential health effects might be enough to encourage even the most hectic and overburdened among us to consider carving out time to practice niksen.

Another benefit of niksen is that it can help people come up with new ideas, according to Veenhoven, who is also the director of the World Database of Happiness, an archive of research related to life enjoyment. “Even when we ‘niks,’” or do nothing, “our brain is still processing information and can use the available processing power to solve pending problems,” he says, which in turn can boost one’s creativity. This could manifest in having a breakthrough solution to a problem on a walk or a great business idea reveal itself while daydreaming.

Research also supports the idea that doing simple tasks that allow your mind to wander can foster creative problem solving, even improving your ability to work through a problem you might have been stuck on earlier. A 2013 study published in Frontiers in Psychology, on the pros and cons of a wandering mind, showed that this process can help an individual get inspired about achieving his or her goals and gain clarity about the actions to take in order to meet those goals in the future.

For many, doing nothing isn’t as simple as it sounds. In fact, it can be somewhat challenging to sit still and stare out a window, for instance. Hamming says it can even feel “quite creepy” at first, when people are used to doing something at all times. “Dare to be idle,” she says. “It is all about allowing life to run its course, and to free us from obligations for just a moment.”

“We need to train our minds to wander in a way that’s imaginative and creative,” Ekman says. Some “gateway” practices to niksen could be taking a walk in nature or writing a letter of gratitude, she suggests, as a way of easing into what true downtime feels like.

What it all comes down to is finding out what ways of relaxing fit you best, says Veenhoven, whether that’s something actively passive and somewhat second nature, like knitting or taking a walk—as long as you’re giving yourself permission to niks regularly and without an intention.

Research contact: @TIME

Mitt Romney: Trump has not risen to ‘mantle of the office’

January 3, 2019

In a Washington Post opinion piece that ran on Wednesday, Mitt Romney, a former G.O.P. presidential candidate who will be sworn in today as U.S. Senator for Utah, delivered a searing attack on President Donald Trump—perhaps signaling that he will become the first “conscientious objector” in the 116th Congress.

In doing so, he would follow in the footsteps of Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, both of whom served as Republicans from Arizona.

In the op-ed, Romney flatly asserted that, “… on balance, [President Trump’s] conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.

Specifically, Romney noted that “The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a ‘sucker’ in world affairs all defined his presidency down.”

As a member of the president’s own party, the new senator admitted, “It is well-known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not.”

Further, he said that U.S. presidents are role models who should “unite and inspire” a nation and display “honesty and integrity.” However, he wrote, “… it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.”

Romney’s attack did not go unanswered. The president immediately tweeted, “Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!”

Trump was backed up by his 2020 Campaign Manager Brad Parscale, who tweeted, “The truth is @MittRomney lacked the ability to save this nation. @realDonald Trump has saved it. Jealously is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had the courage @realDonaldTrump had.”

In addition, TIME magazine reported, Republican National Committee Chairperson Ronna McDaniel—who just happens to be a member of Romney’s family—reviled him, saying, “POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM [mainstream] media and Democrats 24/7. For an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack @realdonaldtrump as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive.”

All of which made it just another day inside the Beltway.

Research contact: @MittRomney

About ‘Time’: Billionaire Marc Benioff buys weekly news magazine

September 18, 2018

Time magazine is about to change hands for the second time since November 2017, when it was acquired from Time Warner by Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith—up until then, best-known for its flagship publication Better Homes & Gardens.

On September 16, Meredith announced that it had agreed to sell the Time media brand to Marc and Lynne Benioff for $190 million in cash. The Benioffs, who are the billionaire co-founders of Salesforce—a leading global customer relationship management platform—have said that they “will not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions, which will continue to be led by Time’s current executive leadership team.”,

The husband-and-wife team now have become the latest tech titans to take the reins of an iconic media brand. Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, bought The Washington Post in 2013. Last year, Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, agreed to acquire a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine through her organization, Emerson Collective,  from David G. Bradley, who retained a minority stake.

“We’re pleased to have found such passionate buyers in Marc and Lynne Benioff for the Time brand,” said Meredith CEO Tom Harty, in the company’s formal release. “For over 90 years, Time has been at the forefront of the most significant events and impactful stories that shape our global conversation. We know Time will continue to succeed and is in good hands with the Benioffs. We thank the Time team for its ongoing hard work and passionate commitment.”

Meredith acquired TIME as part of its purchase of Time Inc., which closed

“We are honored to be the caretakers of one of the world’s most important media companies and iconic brands,” said the Benioffs. “Time has always been a trusted reflection of the state of the world, and reminds us that business is one of the greatest platforms for change.”

“On behalf of the entire Time team, we are very excited to begin this next chapter in our history,” said Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal. “We can’t imagine better stewards for Time than Marc and Lynne Benioff. The team is inspired by their commitment to high-quality journalism and by their confidence in the work we have done to transform and expand the brand in new directions.”

As part of the transaction, Meredith will provide short-term business continuity services and has entered into a multi-year agreement with the Benioffs to provide services such as consumer marketing, subscription fulfillment, paper purchasing, and printing. Meredith will also be able to include the Time brand in large corporate advertising buys.

Research contact: Art.Slusark@meredith.com

Trump whacks Germany’s Merkel and U.S. Democrats, while defending his own immigration stance

June 19, 2018

Fully 56% of the 1,000 U.S. adults polled by Ipsos on behalf of The Daily Beast this week say that it is not “appropriate” to separate children from their parents at the border—and yet President Donald Trump continues to blame his administration’s zero-tolerance policy incorrectly on the Democrats and to assert that Germany’s more open immigration program has led to a rise in crime.

On June 18, the POTUS tweeted, “The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up.”

Several minutes later, Trump added, “Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture! We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!”

However, according to a report by USA Today, in May, Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior actually rebutted the claims that Trump currently is making—noting that the total number of crimes committed in the country in 2017 had fallen 5.1% from the previous year.

Case closed? Far from it: Just weeks later, Interior Minister Horst Seehoffer has turned on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, threatening her leadership.

Although he refuted the crime statistics, Seehoffer has created a so-called “migration masterplan” in the interim, according to the UK news outlet, The Daily Mail. Under his proposal, the German border police would be given the right to turn back all asylum-seekers without identity papers and those who are already registered elsewhere in the European Union.

Merkel rejects the idea, believing that it would be perceived by the rest of her allies in the European Union as a “Germany First” decision—and that it would further burden such front-line Mediterranean countries as Italy and Greece.

On the other side of the pond, U.S. immigration rights advocates—most of them, Democrats—support Merkel and are fighting Trump’s hard-line “America First” stance.

With more than 2,000 children already torn from their parents’ arms, a contingent of Democratic legislators insisted on inspecting a facility in McAllen, Texas, where the youngsters were being held this week.

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland), who was part of that group, released a tweet on June 17: “Just left Border Patrol Processing Center in McAllen—aka ‘the dog kennel.’ Witnessed loads of kids massed together in large pens of chain-linked fence …. @realDonald Trump, change you shameful policy today! #FamiliesBelongTogether

And even a few Republicans are pushing back. Representative Susan Collins (R-Maine) commented during an appearance on CBS-TV’s Face the Nation on Sunday that, “What the administration has decided to do is to separate children from their parents to try to send a message that, if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you. That’s traumatizing to the children, who are innocent victims and it is contrary to our values in this country.”

Former First Lady Laura Bush wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post, also on Sunday, in which she said, “I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And It breaks my heart.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan—who rarely says a word against the administration’s policies—admitted, “We don’t want kids to be separated from their parents,” when asked by a pool of reporters, but blamed the situation on “a court ruling,” according to Time magazine.

Will the Trump administration budge? Not if you listen to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has shown little pity for the plight of the children. He spoke in support of the zero-tolerance policy earlier this month: “If people don’t want to be separated from their children, they should not bring them with them.”

Research contact: gideon.resnick@thedailybeast

Coming clean: How often should you shower?

May 14, 2018

How often do you get all lathered up? Most Americans “come clean” by showering or bathing almost on a daily basis—which is, according to a Euromonitor International poll, the global average as well.

However, we are not as squeaky clean as we think, compared to some of our compadres worldwide. For example in Mexico, the Middle East, and Australia, eight showers a week have become the norm.

And closer to the Equator—in Colombia and Brazil—that number goes even higher, to 10-12 showers a week, respectively.

Meanwhile, people living in China, Japan and the United Kingdom bathe just a little less frequently, turning the tap on about five times a week.

That’s a pretty good level of hygiene worldwide, we all would agree. But, according to Euromonitor, there still are major discrepancies when you look at how much actual washing actually goes on in the shower.

For example, the researchers say, most people do not wash their hair during every shower. In the United States, we only shampoo an average of four times a week.

And that’s okay, experts agree: Speaking to the site WebMD, Carolyn Goh, MD, assistant clinical professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, advised that only a small group needs to shampoo daily, including those with very fine hair, those who exercises (and sweat) frequently, and those who live in very humid places.

What’s more, surprisingly enough, those in the know are not washing their entire bodies: “I tell patients who shower daily not to lather their whole bodies,” Dr. C. Brandon Mitchell, assistant professor of Dermatology at George Washington University, told Time magazine in 2016. “Hit your pits, butt and groin, which are the areas that produce strong-smelling secretions. The rest of your body doesn’t need much soaping.”

In fact, there such a thing as over-bathing, which can leave you at risk for some health issues, the same story in Time reported.

“Dry, cracked skin opens up gaps that infection-causing germs can slip through. That means frequent bathing when your skin is already dry—and especially as you age, when your skin becomes thinner and less hydrated—may increase the odds of coming down with something,” Dr. Elaine Larson, an infectious disease expert and associate dean for Research at Columbia University School of Nursing, told the weekly magazine.

Finally, you may want to reconsider how long you stay in your shower, if you live in an urban area, according to Dr. Richard Gallo, chief of Dermatology at UC San Diego. He told The New York Times, “If you’re on city water and you don’t have a filter on your shower, showering is a major source of exposure to carcinogenic chlorination byproducts such as trihalomethanes (THMs). THMs are associated with bladder cancer, gestational and developmental problems.”

He points out that studies have shown that showering and bathing are important routes of exposure to these carcinogenics—and may actually represent more of your total exposure than the water you drink.

Research contact: info@euromonitor.com

The ‘real dirt’ on your money

January 15, 2018

While estimates vary, more Americans than ever before are germaphobes—people for whom a handshake may be a risky transaction, to be counteracted immediately by hand washing or hand sanitizing. Indeed, according to an article by The Free Dictionary, 42% of Millennials, 27% of Generation Xers and 21% of Baby Boomers fear exposure to germs.

Perhaps the most famous germaphobe at the moment is President Donald Trump, who has admitted to avoiding “contamination” by using a straw to drink out of a glass and preferring not to shake hands, when possible.  According to results of a recent study, maybe the POTUS, who says he is a billionaire, also should fear money.

Covered by Time magazine in late 2017, the findings of the study add to a growing body of research that has established that paper money can harbor thousands of microbes from every environment it touches—whether that’s someone’s fingers, a waiter’s apron, a vending machine or the dingy area under someone’s mattress.

During the course of the study, first published in the journal PLOS ONE last April, researchers swabbed $1 bills from a bank in New York City to see what was growing and subsisting on paper currency. They found hundreds of species of microorganisms. The most abundant were ones that cause acne, as well as plenty of harmless skin bacteria. They also identified vaginal bacteria, microbes from mouths, DNA from pets and viruses.

Other research has shown that some bank notes and coins are home to pathogens such as E. coli, salmonella and staphylococcus aureus, which can lead to serious illness.

Cash also is often streaked with drugs, according to the Journal of Analytical Toxicology. In a study of ten $1 bills from cities nationwide, nearly 80% of them showed traces of cocaine.

What’s more, the environment of paper money is welcoming to whatever is going around. The $1 bill is 75% cotton and 25% linen, according to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing—which offers a soft environment into which microbes can settle.

However, there is no reason to panic, whether you are a germaphobe or not: Cash doesn’t typically have the right temperature or moisture conditions to allow microbes to grow and proliferate. Its porous surface actually helps it hold on to most of the germs it’s carrying, so not many microbes wipe off on your hands—meaning money is not very good at transmitting diseases.

Experts say to wash your hands after touching currency and before eating.

There also has been some thought given to changing the materials that money is made with. Some research has shown that plastic polymer bank notes, like those used in Australia and Canada, are “cleaner” than American bills, according to the Time report.

Research contact: @AbigailAbrams

Jared Kushner makes his mark as a Millennial

December 5, 2017

Despite his position of power and influence, Jared Kushner, age 36, turns out to be a typical Millennial in many ways. Not only is he a multitasker—assigned to solve a swathe of issues, from the Middle East standoff to the reinvention of government—but President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser has a soft spot for smiley faces, emoji and exclamation marks, we learned recently from Newsweek.

Emails between Kushner and the administration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, obtained within the last couple of weeks by Politico, have been rife with multiple exclamation marks, double smiley faces, and “general sunniness.” the weekly news outlet reported.

“Thank you so much for getting involved in the issue with my friend Sandeep. He said you did a masterful job helping to create a true win win win for everyone involved!!!” he wrote to New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen back in February 2015 after she helped one of his buddies with his proposal for a school.

“I think this was more effective than a letter :))” Ivanka Trump’s husband again emailed Glen following the publication of an editorial by his then-newspaper the New York Observer, which supported City Hall’s position on a real estate tax-abatement program.

And in spring 2015, Kushner emailed Glen to say that he couldn’t meet with her because he had to go on jury duty for two weeks, which he blithely described as a privilege.

“We are lucky to live in an amazing democracy!” Kushner effervescently wrote.

A Harris Poll found this past June that 36% of Millennials, ages 18 to 36, were more likely to use emojis, GIFs and stickers “to better communicate their thoughts and feelings than words do.”

This is more than twice the percentage of people over age 65 who use the symbols to communicate, Time magazine reported.

There is just one catch: Kushner may not be very smiley at the moment, as the Russia probe gains momentum. However, while Kushner has many of the same problems with Special Counsel Robert Mueller that his father-in-law does—especially when it comes to the investigation into obstruction of justice—he may get a pass, if the president uses his power of pardon.

If so, we can count on him to keep using those smiley faces for many months to come.

Research contact: mswiatkowski@politico.com