Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Feb 6, 2015
February 6, 2015
Going Geek-dot-com /Caught in the Web:
Three more weeks to jump on the online movement called "Facebook Free February." It challenges people to abstain from using Facebook for an entire month and seems to be more popular overseas, specifically in the UK, Ireland, and Australia. The idea apparently goes back at least as far as February 2012, so this will actually be the fourth Facebook Free February on record.
ERIK SASS of Social Media Daily suggests it's not a particularly effective movement, as the usage stats from comScore show the numbers of global and U.S. FB users have increased through every February since "FFF" began. (Kaye)
Filling a need:
Today is Girl Scout Cookie Day... and of course the scouts have been selling this year's cookies for about a month now. Which leads us to... some Girl Scout Cookie trivia:
--In 1933, 44 Girl Scout Cookies cost a mere 23 cents --yeah, around a half-cent a cookie.
--The words "Girl Scout Cookies" first appeared on a box of cookies in 1935, for the Girl Scout Federation of Greater New York.
--In 1951, Girl Scout Cookies came in three varieties: Sandwich, Shortbread, and Chocolate Mints (now known as Thin Mints). With the advent of the suburbs, Girl Scout Cookies were also sold by girls at tables in shopping malls.
--By 1956, Girl Scouts sold four basic types of cookies: a vanilla-based filled cookie, a chocolate-based filled one, shortbread, and a chocolate mint. Some bakers also offered an optional flavor.
--By 1966, the best sellers were Chocolate Mint, Shortbread, and Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies.
What are the best-selling Girl Scout Cookies?
According to the Girl Scouts' website:
5. Shortbread /Trefoils, 9 percent
4. Peanut Butter Sandwich /Do-si-dos, 11 percent
3. Peanut Butter Patties /Tagalongs, 13 percent
2. Samoas /Caramel deLites, 19 percent
1. Thin Mints, 25 percent.
Editor's note: the remaining varieties combined account for the remaining 23 percent.
Biomedical engineers at Columbia University have developed a small device that can be used with smartphone app to test human blood for the virus that causes AIDS and the bacteria that causes syphilis. The device attaches to a headphone jack and requires no separate batteries, while a phone app reads the test results. LiveScience.com describes the new device as "a lab on a chip." It draws your blood into the device, where it mixes with chemicals to show the markers for HIV and syphilis, which is then read through the app. The whole process takes 15 minutes.
The device is also highly accurate. The team tested the device at three clinics in Rwanda, as part of a program to help prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The test was able to correctly identify an infection 92 to 100 percent of the time. It's cheaper too. If manufactured, the device would cost about $34. The equipment normally needed to run this type of blood test for either HIV or syphilis usually costs $18-thousand dollars or more. (Bartha)
Texting and sex:
Warning: note sexual content.
Did you just receive a cutesy yellow face from one of your B-F-F's? Chances are your bestie is getting lots of action in the old sackeroo! Match.com surveyed 5,675 people over the age of 18 and discovered that folks who use emojis while texting are more likely to be getting some action. HELEN FISHER tells USA Today that emoji fans may be "self-expressive and in turn more sexual."
PS: Singles that get the most lovin' use the wink, followed by a smiley face and kiss. (Lee)
Grace notes from Vinny Marino:
The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will be handed out Sunday night. LL COOL J will be your host as CBS carries the big event live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. SAM SMITH, BEYONCE and PHARRELL WILLIAMS lead the pack with six nominations each. There are way too many performers to tell you about, but put it this way, everyone EXCEPT TAYLOR SWIFT will be doing something on stage. Oh, Taylor will be there since she has a few nominations, but only as a presenter. You can see the complete list of nominations at grammy.com. (Marino)
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