Friday News Bites: Arts, SCIENCE! + More

Happy Friday and Happy Halloween, everyone! If you’re celebrating the holiday today, whether at a party or with your munchkins, I hope you have a fun time. We’ve got a lot of science-y links to cap off the week, as well as the usual mixed bag of things I found interesting. Let’s get to it.


Red wine, according to one study, can enhance the benefits of exercise, and for those who are physically incapable of regular exercise, red wine can “mimic exercise for them or improve the benefits of the modest amount of exercise that they can do.”


… which is helpful to know if one has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, like I do. Speaking of CFS, “Stanford researchers found distinct differences between the brains of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and those of healthy people.” Being able to distinctly show these differences will go a long way in being able to properly diagnose the illness, as the method now relies a lot on ruling out other conditions until CFS is what is left.

Jonas Salk, pioneer of the polio vaccine, would have been 100 years old this week. The best way to remember him? Vaccinate your kids.

You may have heard that Pope Francis declared that evolution and the Big Bang Theory are not contradictory to the Catholic church, which is helpful for him to say, but did you know he’s not the first Pope to do so?

You probably also saw that a rocket headed to the International Space Station blew up shortly after launch. Luckily, there were no fatalities, and Russia instead sent the space station their supplies.

A selection of baby wipes have been recalled due to a bacterial infection. Click through to see if your usual brand is on the list.

Next time one of your relatives tries to tell you that “homosexuality is unnatural,” you can tell them all about how giraffes (and other animals) are super gay. 

In Entertainment:

Dolly Parton — musical godmother to us all — has some strong words for Christians who want to judge the LGBTQ community. I love her.

Finally, we can quit hearing all the casting rumors: Benedict Cumberbatch will play Doctor Strange in the upcoming Marvel film.

Hugh Jackman has been treated for skin cancer for the third time. He has told fans not to be “foolish like me,” and to “PLEASE! PLEASE! WEAR SUNSCREEN!”

Dame Helen Mirren is the new face of L’Oreal Paris. Normally, make-up and modeling news are not of too much interest to me, but I have a deep and abiding love for this woman. Indulge me.

I found this story fascinating: Margaret Keane, ex-wife of famous “artist” Walter Keane, is the subject of a new biopic by Tim Burton:

The centre of Walter’s universe in the mid-1950s was a San Francisco beatnik club, The Hungry i. While comedians such as Lenny Bruce and Bill Cosby performed onstage, out at the front, Walter sold his big-eyed-children paintings. One night Margaret decided to go to the club with him.

“He had me sitting in a corner,” she tells me, “and he was over there, talking, selling paintings, when somebody walked over to me and said: ‘Do you paint too?’ And I suddenly thought – just horrible shock – ‘Is he taking credit for my paintings?’”

He was. He had been telling his patrons a giant lie. Margaret was the painter of the big eyes – every one of them. Walter might well have seen sad children in postwar Berlin, but he hadn’t painted them, because he couldn’t paint to save his life.

Amy Adams plays Margaret in the film, Big Eyes, which opens in December.

“No More”: NFL players have released a series of PSAs condemning domestic violence and sexual assault, while also addressing the league’s problems and excuses that have created its current environment.

Actress Marcia Strassman has died from breast cancer at age 66. Strassman was best known for her roles on Welcome Back, Kotter and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.

In Other News:

Five cases in Ferguson, Missouri, have been dismissed because officer Darren Wilson was a no-show in court. A spokesman said he “wasn’t available.” Uh-huh.

The San Francisco Giants were once again crowned World Series champs this week, and then “celebrating” got out of hand with fire, gunshot wounds, and other rioting. I never quite understand this reaction to something good happening.

And finally: In Montana, the last of the Crow war chiefs, Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, turned 101 this week. His secret to longevity? “Go to sleep early, sleep eight hours, eat breakfast, keep busy working, eat generous and healthy helpings at meals.”

See you next time, friends.

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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