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Cooking Up a Stem Cell Burger and Other Fascinating News on the Web

August 5, 2013

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  1. Stem Cells with a Side of Fries

    “Fifty years hence we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.” That’s what Winston Churchill said in 1932. It’s been more than fifty years but today, a few taste testers sat down to sample a hamburger created in the lab. The meat-like substance was created by scientists who placed the stem cells of a cow into a nutritional broth. Google’s Sergey Brin was the project’s backer, and the burger cost him a cool $325,000 (and he didn’t get fries with that). This marks an important step forward for lab meat, but the effort still pales in comparison to the invention of the tater tot.

    + More from the BBC on how to make a stem cell burger, and what one tastes like.

  2. How Smarter Spending Affects Happiness

    Can money buy you happiness? Of course it can. But there’s a catch. You have to make sure you’re spending the money on the right things. Here’s what you can learn from the science of smarter spending. The connection between money and happiness is unrelated to spending. It’s the throwing it up in the air and rolling around with it on the bed that makes one happy.

    + Are happiness and health directly related? A new study suggests that meaning is healthier than happiness. (This study was carried out by really unhappy people who feel they are doing incredibly important work)

  3. Red Sox Owner Buys Boston Globe

    John Henry, the principal owner of the Red Sox, just purchased the Boston Globe from the New York Times Co. And he paid less for the newspaper than he did for his first baseman. Two decades ago, the NYT Co paid $1 billion for the Globe. Henry just picked up the newspaper and its associated properties for $70 million. I’ve always wanted to have a column in a major American newspaper. Now I realize that if I just wait long enough, I can buy one and hire myself.

    + Newsweek gets dumped again. This time, IBT Media is the acquirer of the publication. Its last owner, Barry Diller, called his purchase of Newsweek a “mistake” and a “fool’s errand.”

  4. How Nazis Censored Hollywood

    “In devastating detail, an excerpt from a controversial new book reveals how the big studios, desperate to protect German business, let Nazis censor scripts, remove credits from Jews, get movies stopped and even force one MGM executive to divorce his Jewish wife.” From The Hollywood Reporter: The Chilling History of How Hollywood Helped Hitler.

  5. MLB Suspends Alex Rodriguez, 12 Others

    Twelve Major League players accused of using performance enhancing drugs have agreed to 50-game suspensions, and Alex Rodriguez is expected to be kicked out of baseball through the 2014 season.

    + When I was in college, I was a sports producer for a local TV station and I covered hundreds of baseball games. Even back then, every reporter in the press box seemed to know that some players were using steroids or other drugs to enhance their performances. One season, a guy in a locker room would be nice, thin, and have a clear complexion. The next season, he’d be huge, covered in acne, and have a short temper emanating from an oddly large head. Yet, it still took about a decade for a reporter named Steve Wilstein to launch the coverage of the steroid era.

    + It’s been a busy offseason for Johnny Football. Now ESPN is reporting that Heisman winner Johnny Manziel is being investigated for potentially selling (or at least offering to sell) his autographs — a violation of NCAA rules (which are mostly nuts).

    + Whether these autograph-related allegations turn out to be true, Johnny Football may have had the craziest offseason in college football history. In other news, he’s twenty years-old and wildly famous.

  6. Remember Apple Newton?

    “The Newton wasn’t just killed, it was violently murdered, dragged into a closet by its hair and kicked to death in its youth by one of technology’s great men.” Over the weekend, the team that worked on the Newton gathered to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the device. Wired’s Mat Honan remembers the Apple Newton’s prophetic failure and lasting impact.

    + There are still a few folks out there who are putting their Newtons to use (which is good news for Windows Phone users looking to upgrade).

  7. Music Industry By The Numbers

    “Since 2000, the amount of revenue created from selling or streaming music in America has been cut in half, from $14.3 billion to $7 billion.” Those numbers probably don’t come as much of a surprise. Pando Daily takes a look behind the numbers to provide a spin on the music industry, explained.

  8. The Best Place to Teach

    “The harder I work, the more I make. I like that.” So says Kim Ki-hoon, a guy who doesn’t work a job known for its big paydays. He’s a teacher. The WSJ takes a look at South Korea’s educational system (which is ranked among the best in the world) and its $4 million teacher.

  9. Marketing Women’s Deodorant

    “Within the Curve of a Woman’s arm. A frank discussion of a subject too often avoided.” Before companies could convince Americans to buy deodorants and antiperspirants, they first had to convince them that they smelled bad. And a century later, not everyone has gotten the message.

  10. The Bottom of the News

    These days, you can learn a lot about what people are thinking by looking at the autocomplete suggestions on search engines like Google and Bing. But there are some words that the search giants censor from their suggestions. From Slate: Sex, Violence, and Autocomplete Algorithms.

    + Chrismukkah comes in August. Remembering The O.C.: Creator Josh Schwartz on the Show’s 10th Anniversary.

    + Breaking Bad’s management lessons and, Breaking Bad, the middle school musical.

    + Introducing the Adult Big Wheel. Game on.

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