5 Things to Know (Week 9)

Don’t have time to watch or read the news? No problem! The Butler Collegian’s editor-in-chief has compiled a list of the top five things he thinks readers should know this week.

Let’s keep this relatively short, sweet and to the point. Live long and prosper.


Fact 1: Indiana HIV rate increases: In Scott County, Indiana, “more than 70 new infections with the AIDS virus have been confirmed in just the last few months,” according to NPR. The crisis led Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to declare a public health emergency last Thursday. Many of the outbreak’s cases have been linked specifically to oxymorphone, a prescription painkiller commonly known by the brand name Opana. Drug abusers, who grind up the pills to inject the medication, use shared needles that spread the virus. The new health concern has reignited a debate in Indiana over the use of needle exchange programs to prevent HIV’s spread among users of injected drugs. Such programs have been found to work elsewhere, but the strategy is illegal in Indiana—and in 22 other states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convinced Pence to allow a temporary needle exchange in Scott County as part of the emergency response. But Pence is still against legalizing such exchanges statewide. “I don’t believe that effective anti-drug policy involves handing out paraphernalia to drug users by government officials,” he said. “I reject that.”


Fact 2: Antarctica heats up: Antarctica could be a spring break destination this year. Weather bloggers at Weather Underground report the continent hit a record-breaking high of 63.5 F (17.5 C) last Tuesday, according to Time Magazine. Prior to the record-setting day, the hottest the continent had ever gotten was 62.8 F (17.1 C) on April 24, 1961. The region’s temperature has risen at an average of about 5 F (2.8 C) in the last health century, according to the British Antarctic Survey. Studies have also documented melting ice along Antarctica’s coasts.


Fact 3: America’s richest cities get richer:  Last week, the Brookings Institution came out with a report on “job proximity”—that is, which cities have the largest and fastest-growing concentrations of jobs in their city centers. The statistic is significant because people who live closer to work are more likely to be employed. Poorer individuals, on average, cannot afford longer commutes. The key finding of the study was that people and jobs moved to the suburbs in the 2000s, and the number of jobs near the typical resident fell by 7 percent. The densest cities tend to be the most educated cities, which are also the richest cities and often the biggest cities. They are gobbling up a disproportionate share of college grads. And, as a result, they are becoming even richer, denser and more educated.


Fact 4: Socialism: The NFL’s revenue structure:  The NFL equally shares its nearly $5 billion of national television revenue among all its teams. It also shares a substantial portion of its ticket and merchandise revenue, but not revenue from suites, sponsorships or naming rights, according to Sporting News. Because the NFL has embraced much more sharing, the financial incentive to win is muted. In the NFL “a 10 percent increase in regular season wins for an average team only leads to a 0.14 percent increase in revenue,” according to The Atlantic.


Fact 5: How much water do you need to survive?: “It had been conventional wisdom that eight 8-ounce glasses were needed, but in recent years kidney specialists have said a healthy adult in a temperate climate needs only half of that,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The best way to tell if you are well hydrated is to check your urine: If you are urinating every two to four hours and the color is light yellow (although vitamin supplements can affect urine color), you should be well-hydrated. “The research has found that urine color, while it isn’t a lab test, is a good indicator, and good enough to use on a daily basis,” Lawrence E. Armstrong, a physiologist at the Human Performance Lab at the University of Connecticut, said. Furthermore, bottled water is not as safe as consumers may assume. While the Food and Drug Administration enforces labeling and regulates the allowable levels of contaminants in bottled water, it does not have the ability to do mandatory and widespread testing, the way the Environmental Protection Agency has over public drinking water.



There you have it. Check the news section next week for another set of facts you can use to impress (and annoy) your friends with. Who doesn’t love a smart aleck, right?

P.S. Anyone want to head to Antarctica next spring?


Written and compiled by Julian Wyllie