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facts & arguments

Using milk to get higher?

"Thailand is asking citizens of all ages to drink at least one glass of cow's milk a day," says The Guardian. "Speaking at the Food and Agriculture Organization's world milk day on Monday, the deputy public health minister, Cholanan Srikaew, said a campaign to drink milk every day could increase the height of 18-year-old Thais by eight centimetres from the current 167 cm for boys and 157 cm for girls, as well as extend life expectancy from 74 to 80 years. … Thais currently consume 14 litres of milk per person per year, far below the southeast Asian average of 60 litres, and the international average of 103.9 litres, according to official figures. Lactose intolerance is common among many Thais, and much of the milk currently sold in Thailand comes in cans as sweetened condensed milk, ubiquitously served in Thai coffees and teas. Those looking for a small carton of milk in shops can be met with raised eyebrows as it is generally regarded as a drink for weaklings, with the word for milk and breast, nom, being interchangeable."

Accidental high

"As legalized marijuana appears in an increasing number of American homes, so too does evidence of a dark side: accidental ingestion of pot and pot-infused food by young children," the Los Angeles Times reports. "The results can be frightening to such children, who often suffer anxiety attacks when they start to feel unexpected symptoms of being high: hallucinations, dizziness, altered perception and impaired thinking. And the trend should prompt equal concern among adult caregivers and public health authorities, since ingestion of highly potent marijuana by young children can suppress respiration and even induce coma, according to a study published online [last] week in JAMA Pediatrics."

Easier to get a caffeine fix

"Who needs coffee for breakfast when you can pour Wired Wyatt's caffeinated maple syrup over your Wired Waffles?" writes Brady Dennis of The Washington Post. "Remember Cracker Jack? This year saw the advent of Cracker Jack'd Power Bites, with as much caffeine per serving as a cup of coffee. Americans, it turns out, are willing to gobble up caffeine in all kinds of foods – from potato chips to sunflower seeds to beef jerky. Not to mention Gummi Bears and marshmallows. … The trend, experts say, reflects a rush by food manufacturers to cater to consumers' increasingly frenetic lives – and to cash in on the popularity and profitability of high-caffeine energy drinks."

Police dogs ignore pot

"When Dusty, a 19-month-old black Labrador, walked past a pipe full of marijuana during a recent police search of a house, he was doing exactly what his handler hoped," Associated Press reports. "The newest drug-sniffing dog on the police force in Bremerton, Wash., near Seattle, is one of a few police dogs in Washington state that are not trained to point out pot during searches. Other police departments are considering or are in the midst of retraining their dogs to ignore pot as well, part of the new reality in a state where voters last fall legalized marijuana use."

All grads are No. 1

"When the seniors say farewell to South Medford High in Oregon next weekend," says NBC News, "one of the school's 21 valedictorians will lead the flag salute, another valedictorian will recite the history of the 365-member class, and a third will introduce the keynote speaker. But all 21 can enjoy a sweet piece of the ceremony, if they choose. At Enterprise High in Alabama, the valedictorians – all 34 of them – plucked names from a hat to gain coveted speaking spots during their commencement earlier this month." High schools are forsaking the time and tradition when just one elite student was valedictorian. "In fact, at South Medford High, all of those 21 valedictorians can tell colleges they are No. 1 in their class."

Thought du jour

"Coffee has two virtues: It's wet and warm."

– Dutch saying