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The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the “happiness” of people’s words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.
The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.
We found that parents who are stressed by having to help their children with distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic drink seven more drinks per month than parents who do not report feeling stressed by distance learning. These stressed parents are also twice as likely to report binge drinking at least once over the prior month than parents who are not stressed, according to our results. Binge drinking, which varies by gender, is when women consume at least four, or men have at least five alcoholic beverages (which includes beer, wine, or liquor) within a couple hours of each other.
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Given avocado’s popularity today, it’s hard to believe that we came close to not having them in our supermarkets at all.
In my new book “Avocado: A Global History,” I explain how the avocado survived a series of ecological and cultural close calls that could have easily relegated them to extinction or niche delicacy. Instead, the avocado persevered, prospered – and became one of the most Instagrammed foods in the world.