Finally, it’s March — should we commemorate the day with a sumptuous glass of red? A dark, jammy, red wine is my ultimate celebration drink; it's like a lush, bottomless berry bowl. It’s tart and unforgiving, or perhaps you go for something unforgivingly dry — perfect to pass the time in yet another unforgiving year. It’s also great for your heart… maybe.
Today’s newsletter will let you know once and for all if red wine is truly healthy. But before we get myth-busting (spoilers!), we are happy to announce our three Inverse Daily Rewards winners from February. This month’s Silver tier winner is Michele Z., our Gold tier winner is Jeremy P., and our Platinum winner is Selina W. Although we can only give out three prizes, we’re so appreciative of all of you.
In that same spirit of appreciation, February’s rewards draw will also be our last. We share your frustrations about finicky open tracking. Your lifetime stats will be retained, but you’ll notice the monthly open counter won’t appear in future newsletters. Instead, you can focus on learning at your own pace — more powerful than any glitch. Learn more here.
Red wine is great for lots of things — grilled meat, winter nights, going to bed before 10 p.m. — but is it as good for your health as your best friends suggest? Not exactly.
“The conflation of red wine and health may come, in part at least, from a correlation that people who are more likely to drink wine are also more likely to be healthy,” writes Elana Spivack, science reporter for Inverse.
The other part is the fact that red wine contains anti-inflammatory antioxidants, and more specifically, an antioxidant called resveratrol which is good for your heart and missing from other wines. Unfortunately, experts say that red wine doesn’t have nearly enough resveratrol to be beneficial, but that doesn’t mean you have to kiss your glass goodbye. Wine can be good for your heart in other ways.
“If you’re hoping to improve your cholesterol levels or immunity, wine won’t do that,” writes Spivack. “But consumed in moderate amounts, it can certainly have a relaxing effect on the mind and body.” So unwind with a little Malbec — just don’t expect too much in return.
Wine o’clock: 10 effects alcohol has on the brain
Dogs love gnawing on bones and scooting their butts in public, but aside from a few gnarly personality traits, dogs are unintentionally made of pure gold. Though dog owners may resent their furry friend for needing a lap around the block in snow, or rain, or at 5 a.m., a study published in the journal PLOS ONE last week suggests these ritualistic walks could have significant health benefits.
“The researchers discovered dog owners had a significantly reduced risk of becoming disabled compared to individuals who had never owned a dog,” writes nature reporter Tara Yarlagadda.
“The study found that current dog owners ‘have approximately half the risk of disability’ compared to those who never had a dog,” which is likely because of the exercise dog ownership bakes into a daily routine.
This discovery melds with previous research, which indicates that “moderate exercise among older populations can postpone the onset of disabilities,” writes Yarlagadda. But the study also “provides significant evidence in favor of better physical health linked with dog ownership among seniors.” Now that we know that dogs are truly good for you, hopefully further research will help reveal “whether dog ownership has any influence on the mental health of its owners and whether that plays a role in an individual’s risk for disability,” writes Yarlagadda.
Cats could be key to an identity crisis: Why doesn’t my cat like me?
I hope you aren’t too attached to your car’s air conditioning button. Inverse transportation reporter Jordan Golson reports that your next car might not have one, or any buttons at all, for that matter.
But the movement toward digital car interiors really started 10 years ago, when “Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s lead designer, put an enormous 17-inch vertical touchscreen in the center of the car,” writes Golson. “It dominates the dash, and you control nearly everything in the car through it — for better or worse.” Now, other car manufacturers are making their begrudging catch up to Tesla with their own touchscreens.
These screens are absolutely departures from tradition, but they’re making space for new-normal technology like Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as over-the-air updates. Touchscreens also have the “ability to anticipate the owner’s unexpressed wishes and needs,” a general benefit of digital flexibility. Are you looking forward to your car’s future?
“The International Space Station has become a point of contention as Russia wages war in Ukraine,” writes Mike Brown. “On February 24, U.S. President Joe Biden declared international sanctions would affect Russia’s space program — Russia is a key collaborator in the International Space Station along with the American space agency NASA and the European Space Agency.”
Biden put the sanctions in place with the hope that they would “degrade [Russia’s] aerospace industry,” he said in a February 24 speech. In response, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, wondered in Russian on Twitter “who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States” if Russia is pulled from space. “The risks are yours,” he continued.
“This new tension is the latest in a series of incidents calling the future operation of the International Space Station into question,” writes Brown. “As private companies and nation-states plan alternatives to the ISS, and the aging station continues to require fuel, its fate may be decided by other forces.”
Stay informed: Read more political stories on Inverse
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- On this day in history: Ouch — on March 1, 1896, French scientist Antoine Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity through uranium salt. His findings led to Marie Curie eventually developing the term “radioactivity” following her own research on uranium rays in 1898.
- Song of the day: “Uranium,” by Kraftwerk.