The Weekly Briefing: 4/20/15

The New York Times, CNN and Vox snagged the top articles of the week with their coverage of climate change, Loretta Lynch’s confirmation and the best new way to freshen up — coffee naps. Check out what you need to know below:

#3) A CNN columnist, John D. Sutter, is going to be writing about 2 degrees for the rest of the year. It began on Earth Day, April 22, when Sutter published an article about 2 degrees. According to the piece, 2-degree is the number that we don’t want the planet to reach. In other words, “If we humans warm the world more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), we greatly up the odds of climate catastrophes.” Sutter goes on to explain that the 2-degree number can act as a benchmark for the world, making it especially important as the United Nations will try to pass a new international climate agreement this December. Additionally, Sutter is inviting readers to partake in his 2-degree reporting by voting on the projects — all which revolve around one theme: what does a post-2-degree world look like?

BriefMe Score: 97.6 | Source: CNN

#2) The Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch. After months of delay, Loretta E. Lynch became the first African-American United States Attorney General on Thursday, April 23. The Senate took so long to confirm Ms. Lynch due to Republican reservations on her immigration stance. Additionally, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, delayed the vote until the Senate voted on a human trafficking bill. The bill passed on Wednesday, April 22, with a vote of 99 to 0. Ms. Lynch faced opposition from conservative groups and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz. According to the New York Times, Cruz said, “the Republican majority if it so chose could defeat this confirmation.” Cruz was present to vote against the procedural motion to put forth the vote, but would later miss the confirmation vote. In the end, Ms. Lynch was voted in, 56 to 43, even earning the votes of 10 Republicans (including McConnell).

BriefMe Score: 97.7 | Source: New York Times

#1) Coffee naps are the way to go when you’re tired. Scientists have found a better way for you to perk up when you’re tired. Instead of taking a nap or hitting the caffeine, they’re suggesting that you do both — drink some coffee and take a 20 minute nap. The science behind this deals with how you react to caffeine. The caffeine passes into your bloodstream where it heads towards the brain to fit into little receptors. These receptors are usually filled with adenosine — a chemical that’s the byproduct of brain activity, thus making you feel tired. And while caffeine stops adenosine from accumulating in many receptors it doesn’t cover all of them (this is where sleep comes in.) The good news is that sleep is a natural way to clear adenosine, but scientists warn that it must only be a 20 minute nap (or you might go into “deeper” stages of sleep which require time to recover). This means that “if you nap for those 20 minutes, you’ll reduce your levels of adenosine just in time for the caffeine to kick in. The caffeine will have less adenosine to compete with, and will thereby be even more effective in making you alert.”

BriefMe Score: 97.8 | Source: Vox

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