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Weekly Newsletter #97: Pi Day vs. Super Powered Sea Slugs

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By: burgundy bug

A pan-baked blueberry pie with the “Pi” symbol carved into its crust

Source: Adobe Stock

Happy Pi Day, bug buddies — or as we declared last year, happy ViHart day. And in case you were wondering, yes. The mathemusician YouTuber ViHart has already uploaded the 2021 installment of her infamous annual Pi Day series, which you can watch here

Now that you’ve sampled a slice of pi, and you’re all cozied up at the screen, let’s start chowing down on some whacky science stories, virtual events, and Burgundy Zine community news.

Weekly Recap

We rocket-launched into this week by tuning-in to a review of “Orion” by the London-based soul music collective Peak Futures and vocalist Joe Bernie. 

Then, we released our official theme announcement and contributor guidelines for “The Burgundy Zine #18: Imagination Recaptured,” which is scheduled for release on April 28th, 2021. 

The deadline to submit content for “The Burgundy Zine #18: Imagination Recaptured” is April 18, 2021. Content pitches can be sent to us through our website or emailed to us directly: submit@burgundyzine.com. 

Last — but most certainly far from least — writer Jeremy Bowler gave us a few tips for looking after our loved ones

Weekly Roundup

“Shadow Love” by Andreww: Accompanying the release for his gritty, lo-fi indie song “Shadow Love,” Andreww has developed and released a 2-D platformer of the same name, which you can play right in your browser. The video game brings Andreww’s unique sound and vision to life — and vice versa. This is, hands down, one of the coolest music submissions we’ve ever received. We’re just as hooked on the game as we are on the song. 

Research Roundup

Meet the Sea Slugs That Chop Off Their Heads and Grow New Bodies
By: Annie Roth
New York Times-reporter Annie Roth introduces us to Elysia marginata, a sea slug with the ability to regenerate a new, fully-functioning, parasite-free body after being decapitated.

Saya Mitoh, a Ph.D. candidate at Nara Women’s University in Japan at the time, stumbled upon this discovery entirely by accident. 

“One of the lab’s captive-raised sea slugs, an Elysia marginata, had somehow been decapitated,” Roth begins. “When Ms. Mitoh peered into its tank to get a better look, she noticed something even more shocking: The severed head of the creature was moving around the tank, munching algae as if there was nothing unusual about being a bodiless slug.”

Fruit and vegetable consumption reduce risk of death
By: Brian Doctrow, Ph.D. 
Eating fruits and vegetables reduces your risk of death. Well, duh, doesn’t that seem a bit obvious? Healthy living starts with healthy eating, after all. 

As it turns out, it takes more than just a baked potato or a side of asparagus to do your body justice. A recent press release by the National Institutes of Health says that eating five servings of vegetables per day is associated with a 13 percent decreased risk of mortality. 

“Beyond five servings per day, eating more fruits and vegetables wasn’t associated with further reduction in mortality risk,” Dr. Doctrow explains. “The lowest risk of mortality was reached at approximately two servings per day for fruit and three servings per day for vegetables. For comparison, U.S. adults average one serving of fruit and 1.5 servings of vegetables per day.”

An Overview of Products and Bias in Research
By: David Gloss
The idea of “weed’s weed, man” has been rapidly disintegrating due to the expansion of the cannabis market and cannabis research over the last few years. “Cannabinoids,” “terpenes,” “endocannabinoid system,” “shatter,” “sauce,” “crumble,” “moonrocks,” “hash,” “flower,” “oil,” and a slew of other key terms have become a staple of marijuana vernacular. 

But how much do you know about the plant itself? In his review, Gloss provides a simple and easy-to-read overview of the cannabis plant, strains, and the different types of cannabis products commonly prepared. Gloss also investigates the biases in cannabis research.  

Most COVID-19 hospitalizations due to four conditions
By: Erin Bryant
The coronavirus pandemic has presented a significant challenge and placed severe strains on the healthcare system over the last year. However, the effects of COVID-19 vary from patient to patient, with some being asymptomatic altogether. 

Recently, the NIH announced that experts estimate nearly two-thirds of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States could be attributed to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure. 

“More than one of these conditions are often present in the same person,” the NIH press release explains. “The numbers weren’t simply additive. In total, 64 percent of the hospitalizations might have been prevented if not for the four conditions.”

Exciting Events

Real Cannabis Entrepreneur Conference 2021
If you enjoyed our coverage of the New England Cannabis Convention in 2019, then you won’t want to miss this opportunity to attend the Real Cannabis Entrepreneur Conference virtually from March 26 to March 28. 

Entrepreneurs, investors, and consumers alike can enjoy discussions about cannabis dispensaries, CBD products, edibles, and more — all from the convenience of their home WiFi connection. 

For the next three days, tickets to the Real Cannabis Entrepreneur Conference 2021 will be available for 20 percent off, as well. That means you’ll gain access to priceless, enriching information all for just $27!

NIH to evaluate COVID-19 at-home testing system
The NIH announced earlier this month that researchers are currently developing an at-home COVID-19 diagnostic kit that delivers results straight to your smartphone via the Quidel QuickVue At-Home COVID-19 Test app in just 10 minutes. 

Going Forward

Editor burgundy bug’s got a bit on her plate this week, so content may seem slow for the next few days, but there’s a much abuzz and a-bumble behind the scenes.

We have some awesome guest contributor content on our schedule and an EP review coming out, too. 

Looking ahead even further, you can look forward to seeing a lot of interviews from us real soon, too.

In the meantime, stay healthy, stay safe, and check out “Shadow Love” by Andreww! While you’re at it, why not give our Music Spotlight playlist for March a listen, as well? 😉 

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burgundy bug


A cynical optimist and mad scientist undercover, burgundy bug is the editor, graphic designer, webmaster, social media manager, and primary photographer for The Burgundy Zine. Entangled in a web of curiosity, burgundy bug’s work embodies a wide variety of topics including: neuroscience, psychology, ecology, biology, cannabis, reviews, fashion, entertainment, and politics. You can learn more about working with burgundy bug by visiting her portfolio website: burgundybug.com

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