Brain Food
S14_FOB_Briefly_1When it comes to preparing for that crucial presentation at work, one of the top-five brain foods is (you’re going to love this) chocolate—specifically, dark chocolate. This recommendation comes from Christine McCarthy, the university’s nutritionist. A word of caution, however: While gorging on Dove bars and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk, you may also want to add some citrus fruits, whole grains, fish, and berries. And, oh yes, it might be a good idea to get some sleep as well.

Yuck!
S14_FOB_Briefly_5Your iPads and iPhones are covered with bacteria. In fact, touch screens and handheld devices are fertile ground for growing a variety of bacteria, including the antibiotic-resistant strains that have become a modern health scourge, according to assistant pharmacy professor Betsy Hirsch, who tested the iPads of 30 pharmacy professors. Best solution? Alcohol wipes.

Calendar of Happiness
S14_FOB_Briefly_2Happiness peaks on Sunday morning, then drops steadily to a weekly low on Thursday evening, according to assistant computer science professor Alan Mislove, who showed superhuman patience in analyzing public tweets from September 2006 to August 2009. He also found that people are happier in the early morning and late evening, and that the U.S. West Coast is happier than the East.

Tune Up
Third-year music major Emily Schuna has launched her own record label, using her dorm room in Willis Hall as a recording studio. Human Nature Records, co-founded with electrical engineering major Theji Jayartne, is a blend of post-punk, indie alternative, and electronic music genres.

S14_FOB_Briefly_4Happy Holidays, Mr. President
Northeastern took the White House by storm Dec. 15, when the Nor’easters, the university’s award-winning a cappella group, performed “Joy to the World” for Barack and Michelle Obama. The President and First Lady reportedly danced to the music.

Secret Weapon
S14_FOB_Briefly_6One of the latest weapons for promoting human rights is—believe it or not—women’s lingerie. Reem Asaad, MBA’01, has been battling laws in her native Saudi Arabia that ban women from working in retail stores. She finally convinced the government to allow women to sell female underwear by arguing that Saudi women are uncomfortable buying their undergarments from men. The move created an estimated 44,000 jobs for women. The next step in Asaad’s “Lingerie Campaign” is to expand the exception to cosmetics, accessories, and eventually sales jobs in general.