Archives March 2017

The Mysterious Case of Tom Brady’s Missing Super Bowl Jersey Has Been Solved

Surveys estimate that 29% of men say they would wear an engagement ring, but Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has something better — five Super Bowl rings. Unfortunately for the football superstar, after winning against the Atlanta Falcons in February, Tom Brady’s winning jersey mysteriously vanished, only to reappear six weeks later in another country — Mexico.

According to the National Football League and law enforcement officials, the jersey and a second jersey worn by Brady in a previous Super Bowl two years ago were stolen by a former media executive from Mexico — Mauricio Ortega, former employee of the tabloid Diario La Prensa. Ortega had the credentials to cover the game in Houston and was able to snag the jersey in the Patriots’ locker room.

The investigation was led by the FBI, the Houston Police Department, and league security.

“You don’t come to Texas and embarrass us here on our own turf,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. “The only blemish that we had from the Super Bowl was these jerseys that were stolen from the locker room.”

La Prensa said in a statement that its former director, Martin Ortega, had also been involved in the theft.

“If it turns out to be true, (La Prensa) strongly rejects the conduct of Martin Ortega … who took advantage of the position he had to use the La Prensa newspaper to get accreditation and gain access to the field,” the statement said.

Ortega could not be reached for comment, but he did resign last Tuesday for ‘personal reasons.’

At the time of the incident, Brady expressed disappointment at the loss of his jersey.

“It’s unfortunate, because that’s a nice piece of memorabilia,” he had said. “Those are pretty special ones to keep. What can you do? I’ll take the ring and that’s good enough for me.”

While Brady will soon have possession of both jerseys once again, along with all five of his super bowl rings, Robert Kraft, owner of the team, is lacking one of his own mementos.

After the Patriot’s Super Bowl win against the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2005, Kraft met Russian President Vladimir Putin later that year. Kraft said he intended to simply show the ring to Putin, but the leader ended up keeping it instead.

Ultimately, Brady’s positivity shone through as he expressed gratitude for all those who assisted with the investigation.

“I am happy my jerseys from SB 49 and SB 51 have been recovered, and I want to thank all of the law enforcement agencies involved,” said the Patriots quarterback. “I know they worked hard on this case, and it is very much appreciated. Hopefully when I get the jerseys back I can make something very positive come from this experience.”

More Millennials Are Becoming Wine Snobs, and Big Beer Companies Can’t Handle It

Think Millennials are stuck in their college days and prefer beer as their alcoholic drink of choice down at the bars? Well, think again.

Turns out that instead of asking their bartender what’s on tap, Millennials are more likely to pick between red, white, and rose. Millennials are consuming more wine than any generation before them, and large beer brands are starting to notice.

Back in 2015, the Millennial generation as a whole consumed 159.6 million cases of wine. This represented about 36% of all the wine sales in that year, a statistic that has only risen since then.

Not only that but when Millennials drink, they drink a lot. This generation is on its way to becoming wine connoisseurs, as the number of high-frequency wine drinkers has risen from 8% in 2005 to 13% back in 2010, according to the Wine Market Council (YMC).

It turns out that when Millennials pick a favorite wine, they really do mean business.

Some believe that this trend change is a means of identification and maturity for the generation that struggles to be taken seriously in the public eye.

“Wine drinkers are beginning to sort themselves out,” President of the WMC, John Gillespie, explains to Business Insider. “It’s the self-identification of, ‘Yeah, I’m a wine person.'”

So what does this mean for the big beer brands that have thrived off Millennials and college-aged drinkers in the past few years? Inexpensive brands such as Bud Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Heineken have been trying their hardest to market to young generations but aren’t having the best of luck ever since wine entered the picture with a splash.

Budweiser, in particular, is having many problems maintaining Millennial drinkers. The brand, known for its Americana vibe, Clydesdale horses, and adorable puppies, is starting to become quite stale in consumer’s eyes. This could be due to the fact that Budweiser is an internationally recognized brand of beer and doesn’t have the variety or the unique tastes craft beer has. Plus, as a whole, craft beer is becoming more and more popular for consumers, with the market being worth $19.6 billion.

The brand is still struggling despite recently having one of the most expensive celebrity endorsements ever. Right after the Superbowl, which is one of the most lucrative advertising opportunities for American businesses, Budweiser got a post-game shoutout from Patriots Quarterback Peyton Manning. Estimated to be worth about $3.2 million in media opportunity, while this endorsement led to a social media surge, it did not provide a lasting impact on sales.

To put this in perspective, more than 80% of social media discussion about beer on Super Bowl Sunday was related to Budweiser. And even though a good majority of social media users report that what they read online– such as what is posted on Facebook–makes an impact on their purchasing decision, Budweiser hasn’t been so lucky. va-facebook

Even though sales continued to drop, this past fiscal year was one of the best in Budweiser’s history, as the company admitted that the brand’s total market value dropped 15 points as a whole. Considering that per capita, Budweiser consumption fell from 30 cans annually to just 18 cans between 2004 and 2013, this does not fare well, despite expensive celebrity endorsements.

So for the brand that calls themselves the “King of Beers,” their Millennial “subjects” are changing their pace to something a bit more fruity. Plus, with the growing popularity of the craft beer market, we’ll have to wait and see who will come out on top as the new ruler of the alcohol world.

Study Reveals People with ADHD Have Differing Brain Structures

Approximately 96% of parents believe that proper education can make up for a child’s learning disorder, but a new study has provided substantial evidence that people with ADHD have brain structures that differ from neuro-typical individuals.

The data gathered has led scientists to believe that ADHD should be considered an issue of brain development, not of motivation or family dynamics. The study was published in the Lancet Psychiatry and was “the largest brain imaging study of its kind,” according to the Washington Post.

The study, conducted by a consortium called ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta Analysis), included cranial scans from children, adolescents, and adults who are diagnosed with ADHD. Researchers reported that the biggest discrepancies in brain volume were present in children.

When compared to a control group, patients with ADHD experienced slower development in five out of seven regions in the brain, including the amygdala. The amygdala is responsible for regulating emotional responses and had the greatest volume reduction of the seven regions studied. This surprised researchers because while the amygdala is an important regulator in the brain, there was previously no evidence that suggested it was linked to ADHD.

Geneticist and study author Martine Hoogman of Radboud University in the Netherlands said the amygdala “is involved in emotion regulation and … in the process of [inhibiting] a response. Both cognitive processes are characteristic of ADHD, so it does make sense to have found this structure to be implicated in ADHD.”

In the past, small sample sizes have inhibited ADHD research and created unreliable results, but this study put much of that uncertain data to rest. Just as neglecting vehicles can cost the U.S. economy over $2 billion annually, neglecting proper research can have a great cost.

A grand total of 3,242 people from ages four to 63 were observed in the study. Almost half of the study participants undergoing MRI scans were control subjects, but the other half had ADHD.

Jonathan Posner, who wasn’t involved in the study but who does pediatric brain imaging research at Columbia University Medical School explained that this is something of a breakthrough in ADHD research.

“Because this study was orders of magnitude higher in terms of participants, and because it involved sampling broadly and internationally, it gives us more confidence,” he said.

The study has given other researchers hope for the future of ADHD research as well. Scientists knew that ADHD patients’ brains displayed small differences, but this most recent study has solidified claims that were once a bit cloudy.

Above all else, ENIGMA researchers hope that this study will help reduce some of the stigma that surrounds those people living with ADHD.

Facebook Could Soon Compete With Netflix

Currently, Netflix is the single largest bandwidth user on the Internet, accounting for over a third — 38% — of all online traffic during peak evening hours. Although HBO Go, Hulu, and other streaming services have tried to compete, no one has able to steal the crown from Netflix. Facebook, however, after dominating the social media industry for years, could potentially pose a threat to Netflix in the future.

According to Investopedia, Facebook recently hired Mina Lefevre, the former head of scripted development at Viacom, the company that ran MTV Networks. Lefevre will help the company transition from a social media powerhouse to a “video-first” company by creating compelling video content.

“We want people to think of Facebook as a place for interesting and relevant video content from professional creators as well as their friends,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Quartz reports that since 2014, Zuckerberg has continually stressed the importance of video playing a role in the company’s future. Hiring Lefevre is a major move for Facebook, but one that has stayed in line with some of the other decisions the company has made in recent months.

Facebook is currently developing an app for set-top boxes that will allow users to watch potential studio-quality videos from Facebook on the television. In addition, Facebook confirmed late in 2016 that it’s in talks with major studios in an attempt to acquire licensing deals for content that could soon appear in Facebook’s video tab.

According to Tech Crunch, Facebook used Instagram to help secure and revolutionize the photography market and could soon do the same for video.

“We’re focusing more on shorter form content to start,” Zuckerberg added. “Over the longer term… people will experiment with longer forms of video as well as all kinds of different things.”