JASON’S PICK

Snow Day? That’s Great. Now Log In. Get to Class.

As classrooms become more electronically connected, public schools around the country are exploring whether they can use virtual learning as a practical solution to unpredictable weather, effectively transforming the traditional snow day into a day of instruction.

About a third of school districts in the United States already have “significant one-to-one initiatives,” where students and teachers are given laptops and can work away from school on some assignments, said Ann Flynn, the director of education technology at the National School Boards Association. A byproduct “could be their application in times of health crises or in weather emergencies,” Ms. Flynn said.

There are broader questions, though, about access to technology.

In New York State, where no district can substitute a virtual day for a snow day, Dennis Tompkins, a spokesman for the state’s Education Department, noted that not all students have computers or Internet access. And for students to truly keep up, he said, “a thoughtful plan aligned with the curriculum” would need to be developed before a storm struck.

In this New Jersey enclave, each of the 2,000 students in the district’s two high schools, as well as their teachers, have laptops that cost $1 million in total and are replaced every two years. Few students do not have a Wi-Fi Internet connection at home. (NY Times)

KRISTEN’S PICK

15 Crazy, Interesting, Weird Scientific Facts About Love

- Being In Love Makes You Overlook Flaws In The Other Person Well, this explains why so many of us stay in bad relationships for such a long period of time. Being in love doesn't make you ignore your boo's flaws altogether, but it will make you ignore them, according to researchers. So, you'll be aware of the fact that your BF is being a huge jerk about something, but you'll choose to act like it's not happening because you love him. This makes complete sense.

- Love Can Make Things Taste Sweeter Have you ever heard someone say something like, "Love makes life sweeter?" As it turns out, they may be right - thinking about love or being in love can make food taste sweeter. Researchers looked at a group of people, and found that those who were thinking about love said a specific kind of food was sweeter than those thinking about jealousy or something neutral.

- Love Can Be Addictive Another reason behind why we might stay with someone for too long, even when we're not as happy as anymore? It could be because love can actually be addicting. When your brain produces that dopamine that gives you a similar high to cocaine, it wants to produce more of that dopamine all the time. Our brains become addicted to the feeling of falling in love. That's sort of cute.

- Being In Love Can Make Your Pupils Dilate Weirdly, scientists have found that looking at someone you love can make your pupils dilate. They also found that people viewed dilated pupils as more attractive. This is something that we never notice on our own.

- Falling In Love Is Similar To Being High On Cocaine Researchers studying love found that when we're in love, our brains produce more dopamine. As it turns out, the same area of the brain that lights up when you're in love (that produces dopamine), is the same area of the brain that gets affected when you're high on cocaine. So, basically, the intense happiness you feel when you're in love is very similar to the intense happiness you feel when you're on drugs. I guess love really is a drug!

- Your Hearts Can Sync Up How sweet is this: research has found that when a couple has been together for a while, their hearts beat at the same rate. Interestingly enough, researchers found that it's the woman's heart who changes to meet the pace of the man's. They don't know why, but it definitely is weird.

- Childhood Traumas Make It Harder To Love Here's some sad news: research has found that people who experienced childhood trauma, like neglect or abuse, have a harder time falling in love. This is most likely because it's so difficult for them to open up and be vulnerable enough for them to love someone, or let someone love them. It can be fixed though! They just need to learn and work on their issues.

- Love Can Be Essential For Good Health Feeling love for another person doesn't just make you feel good mentally - it can also affect your physical health. Research has found that being lonely and not connecting with others can shorten our lifespan about as much as smoking! Marriage can improve long-term health, especially for men.

- Guys Are More Likely To Say I Love You First A common stereotype is that men are too afraid to say those three little words, but actually, research shows differently. According to one study men are more likely to say it within the first month of a relationship and they are also overwhelmingly more likely to say "I love you" first. That second one is probably because society has made it so that it's more appropriate for a man to say it first. But we say, say it if you feel it!

- Holding Hands With A Loved One Can Reduce Pain The next time your parents complain about you being with your boo for too often, try this line on them: being with the one you love can actually make you feel better physically. Research has found that, at least for women, touching their lover can reduce the feeling of pain. It doesn't even have to be touching - if they just see a picture of their boo, their pain will go away.

- Love At First Sight Sort of Exists I have never been one to believe in love at first, but as it turns out, I might be wrong. Studies have shown that it only takes a few moments for people to decide whether the "spark" is there or not. People don't need a lot of time to figure out if they're into you - they'll know it within a few minutes of meeting you. Is it always true love? No. But it's still interesting to think about.

- Love Comes From Your Brain, Not Your Heart Love seems like a matter of the heart, right? Well, it's really not - it's more about your brain. As you've seen from all of these studies, and the hundreds more that are out there, when you're in love, things are happening to your brain... not your heart.

- Being In Love Can Make You An Obsessive Maniac When you're in love, there are lower levels of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is associated with OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. When you have lower levels of serotonin, and you're in love, it can make feel obsessive towards your partner. It is responsible for making breakups so hard, because it makes it seem like being away from that person is the worst thing in the world. It's basically what causes heartbreak.

- A Bunch Of Animals Are Monogamous Humans aren't the only species who fall in love - many animals also experience love and monogamy. Some examples include swans, wolves, penguins, bald eagles, and even - gross - cockroaches and termites.

- Love Can Make You See Things Through Rose-Colored Glasses Can being in love make you more positive? Maybe. When you're in love, your body produces more oxytocin, which is a chemical that helps with bonding with another person. When you have a lot of oxytocin in your body, it intensifies the pleasure you have from pretty much anything. So, it's basically like walking around with rose-colored glasses on. (Gurl.com)


FRECKLES' PICK - WINNER

VALENTINE’S DAY: Get Your Free Latte at Starbucks

Even though you might be shelling out some big bucks for a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner tonight, you and your significant other have a chance to save some money at Starbucks this afternoon as the coffee shop is giving away free lattes. Buy one latte and get one free from 2 to 5 p.m. today. No coupon is necessary.