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By The Numbers

A strange method for storing meth

Tobin Low Feb 15, 2016

Feeling presidential? Here are some need-to-know numbers to end your day.

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On Monday, Japanese officials reported that the country’s economy shrunk yet again, which it has done for 5 quarters out of the last 12. This comes at a poor time for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as elections are approaching. Abe’s strategy for weakening the yen — known as Abenomics — worked at first, but more recently has been causing troubles. As the New York Times writes, Japanese companies have been experiencing surges in profits due to currency depreciation. But stock markets have been volatile, and investors are worried that a strengthening currency would weaken those savings.

Also worried about losing profits: food companies that are trying to make their products healthier. The worry is that with cutting sugar and salt, some products will lose their signature crunch. Enter a robot with a smart mouth. Literally. Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry utilize a robot that chews food while simultaneously recording the sounds of crunching. They then compare the sounds recorded from other versions of the food to see if the crispiness has been maintained, even though the recipe has not. The original robot was created 30 years ago, and was used to test dental restoration materials.

And in Australia, a giant stash of liquid methamphetamine has been seized — 3.6 million individual hits of the drug, worth $900 million. It’s the largest haul ever taken by Australian police. As Quartz writes, the methods of storing the drugs were highly unusual: a large amount was stored in gel pad inserts for push-up bras, while another stash was found in art supplies.

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