Daily Download: Chocolate for Your Brain and Airplane Etiquette

Welcome to your Daily Download. Consider it a small dose of DPD that you’ll get right here every day. Just like the show, we’ll offer up a little small talk, etiquette lesson and more to arm you for your upcoming dinner parties. So sit back (or if you’re reading this on your commute, hold on) and enjoy!

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Icebreaker: Why do cows wear bells? Because their horns don’t work! – Elliot Bergman of Wild Belle

Small Talk: In news that will delight chocolate lovers everywhere, a new study has found that eating chocolate regularly helps improve brain function. Keep that in mind the next time you need to justify that 3 p.m. peanut M&Ms purchase at the vending machine.

History & Cocktail: For today’s look at history, we turn to NASA’s history office:


Toast to this out of this world photo with a Pluto-inspired history cocktail called Lowell’s Love Affair by Nick Williams, head bartender at Tinderbox Kitchen.

Soundtrack: Yesterday it was announced that The Magic Shop, a legendary New York recording studio that was a favorite of artists like Lou Reed to David Bowie, was set to close after 28 years. The New York Times has a great playlist of songs that were recorded there.

Etiquette: Frequent DPD guest and “Awesome Etiquette” co-host Lizzie Post delivers a few airplane etiquette tips to Travel and Leisure. So the next time someone’s knees on the back of your seat starts to annoy you, you’ll know exactly what to do.

Guest of Honor: If you haven’t heard Rico’s chat with L.A. Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, now is the perfect time to listen as he tells Rico about his fighting spirit and his affection for Beyoncé. Oh yeah, and don’t ask him about his hair.

Eavesdrop: Emma Donoghue, who wrote “Room” and earned an Oscar nod for the writing the film’s screenplay, is set to release a new book in September. Titled, “The Wonder,” it tells the story of an 11-year-old girl in 1850s Ireland who stops eating as the result of a religious fast and we’re just going to stop there and let you read the excerpt for more.

Main Course: The good folks over at Eater give you a handy rundown on Malasada, a donut-like pastry popular in Hawaii, It’s sometimes made with evaporated milk, rolled in sugar, and filled with everything from custard to coconut-flavored haupia pudding.

Chat Class: Our friends at Atlas Obscura examine how mummy unrolling events became all the rage with Victorian-era audiences in London. Really.

One for the Road: “Mr. Watson” by Cruel Youth. Enjoy below and Cheers!