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a.MKE: New bicycle helmets, Downtown protestors, decrease in HS smoking and music news 12.11.12

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Dozens of protestors gathered outside Senators Herb Kohl and Ron Johnson's office in downtown Milwaukee Monday, calling for solutions that emphasize new jobs, higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans and the preservation of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. This was one of 100 planned protests held in Wisconsin yesterday.

The Department of Health Services reported a 26 percent drop in high school smoking since 2010, and a drop of 36 percent for middle school students. Now, a total of only 13% of H.S. students are smokers.

As reported by GOOD Magazine, a new bicycle helmet has been developed, inspired by an unlikely animal...the woodpecker. When a woodpecker slams its beak into the trunk of a tree, the impact is cushioned by a special microstructure between the beak and the head. By copying that design, a helmet was created that can withstand three times greater impact than a standard helmet. After testing 150 materials, cardboard was picked as the new helmet liner.

In Music news, though he's drumming on their new record, Dave Grohl said he won't tour with Queens of the Stone Age when they head out on the road in support of their latest release. Trent Reznor is also contributing to the forthcoming Queens of the Stone Age record. And...speaking of Trent Reznor...he's planning to include two new songs for a Nine Inch Nails greatest hits compilation set for 2014. Reznor also revealed that his collaboration with Dr. Dre Beats By Dre is set for an early 213 release.