A closer look at a damaged brain, the university-uncertainty effect, and one educator who’s making us all look bad: this week’s Fresh Powder Report

When donating your brain to science can, in fact, change lives:

Stories about retired NFL players suffering from CTE– a form of traumatic brain injury caused by repeated blows to the head commonly found in professional football players– is certainly not “news.” However, following the release of the film Concussion, this phenomenon is getting more wide-spread attention, most recently in the form of an actual analysis of former NFL quarterback Ken Stabler’s brain postpartum.

Stabler lost his battle with colon cancer in July, but not before specifying that his brain was to be removed during autopsy and sent to scientists for dissection in hopes of finding the source of his seemingly inexplicable mental decline in the final years of his life. Despite the fact that quarterbacks are typically more “protected” than their teammates in other positions, the doctors responsible for studying his brain found widespread lesions they labeled “severe,” proving no position in professional football is entirely safe from the dangers of degenerative brain damage.

Majoring in self-doubt:

Justina Sharp, a freshman in college, majoring in journalism, is no stranger to the industry; prior to actually pursuing a degree in the field, she’d already published articles in The Huffington Post, the New York Times, and on MTV News. So how did Sharp go from being so certain about her future in journalism to actually doubting her skills in a matter of months? One word: college.

Visualize it:

Here are five stunning examples of data journalism utilizing interactive, timeline-based visualization; a picture may be worth a thousand words, but these amazing infographics may be capable of saying more than one article ever could.

Calculating successful education:

He may not be teaching journalism; in fact, you could argue the subject he specializes in is the antithesis of any of the literary arts. Despite the traditionally challenging and not-universally-liked subject matter, high school calculus teacher Anthony Yom has created a classroom of engaged learners who seem to be genuinely interested math; so much so, one of his students recently became one of 12 individuals in the world to earn a perfect score on the Advanced Placement Calculus exam. So what’s his secret? Magic? Hypnosis? We’re still not entirely sure, but you can read more about him and his students and try to figure it out for yourselves.

These things also happened this week:

The 50th Super Bowl took place on Sunday, and, while many of you were watching for the sports, fanfare, and camaraderie, plenty of us tuned in for the thing that really matters: the commercials. Here are USA Today’s picks for this year’s top 5 Super Bowl commercials.

And, in case you were one of the many viewers who experienced some volume-related difficulties during the halftime performance, you can relive the musical extravaganza in all its glory right here.

The New Hampshire primary takes place today; here’s what you need to know about the results.

James Franco is allegedly set to direct a movie based on the infamous “Zola” Twitter-tale that took over the internet this October– which, in true Franco fashion, should be exactly as absurd as sounds.