Watch Out for the Whole Grain Wielding Duck Boats

Plus: Helmet vending machines, Whitehead Institute in Cambridge takes tops honors, and more health news.

Mayor Tom Menino declared tomorrow (April 3rd) “Whole Grain Sampling Day” in the City of Boston. Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, and the Whole Grains Council will be commandeering Duck Boats and handing out (or throwing, perhaps?) whole grain food samples throughout the city. Some supermarkets, schools, and restaurants are also participating. [Release]

Boston wants to install helmet vending machines for Hubway riders. According to a report on Universal Hub, Boston is soliciting bids from companies to install and maintain “bicycle helmet vending machines at various locations throughout the city.” Bids are due by April 10 for the initial one-year contract. [Universal Hub]

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge was named “Best Places to Work: Postdocs” by The Scientist magazine because, they say, it offers its postgraduate fellows more competitive salaries and benefits, as well as access to high-quality scientific experience and guidance. The Scientist also says that Whitehead also pays close attention to quality of life, providing its 120 postdocs with subsidized childcare, health care, retirement planning, and an active postdoc association. [The Scientist]

The Massachusetts teen birth rate for 2010 is the lowest ever recorded in the state, and even more impressive, that number is 50 percent below the U.S. teen birth rate, according to data released by the Department of Public Health this week. [Massachusetts Teen Pregnancy]

President Obama is launching the “Brain Initiative” today, which will aim to find a way to take pictures of the brain in action in real time. Ultimately, that could help find a way to treat or prevent brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, autism, and schizophrenia. It is a “public-private” initiative, and funding is coming from groups like the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation, and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s brain mapping project. [NBC News]