Feeling pretty proud of yourself for those 10,000 steps you clock each day? Got some bad news for you sunshine. While that target has widely been hailed as a goal to beat cardiovascular disease, a new study suggests that 15,000 steps is more where you need to be. UK researchers who studied 111 postal workers in Glasgow found profound differences in the health markers for those who were on their feet the longest each day. Some of the workers, who were mostly aged 40 to 60, sat for 15 hours or more daily at office jobs and at home, and others were mail carriers who walked their routes. Writing in the International Journal of Obesity, the scientists reported that those who walked at least 15,000 steps each day, or about seven miles, showed no increased risk of heart disease. Those who moved the most had normal waistlines and BMIs, but any amount of walking or even standing shrank a worker's waistline and risk of cardiovascular disease. It was the opposite for those who sat all day. After five hours of sitting a day, each additional hour in the chair boosted their chance of developing heart disease by .2%. The results highlight the importance of moving around -- a lot. For 15,000 steps, that means walking for two hours at a very brisk pace of 4mph. Lead author Dr. William Tigbe suggests tackling that target "in bits" by doing 30-minute walks a couple of times a day, with shorter walks in between. He also noted: "Our metabolism is not well-suited to sitting down all the time." (New York Times)
Exactly How Does One Steal a 220-pound Gold Coin?
It seems a group of thieves in Berlin, Germany did the impossible - they somehow circumvented the Bode Museum's security system and made off with a cold coin valued at around $4 million. What makes this coin so unique is that it is pure 24-carat gold and weighs 220 pounds! The so-called "big maple leaf" Canadian coin is more than 20 inches in diameter. The theft happened in the wee morning hours - sometime after 2am local time. Because the coin is so easily identifiable, police fear the crooks will either melt it down or deliver it to a collector who hired them to steal it. The coin made it into the Guinness Book of Records for its record-breaking gold purity of 99.999%. Authorities say the coin was secured behind bullet-proof glass in the building and that the bandits appear to have entered through a window, using a ladder that they left on nearby train tracks. The original coin is in Ottawa, while five others, including this one, were sold to private individuals. (BBC)
Horror in a Suitcase
A floating suitcase found in an Italian harbor turned out to be pure horror for the sailors who found it and brought it ashore. Police say inside was the body of an Asian woman who had probably died of starvation -- and who may have been alive, though already severely malnourished, when she was put in the case. Investigators say they've determined that the body is not that of Li Yinglei, the woman who disappeared during a Mediterranean cruise last month. This suitcase had only been in the water for around 10 days, while Li vanished more than six weeks ago. Some suspect the woman in the suitcase might have been one of the thousands of undocumented Chinese immigrants working in illegal factories in Italy, where former workers say conditions are harsh and the bodies of workers who die tend to disappear. (BBC)
That Time a Creepy Guy Ruined Your Life
In Westfield, New Jersey, Derek and Maria Broaddus had the horrible misfortune of being stalked by an anonymous creepy-letter writer known as "The Watcher." They say they can't live in the house because of the letters and wanted to tear the house down, subdivide the land and build two houses. But the Westfield planning board rejected their plan so now they're suing. The Broaddus' say that after buying the six-bedroom house for nearly $1.4 million in 2014, they received three threatening letters from a stalker calling himself "The Watcher." Police investigated the letters but have been unable to identify their author. In one correspondence the stalker asks whether the new family brought him the "young blood" that he requested. The Broadduses, who have young children, refused to move into the home as a result, and have been unsuccessful in their attempts to sell the property even at a substantial loss. The family sued the prior owners of the house in June 2015, claiming that they also received a letter from "The Watcher" but never disclosed it. That family has since counter-sued, stating that the letter they received was not threatening and alleging that they were defamed through the amount of attention given to the lawsuit. Residents of the neighborhood have joined together in protest of the Broadduses' lawsuit against the town, arguing that the smaller lots would be out of character for the community. (Newser)
Filing For Divorce Would Have Been a Whole Lot Easier
Remember Houston veterinarian Valerie Busick McDaniel? She and her boyfriend were the ones accused of hiring a hitman to kill their respective ex-spouses in a meeting that took place in an Olive Garden restaurant. Problem was they didn't realize the "hitman" was actually an undercover police officer. Both were charged with soliciting capital murder; McDaniel, 48, was free on bond and due in court yesterday but that didn't happen because she jumped to her death from the high-rise building where she lived. She has an 8-year-old daughter with the ex-husband she allegedly tried to have murdered, but no one was at home when she killed herself. Jacob, 39, is being held without bond and is due in court today (Wednesday). (Houston Chronicle)
Parents Send Kid to School with Happy Meal for Lunch! Chaos Ensues!
Over in Kent, England, parents are being shamed who send their primary school kids off with unhealthy lunches. Staff at Byron Primary School in Gillingham posted pictures of poorly planned school lunches, including one that was a McDonald's Happy Meal! Another lunch was made entirely of chocolate - chocolate cake, a chocolate bar and a chocolate sandwich! Another was packed off with just two bags of potato chips and a potato chip sandwich. Other pupils were given yogurts, a packet of Smarties and chocolate muffins as their lunch. The sinful treats were highlighted in a newsletter sent out by headteacher Jon Carthy last week. He wrote: "Whilst extreme and funny to read on paper, I must make this clear THESE ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE examples of a balanced packed lunch. Children work very hard at school and a balanced meal at lunch time helps provide concentration for the afternoon." Quite right. Well done. Carry on. (Metro)
What the What?
A supersonic passenger jet that could turn London to New York into a day trip has received an initial $33 million in funding! The XB-1- dubbed the "baby boom"-is backed by a host of wealthy tech bosses, astronauts and engineers and is tipped to be faster and more efficient than Concorde. The passenger jet could get you from Tokyo to San Francisco in five hours! Seats will cost the same as major airlines' business class tickets-but budget tickets could be on the cards as well, according to Boom Supersonic boss Blake Scholl. Scholl said the jet, which will cost just over $200 million to build, could be carrying passengers by the early 2020s. (The Sun)