Jackie Watts loved animals - so much that she was willing to die trying to save one. The 33-year-old woman was last seen Friday afternoon near Flat Rock River in Columbus, chasing a small white dog - Ringo, a 10-year-old poodle with cataracts, who had gotten separated from his owners days prior. Watts' family reported her missing that night after she failed to return home from an errand, and police started searching around her car, which was found abandoned and with its flashers on near the river. Her body was found the next morning on a sandbar in the river. Ringo's body was also found on a riverbank. An autopsy revealed Watts' cause of death was accidental drowning, and police found no signs of a struggle or foul play. It is now believed she died trying to save the dog. A statement released from her family read: "At a young age, Jackie developed a love for animals. To say that this was Jackie's passion would be an understatement. We know that Jackie gave her life for what she believed in." (Indianapolis Star)
Turns Out You Can Actually Sleep Your Way to the Top
Science has already proven that having sex is actually good for your health. Now a researcher at Oregon State University is reporting that "making a more intentional effort" to have a healthy sex life is an actual "issue of human sustainability" and, as would of course follow, a "potential career advantage." Reporting in the Journal of Management, his team followed 159 married employees over a two-week period and looked at their sexual behaviors as well as mood, engagement at work, job satisfaction, and more. Sure enough, having sex reaps positive benefits for a solid 24 hours -- and for men and women equally, they found -- likely due to the release of dopamine and oxytocin. Keith Leavitt, a business professor at OSU, goes so far as to say that people should "just make time for it," and notes that it's actually "a real thing" when people have a "spring in their step." In other words - you'll do better at work, if you're having good sex at home! "Honey, there's a college professor in Oregon telling us to make time for sex and expect good things to happen at work as a result. I think we have to follow his advice! (Journal of Management)
Let's Build an Invisible Shield Around Mars!
Mars isn't particularly habitable to humans at the moment, but NASA's got an easy fix for that. At a workshop in DC last week, scientists from the agency's Planetary Science Division presented the possibility of erecting a magnetic shield around the Red Planet to replace the one that vanished more than 4 billion years ago. The result of such a shield, according to the researchers, would be protection from solar radiation and winds, which have worked over the eons to help strip the planet of its waters and warmth. The shield could, therefore, help "terraform" Mars to more closely resemble Earth. Some say the plan is so crazy it could actually work. Per the scientists' report on what they admit is a "fanciful" topic, this "enhanced" atmosphere would be more conducive to human exploration, offering more possible oxygen extraction, more plant growth in "open-air" greenhouses, and the ability of larger structures to land on the planet's surface. There'd also be beaches! Ultimate Spring Break anyone? (Engadget)
Chicago Goes Six Whole Days Without Homicide! It's Party Time!
Chicago has done something remarkable. What's sad is the remarkable thing they did is go six whole days without a homicide! For Chicago - that's sadly a big deal! Yep - a 23-year-old man was shot to death while sitting in a vehicle in Chicago around 11am Feb. 26. And a 22-year-old man was shot to death on a Chicago street around noon on Saturday, March 4th. There were no homicides in between those two -- marking a six-day homicide-free streak, which the city hadn't seen since December of 2012! So far in 2017, there have been more shootings overall (539) than at this point in 2016 (520), but fewer homicides -103 so far this year by March 5, compared to 109 last year. The last day that no one was shot in Chicago was Feb. 28, 2015. (Chicago Tribune)
Man Dies Trying to Save the World From Porn
In Mexico, a firefighter has died while trying to switch off a huge highway billboard showing porn. Alvaro Jimenez Gonzalez climbed up to try to get rid of the explicit footage, as he was worried it could cause an accident - but he slipped and fell to his death. Drivers had been slowing down to stare and take pictures, creating hazardous conditions on the road. The director of the fire brigade, Raul Esquivel, later said: "All the support of our institution and of the government of Mexico will go to the family of our friend." The company who own the billboard later apologized explaining that the electronic sign had been hacked. Authorities are investigating and also asked owners of this kind of advertisement to improve their security measures in order to avoid a repeat of the porn hacking. (Metro)
Burial for a Green Planet
A Swedish scientist has developed a high-tech solution for an environmentally friendly burial. The ingenious machine will take your lifeless corpse and turn you into clean and useful compost within a matter of months. Swedish biologist Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak spent three years making what is perhaps the most green crematorium on earth. The invention freezes the dearly departed's body, then vibrates their body into dust, then pops them into a sack of potatoes. Seriously. The starch in the potatoes helps the dust become compost and ready to help something else grow tall and green on Mother Earth. Wiigh-Mäsak says bodies can never turn into good soil without the process. (Metro)
What the What?
Despite California's 2015 law aimed at improving the fairness of its red-light cameras, the city of Fremont (pop. 214,000, just north of San Jose) reported earning an additional $190,000 more each month simply by shortening the yellow light by two-thirds of a second at just two intersections! Running-red-light-tickets went up 445 percent at one and 883 percent at the other! Because we're the law, that's why! And we're makin' America great again gall dern it! (KPIX-TV)