Need a little extra boost of strength and energy for your next work out? Try swearing. Seriously, researchers from the UK's Keele University report that people perform better on tests of physical endurance when they curse. Specifically, 29 people around age 21 took part in a cycling test, and 52 people around age 19 took a hand-grip test. Those who were allowed to mutter curse words were definitely stronger than those allowed only to say neutral words like wood or brown. Researcher Richard Stephens said, "We're not telling people something they don't already know, but we're verifying that in a systematic and objective way." He added, "I think people instinctively reach for swearwords when they hurt themselves and when they're looking for an extra boost in performance." Previous research has suggested that swearing also gives people a higher tolerance to pain, but exactly what's going on remains unclear. In the endurance tests, for example, people's heart rates didn't rise when cursing, suggesting that a "flight-or-fight" response wasn't at play. (British Psychological Society)
10-Year-Old Girl - 1, Gator - 0
A 10-year-old girl in Florida managed to avoid becoming another horrible statistic - and a meal for that matter - when she was attacked by an alligator twice her size. Authorities say the girl was sitting in shallow water about 10 feet from shore in Lake Mary Jane in the Orlando-area when the 9-foot gator bit her on the knee and calf. The girl, whose relatives were around 30 feet from shore, was able to pry the animal's jaws open and free herself! She was taken to a local hospital and released after being treated for several puncture wounds. A trapper caught and killed the alligator. The girl's father says that in a move learned in a trip to the Gatorland theme park, she poked the alligator in the nostril. Still, Gatorland spokesman Donald Aldarelli said, "To get an animal with the strongest bite on the planet to let go of you is a miracle." Officials say Moss Park, which borders this lake, will be closed this week out of an "abundance of caution." (Orlando Sentinel)
That Time You Found 7,000 Dead Bodies Buried on Your Campus
On some 20 acres of the 164-acre University of Mississippi Medical Center campus, there's something unexpected in the ground - as many as 7,000 bodies buried on the campus. They likely belong to patients of the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, which opened on the site in 1885 as the state's first mental institution. Some of the bodies were first discovered during the course of 2012 road construction. About 1,000 more were found when the school did radar testing in preparation for the construction of a parking garage in a wooded area near the dental school. The number of coffins verified by radar is now double that figure, with estimates topping out at 7,000. The number is the problem: Engaging an outside company to handle the exhumations and reburials would cost $3,000 each, or up to $21 million. So UMMC is weighing doing it itself in an 8-year effort that would cost closer to $3 million. It's possible that in addition to a memorial, a lab would be created that would allow researchers to study the remains and gain insight into asylum living; the asylum was operational until 1935, and the school opened 20 years later. (Clarion Ledger)
Vet Who Executed Her Service Dog, Executes Herself
Maybe you remember Marinna Rollins - the 23-year-old veteran in North Carolina accused of laughing as she executed her own service dog. Well it looks like she may have just done to herself what she did to her dog. The Fayetteville Police Department says Rollins was found dead in her apartment. She and boyfriend Jarren Heng, an active-duty soldier, were charged with animal cruelty and conspiracy last month after video surfaced of them tying a 2-year-old pit bull to a tree and shooting it at close range. The dog had been registered as an emotional support animal for Rollins, who suffered from PTSD after what relatives say was a traumatic incident during military service in South Korea. Rollins, who was originally from Maine, retired from the military earlier this year for reasons relating to her mental health, according to arrest documents. Police spokesman Todd Joyce says her body was found by friends who had gone to her apartment after being unable to reach her. Joyce said "There was evidence that our detectives were able to locate that suggested this was a suicide." Rollins and Heng were out on $25,000 bail in the animal cruelty case. Their next court date was May 16, and people angered by the killing of the dog were planning to hold a demonstration outside the courthouse. (Fayetteville Observer)
Sadly, Another Worst Mom Contender
An Illinois toddler who was a "constant reminder of a forbidden relationship" escaped serious injury at the hands of her stepmom and now 37-year-old Andrea Vazquez-Hernandez will stand trial for alleged aggravated battery charges that could have killed the child. Vazquez-Hernandez is accused of spiking her 17-month-old stepdaughter's milk with nail polish remover, apparently jealous of the child's mother, whom her husband had the little girl with while he was separated for two years from Vazquez-Hernandez. She is said to have sent messages to the mother of the toddler on May 19, 2016, that demanded she cease contact with her husband unless it was an emergency about the baby, which prosecutors say illustrates her motive for what happened 10 days later. Per a prosecutor's statement, the husband called police after the toddler had "immediately spit out" milk he'd given her. Tests later concluded Vazquez-Hernandez had allegedly poured "approximately one inch of nail polish remover [into] the baby bottle." Police say she told them she wanted to "punish" her husband and the baby's mother, and she reportedly was in a physical altercation with her husband a month before the alleged milk poisoning, which prosecutors plan to enter as evidence of the strain on the relationship. She has pleaded not guilty and her trial starts May 17. (Chicago Tribune)
Will Your Tattoo Stand the Test of Time? Probably Not!
If you don't have tattoo regret now, chances are you will when you get older. The problem is the darn things just don't hold up well over time and they are often left looking faint and jaded. The fine folks at Bored Panda actually put together a very eye opening gallery of before and after photos which show just how much the test of time can damage body art. Of course how you treat your tattoo when it is new will also have a big impact on how it looks years down the line. According to Xojane magazine, you should ensure your tattoo properly heals by washing it with anti-bacterial soap and keep it well-moisturized. Wear loose clothing while the tattoo is healing and stay out of water for 10 to 14 days Shield it from the sun by using a good sun screen. Essentially, the more you pamper your skin the brighter the tattoo will remain over time. (Bored Panda)
What the What?
Veterans Memorial Park in the tiny town of Belle Plaine, Minn., is packed with remembrances for the town's men and women in uniform. Soon, it will get one more: A solemn black cube holding an upturned helmet, its sides adorned with upside-down pentagrams. This would be the work of the Satanic Temple which has received approval to install the monument. Within a couple of months it is expected to take its place alongside an American flag-lined walkway- the result of a long-running battle that began last summer. It seems someone installed a metal sculpture of an infantryman kneeling before a cross. A resident objected, calling it a religious symbol that violates the principle of the separation of church and state. In the end, the city had little choice but to make the park a "public forum," open to virtually any group that wants to honor the town's veterans. The Satanic Temple took them up on it. Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the organization, which is based in Salem, Mass., said, "We genuinely want something that will honor the veterans. It's not about being shocking or upsetting the locals, though it's an inevitable byproduct." Last week, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at expanding religious protections that, among other things, soften enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which bars tax-exempt houses of worship from engaging in political speech. But as the Satanic Temple has tried to demonstrate, expanding religious liberties can have unintended consequences. Because the Constitution bars the establishment of a national religion, it requires that the same protections be extended to people of all faiths, including those who profess no faith and those who practice faiths with disturbing connotations such as Satanism. In other words, be careful what you ask for! (Metro)