Monday, November 6, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

Saving Daylight

So another Daylight Savings Time has come to an end. Yet there are those who say the ridiculous change serves no purpose and worse - is unhealthy and dangerous. Developed in the First World War, Daylight Savings Time was originally intended to save coal and keep people working in the factories longer. Except the war is over and we now have air conditioning and artificial lighting, so it doesn't actually save any energy at all. And now, there is a lot of evidence that these time changes are really bad for your health. At least the fall back switch, where we get an extra hour of sleep, is far less disruptive than the spring forward, but it still is problematic. It can worsen depression. A Danish study examined 185,419 diagnoses of depression between 1995 and 2012, expecting to find increasing depression rates as days got shorter. But they were surprised by the huge spike right after the time change. The change also means you are more likely to have a heart attack. It's not nearly as likely as in the Spring, when we lose an hour of sleep, but according to David Samadi, when one's circadian rhythm is disrupted even a little, sleeping and eating patterns can go haywire. Studies show you are also more likely to have a fatal car crash and even get mugged. Criminology students at the University of Pennsylvania were surprised to find that crime rose 3 percent after the clocks were turned back an hour. The fact is: our bodies don't like change. Now go have a nice day. (Newser)

Let's Give Guns to Toddlers! What Could Go Wrong?

Residents of any age, no matter how young, could soon legally hunt in Wisconsin under a bill the state Assembly has passed that eliminates the state's minimum hunting age. Currently, a resident must be at least 12 years old to purchase a hunting license or hunt with a gun unless they're participating in a mentored hunt. Children as young as 10 can hunt under that program. The Republican-authored bill would allow people of any age to participate in a mentored hunt, effectively letting anyone hunt. The measure also would eliminate the requirement that a hunter and mentor have only one weapon between them. But don't be too hard on Wisconsin. Thirty-four other states already have no minimum hunting age. Democratic Rep. Gary Hebl said, "Absolute insanity that we're talking about giving a kid a gun at any age." Republicans countered that parents should decide when children are old enough to handle weapons. The measure now goes to the state Senate, which plans to vote on it Tuesday. (Newser)

By the Way, Guess Who Starts Prison Today?

While you're heading off to your snappy happy job or whatever you might be doing today, our good friend Anthony Weiner will be starting his prison term. The 53-year-old former congressman was sentenced to 21 to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty in May to sexting a 15-year-old girl. At the time, he told a judge that he has been "a very sick man for a very long time." Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after sending lewd photos of himself to women. In the current case, prosecutors say Weiner sent the victim pornography and asked her to take off her clothes and stimulate herself on Skype. He was facing up to 10 years in prison. Weiner is set to be incarcerated at Federal Medical Center, Devens, in Massachusetts. The facility provides mental health care and sex offender treatment to more than 1,100 inmates. (ABC News7)

Wanna Know Why You Keep Thinking Unwanted Thoughts?

Can't stop thinking about that time you cried in front of a girl during Titanic on your first and only date? It might be because your brain is lacking a specific chemical, according to a study just published in Nature Communications. And while being unable to suppress unwanted bad thoughts can occasionally certainly be embarrassing or unpleasant, it can also be downright disastrous for people with depression, PTSD, or schizophrenia. Cambridge professor Michael Anderson says, "Our ability to control our thoughts is fundamental to our wellbeing. Being unable to do so causes some of the most debilitating symptoms of psychiatric diseases." Researchers studied the chemical and blood flow changes in subjects' brains as they were told to recall or not recall certain words. They concluded an "inhibitory" neurotransmitter called GABA in the hippocampus, the "memory" region of the brain, is the key, with subjects with more GABA being better at stopping unwanted thoughts. Anderson says GABA acts like "an army's foot-soldiers" against such thoughts and memories. He says the discovery could in the future lead to new ways to treat PTSD, depression, schizophrenia, and more. (Nature Communications)

DUI With One Horse Power Engine

Meanwhile in Polk County, Florida, police arrested 53-year-old Donna Byrne with DUI for riding a horse down a busy highway with a blood alcohol level of .161 - twice Florida's legal limit. Byrne is charged with DUI and animal neglect for endangering and failing to provide proper protection for the horse. Deputies took the horse to the Polk County Sheriff's Animal Control livestock facility while Ms. Byrne was booked into the Polk County Jail. (Newser)

Idiots and Opossums

Police in Pennsylvania have cited three men after they posted pictures on Facebook of themselves giving beer to an opossum and kissing it. The state Game Commission issued summary violations against 18-year-old Michael Robert Tice, 19-year-old David Mason Snook, and 20-year-old Morgan Scot Ehrenzeller for unlawful possession of wildlife and disturbing wildlife. Authorities say Tice kissed and held the animal while Snook poured beer on its head and in its mouth. The Game Commission has said the animal ran off afterward. (PennLive.com)

Don't Fight With Your Girlfriend in the Shower

Pro tip: Don't argue with your girlfriend in the shower. In England, 22-year-old Abigail Geiger was taking a shower with her boyfriend when somehow an argument broke out. It escalated to a physical fight that ended with her boyfriend being taken to the hospital with injuries to his genitals! Geiger was charged with aggravated and simple assault. Officers responded to the home after a neighbor reported hearing a loud fight. (PennLive.com)

What the What?

An 81-year-old man in the German town of Bretten reported finding an unexploded bomb from World War II in his home garden. Police and the bomb squad showed up only to find out the alleged bomb was nothing more than a large zucchini. But give the old guy a break. The police themselves even conceded that the nearly 16-inch squash "really did look very like a bomb." Officers suspect someone had chucked the veggie over the homeowner's hedge. (Telegraph)

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