How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Want a better night's sleep? The secret may be as simple as writing down a "To-Do" list for tomorrow. Researchers at Baylor University's Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory have did a study showing that people who write out a to-do list before bedtime fell asleep an average of nine minutes quicker than those who didn't. That's comparable to the improvement seen with some sleep medicines. The study's lead author, Michael Scullin says, "Most people just cycle through their to-do lists in their heads, and so we wanted to explore whether the act of writing them down could counteract nighttime difficulties with falling asleep." During the study, 57 men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 were split into two groups. The first group was told to write out a to-do list for five minutes while the other group was asked to write about already-completed tasks for the same amount of time. Subjects were then told to go straight to bed. Scullin says, "There are two schools of thought about this. One is that writing about the future would lead to increased worry about unfinished tasks and delay sleep, while journaling about completed activities should not trigger worry. The alternative hypothesis is that writing a to-do list will ‘offload' those thoughts and reduce worry." The study was published in the January issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology. (Journal of Experimental Psychology)

The Ultimate Sweaty Gym Guy Repellant

Hey ladies! Tired of those stinky sweaty guys hitting on you in the gym when you're just trying to get your workout on? While some people find gyms excellent for flirting and socializing, the vast majority of us just want to be left alone. Well author and Twitter user Olivia Cole says she's discovered one sure-fire way of protecting your privacy, space and time when you're trying to get fit. She was down the gym the other day and saw two women working out together when some guy started approaching. Rather than bothering to let him try to start a conversation, one woman immediately told him that she'd just farted so might want to keep his distance. Worked like a charm. And she was like 21 says Cole. Her friend then asked, "Did you really?" The girl said, "Of course not." Cole added, "I literally screamed in the gym. Turned it into a cough so I didn't give her away." (Metro)

Worst Father Ever: The Continuing Saga

In Brisbane, Australia, a 51-year-old father is going to prison for a year after he photoshopped his teenage stepdaughter into pornographic photos involving himself. He said he did so because he was morally outraged after his stepdaughter, then aged 16, told him she was becoming sexually active with her boyfriend. Somehow he thought this would teach her a lesson. But, Brisbane District Court Judge Leanne Clare dismissed his claims as "implausible," saying he had been sexually obsessed with the girl he had raised since she was two. In fact the court learned he created the images in late 2014, just months after he was given a suspended sentence for touching his stepdaughter inappropriately while she slept. He used Photoshop to digitally add images of the girl when she was about 13 onto the bodies of adult women engaged in sexual acts with himself. The world's worst father was arrested in September 2015 after being caught with around 100 images on hard drives in his luggage as he returned to Brisbane from a trip to South Africa. He described the photos as "artworks" and said there was no sexual motivation behind their creation. However, he pleaded guilty to four charges including possessing or producing child pornography material outside Australia, and importing and exporting objectionable goods without approval. (New York Post)

Hey It's Been Too Long Since We Had a Good Birther Debate

Hey Obama left the White House over a year ago. So it's high time we got back on this birther thing. Or at least former Sheriff Joe Arpaio seems to think so. Now a candidate for Senate, Arpaio has somehow turned the massive text-alert gaffe in Hawaii over a nonexistent missile as a way to dredge back up the birther controversy over President Obama's birth certificate. In a Fox News interview, Arpaio said "There's something wrong with that government. I know doing a certain investigation on a fake, fraudulent government document. They can't even solve that case." At that point, Fox News interviewer Jeanine Pirro pushed back and informed Arpaio that Hawaii had, in fact, produced the birth certificate proving that Obama was a US citizen. But the 85-year-old Arpaio, a longtime "birther" who is running for Jeff Flake's seat in Arizona, wouldn't budge and said, "Well, the only thing I'm saying is they can't even solve a phony document." Pirro again countered him, "because they did solve that," and moved on. It's not the first time Arpaio has addressed the subject in his short candidacy. Just one day after announcing last week, he told CNN that he's sure Obama's birth certificate is fake. (ABC News)

Death by Bungee

Authorities in Colorado are investigating how Ciara Romero, a 20-year-old nurse, fell to her death in a bungee jump accident - when the equipment was apparently working properly. Ciara Romero died at the 70-foot Get Air attraction at the Silo Trampoline Park in Grand Junction. Participants leap off a tower connected to a bungee rope attached to a harness. After free-falling for around 20 feet, they are supposed be caught by the device and slowly lowered to the ground. The company that makes the device says it carried out tests and the "device, webbing, and triple-locking carabiner were found to be intact, and functioning normally." State investigators say they will now focus on witness statements, and the Grand Junction Police Department says no criminal charges will be filed. According a a police report, employees and other witnesses said Romero was reluctant to jump. "She was hesitant, you know, pretty freaked out," one employee told police, "Kind of scared, but excited to go." Video shows employees checking to make sure the harness was properly attached, the report says. The report states that an employee told investigators that it was possible Romero's hand could have slipped and opened the carabiner. The employee said this would have been very difficult, though an officer wrote that he "found the carabiner to be relatively easy to open with one hand" and believes it could have happened accidentally. (Grand Junction Sentinel)

God is Dead

Doug Harvey umpired in the National League from 1962 through 1992, and was a crew chief for 18 seasons. He was so sure of his calls on the diamond, he ended every game the same way. Following the last out, Harvey would take his wad of chewing tobacco and fling it on home plate. "He was held in such regard by major league players and managers they called him "God." Sadly, Mr. Harvey died Saturday at age 87. During his amazing Hall-of-Fame career, he worked five World Series, including the plate for Kirk Gibson's extraordinary home run in the 1988 opener, and six All-Star Games. His 4,673 games in the regular season rank fifth. Ironically, that signature chewing tobacco habit lead to the development of oral cancer in 1997, after which he spoke publicly about the dangers of smokeless tobacco. Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement: "A generation of umpires learned as a result of Doug's example, his eagerness to teach the game, and his excellent timing behind the plate." In particular, Harvey would take an extra split-second to call a play, to be sure he got it right. Over his 31 seasons, Harvey ejected 58 people. The first person he tossed was Joe Torre, as a player in 1962; his last ejection was Torre, too, as a manager in 1992. "You always respected him because he came out to do his job and (did it) with a lot of class," once recalled Torre, a fellow Hall of Famer. Harvey once said, "I always tell my wife, if you're looking for something to put on my gravestone, put down: 'He was an honest man and he never held a grudge.'" (Newser)

What the What?

Amanda Teague is a 45-year-old professional Jack Sparrow impersonator in Northern Ireland. Yes, Jack Sparrow the pirate. And she just married his ghost. No kidding. The fact that Sparrow died almost 300 years ago barely affects their marriage at all. Teague had five children with her human ex-husband, but said she has never been able to connect with anyone like the ghost of Jack. Although she has never seen Jack's physical form, Amanda said he was a Haitian pirate, who told her he is black with jet black hair, and was executed for his crimes in the 1700s. Teague believes their pirate connection is what brought them together - first as friends before she developed "strong loving feelings" towards him. She claims her family has been entirely supportive of their relationship, which took the next step when Jack proposed. The wedding took place on a boat in international waters where their union would be legal. In attendance were 12 of close friends and family members. They used a psychic to allow Jack to say "I do," and used a skull and crossbones flag to represent him. And yes, this marriage has been consummated. Teague says, "You can literally feel the physical act of what the spirit is doing to you, and the spirit can feel it too." Sounds like somebody's due for a check-up from the neck up! (Metro)


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