How many pushups can you do? If it's more than 40, your risk of heart disease is 96% lower than those who could only do ten. The data is part of a 10-year study of firefighters conducted at JAMA Network Open. Pushup totals from 11 to 20 equated to a 64% lower risk, totals from 21 to 30 had an 84% lower risk, and totals from 31 to 40 had 75% lower risk. No explanation is given why the 21-30 total seemed to convey a stronger benefit than the 31-40 level; possibly just a statistical blip. The study followed 1,104 male firefighters in Indiana for a decade. Participants had a median age of 40 and a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 28.7. Lead author Justin Yang of the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health said, "Our findings provide evidence that push-up capacity could be an easy, no-cost method to help assess cardiovascular disease risk in almost any setting." He added that the pushup test provided a more accurate gauge than the common treadmill test. But there are a few caveats for sure. It's a relatively small study of a specific group of men-no women were involved. More research would be needed to apply the test to other groups of people, including seniors. But researchers say the results are striking enough to suggest that a pushup test could someday become a routine part of a doctor's visit. (Forbes)
Now That's a Dog Whose Bite IS Worse Than Her Bark
At first vets thought Toad the Pit-Bull mix had an extra ear. But upon closer examination, they discovered she has only one ear, and two mouths - the second where her left ear should be. Heather Hernandez, Toad's owner, explained, "We originally thought it had two teeth but we did a dental cleaning on the ear a few weeks ago and discovered it has several. A few of the ear teeth had cracked, which caused some discomfort, but once we removed the broken teeth she was good as new." Hernandez is also the founder of Mutt Misfits Animal Rescue Society in Oklahoma City and took Toad in. She says Toad's "ear" has to be cleaned every night, otherwise the saliva will stick to her fur. She doesn't hear or smell very well either, because everything in her head is "misaligned", but otherwise, she's a normal dog. She added, "Toad came into my life at the exact time that I needed her, and she has brought me infinite joy and happiness." Doctors believe that Toad's bizarre deformity occurred when she absorbed her twin in her mother's uterus. (Oddity Central)
Hardcore Police Work: Follow the Idiot's Footprints in the Snow
In New Richmond, Wisconsin, police had to resort to some good old fashioned detective work to find the suspected arsonist. They followed his footprints in the snow. Now, Dentist John Michael Haag stands accused of setting fire to a boathouse near his residence. Police say he "looked as if he were a deer in headlights" when authorities told him they traced a set of footprints from the fire directly to his garage. Haag allegedly took an ongoing dispute over a boathouse into his own hands Feb. 2 when he carried gas cans from his home, cut through a neighbor's yard and walked about a half-mile south along the edge of the lake before setting fire to the structure. A set of footprints was located in the snow leading away from the property, which deputies were able to follow from the boathouse to Haag's residence once they arrived on scene shortly before 5 a.m. One deputy noted, "The tracks angled every ten feet or so as if the suspect was turning around and checking behind him." Haag initially denied all allegations but when authorities returned to collect information for a warrant, he appeared nervous and eventually stated, "It was me, I did it, I started the fire." (TwinCities.com)
Turns Out Quicksand is Real! Not Just Creation of Gilligan's Island!
At Zion National Park in Utah, first responders actually had to rescue a man from quicksand - yes quicksand! Police got a call that a 34-year-old man was unable to free himself from the quicksand, was located about three hours up the left fork of the North Creek trail in the park. The man's hiking companion left him with warm gear and clothing and went to call for help, but it was four hours until the companion was able to get cell phone service to call dispatch. Zion Search and Rescue team immediately assembled and began hiking to locate the poor guy. When crews finally got there the man was suffering from hypothermia, exposure and other injuries. It took crews two hours to free him from the quicksand. Rangers freed the man and spent the night with him warming up his leg, according to the release, and four additional inches of snow fell overnight. The next morning a helicopter brought him to safety and an awaiting ambulance which transported him to the hospital." (AZ Family)
In Coatesville, Pennsylvania, police have charged three men with drug trafficking and related offenses. Officers raided a suspected "drug house" and found heroin, suspected fentanyl, crack cocaine and marijuana. They also found an alligator. Yep, apparently our boys used the 3-foot gator to protect their stash. Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said, "Quite frankly, as far as we can tell with these drug dealers, the alligator may have been the brains of the operation." They nicknamed the gator "El Chompo" in honor of the recent U.S. conviction of the Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán. It was taken to the Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington, Delaware, where it will spend the summer as an educational animal before being taken to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park in Florida. (WXII 12 News)
Private Trip to the Moon? It's Happening!
An Israeli nonprofit says it'll launch what it hopes will be the first private spacecraft to land on the moon this week! SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries told reporters that the landing craft, dubbed Beresheet, or Genesis, will ship from Florida, where, propelled by a SpaceX Falcon rocket launch, it will commence its months-long voyage to the moon. The small craft, roughly the size of a washing machine, will have to make several orbits before landing. Israel's space program chief Avi Blasberger says he hopes it will create a "Beresheet effect" in Israel, akin to the Apollo effect, to promote science for a new generation of Israelis. The launch is due late Thursday in the US, early Friday in Israel. (Newser)
What the What?
They call it "Cowboy Pinball" and it was part of the 2019 "Bull Bash!" rodeo event at Owensboro, Kentucky. The recipe is simple: One angry bull, 23 volunteers not allowed to run and a $100 prize. What could possibly go wrong? It works like this: the volunteers are to stand inside small individual circles in a rodeo pen. A bull with $100 tied to its flank is released into the pen. Whoever grabs the $100 without leaving their circle is declared the winner. The rest reconsider their life decisions, and possibly end up in an ambulance. Video of the first run of the game appears to go off without incident, but then a second bull is introduced - a very angry bull who had no problem with charging the participants. The end result was multiple participants being thrown into the air, and that's when the arena reportedly became deadly silent. Of course waivers acknowledging potential injuries, accidents and even death were signed. The general manager of the Sportscenter said the game had been played elsewhere and a quick YouTube search backs that up, with videos claiming to capture events in Clemson, South Carolina, and Gainesville, Florida. If you're up for it, the Owensboro video is on the net - but it's disturbing. (Yahoo Sports)