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Some odd news this day...

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Many 'floss' with dangerous items ohmy.gif


Over 60% of people are risking their oral health by using whatever is closest to hand to remove food from between their teeth, a survey found.


Among the items that people admitted to using were screwdrivers, scissors, earrings, needles and knives. blink.gif


The survey also found 23% of people choose to leave food stuck between their teeth - increasing the risk of gum disease and bad breath.


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And the world's loneliest Web users are..


DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland may be enjoying stellar economic growth and seen as one of the best places in the world to live, but its inhabitants are apparently also the globe's loneliest.


Google Trends, which works out how many searches have been done via the Internet search engine on particular terms, showed the word "lonely" was entered most frequently by Internet users in Ireland: http://www.google.com/trends?q=lonely.

The Irish, enjoying new-found wealth and a flood of immigration following more than a century of economic decline, are followed in the misery stakes by residents of Singapore and New Zealand -- although Singaporeans are the most frequent searchers of "happiness."


Google Trends calculates the ratio of searches for a given term coming from each city, region or language divided by total Google searches coming from the same area.

Ireland's capital, Dublin, topped the city list for "lonely" searches, followed by Melbourne, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand.


In 2004, the Economist magazine named Ireland the best place to live in the world in a "quality of life" assessment.



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  • 2 weeks later...

How Beneficial Are Multivitamins? We Don't Know


Multivitamins, in the USA alone, bring in revenues of over $20 billion a year for those who sell them. Half of all American adults take multivitamins.



The theory goes that if you eat badly, multivitamins can compensate. But we just don't know whether this really happens. Some studies have indicated that the people who take multivitamins the most are also the most health-conscious ones. People who eat well and do exercise consume much larger quantities of multivitamins than those who eat badly and exercise the least.


Several studies have shown, though, that if you eat your fruit and vegetables regularly, you will be consuming the right amounts of vitamins needed for good health.





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  • 2 weeks later...

Officials faulted for not singing karaoke

HANOI (Reuters) - In Vietnam, where karaoke is not only recreational but also business etiquette, failing to show your talent can cost you dearly.

Tien Phong (Pioneer) newspaper reported Wednesday that state oil monopoly Petrovietnam's financial arm PVFC ordered 21 officials to make "self-criticism" reports for not singing karaoke at a contract-signing ceremony near Hanoi Saturday.

At least eight department heads were facing suspension, said the newspaper, which also published a letter by the group of officials protesting the decision as unlawful.

"We all thought we had completed our company obligation and contributed to the success of the ceremony," the letter said. "We were only thinking of our family back in Hanoi, the kids and the wives waiting."

A company official said, "No one has been laid off yet but they have to criticize themselves for not participating in collective activities."


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  • 3 weeks later...

Can Air Conditioning Make You Fat? blink.gif


A New Study Discusses Other Possible Contributors to Obesity



June 27, 2006 ? Having your air conditioner running during those hot summer days helps keep you cool and comfortable, but did you ever think that it could make you fat?


A review of data on possible causes of obesity states that it just may be. How?


Modern technologies ? such as air conditioning and heating ? help keep us in "the thermoneutral zone," a temperature range where we do not have to regulate our body temperature, a report suggests.


When our bodies are above or below this zone, we increase the amount of energy we spend, which "decreases energy stores," such as fat, the study's authors say.


This is just one of many potential factors that could be driving America's obesity epidemic, said David Allison, director of the Clinical Nutrition Research Center at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.


Besides the usual suspects such as fast food and a lack of exercise, he argues that any number of things could be making the problem worse, such as sleep deprivation, taking certain medications, or even quitting smoking ? and snacking instead.


Case in point: Michael Littman, a 37-year-old jeweler from New Jersey who smoked on and off for about 20 years before he quit.


"In the past, every time I quit, I definitely would gain a lot of weight," Littman said. "Part of that is just finding something else to do with your craving."


Gaining weight from quitting smoking is an important side effect to understand, Allison said.


"There are many other factors [not commonly considered] that may also be quite important" to exacerbate weight gain, said Allison, the lead author of the review of obesity studies, published in the International Journal of Obesity.


For example, chronic sleep deprivation also was considered a possible factor.


Many Americans don't get enough sleep, and when tired, people do not have energy to exercise and are tempted to eat, or overeat, in order to gain energy, said David Jenkins, Canada research chair in nutrition and metabolism.


Also, several popular medications, such as anti-diabetic drugs and antihistamines ? anti-allergy drugs ? contribute to weight gain.


So can genetic factors, such as the heritability of a person's body mass index. The study looked at various data from previous studies, which showed that BMI had a heritability of about 65 percent.


Other possible causes: Chemicals known as endocrine disruptors (typically medications that block the body's normal functions, such as birth control or other hormone-based drugs), a decrease in smoking, older women giving birth, and people having children with people who are like themselves (in this case, both overweight).



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Having Older Brothers Increases a Man's Odds of Being Gay ohmy.gif


The number of biological older brothers a boy's mother has carried--whether they live with him in the same household or not--affects his chances of being gay. The findings, reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by Anthony Bogaert of Brock University, lend credence to the theory that it's not the social or rearing factors that influence a man's sexual orientation, but rather prenatal mechanisms that begin in the womb.


The idea that prenatal mechanisms may influence sexual orientation has been around for a couple of decades. In 1996, Bogaert along with colleague Ray Blanchard correlated sexual orientation in men with the number of older brothers, but it wasn't clear if that influence was occurring because the boys shared the same household or because they had shared the same womb.


In the new study, Bogaert pitted prenatal against postnatal by examining four samples of homosexual and heterosexual men, for a total of 944 participants. The data for three of the samples had been collected previously, and included detailed information about the men's sexual orientation, as well as their family life. Because most of the men from these three study groups came from unbroken families, Bogaert looked at a fourth group, composed of men who had been adopted or raised with half- or step-siblings. He also gathered data from this group about how long members lived with each sibling and whether they had brothers or sisters with whom they had never lived.


He reasoned that if the social or rearing factor theories were correct, he would expect to see certain things. First, it wouldn't matter whether a gay man's older brothers had been biologically related or not, the social influence would be there. Second, the amount of time the young boy lived with his older brothers, biological or not, should affect his sexual orientation. Third, if the boy did not live with older brothers, then the numbers should not impact his sexual preference.


Bogaert found the opposite to be true. First, he found that only the number of biological older brothers predicted sexual orientation in men--even when the number of non-biological older brothers was significantly higher. Second, his study showed that the amount of time reared with older brothers--either related or not--did not predict a young boy's becoming homosexual. And surprisingly, Bogaert discovered that even if a young man did not grow up in the same house as his older brothers, the fact that he had older biological brothers increased his odds of being gay.


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  • 1 month later...

huh.gifUS health officials back use of viruses as food additive



Sunday, Aug 20, 2006,Page 1


A mix of bacteria-killing viruses can be safely sprayed on cold cuts, hot dogs and sausages to combat common microbes that kill hundreds of people a year, US health officials said in granting the first-ever approval of viruses as a food additive.


The combination of six viruses is designed to be sprayed on ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, including sliced ham and turkey, said John Vazzana, president and chief executive officer of manufacturer Intralytix Inc.


The special viruses called bacteriophages are meant to kill strains of the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Friday in declaring it safe to use on ready-to-eat meats prior to their packaging.


The viruses are the first to win FDA approval for use as a food additive, said Andrew Zajac of the regulatory agency's office of food additive safety.


Serious infection


The bacterium the viruses target can cause a serious infection called listeriosis, mainly in pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems. In the US, an estimated 2,500 people become seriously ill with listeriosis each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, on average, 500 die.


Luncheon meats are particularly vulnerable to Listeria since once purchased, they typically aren't cooked or reheated, which can kill harmful bacteria like Listeria, Zajac said.


The preparation of bacteriophages attacks only strains of the Listeria bacterium and not human or plant cells, the FDA said.


"As long as it used in accordance with the regulations, we have concluded it's safe," Zajac said. People normally come into contact with bacteriophages through food, water and the environment, and they are found in our digestive tracts, the FDA said.


Consumers will not be aware that meat and poultry products have been treated with the spray, Zajac added. The Department of Agriculture will regulate the actual use of the product.




The viruses are grown in a preparation of the very bacteria they kill, and then purified. The FDA had concerns that the virus preparation potentially could contain toxic residues associated with the bacteria. However, testing did not reveal the presence of such residues, which in small quantities likely wouldn't cause health problems anyway, the FDA said.


"The FDA is applying one of the toughest food-safety standards which they have to find this is safe," said Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group.


"They couldn't approve this product if they had questions about its safety," she said.


Intralytix, based in Baltimore, first petitioned the FDA in 2002 to allow the viruses to be used as a food additive. It has since licensed the product to a multinational company, which intends to market it worldwide, said Intralytix president Vazzana. He declined to name the company but said he expected it to announce its plans within weeks or months.


Intralytix also plans to seek FDA approval for another bacteriophage product to kill E. coli bacteria on beef before it is ground, Vazzana said.




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ohmy.gifPrivacy group sues dinosaur Barney over free speech


August 24, 2006 (IDG News Service) -- The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a lawsuit against the company that produces the Barney and Friends children's television program, saying it has harassed the creator of a Barney parody Web site with "baseless legal threats."


In recent years, Lyons Partnership LP has threatened legal action against multiple groups for allegedly violating its copyright and trademarks for Barney. In a lawsuit filed yesterday, the EFF asked the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York to rule that Stuart Frankel's online parody of Barney is protected as free speech.


A representative of Lyons Partnership said the company does not comment on pending lawsuits.



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wink.gifInternet Explorer no longer a Browser


28 August 2006 (Uncyclopedia)


user posted image


Vladivostock, USSR -- After a heated discussion, the Internet Advancement Union (IAU) voted yesterday by a narrow margin that the Internet Explorer is no longer a browser. This vote downsizes the internet from nine browsers to just eight.


The Internet Explorer is demoted by the resolution to a category of dwarf browsers together with Apple Safari and Tetris. According to the new definition, dwarf browsers are applications that "can be used to surf the internet just like regular browsers, but that have failed to clear their neighborhood from bloated operating systems."


"The Internet Explorer is a dwarf browser by the ... definition and is recognized as the prototype of a new category of beyond-the-pale internet applications," states the approved resolution. But the new definition has provoked a backlash. Steve Ballmer, head of Microsoft's Vista mission, says the new definition is "awful". "The definition introduced is fundamentally flawed," he told UnNews. "As a scientologist, I'm embarrassed. I am going to f*cking kill the entire IAU board."




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Juices 'may cut Alzheimer's risk'


Drinking fruit and vegetable juices frequently may significantly cut the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a study suggests.


US researchers followed almost 2,000 people for up to 10 years - providing a powerful set of results.


They found the risk was 76% lower for those who drank juice more than three times a week, compared with those who drank it less than once a week.


The study appears in the American Journal of Medicine.


Alzheimer's is linked to the accumulation of clumps of beta-amyloid protein in the brain.


There is some evidence to suggest that this process may be controlled by the chemical hydrogen peroxide.


Various studies have suggested that polyphenols - chemicals available in many foods - might disrupt these processes and provide some protection against Alzheimer's disease by neutralising the effect of damaging compounds called free radicals.


Fruit and vegetable juices are particularly rich in polyphenols.



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  • 3 weeks later...



These instruments are known as“Escopetarras”, a fusion of gun and guitar, created by Cesar Lopez. Lopez got the inspiration for the invention while standing outside a bombed Bogot? club and noticing the similarities between his guitar and a soldier’s rifle (whaaa?).


Partnering up with musical instrument craftsman, Luis Alberto Paredes, he has been creating the instruments ever since. Initially made out of Winchester rifles, they are now made mostly from everyone’s favorite Cold War assault rifle, the AK47.


I don’t really see any use for these, and the acoustics can’t work too well because of the body and shape of the guitar, but, I don’t think anyone purchasing a fusion gun and guitar are going to sit around sing Goom-By-Ya.


user posted image



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  • 1 month later...

Bread-Heavy Diet Linked to Kidney Cancer


FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- A diet high in bread may boost the risk of kidney cancer, according to an Italian study that compared the food intake of kidney cancer patients and those without the disease.


Researchers say those consuming the highest amounts of bread doubled the risk for kidney malignancy, compared to those eating the smallest amounts.


But one expert urged caution in interpreting the study results.


In the study, Bravi's team compared 767 men and women, aged 24 to 79, with kidney cancer to 1,534 men and women in the same age range who did not have the disease.


They asked about diet, lifestyle, personal and family medical history and obtained the participants' height and weight so they could compute their body-mass index (BMI). The participants also answered questions on average weekly intakes of 78 food items over the past two years.


Those who ate the highest amounts of bread -- 28 portions a week -- had nearly two times the risk of kidney cancer as those who ate the lowest number of portions per week, 9, she found. A "portion" was defined as 50 grams or 1.7 ounces, the equivalent of a slice or a slice and a half of bread.


A modest but not statistically significant increased risk was found for the highest intakes of pasta and rice. Those with the highest intakes of milk and yogurt had a 1.3 times greater risk for kidney cancer, she found. But high intakes of poultry, processed meet and vegetables decreased the risk.


Bravi speculated that the elevation in risk linked to high bread, pasta and rice consumption could be due to the blood-sugar raising effects of these foods. Eating large quantities of those foods, she said, may affect the process of getting cancer by influencing the level of substances called insulin-like growth factors, which have been implicated in cancer.




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  • 4 weeks later...

Average European 'is overweight'


The Maltese and the Greeks are the heavyweights of Europe, figures from the European Commission reveal.


The Italians and French the most trim, while the average Briton - like the average European - is slightly over the ideal weight.


Obesity, which is linked to a range of health problems, including heart disease, is a growing problem across much of the developed world.


Obesity is measured by calculating body mass index (BMI).

The latest figures show that the average citizen in 20 EU countries, including the UK - where the average BMI is 25.4 - is overweight.

The average person in the other five, including Italy and France, is officially healthy.


EUROPE'S HEAVYWEIGHTS (Body Mass Index figures)

Malta - 26.6

Greece - 25.9

Finland - 25.8

Luxembourg - 25.7

Hungary - 25.6

Cyprus - 25.6

Lithuania - 25.5

Slovenia - 25.5

Denmark - 25.5

UK - 25.4



Italy - 24.3

France - 24.5

Austria - 24.8

Poland - 24.8

Netherlands - 24.9

Slovakia - 25.0

Belgium - 25.1

Latvia - 25.1

Estonia - 25.2

Czech Rep - 25.2


The Commission plans to launch a strategy to tackle obesity next year.



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