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Social Studies

Is a dog man’s best caregiver? Add to ...

Saved by the paw

“Paul McKenzie, who has diabetes and a condition that affects his nervous system, owes his life to his assistance dog, Millie, after the animal alerted paramedics when she found her owner collapsed at home in Derrington, Staffordshire,” reports The Daily Telegraph. “His blood sugars had plummeted to dangerously low levels. The 47-year-old has an emergency button installed at home, which Millie will press on command if he needs help. But amazingly, the black Labrador pressed the button of her own accord when she found her owner unconscious – incredibly, seeming to understand that pushing the button meant help would arrive.” McKenzie was rushed to hospital and fully recovery, but credits Millie with saving his life.

That sleepless look

“What is it about lack of sleep that makes us look so ragged?” writes Meghan Holohan for The Body Odd. “‘Stress causes a drop in the skin’s ability to protect itself,’ explains Dr. Amit Sood, associate professor of medicine and chair of the Mind Body Initiative at Mayo Clinic. ‘All of this happens with chronic stress – if you do not have healthy collagen in your skin, you would have a baggy sort of skin under your eyes.’ And stress can also lead to less melanin, causing that jaundiced, haggard look. Melanin pigments the skin, giving humans their complexion. … Dark circles and bags appear [under the eyes] when the body is unable to rejuvenate at night due to lack of sleep, says anesthesiologist, internist and bestselling author Dr. Michael Roizen.”

Gym, a hot college major

“The college sports athlete who studies exercise has long been the butt of jokes and the target for critics who lament the fact that most athletic scholarships are wasted by people who are more interested in making the pros than getting a respectable education,” says The Wall Street Journal. “But increasingly that view underestimates the commercial and academic value of exercise studies. As the population skews older – and, in many cases, fatter – there’s a growing demand for fitness trainers, physical therapists, pre-med students and scholars who study the science of obesity, movement and performance. As a result, few majors on college campuses are growing faster than kinesiology, as the science of exercise is known.”

Firewood? Buy locally

“Transporting firewood across state lines can spread insects and diseases, thereby wiping out swaths of forests,” says The Christian Science Monitor. “Because this can cause considerable economic and environmental damage, The Nature Conservancy oversees a ‘Don’t Move Firewood’ website.” Native trees can defend themselves against native insects and diseases, but trouble ensues when non-native insects and diseases show up, hitching a ride on firewood transported from elsewhere. “How far is too far to move firewood? Generally, 50 miles [80 kilometres] is too far, and 10 miles or less is best, according to Don’t Move Firewood.”

Look ma, no hands

“If you’re able to sit and rise from the floor with just one hand – or better yet, no hands – you likely have a lower risk of death from any cause,” says The Huffington Post, citing research published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention. “Researchers in Rio de Janeiro tested adults ranging from age 51 to 80, asking them to ‘try to sit and then to rise from the floor, using the minimum support that you believe is needed.’ The subjects were tracked from the date of the baseline test in 2002 until their death or October, 2011. At the end of the study period, participants who needed additional support to get up from the floor were overwhelmingly more likely to die, across age, gender or body mass index.”

Thought du jour

“It’s true Heaven forbids some pleasures, but a compromise can usually be found.”

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Molière), French actor and playwright (1622-73)

 

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