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Precision flight: Switzerland's Air Force national flight team Patrouille Suisse performs an aerial exercise near the eastern Swiss town of Niederurnen (ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS)
Precision flight: Switzerland's Air Force national flight team Patrouille Suisse performs an aerial exercise near the eastern Swiss town of Niederurnen (ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS)

Talking points: Holey fears, arsenic-laced cereal and hidden hypertension Add to ...

A HOLEY FEAR

Are you left aghast by Swiss cheese? Does the sight of a crumpet have you cringing in fear? You just may have trypophobia. As reported on NPR, a study in the journal Psychological Science deconstructs the recently discovered phobia. At the Centre for Brain Science at the University of Essex, researchers concluded the phobia has an evolutionary basis: trypophobic items often share characteristics with dangerous animals. “When a trypophobic individual looks at an image, there’s a part of their brain – an old evolutionary part of their brain – that’s trying to tell them, ‘Be careful’” said researcher Geoff Cole.

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JUST A HINT OF ARSENIC

The bad news: There are traces of arsenic in infant cereals. The good news: It’s probably not going to hurt you. As reported in The New York Times, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently tested more than 1,300 types of rice and rice products and discovered arsenic levels ranged from three to seven micrograms per serving, amounts the agency said did not pose health risks. Arsenic is a carcinogen that can be fatal when consumed in large quantities. In 2011, TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz created a furor when he charged that arsenic levels in apple juice were too high. It was later revealed he had confused the toxic, inorganic form of arsenic with its less toxic organic cousin.

UNDER PRESSURE

Time to get your arm in that blood-pressure cuff again. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the majority of the world’s population stricken with high blood pressure aren’t aware of their condition. Among those who are, only one-third have taken steps to get it under control. The study analyzed more than 140,000 patients from 17 countries over a 10-year period. The study revealed that among those patients with high blood pressure, 53.5 per cent had no idea they had it. Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular death, associated with 13.5 per cent of all global deaths.

THOUGHT DU JOUR

“No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offense. His very life is a battle.”

– Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

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