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Corrie Pikul (131 posts)
[After the jump, hearts that don't have a beat and songs that barely have a pulse.]
1. In the beginning, man created treadmills. These personalized conveyor belts allowed fitness-crazed humans to work out any time of the day or night in the comfort of their own homes. With treadmills, they could avoid workout obstacles like traffic, darkness, cold, snow, heat, pollution, unwashed clothes, angry dogs and angry neighbors. Finally, there were no excuses for missing a workout.
2. The humans soon found other uses for the treadmill. These alternative uses often served as excuses for missing a workout.
[After the jump, fast-forward to the treadmills of the future.]
However, a recent study has deflated my hopes that calcium supplements are the magic pill to prevent fractures and osteoporosis.
Snap quiz: Your friend tells you she's participating in a fundraiser and asks you to donate money to her cause. You've got the funds, and you adore the friend. In which situation would you be more likely to pony up?
(a) Your friend is training for her first marathon with a group that raises money for cancer research.
(b) Your friend is hosting a masquerade charity ball to raise money for a children's after-school program.
[Find out which option most people choose, after the jump.]
Even those people who are tone deaf and so lacking in rhythm as to be unable to find the beat in a Katy Perry song have taken comfort that in a planet-wide dance-off, they'd outlast most other species on earth.
That admittedly and pitiably small consolation just went "Oh! Oh! Oh!" and shot across the sky-y-y-y. This was made clear in an article on the research of neurobiologists Aniruddh Patel and John Iversen in the Brain special issue of Discover magazine. Patel explains to Discover that our sense of rhythm may have evolved from the brain development that allowed us to learn to speak. Therefore, Patel says, the only other animals that can boogie to a beat would be those that are advanced in "vocal learning," or the ability to mimic the sounds of others: parrots, an Asian elephant and Snowball the sulfur-crested cockatoo, a YouTube phenom whose dance moves and habits were studied by Patel and his team.
In their experiments with Snowball, the bird was videotaped reacting to music that was sped up and slowed down under a variety of circumstances (in isolation, with verbal encouragement, with another person). The videos showed that Snowball can not only synchronize his moves to different tempos, but can do it when no one else is in the room (although he danced the most when he had a human partner). This cockatoo loves mainstream pop like Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga, and he's a huge fan of the Backstreet Boys (wonder if he knows they're on tour this summer? I'd love to see him get pulled up on stage to lead the crowd in a dance to "Everybody").
What about the salsa-dancing retriever, you are undoubtedly wondering? When I shared this video with my husband, an enthusiastic freestyle dancer, he dropped the phone. Patel tells Discover that he suspects booty-shaking pets like this are reacting to cues from their human trainers, instead of innately responding to the beat. So for now, in this species-wide dance-off, the cockatoo is the true champion—at least from a scientific perspective.
But the story isn't over yet! Patel and Discover are looking for other examples of animals that can dance to a beat. If you have a video of an animal grooving in time to music, please send it to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few years ago, I learned a painful lesson about what not to wear while sightseeing in the summer. As part of my unofficial tour guide uniform for a friend's visit, I slipped into a pair of old Reef flip-flops. I misinterpreted the deep indentations (classic indications of overuse) as signs that they'd been comfortably broken in by a jungle trek in Thailand and a day of beach hopping around Nantucket. I figured they were the best things to wear to walk around town (what are flip-flops but topless sneakers, right?). That night, a throbbing pain in my right ankle kept waking me up. A podiatrist later diagnosed the pain as Achilles tendinitis, and recommended that I wear a soft cast...until Labor Day! My summer was officially a flop.
When walking farther than a quarter of a mile, I now stick to running sneakers. But they feel clunky in warm weather, so I asked Hillary Brenner, DPM, a podiatric surgeon and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association, to help me find some breezy alternatives. We asked Dr. Brenner to helps us rank ten summer shoe styles in order of how likely they are to knock you off your feet and cause injuries, starting with the most foot-friendly and ending with the Freddy Kruegers of footwear (can you guess what they are?).
If this describes someone you love, you could tell him that, in terms of the research, a psychologist's gender makes little difference in the outcome of therapy. Or you could be a bit more useful. (Even if you don't agree with him, it's his belief that matters—you want him to get help, remember?).
To find out exactly what you can do, we followed up with one of Carey's sources for the article, Ronald F. Levant, EdD, a professor of psychology at the University of Akron, who is recognized as an authority on the psychology of men and masculinity.
An Estimated 150 Million People Will Be Stung by Jellyfish This Year. Read Dr. Oz's Advice on What to Do If--or When--You're One of Them
Bad news for beachgoers: Jellyfish exist in every ocean on earth (some are as big as refrigerators), and all of them sting. This we learned from the National Science Foundation’s cheekily-titled report, “Jellyfish Gone Wild.” Fortunately, the vast majority of stings aren’t harmful—and some are barely noticeable. If you or your travel companion does feel the sting of a tentacle, Dr. Oz suggests two fast-relief remedies that can be found at a beach snack bar or in your bungalow’s kitchen. “When a jellyfish attacks, it implants thousands of tiny darts, called nematocysts, into your skin,” he writes in the May issue of O. “If you’re stung, fill a bucket with vinegar and soak the affected area for 15 to 30 minutes; the acetic acid in the vinegar stops the nematocysts from releasing more venom (if you don't have vinegar, Coca-Cola is a slightly less effective substitute by virtue of its phosphoric acid). Next, scrape the area with a credit card or knife edge to remove any clinging nematocysts.” Dr. Oz says that some people are allergic to jellyfish, so those experiencing hives or wheezing should seek emergency help ASAP.
Find more surprising first-aid fixes—for sunburns, bug bites, cuts, and prickly heat—here.