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Thursday, April 24 2014

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Life
 

Taking a walk may lead to more creativity than sitting, study finds

When the task at hand requires some imagination, taking a walk may lead to more creative thinking than sitting, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

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Children living with a lone parent are as happy as those with 2

Children living with a step-parent or a lone parent are as happy as those living with two biological parents, the British Sociological Association's annual conference in Leeds heard today [Thursday 24 April].

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ATVs Are Dangerous to Children: Must be Designed Safer

According to data released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, child deaths decreased slightly in 2012, while serious injuries caused by all-terrain vehicles to ATV riders of all ages appear to have increased slightly in 2012. Tragically, at least 54 children lost their lives and 26,500 were injured seriously enough to require treatment in a hospital emergency department.

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CSPI Estimates 400,000 Preventable Deaths from Excess Salt Since 2010

Four years ago yesterday the Institute of Medicine called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to set limits on the levels of sodium (mostly from salt) allowed in various categories of processed food. But because the FDA has not acted on the IOM's recommendations, every year tens of thousands of Americans prematurely fall victim to strokes, heart attacks, or other health problems caused or exacerbated by excess sodium intake, says the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest. Epidemiologists have estimated that if Americans had cut their sodium intake in half beginning in April 2010, as many as 400,000 lives might have been saved in the years since.

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May is Garden for Wildlife Month

From bird watchers to butterfly lovers, people across the country are transforming their gardens into havens for wildlife in celebration of National Wildlife Federation's Garden for Wildlife Month and its Certified Wildlife Habitat® program.

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Your Earth Day Moment of Zen: 96 Seconds of Cute Elephants

The Wildlife Conservation Society's 96 Elephants campaign today released exactly 96 seconds of video footage of playful baby elephants to celebrate Earth Day – and to draw attention to the fact that 96 elephants are killed every day in Africa by poachers.

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This is What Global Warming Looks Like (VIDEO)

After a long drought of media coverage about climate change, an ambitious series on Showtime, "Years of Living Dangerously," is off to a tremendous start. I urge you to watch all nine hours focusing, as the creators say, on the biggest story of our time—told through the eyes of people experiencing the effects of our changing climate first hand.

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"How's My Waterway" Now More User-Friendly / App Lets Users Check Health of Waterways Anywhere in the US

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an enhanced version of "How's My Waterway," an app and website to help people find information on the condition of thousands of lakes, rivers and streams across the United States from their smart phone, tablet or desktop computer.

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Make a #GlobalSelfie with NASA on Earth Day

NASA invites you -- and everyone else on the planet -- to take part in a worldwide celebration of Earth Day this year with the agency's #GlobalSelfie event.

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How Birds Really See the World (video)

Ever wonder what it looks like from a birds-eye-view? Hank explains they see more than you think!

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How Much Water Does It Take To Make a Hamburger? (VIDEO)

The video brings the following facts to light:
Bread and beef together make one of the most popular foods ever invented -- the hamburger. They are also two products that use a lot of water in their production. Rearing cattle requires more water than any other animal while the wheat used to make bread needs water to grow.

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9 Great Days, 9 Great Ways to Celebrate National Park Week

From April 19 – 27, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation will host National Park Week, featuring special events in parks nationwide. This year's theme, "National Park Week: Go Wild!" invites visitors to celebrate all that America's 401 national parks have to offer. With free admission to all parks on April 19 and 20, and exciting activities and programs scheduled throughout the week, National Park Week is the perfect time to discover the diverse wildlife, iconic landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history found in America's national parks.

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Why Every Teacher Should Require Students to Memorize the Opening Lines of the 14th Amendment (Interview)

Linda Kerber has served as president of both the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. At the 2014 annual meeting of the OAH she spoke with HNN about the importance of the 14th amendment. She wants every history teacher in America to make their students memorize the opening lines of the amendment.

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The Power of Poop (and other ways to save the world!) VIDEO

The Power of Poop (and other ways to save the world!) is a half-hour cartoon musical with the big ambition of caring for the planet while having fun too.

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Online food reviews reveal inner self, Stanford researcher finds

Word choice in online restaurant reviews reveals much about people's inner worlds, according to Stanford research.

The study, appearing in the April 7 issue of the journal First Monday, uses software to investigate almost 900,000 reviews of 6,548 restaurants – from fast food to luxury restaurants – on Yelp.com.

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Personalized Tax Receipt Shows Exactly How the Federal Government Spent Taxpayer Dollars

Millions of Americans will file their federal income tax returns on April 15 with no idea what the government actually does with all that money.

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USPS issues new Forever Stamp series: Songbirds

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates ten melodic voices with the Songbirds stamps: the western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), the mountain bluebird (Sialia currucoides), the western tanager (Piranga ludoviciana), the painted bunting (Passerina ciris), the Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula), the evening grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus), the scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea), the rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus), the American goldfinch (Spinus tristis), and the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis).

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Brady Center Launches PSA Campaign to Encourage Kids to Speak Up & Save Lives

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence launched today a powerful, new public awareness campaign in concert with National Youth Violence Prevention Week, April 7-11. The campaign, called SPEAK UP, educates students about the important roles they can play in preventing violence, and includes public service announcements, posters and poster contests, interactive BuzzFeed-style quizzes, pledge drive and resource/activity kits.

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Children see domestic violence that often goes unreported, research finds

A nationwide study of children who have witnessed domestic violence found that parents or caregivers were physically injured in more than a third of the cases, yet only a small fraction of offenders went to jail and just one in four incidents resulted in police reports, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

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Best use of hatemail ever: Honey Maid: Love (Video)

We made a commercial about what makes families, family. And we received a lot of comments. See what we did with them.

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Survey: One third of American parents mistakenly link vaccines to autism

According to a survey released today by the National Consumers League (NCL), the nation's pioneering consumer organization, adult Americans lack sufficient information about the safety of vaccines and the risks of failing to vaccinate for highly contagious diseases. Despite scientific studies clarifying that vaccines are not linked to autism in children, 33 percent of parents of children under the age of 18 and 29 percent of all adults continue to believe "vaccinations can cause autism." According to public health experts, the failure to vaccinate children has recently led to outbreaks of highly contagious, preventable, and sometimes deadly diseases, like whooping cough.

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America's New Drug Policy Landscape

As the debate over drug policy reaches the national level, 67% of Americans say that the government should focus more on providing treatment for those who use illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine, than on prosecuting drug users. Support for a treatment-based approach spans nearly all demographic groups, according to a national survey from the Pew Research Center.

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Books: In Search of the American Dream

The American Dream – the idea that hope and the promise of a good life is attainable through hard work and perseverance – is an ideal as familiar to American culture as motherhood, apple pie and rugged individualism.

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Batter Up! Student Math Wizards Aim for the Fences with Baseball Scheduling System

If slamming a 90-mph fastball into the centerfield stands sounds tough, try scheduling a minor league baseball season.

Here are some of the challenges: Did each team get the correct mix of home and away games? Are enough dates reserved for division rivals? Did each team get a fair share of lucrative weekend dates? Do required rest days follow rigorous road trips? And where is the work-around for that Sunday afternoon when a dog show is booked for the ballpark?

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Urban gardeners may be unaware of how best to manage contaminants in soil

Consuming foods grown in urban gardens may offer a variety of health benefits, but a lack of knowledge about the soil used for planting could pose a health threat for both consumers and gardeners. In a new study from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), researchers identified a range of factors and challenges related to the perceived risk of soil contamination among urban community gardeners and found a need for clear and concise information on how best to prevent and manage soil contamination. The results are featured online in PLOS ONE.

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Scientists pinpoint why we miss subtle visual changes, and why it keeps us sane

Ever notice how Harry Potter's T-shirt abruptly changes from a crewneck to a henley shirt in "The Order of the Phoenix," or how in "Pretty Woman," Julia Roberts' croissant inexplicably morphs into a pancake? Don't worry if you missed those continuity bloopers. Vision scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered an upside to the brain mechanism that can blind us to subtle changes in movies and in the real world.

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Hearing loss affects old people's personality

As people approach old age, they generally become less outgoing. New research from the University of Gothenburg shows that this change in personality is amplified among people with impaired hearing. The findings emphasise the importance of acknowledging and treating hearing loss in the elderly population.

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Fraud alert: New malware scams threatening to make 'April fools' out of victims

Anti-fraud advocates at the National Consumers League are warning consumers this month about a scam being tracked by the Federal Trade Commission, the FBI, and other federal agencies: Cryptolocker malware. Crooks are targeting consumers and businesses with sophisticated technology that, spread through email and difficult-to-detect downloads, encrypts the contents of a hard drive, making it impossible to use one's files. According to the FTC, after the malware is installed by an unsuspecting computer user, the Cryptolocker crooks send a ransom note demanding hundreds of dollars in payment via Bitcoin or another anonymous payment method before they will unlock the files. Once a consumer pays the ransom, there's no guarantee that the fraudster will not simply ask for more money.

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An answer to the perennial question: Is it safe to pee in the pool?

Sanitary-minded pool-goers who preach "no peeing in the pool," despite ordinary and Olympic swimmers admitting to the practice, now have scientific evidence to back up their concern. Researchers are reporting that when mixed, urine and chlorine can form substances that can cause potential health problems. Their study appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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Beer marinade could reduce levels of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats

The smells of summer — the sweet fragrance of newly opened flowers, the scent of freshly cut grass and the aroma of meats cooking on the backyard grill — will soon be upon us. Now, researchers are reporting that the very same beer that many people enjoy at backyard barbeques could, when used as a marinade, help reduce the formation of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats. The study appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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