Too much salt intake is bad for the heart, resulting in enlargement and thickening of the organ and a higher risk of failure. Researchers looked at the balance of salt and water in blood and found that people who stayed well-hydrated had lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
What does it mean to be “well-hydrated”? Researchers translated that to 6-8 cups (1.5-2.1 liters) a day for women and 8-12 cups (2-3 liters) for men.
State of the Air
A new report on the air we breathe from the American Lung Association is — cough, cough — not so great. The report covering 2018 to 2020 recorded the most days with “very unhealthy” and “hazardous” air in its 23-year history.
Tracking soot and smog, the analysis said 137 million Americans are exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution, particularly people of color, who are 61% more likely than white people to live in a county with a failing grade for at least one pollutant and 3.6 times as likely to live in a county with a failing grade for three pollutants.
Air quality has gotten better with reduced emissions from vehicles, power plants and manufacturing, reports STAT, but wildfire smoke and ozone pollution from hotter, drier conditions born of climate change have offset those gains.
Body of Knowledge
To reduce one pound of fat, you need to walk 34 miles. Easier to break it up, though, which breaks down to walking approximately five miles a day seven days a week. Or you could simply reduce your daily calorie consumption by 500 calories.
Hyperglycemia: a fairly well-known term describing high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Hypercalcemia describes excessive concentrations of calcium in the blood. Hyperlipidemia describes high levels of fat.
Mania of the Week
Lypemania: a tendency toward deep melancholy and mournfulness
Q: What’s the difference between bird flu and swine flu?
A: For one, you get tweetment; for the other, oinkment.
People who take cold baths never have rheumatism, but they have cold baths.” — Unknown
This week in 1962, surgeons successfully reattached a 12-year-old boy’s severed arm using microvascular repair of blood vessels. The arm had been severed 3 inches below the shoulder by the wheels of a train. Good functional recovery of nerves is generally better in children than in adults. After additional operations, the boy regained some useful functioning of the limb. Though there was a little “clawing” of the fingers, his tactile recovery was good enough to identify coins and use his fingers in handling objects. He grew up to be employed as a garage mechanic.
Ig Nobel Apprised
The Ig Nobel Prizes celebrate achievements that make people laugh, then think. A look at real science that’s hard to take seriously, and even harder to ignore.
In 2019, the Ig Nobel Prize in medical education went to a trio of researchers who used “clicker training,” more often associated with managing pets, to instruct surgeons on how to better perform orthopedic surgery.
Five things you should know about feet.
No. 1: Each foot contains 26 bones, so the pair of them represent one-quarter of all of the bones in your body.
No. 2: Your feet get bigger through the day as body weight, all that standing, walking and generally moving around, plus weather and health cause connective tissues to loosen and feet to expand.
No. 3: A human foot has approximately 125,000 sweat glands and produces 1 cup of sweat per day.
No. 4: Big toes are like thumbs. They have only two bones compared with three for other phalanges.
No. 5: The largest foot size on record measured more than 18 inches and belonged to Robert Wadlow, who not surprisingly measured 8 feet, 11 inches in height, the tallest human on record.
Fit to Be Tried
There are thousands of exercises, and you’ve only got one body, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try them all: Squats are easy to describe and easier to do as you practice them. Stand with back straight, feet slightly turned out. Drop your seat to knee height, then return to standing. Do two sets of 10. Advanced parent version: Do squats with a child on your back.
Getting a “base tan” before the advent of summer does not prevent sunburn. The modest skin darkening of an initial tan is only comparable to a sun protection factor of 1-4, not enough to provide much protection at all. And tanning to avoid sunburn is pointless, since tanning is already damaging your skin. Darker skin is simply visible evidence of existing damage and promotes premature skin aging and risk of skin cancer.
Q: What is the vomeronasal organ?
A: It’s a patch of specialized cells, part of the olfactory (smell) system, located above the roof of the mouth. The organ is found in amphibians, reptiles and mammals, but not all species. Its main job is to detect heavy, moisture-borne odor particles. In humans, birds, whales, crocodiles and turtles, the vomeronasal organ is absent or underdeveloped, but in snakes and lizards, it is much used via their darting tongues.
In 1999, a joke told in a Seattle bar triggered a 13-hour spasm of laughter in a 35-year-old man. Doctors could not stop the laughter. It ended only when the man suffered heart failure and died. Asked before he died what was so funny, the man reportedly gasped between guffaws: “There was something about an antelope. And shellfish. I remember a part about shellfish.”
To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.