Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Baby pythons escape during flight in Australia
MELBOURNE, Australia – Four baby pythons escaped from a container aboard a passenger plane in Australia, leading to a search that forced the cancellation of two flights, the airline said Thursday.
Twelve non-venemous Stimson pythons were being transported Tuesday on a flight from Alice Springs to Melbourne in the plane's cargo area in a bag inside a plastic foam box with air holes.
When the flight landed, it was discovered that four snakes had escaped from the package, a Qantas spokeswoman said in a statement.
A reptile expert searched for the 6-inch (15-centimeter) -long snakes but did not find them. It was not known if the snakes were still on the plane or if they had somehow escaped outside after the plane landed.
In the meantime, the plane missed two flights it had been scheduled to fly and the passengers were transferred to other flights.
When the snakes were not found, the airplane was fumigated and it returned to service on Wednesday.
Stimson's pythons, which can grow up to three feet (one meter) long, live in western and central Australia and are not an endangered species.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The tree, measuring 5cm, was discovered by Russian doctors when they opened up Artyom Sidorkin, 28, to remove what they thought was a tumour.
The patient had complained of extreme pain in his chest and had been coughing up blood. Doctors were convinced he had cancer.
'We were 100 per cent sure,' said surgeon Vladimir Kamashev from Izhevsk in the Urals. 'We did X-rays and found what looked exactly like a tumour. I had seen hundreds before, so we decided on surgery.'
'I thought I was hallucinating,' said Dr Kamashev. 'I asked my assistant to have a look: "Come and see this - we've got a fir tree here".
'He nodded in shock. I blinked three times as I was sure I was seeing things.'
They believed the coughing of blood was caused by the tiny pine needles piercing blood capillaries. 'It was very painful. But to be honest I did not feel any foreign object inside me,' said Mr Sidorkin. 'I'm so relieved it's not cancer.'
The report appeared in popular tabloid Komsomolskaya Gazeta, and was picked up by Russian news service Novosti.
* Make it a Morning Ritual. I once read in a magazine article that many of us wake up dehydrated, and the first thing you should do before you do anything else is drink two glasses of water. I've now made it a regular morning habit, and it inspires the momentum to continue drinking more for the rest of the day.
* Add Some Lemon. Back in the early stages when I couldn't stand drinking water, I squeezed lemon juice into my water. At restaurants, I would ask the servers to provide lemon slices with my water--which makes me sound snobby, but most restaurants are willing and expected to provide this service.
* Keep it In the Clear. When your urine is clear, you are properly hydrated. When your urine is a dark yellow, you are definitely dehydrated.
* Think of How Pretty You'll Look. I don't know how direct the correlation is between having healthy, glowing skin and drinking a lot of water, but I'm not taking any chances. Whatever psychological trick keeps me hydrated!
* Do It Like It's Hot. If you're in the mood for a hot drink, drink heated water. Sometimes we just want the psychological pleasure that comes with having a hot mug cupped in our hands than the actual drink itself. Plus, coffee and tea contain caffeine, which is a diuretic and elevates the rate of water being expelled from your body via urination.
* Drink When You Have a Munchie Attack. Sometimes our hunger is thirst masquerading as fake hunger. Drinking a cup or two of water will make you feel "full."
*Take Baby Steps. Don't expect to go from zero glasses of water to the full 8 glasses overnight. Start with one glass of water in the morning and one glass of water at night, and build your way up from there.
* Cheap cheap. Water at restaurants are FREE!
* Always have a full glass of water near you when you are working. It will give you something to mindlessly sip on when you are brainstorming or need something to do with your hands.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Psychologists have found that how much people smile in old photographs can predict their later success in marriage.
In one test, the researchers looked at people's college yearbook photos, and rated their smile intensity from 1 to 10. None of the people who fell within the top 10 percent of smile strength had divorced, while within the bottom 10 percent of smilers, almost one in four had had a marriage that ended, the researchers say. (Scoring was based on the stretch in two muscles: one that pulls up on the mouth, and one that creates wrinkles around the eyes.)
In a second trial, the research team asked people over age 65 to provide photos from their childhood (the average age in the pictures was 10 years old). The researchers scored each person's smile, and found that only 11 percent of the biggest smilers had been divorced, while 31 percent of the frowners had experienced a broken marriage.
Overall, the results indicate that people who frown in photos are five times more likely to get a divorce than people who smile.
While the connection is striking, the researchers stress that they can't conclude anything about the cause of the correlation.
"Maybe smiling represents a positive disposition towards life," said study leader Matthew Hertenstein, a psychologist at DePauw University in Indiana. "Or maybe smiling people attract other happier people, and the combination may lead to a greater likelihood of a long-lasting marriage. We don't really know for sure what's causing it."
Hertenstein said he has considered other explanations, such as the possibility that people who smile more often tend to attract more friends, and a larger support network makes it easier to keep a marriage healthy. Or it could be that people who smile when a photographer tells them to are more likely to have obedient personalities, which could make marriage easier.
The results of the study fit into a larger pattern of research that has found many personality characteristics can be determined from very thin slices of behavior. Basically, we often reveal ourselves in the most subtle, simple ways.
And smiling in photographs has been shown to be correlated with a number of traits, including a generally happier disposition.
"I think [our results] go along with a lot of the literature that's been coming out over the last five to 10 years, which shows that positive emotionality is incredibly important in our lives," Hertenstein told LiveScience. "There are many, many beneficial outcomes to a positive disposition."
The findings are also notable because they found a connection between photos taken when people were young and marriage outcomes that sometimes occurred much later.
"It feeds into this idea that what's occurring earlier in our lives in terms of our present situation and our mental state can predict things that occur decades later," Hertenstein said. "Showing the continuity in who we are is really important."
The study is detailed in the April 5 issue of the journal Motivation and Emotion.