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Sunday, February 21, 2010

In the News: February 21, 2010

Some random stories I've been meaning to share:

'Brain decline' begins at age 27

Well, I'm past my prime... time to start eating more blueberries

"Mental powers start to dwindle at 27 after peaking at 22, marking the start of old age, US research suggests.

Professor Timothy Salthouse of the University of Virginia found reasoning, spatial visualisation and speed of thought all decline in our late 20s."

"The first age at which there was any marked decline was at 27 in tests of brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability.

Things like memory stayed intact until the age of 37, on average, while abilities based on accumulated knowledge, such as performance on tests of vocabulary or general information, increased until the age of 60."
(via BBC)

Smelly passenger kicked off flight

"A man on Jazz Air, a regional airline in Canada that also serves U.S. cities, was reportedly kicked off a plane earlier this month because of his strong body odor.

"People were just mumbling and staring at him," said a woman who sat near the man, according to The Guardian, a newspaper in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, where the flight originated on February 6. It was a very uncomfortable situation, she added.

Another passenger described the smell as "brutal.""

""It's important to understand that our crew members make every effort to resolve a situation before it becomes an issue. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, it may become necessary for our crew to remove passengers."

The airline, like most air carriers, doesn't have a specific policy covering body odor, Stuart said."
(via CNN)

------------More after the break!------------

Magazine rates city [Boston] as ‘least drunk’ in US

But we have Sam!

"Boston might want to raise a toast to its new ranking as the “least drunk’’ of 100 major US cities. The listings, in the March issue of Men’s Health magazine, ranked cities in terms of sobriety. The magazine said, in an e-mail, that it wanted to congratulate Boston on its “outstanding performance’’ and referred to the city’s “stellar sobriety.’’ Closely following on the "least drunk" end of the list are Yonkers, N.Y.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Salt Lake City. According to Men’s Health, the list was based on data that included death rates from alcoholic liver disease, binge-drinking frequency, alcohol-induced car accidents, the number of DUI arrests, and severity of DUI penalties. As for the “drunkest’’ city in the country, Fresno, Calif., topped the list, according to the magazine."

So... Bostonians drink less than the Mormans??
(via Boston.com)

A homeowner holding an intruder at gunpoint is accidentally shot six times by a cop
Good job cops.

Girl's arrest for doodling raises concerns about zero tolerance
This is ridiculous...
Alexa Gonzalez

"There was no profanity, no hate. Just the words, "I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 :)" scrawled on the classroom desk with a green marker.

Alexa Gonzalez, an outgoing 12-year-old who likes to dance and draw, expected a lecture or maybe detention for her doodles earlier this month. Instead, the principal of the Junior High School in Forest Hills, New York, called police, and the seventh-grader was taken across the street to the police precinct.

Alexa's hands were cuffed behind her back, and tears gushed as she was escorted from school in front of teachers and -- the worst audience of all for a preadolescent girl -- her classmates."

"Critics say schools and police have gone too far, overreacting and using well-intended rules for incidents involving nonviolent offenses such as drawing on desks, writing on other school property or talking back to teachers."

""Instead of a graduated discipline approach, we see ... expulsions at the drop of a hat," said Donna Lieberman, an attorney with the New York branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"If they have been suspended once, their likelihood of being pushed out of the school increases," she said. "They may end up in jail at some point in their life.""
(via CNN)

Sir Elton John says Jesus was super-intelligent gay man
"Arise, my child, for now you are fabulous" - Jesus, The Bible

"Sir Elton John has claimed Jesus was a "super-intelligent gay man" in an interview with a US magazine.

The singer also told Parade Jesus was "compassionate", forgiving and "understood human problems".

A spokesman for the Church of England said: "Sir Elton's reflection that Jesus calls us all to love and forgive is one shared by all Christians."

"But insights into aspects of the historic person of Jesus are perhaps best left to the academics," he added.""
(via BBC)

And this is just cool:
Ever Wonder What Every Space Mission From the Last 50 Years Looks Like on One Map?

"National Geographic has plotted the route of every space mission carried out over the last 50 years onto a map of the solar system, giving a nice visual look at the history of space travel.

Each line represents a different space mission, highlighting notable missions, including those from different countries, those of historical significance, and those which have failed."
(National Geographic via PopSci)

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