Scientists May Have Found a Link Between Eating Beef Jerky and Manic Behavior

It’s a sad, sad day for me and m fellow lovers of cured beef products.

NBC News has reported that processed meats that contain nitrates (like jerky, cold cuts, hot dogs, etc.) may provoke symptoms of mental illness – specifically, mania.

The claim comes after a study published in Molecular Psychiatry found that a significant number of participants began exhibiting symptoms of mania – like racing thoughts, intense euphoria, and irritability – shortly after eating some type of cured meat.

In fact, patients who had recently consumed products like salami, jerky, and dried meat sticks were more likely to have been or be hospitalized for mania than subjects in the control group.

Scientists narrowed the link down to the nitrates, which are preservatives added to many cured meats. People who were fed nitrate-free jerky acted less hyperactive than those who were given the nitrate-rich sticks.

That nitrates may not be exactly harmless to humans isn’t news – you can find numerous studies that contain warnings and show multiple risks associated with consuming them regularly. They don’t just make you hyper, either. They can lead to the formation of cancers and promote inflammation in the gut, though most scientists will admit that more research needs to be done in order to pin down exactly how and why consuming them has such negative outcomes for many people.

In the meantime, if you have a history of cancer in your family, a history of poor mental health, or have existing psychiatric or gut disorders, you might do well to avoid nitrates – and all process meats containing them – until the research is in.

I can tell you I plan to (continue) doing so, though saying no to hotdogs at the ballgame is gonna be tough.

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Whiskey Actually Tastes Better When You Add a Splash of Water. Here’s Why

If you’re like me, you might have been raised to believe that putting ice or water in your whiskey was some kind of cardinal drinking sin. But science would definitely quibble with my Scots-Irish grandma on this point, because chemists have the scientific proof we need to back up the idea that water (or ice) actually enhances your  favorite barrel-aged flavor.

Researchers from the Linnaeus University Centre for Biomaterials Chemistry in Sweden analyzed whiskey at a molecular level to see how exactly it interacts with water.

Image Credit: Pixabay

The molecule responsible for whiskey’s smokey taste and smell is called guaiacol, and it bonds to alcohol molecules in your glass, which distributes the taste evenly. But when you add a splash of water or a couple of ice cubes, the water molecules repel the alcohol (and the guaiacol), pushing more of the taste to the top of the glass.

When that happens, your drink’s distinctive, alluring taste and smell is what fancy bartenders would call “spirit forward.”

Image Credit: Pixabay

The results of the experiments were published in Scientific Reports, and recommend diluting your whiskey to about 40-45% alcohol. Of course, most commercial whiskey’s are diluted before bottling, so just a splash of water or a couple of ice cubes should do you.

Image Credit: Pixabay

You’ll have to do some experimenting of your own in order to find the optimal amount for you, but I’m sure you won’t mind.

I’m about to do some of my own. Just don’t tell my grandma.

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8 Great Facts That Will Send Your Brain Into Overdrive!

Attention! Attention! You will engage in some brain power exercises starting RIGHT NOW.

You’ve been a little lazy lately (haven’t we all?) and it’s time to kick that brain into overdrive!

3…2….1…GO!

1. I did not know that

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2. Disgusting!

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3. A wonderful idea

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4. Survivors

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5. Thank God

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6. Dum Dums

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7. Man of culture

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8. Wow

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Brain power!

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Michelin’s New “Puncture-Proof” Tire Promises to Make Flats a Thing of the Past

Flat tires have been an issue plaguing drivers ever since the dawn of the automobile. At this point, learning to fix a flat is a vital skill that literally every driver on the road should be familiar with.

That knowledge may not be as necessary for much longer, however, as Michelin is here for us!

They’re working with General Motors to develop and test a tire called Uptis (Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System) that doesn’t use air – and therefore, cannot go flat.

They debuted the groundbreaking design at the Movin’ On Summit in Montreal and I’ve gotta say…sign me up.

Image Credit: YouTube

Even though the Uptis has conventional treads on the outside, the middle layer is made of composite rubber and resin-embedded fiberglass spokes. Air would typically provide the support for the outer treads, but in this case, the spokes do the job just as well (arguably better).

Michelin and GM believe these tires will also last longer, because they aren’t in danger of wearing down more quickly due to over or under-inflation. For the same reason, they claim the tires are more environmentally-friendly, since fewer tires means less tire waste over all.

 

Image Credit: YouTube

Right now, over 200 million tires are tossed into the rubbish every single year.

The company plans to test the Uptis tires on a fleet of Chevy Bolts (electric vehicles) later this year. If it goes well, you can expect to see the tires on all new GM vehicles as early as 2024.

Right now, it’s not clear whether or not the tires would be available for purchase separately, so don’t let those tire-changing skills go dormant just yet.

But fear not! A brighter future with less squatting by the side of the road in the heat or rain could be on the very near horizon.

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Man With ADHD Perfectly Sums Up His Condition in This Viral Twitter Thread

Have you heard of Yashar Ali?

He’s a journalist and his tweets frequently go viral because he brings a lot of real talk to the table.

Recently, Ali shared what it’s like living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, in an epic Twitter thread. Soon enough, ADHD became a trending topic and the conversation about the often misunderstood condition had a spotlight shown on it.

Check it out!

1. The frustration people feel is overwhelming

Photo Credit: yashar/Twitter

2. People with ADHD can focus. But some things are significant triggers

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3. Understanding is key for those who want to empathize

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4. The cycle of shame is real with ADHD

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5. Ali thinks adults are under-diagnosed for this disorder

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6. It can have a significant impact on relationships

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7. One key for Ali is not letting things slip

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8. More and more, companies are willing to accommodate ADHD

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9. Don’t let it destroy your life

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Bravo Yashar! Bravo!

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New Study Finds That Having to Fake-Smile at Customers Makes Workers Drink More

In a bit of news that was absolutely no surprise whatsoever to anyone who has ever worked in retail/customer service, a new study has linked forcing a smile for customers with increased consumption of booze.

Researchers from Penn State University and the University of Buffalo recently discovered that faking smiles to please customers can be bad for the health of workers. The data from the research showed that people who work with the public (food service, retail, teachers, nurses, etc.) and who both regularly fake positive emotions (like smiling when they don’t mean it) and repress negative emotions (like the urge to roll their eyes) drink more alcohol after they get off work than people who don’t work directly with the public.

Penn State professor of psychology Alicia Grandey said about the results of the study,

“Faking and suppressing emotions with customers was related to drinking beyond the stress of the job or feeling negatively. It wasn’t just feeling badly that makes them reach for a drink. Instead, the more they have to control negative emotions at work, the less they are able to control their alcohol intake after work.”

And if you work in the service industry or know people who do, you know (and I know) that a lot of them do like to drink more than just a couple when their shift ends. Grandey hypothesizes that by faking or suppressing emotions, service industry workers may be using too much self-control, what she calls “surface acting.” And when they’re not at work, they don’t exercise self-control to regulate their alcohol intake.

Grandey said,

“Smiling as part of your job sounds like a really positive thing, but doing it all day can be draining. In these jobs, there’s also often money tied to showing positive emotions and holding back negative feelings. Money gives you a motivation to override your natural tendencies, but doing it all day can be wearing.”

The researchers analyzed data from 1,592 workers in the United States to draw their conclusions. Grandey also said that workers who have one-time interactions with customers, such as restaurants or call centers, tend to drink more than those who see the same people regularly, like teachers or health care professionals.

Grandey explained,

‘”Nurses, for example, may amplify or fake their emotions for clear reasons. They’re trying to comfort a patient or build a strong relationship. But someone who is faking emotions for a customer they may never see again, that may not be as rewarding, and may ultimately be more draining or demanding.”

What do you think? Share your reactions in the comments!

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10 Doctors Share Their Most Shocking Anti-Vax Horror Stories

At the risk of potentially getting some angry comments from a few folks, I’m gonna go ahead and say it: vaccines are a marvel of modern medicine that have saved countless lives, and any potential negative side effects (such as they are – the most commonly-feared ones have been widely disproved) are vastly outweighed by the benefits.

Many doctors have experienced real-life horror stories in their dealings with anti-vaxxers. Recently, we found out a few of these stories when a Reddit user posted the question, “Doctors of Reddit, what are some of your anti-vax parent stories?”

Brace yourselves. Some of these will shock you.

1. An odd rationalization

“Had a kid come in for generic upper respiratory virus. Asked mom if he was vaccinated, as is routine. She said no. When I asked why not, her response was “Well my boyfriend was vaccinated and he still got meningitis, so they don’t even work”

I told her that’s the same as saying your friend got bruised by a seat belt in a car accident, so you don’t wear them when you drive.”

2.This is shockingly heart-breaking

“I’ve told this story before, but the worst was when I was in medical school. The woman actually brought her daughter in to get catchup vaccines. Why? Because her other daughter was in the ICU with fulminant meningitis from a vaccine-preventable illness, hanging on for dear life. The nurse there sat her down and told her point-blank that she rarely sees this disease because people are vaccinated for it. The mom couldn’t understand how her girl had contracted it. We asked if she knew anyone who wasn’t vaccinated. Apparently no one in her church vaccinated, and several had been sick recently. She couldn’t believe the source could be them. The kicker? She also brought her son to clinic, but refused to vaccinate him, saying “he’s my only son”. No matter how we explained it to her, she believed giving her son the vaccine would result in brain damage.”

3. Doctors understand the dangers if only we’d listen

“Doctor here. Guy decided to not get a flu shot this year. Ended up in the ICU with flu infection in his brain He has currently been in the hospital for a month most of which in the ICU. Has likely permanent speech difficulty and left sided weakness.”

4. Unbelievable!

“Child A had an absolutely horrible time with chicken pox; to the point that I thought he might not make it. So what does she do? Intentionally expose Child B to it.”

5. Real talk from Dad

“Friend of mine is a military OBGYN. Was at a OB appointment with the pregnant dependent and servicemember. He had just returned from AFG a few months prior.

OB mentions about follow-ups after delivery in 1st year of life, including vaccines.

Wife says: ‘I read on the internet that vaccines cause autism, I don’t think we’re going to do that.’

Husband says: ‘I saw a lot of little graves in Afghanistan, sure as sh!t we are getting our kid vaccinated.’”

6. And vaccines have bad side-effects?

“I had a kid come in that was super sick. 3 years old and in septic shock. He had the flu and another compounded viral infection (I want to say pertussis). Heart rate was close to 200, respiratory rate in the 50s, blood pressure in the 70s. Kid was so fucking dry that we could barely get IVs into him and I almost had to drill an IO. We dumped a ton of fluids into him, started him on vasopressors and transferred him to the local children’s hospital.

I had asked the mom if he was vaccinated and she said “No, vaccines have really bad side effects! They’ll make you sick.” I explained to her that NOT getting the vaccines had made her kid 10 times sicker than he ever would have been from any mild vaccine reaction. She told me I was a moron and that I obviously have no clue what I’m talking and that’s the reason her kid was getting transferred…. She also told me that recommending she vaccinate her kids was racist.”

Photo Credit: Quick Meme

7. Anti-vax beliefs pushed to the extreme

“We had a 14 year old female come in for abdominal pain one time. She weighed 80 pounds. Looked sickly. Her mother refused to let her eat anything but a handful of things, nothing with very much protein at all. She literally had a binder full of articles about how horrible vaccines are, all the bad things they put in food these days, etc. She had completely brain washed this kid so the kid believed it too. Her labs showed malnutrition, her teeth were horrible. Just a sad case all around.”

8. This doctor knows what’s up

“When I was a med student, I had a parent who wanted to do a ‘delayed vaccination schedule’. Basically it means that you get all the same vaccinations but you pointlessly and foolishly do it over a longer time period. The mom had read a book promoting this practice that was unfortunately written by an MD. My pediatric attending had zero chill: ‘Is that the book written by Dr __? Yes? Well, then you should know that I was in the same medical school class as Dr __ but I got much better scores than he did.’”

Photo Credit: Make a Meme

9. A secret vaccination?

“I’m not a medical doctor but a mental health therapist, went to do a new client intake and while asking the mother about the kid’s medical history, vaccination records etc she said he was not vaccinated because vaccines cause autism and she didn’t want to risk her son getting it, then when I went to meet the kid within 5 seconds of laying eyes on him I could tell… he was autistic. Worst part was that when I told her she became very upset and started yelling at her husband saying he must have gotten the kid secretly vaccinated and then immediately ran out the house and took the kid to the emergency room for “testing” and just left me and the dad in the living room just kind of staring at eachother. Never answered my calls or texts again after that and I had to get DCF involved.”

10. Excuse me?

“This one time this lady came in for a check up. The child had not been vaccinated yet and I told her she needed to vaccinate him. She said that she didn’t want any needles touching him because she didn’t want him to get autism from the needles. She wanted him to get an ass spray of the vaccine. To this day it left me very confused and I told her we didn’t do that so she left. Maybe an anti-vax but idk anymore.”

Photo Credit: Make a Meme

Please do your research to understand the down-sides of not vaccinating your children. A preventable death is the ultimate tragedy.

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Astronomers Were Baffled by a Mystery Signal For 17 Years. The Culprit? A Staff Microwave

It’s 2019 and people are finally starting to admit that aliens are probably in our midst. “People” meaning, for example, The New York Times. But scientists and laypeople have been observing unexplainable phenomena for practically forever. Or in one case, practically unexplainable phenomena that turned out to be…definitely not aliens at all. Instead, the weirdness was coming from a way less exciting source: a microwave oven.

Astronomers at a famous Australian telescope called “The Dish” received strange signals from an unknown source for 17 years. 17 years! The signals would always come in once or twice each year. Known as perytons, they were detected “within five kilometers” of the observatory.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

When the scientists first detected the signals in 1998, they assumed they were coming from the atmosphere, possibly from lightning strikes.

But then, in 2015, they installed a new receiver to monitor the interference. It detected strong signals at 2.4 GHz – the signature of a microwave oven.

Yep, that 17-year-old mystery turned out to originate from the staff kitchen.

Upon further study, the astronomers discovered that the microwave generates interference only if the door is opened after it’s been set to heat. The signals were rare, because they only happened when the telescope was pointed right at the microwave oven while a staff member happened to open the door halfway through eating up their lunch.

So, yeah. Not the most exciting discovery, but a pretty unforgettable story.

Dr. Emily Petroff is the astronomer who finally figured out the source of the perytons.

“Didn’t swear, but definitely wasn’t quiet when the data came through,” she tweeted.

It should be noted that Dr. Petroff and the other astronomers weren’t really searching for aliens, but that’s the conclusion many people might jump to upon mention of “mysterious signals.”

It seems the lab has made some improvements to their microwaving technology since then:

Aliens… Hot pockets… Same thing.

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A Simple, Surefire Hack to Help You Fall Asleep Much Faster

Personally, I have very little trouble falling asleep. I tend to sleep through the night quite soundly, but my wife sometimes struggles with insomnia. She tells me she often flips and flops for hours before finally getting to sleep.

Image Credit: Pixabay

If you’re more like her, then you might be interested in this simple practice that could help you snag some much needed z’s without so much work!

And when I say simple, I mean, it’s probably something your mom told you to do when you were little…

Stick one foot out from under the covers.

I know. But it turns out there’s some science behind why this helps – and it has to do with keeping your body at the optimal temperature for snoozing.

According to the video below, higher internal body temperatures are associated with keeping you more alert and awake, and the opposite – cooler internal body temperatures help us relax and sleep – is also true.

By uncovering one foot, you help your body dissipate body heat, and cool the temperature of your blood in the process. This happens because our feet and hands contain vascular structures that can exchange heat more effectively than, for instance, your core.

The cooler blood then circulates through your body, lowering your internal temperature and helping you drift off without so much trouble.

It turns out your mom did know a thing or two after all. Who knew?

So best of luck, my tossers and turners. I don’t envy you!

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Florida Brewery Creates Edible Six-Pack Rings, Ensuring No Turtles Will Ever Die Eating Them Again

Human activity has put the oceans in extreme peril. There is enough plastic in the oceans to form a minor continent and to say that it’s killing marine wildlife would be putting it too kindly.

Turtles, in particular, can get seriously injured or killed when they get tangled in the plastic rings used to connect six-packs of beer or soft drinks, or when they eat floating plastic bags thinking they’re tasty jellyfish.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Fortunately, one of those problems might have a solution!

A Florida brewery believes they can help end the scourge of six-pack rings ending up in the water. Their goal is to keep turtles and their marine friends healthy and happy, while maintaining the convenience of grabbing a six-pack from the grocery store. To that end, SaltWater Brewery, working in conjunction with startup E6PR, has launched the biodegradable/compostable/edible six-pack ring.

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The craft beer microbrewery, based in Delray Beach, Florida, now uses rings made out of barley and wheat instead of plastic. If the environmentally friendly packaging ends up in the ocean, it begins to break down within 2 hours – plus, it can be safely consumed by turtles and other animals. It should totally biodegrade within 2-3 months, on land  or in the water.

South Florida stores already have the rings on their shelves.

The rings are the first of their kind, and the idea is an excellent one. But the innovation doesn’t come cheap. The Mexican company behind the development, E6PR, is marketing the packaging to other beverage companies in the hopes of both bringing costs down and encouraging the use of plastic alternatives in creative ways.

So, expect to see these on your favorite beverages in the near future (hopefully!).

Just an FYI, the manufacturer does not suggest that anyone actually eat the rings or feed them to wildlife. The best way to dispose of the eco-rings is to put them in a compost pile.

The use of biodegradable packaging is a great development for the Gulf region, which has one of the world’s highest concentrations of plastic trash.

Over 50 other beverage companies have expressed interest in jumping on the edible ring bandwagon, which is a great start to reducing their contribution to our current garbage crisis!

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