Blog Posts by Newser

  • Most of last year's 2M finishers were females(Newser) - Female runners are making half-marathons the sport's most popular distance race, reports Runner's World. It takes note of new stats from Running USA showing that a record 1.95 million people finished a 13.1-mile race last year, which marks a 6% increase from the previous year and an astonishing six-fold rise since 1990. Of last year's finishers, 61% were women, up from 53% in 2004.

    "Runners, it seems, are divided between people committed to running for maybe 40 minutes and people ready to hoof it for more than two hours," observes Rose Eveleth at Smithsonian. "If you fall somewhere in between, well, maybe it's about time you try for 13.1 miles. Everyone else is."


    More From Newser.com:

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    Meet the Queen of Ultrarunning
    Your Earwax Says a Lot About You
    5 Servings of Fruit, Veggies Don't Cut It

    Photo Credit: Flickr, nihonbunka

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  • But is napping the cause, or just a symptom? It's unclear(Newser) - We all know how important it is to get enough sleep-but a new study suggests that daytime napping may actually increase your risk of an early death. Researchers looked at more than 16,000 British adults over a 13-year period, and found that those who slept for an hour or more during the day were almost a third more likely to die prematurely, the Daily Mail reports. Specifically, they were more likely to die from lung diseases, and researchers say napping could contribute to respiratory ailments by triggering inflammation in the body. However, the researchers note that napping may simply be an early sign that your health is in danger, rather than the cause of the problem, the Independent notes.

    In fact, one expert who did not take part in the study suggests, in people with serious lung problems, the naps "may not have hastened death but delayed it." And he notes that the findings show that 85% of people who napped less than one hour a day were at no higher risk of a

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  • The Surprising Age when Men Get Grumpy

    A grumpy young old manIf you're a male who's approaching 50, good news: A recent study found that 80% of the 1,315 men surveyed found that life improved around 50, as opposed to the 20% who said life didn't get easier until retirement age. But the good times apparently have an expiration date. The men found that their happiness began to diminish around age 70, which NPR dubs "the approximate moment when grumpiness kicks in for men."

    The study, published in March's Psychology and Aging, shed some light on why the men, who were between the ages of 53 and 85 during the 15-year study, found that life improved at first, then started to be a downer around 70.

    "Older adults," referring to those around 50, "on average have fewer hassles-and respond to them better-than younger adults," explains lead author Carolyn Aldwin. But as decades pass new "hassles" set in, and how the men "appraised" them changed.

    Per a press release, appraisals of hassles improved during one's 60s, then downgraded in one's 70s

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  • Cuddling cats(Newser) - It may be better for your health to sleep in a separate bed than your partner-but a new study finds that the happiest couples are those who sleep close together. Very close together, as in less than an inch apart. A survey of 1,000 people found that those who kept such close parameters had an 86% chance of reporting they were satisfied in their relationship, compared to 66% for those who slept 30 inches apart or more, the Telegraph reports. Another predictor of relationship happiness: touch. While 94% of couples who made physical contact throughout the night reported a happy relationship, just 68% of couples who kept their distance did the same.

    The survey also looked into how, exactly, the couples slept together: 42% back-to-back, 31% facing the same direction, and 4% face-to-face. The happiest positions? Well, according to the Independent, 91% of people who reported sleeping with their backs touching also reported a happy relationship, as did 91% of people who reported

    Read More »from What Your Sleeping Style Says About Your Relationship
  • Pregnant Woman Dies After Horrifying Medical Mixup

    Maria De Jesus had appendicitis, but her right ovary was taken out(Newser) - As far as medical mix-ups go, it's a horrifying one. In October 2011, a 32-year-old woman underwent an operation at Queen's Hospital outside of London; Maria De Jesus was suffering from appendicitis and needed to have her appendix removed. Instead, her right ovary was taken out, and De Jesus, who was 21 weeks pregnant with her fourth child at the time, ended up dying roughly three weeks later. The case is now in front of a medical tribunal, which is weighing the medical fates of the two doctors involved, then-trainee surgeon Dr. Yahya Al-Abed, and Dr. Babatunde Coker, who was supposed to be supervising him.

    During the Oct. 23 surgery, De Jesus began to bleed "quite heavily. ... In the midst of this, Mr. Al-Abed removed what he clearly believed to be the appendix. He thought he found it, removed it, and gave to a nurse what later turned out to be Patient A's ovary," the tribunal heard. Coker, who was eating lunch at the time, was never summoned, nor was he aware the surgery

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  • Women File Lawsuit: 'Slimming' Underwear Doesn't Slim

    They want class-action status for their false-advertising lawsuitUndergarments made with seemingly magical fabric that can help you lose weight: sound too good to be true? Well, according to two Massachusetts women, it is. Annique Bellot and Tara Stefani are suing Maidenform Brands and Wacoal America over garments they sell with the claim that they'll help you slim down (think names like iPant and Instant Slimmer). The garments are made with fabric by Nurel SA of Spain, which is supposedly "constructed with minerals and nutrients that are absorbed by the skin and can permanently change women's body shape and skin tone," the East Bay Business Times reports. (Basically, fat-destroying vitamins, Metro International notes).

    But apparently Bellot and Stefani didn't see the advertised results. They say in their lawsuit, for which they're seeking class-action status, that the undergarments are sold with false advertising and misrepresentation, tricking women into paying as much as a 50% premium. Why use that tactic? "To prey upon women's insecurities

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  • Pregnant and Gained Less Than 25lbs? Bad News

    ...minimal weight gain tied to increased obesity risk for child(Newser) - The amount of weight a mom-to-be gains during pregnancy may have a link to the weight of the child she bears, a new study finds. Gaining either too much or too little weight can both result in a greater chance that child will be obese, LiveScience reports. The research followed 4,145 women and their kids between ages 2 and 5. What they found:

    -Women with a normal body mass index before pregnancy are advised to gain 25 to 35 pounds; those who gained less were 63% more likely to have an overweight or obese kid.

    -Moms in that group who gained more than that recommended amount were 80% more likely to have an overweight or obese kid.

    -Of all women who gained less than the recommended amount of weight, some 19.5% had overweight or obese kids.

    -Of those who gained more, 20.4% had kids in that category; that's compared to 14.5% of kids whose moms gained the recommended amount of weight. Why?

    "Gaining either too little or too much weight in pregnancy may permanently

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  • New Hampshire Cheaters Rejoice: Adultery May Soon Be Legal

    State aims to repeal ban on cheating(Newser) - Technically, it's a crime to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire, though the anti-adultery law hasn't been enforced in more than 10 years. But soon, you may only need to worry about the moral ramifications of stepping out on your husband or wife, not the potential legal ones.

    Rep. Tim O'Flaherty, a Democrat, sponsored a House bill to repeal the statute, which dates back to the early 1800s, the AP reports. The House passed the bill; if the Senate does the same on Thursday (and it's expected to, the Washington Post reports), the governor has said she will likely sign it, meaning it would go into effect January 1.

    Adultery is currently a misdemeanor punishable by a fine as high as $1,200. O'Flaherty held a public hearing last month on his measure, and the only person to argue in favor of keeping the adultery ban was a man who once attempted to file a criminal adultery complaint against his wife; she was never charged with a crime. His argument: "If we retain adultery as

    Read More »from New Hampshire Cheaters Rejoice: Adultery May Soon Be Legal
  • A Pregnancy Mixup Leaves One Woman Pregnant with Another Couple's Twins

    Italian woman didn't learn of the December mistake for 3 months(Newser) - "Mix-up" is a word best left out of sentences involving another word: pregnancy. But the two are making headlines together following yesterday's report that a woman in Rome became pregnant with twins after undergoing fertility treatment-except the embryos she was implanted with weren't those of her and her partner. The woman wasn't alerted to the issue until she was three months along. The AFP reports the switch somehow happened on Dec. 4 at the Sandro Pertini Hospital in Rome. Four couples received treatment that day, and it's unclear whether any other improper pregnancies resulted.

    There's also no word on how the mix-up came to light, though Rome's health authority said it learned there was "genetic incompatibility" between the parents and embryos on March 27. The country's health ministry is now investigating, and no further implantations are being done at the clinic.

    It's far from the first time this has happened: In 2009 an Ohio woman implanted with the wrong

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  • The Surprising Place Where Bee Stings Are Most Painful

    A colony of bees(Newser) - Where would it hurt more to get stung by a bee: on a testicle or on a nostril? It was this burning question that led Michael Smith, a graduate student at Cornell University studying honeybees, to his latest research.

    After being stung on the testicle and realizing it didn't hurt as much as one might think it would, Smith decided to use himself as the subject of an experiment with the goal of charting the worst places to get stung by a bee.

    The most painful, according to National Geographic, in descending order: the nostril, upper lip, and penis. The least painful: the skull, the upper arm, and the tip of the middle toe. Smith's methods sound pretty awful: He gave himself five stings a day for 38 days, ultimately stinging 25 body parts multiple times.

    "Some locations required the use of a mirror and an erect posture during stinging (eg, buttocks)," he wrote in his amusing paper on the matter. He rated the painfulness of each sting on a scale from 1 to 10, and found

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