News stories from across the nation….from BasinLife.com
TUESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2019
The battle to remove President Trump continues with House Democrats who are expected to vote tomorrow whether to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi met privately Tuesday at the Capitol with her Democratic caucus to discuss the charges and what to do next to make their case stick. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opened the Senate on Tuesday scoffing at the House’s “bizarro” impeachment strategy. He meets later with Republican senators on terms of the trial.
Trump is charged with abuse of power for pushing Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden as he withheld aid to Ukraine. Trump is also charged with obstructing Congress’ probe. The charges seem weak to many Senate Republicans and what will happen if they receive them is unknown. President Trump has denied wrongdoing. Stay tuned.
Americans are dying of heart disease and strokes at a rising rate in middle age, normally considered the prime years of life.
A new report and analysis of U.S. mortality statistics shows the problem is geographically widespread. Death rates from cardiovascular disease among people between the ages of 45 and 64 are rising in cities all across the country, including in some of the most unlikely places.
The findings suggest that the underlying causes of cardiovascular disease are universal and difficult to address, public-health officials and doctors say. While the Southern states and some other parts of the nation have perpetually high rates of death from heart disease and strokes, middle-aged cardiovascular death rates are rising even in places where those rates have been historically low.
“It’s everywhere,” said Judy Hannan, senior adviser at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to Million Hearts, a federal initiative to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Health officials cite a number of factors threatening to rob even Colorado of its historically healthy status. The state’s adult obesity and diabetes rates, though still the lowest in the nation, have risen over the past several years. High blood pressure, drug and alcohol use, stress and a lack of physical activity—even in an exercise-mad state—also play a role, they say. These factors also increase risk for people who are genetically disposed to heart disease, doctors say.
“We’re experiencing the same phenomena that the rest of the country is experiencing,” said Kirk Bol, manager of the vital statistics program at the state’s Department of Public Health & Environment.
In Iran, the country is completely under unrest although Iran’s judiciary says arrests have been made over the shootdown of a Ukrainian plane that killed all 176 people on board.
An Iranian judiciary spokesman says “extensive investigations have taken place and some individuals are arrested.” He was quoted by Iranian state media on Tuesday, but didn’t say how many individuals have been detained or name them. Also, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for a special court to be set up to try those responsible for the plane shootdown.
The developments come amid an upswell of anger and protests by Iranians in recent days over apparent attempts by senior officials to cover up the cause of the crash.
Queen Elizabeth said on Monday that she would allow Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, to make a transition to being part-time royals, splitting their time between Britain and Canada and supporting themselves.
In a statement she said, “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family … we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
Is your mid-life crisis real or not?
An academic study led by an economist (Dartmouth College) has pinpointed the precise age we hit a midlife crisis: 47.2 years old. Professor David Blanchflower studied data across 132 countries to measure the relationship between wellbeing and age. Your mid-life crisis could be real.
… He concluded that in every country there is a “happiness curve” which is U-shaped over lifetimes. It 48.2 years in developing nations and 47.2 years in advanced countries.
Cheetos trying to get in the news before the Superbowl.
What do you call the orange residue you get on your fingers after eating Cheetos? You obviously call it “Cheeto dust.” Cheeto dust and maybe “Cheeto fingers,” but Cheeto dust is the preferred designation.
… Not so fast, says Cheetos. Frito-Lay has announced that the proper term for the orange powder on your fingers is called “Cheetle.” We’re not buying it, but Cheetos mascot Chester the Cheetah confirmed the Cheetle name on Twitter.
A selfie every day for twenty years.
Before photo-a-day selfie timelapses were a popular project, photographer Noah Kalina helped the idea explode into mainstream awareness with his viral 2006 video titled “everyday.” Kalina hasn’t stopped since, and his latest video features 20 years of his life passing in 8 minutes. Kalina has faithfully photographed his face once a day starting from January 11, 2000. The video includes over 7,260 photos, and the project continues to be a work in progress.
… Kalina’s YouTube channel now features three videos: the original 6-year video, the 12-year video released in 2012, and the latest 20-year timelapse.
A South African man seeking a Guinness World Record said he is nearly two months into his attempt to spend 67 days living in a barrel at the top of a pole.
Today (Tuesday) is Vernon Kruger’s 61st day in the wine barrel mounted to the top of the pole (in Dullstroom) and said he expects to break the Guinness World Record at 11:32 AM Jan 20 — although that won’t mark the end of his attempt.
… Kruger said he is planning to beat the record by a full week, possibly longer. He said his biggest safety concern at the top of the pole is lightning. Kruger said a bolt of lightning narrowly missed his pole only a few days into his attempt.
Motorcycle and scooter riders….wear your helmet.
Wear your helmet. According to a recent study, not wearing headgear or taking other precautions while riding is increasingly sending young people to the hospital — leading to more than 40,000 broken bones, head wounds and other injuries. Unfortunately, less than 5% of riders in the study were found to be wearing their helmet, leading to nearly one-third of patients having a head injury. That’s more than double the rate of head injuries experienced by bicyclists.
The New York Public Library has been loaning books for a long time — the institution turns 125 this year.
To celebrate, the library dug into its records and calculated a list of the 10 books that have been checked out the most in its history.
… The most-wanted book? The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The award-winning tale of a young boy’s encounter with snow has been checked out 485,583 times from the NYPL since it was published in 1962.
… Next is The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss: 469,650 checkouts; then 1984 by George Orwell: 441,770 checkouts; Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak: 436,016 checkouts; and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: 422,912 checkouts.
… The bottom five: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White: 337,948 checkouts; Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: 316,404 checkouts; How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: 284,524 checkouts; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling: 231,022 checkouts; The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle: 189,550 checkouts.
A new priest named Mindar is delivering sermons at a 400-year-old Buddhist temple (Kodaiji) in Kyoto, Japan.
Like other clergy members, this priest can move around to interface with worshippers. But Mindar comes with some unusual traits. A body made of aluminum and silicone, for starters. Mindar is a robot. Designed to look like Kannon, the Buddhist deity of mercy, the $1 million machine is an attempt to reignite people’s passion for their faith in a country where religious affiliation is on the decline.
… For now, Mindar is not AI-powered. It just recites the same preprogrammed sermon about the Heart Sutra over and over. But the robot’s creators say they plan to give it machine-learning capabilities that’ll enable it to tailor feedback to worshippers’ specific spiritual and ethical problems.
For all the talk of robots and drones taking over the delivery of packages, a man in northeast China is way ahead of the game.
He has modified a remote-controlled toy truck so it can carry small packages across a frozen river, delivering products such as medicines to the many elderly residents of a village on the opposite bank. The courier said the local village is surrounded by mountains and hard to get to when the river is frozen, so he had to come up with a solution to deliver the urgently needed packages. Because of the open area of the frozen river, the little truck’s remote control has greater range.
Most Americans don’t know when they’re taxes are do.
Do you when the tax deadline is? According to new research, less than a third of Americans know when taxes are due this year. The survey found 27 percent of Americans were able to correctly identify April 15 as the official day taxes are due.
… When the refund comes, 44 percent plan to pay off their credit card bills while 36 percent want to make their money grow by investing it.
Are you busy?
Have you ever lied about making it to the gym? If so, you’re not alone since one in five have lied about working out. According to a survey, 19 percent of adults have lied about working out — and 37 percent admit doing so in order to convince someone else they were busy.
… 35 percent lie about going to the gym to impress someone.
Researchers say playing Mozart music to premature babies seems to help them gain weight faster and become stronger.
Once a day for two consecutive days, doctors played either 30 minutes of music by the 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, or no music, to 20 pre-term babies (at Tel Aviv Medical Center in Israel). After listening to the music, the babies were calmer and so expended less energy than the no-music group. When babies’ energy expenditure is decreased, they don’t need as many calories to grow, so can gain weight and thrive more quickly — exactly what preemies need.
If you think staying in bed on the weekends will make up for a weeks’ worth of sleep deprivation, think again. A new study finds that going long periods without sleep can lead to a sort of “sleep debt” that cannot simply be undone with a little extra snoozing from time to time. Such chronic sleep loss may eventually interfere with a person’s performance on tasks that require focus, becoming particularly noticeable at nighttime when the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle isn’t giving you an extra boost.
… Anyone who’s ever pulled an all-nighter knows how debilitating sleep loss can be in the short term. Studies show that after 24 hours without sleep, a person’s performance can drop to the level of someone who is legally drunk.