Daily Archives: January 17, 2011

On This Day…


Photo by tauntingpanda

On January 17, 1893, the monarchy of Hawai’i was overthrown when a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate.

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Teen Pregnancies Hit 70-Year Low

So, forget Infants with Infants or Teen Moms or 16 and Pregnant or whatever other shows there are on about teenage girls with babies. (Is it obvious I don’t have cable?) The National Center for Health Statistics announced that 2009 had the lowest rate of teen births (39.1 per 1000) in 70 years.

Personally, I blame teenage obesity and bedbugs, to which I say: well done bedbugs!

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Oldest African-American Woman Passes Away at 113

Mississippi Winn, the former domestic worker from Shreveport, Louisiana, passed away Friday afternoon at 113 years of age. In March, on her 113th birthday, the mayor of Shreveport declared “Miss Mississippi Winn Day.”

Winn, known locally as “Sweetie,” died Friday afternoon at Magnolia Manor Nursing Home. She had lived on her own until age 103.

Winn was believed to be the oldest living African-American and the seventh oldest living person in the world, said Robert Young of the Gerontology Research Group, which verifies information for the Guinness World Records.

Young said Winn was one of two known people left in the United States whose parents were born into slavery, though Winn never acknowledged knowing anything about her parents’ early years. Winn was one of eight children, including a sister who died in 2000 at age 100.

Mamie Rearden, 112, of Edgefield, South Carolina, is currently the oldest living African-American. Eunice Sanborn, 114, of Jacksonville, Texas, is the world’s oldest person.

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Study: Eating Carrots Makes You Hot

Photo by iLoveButter

A new British study has announced that eating strongly colored fruits and vegetables (such as carrots) makes people more attractive.

Researchers at St. Andrews and Bristol found that people with a yellow skin tone are perceived as being especially attractive and healthy.

They also established for the first time – even though we’ve all known this our whole lives – that the yellow pigments (carotenoids) in certain fruits and vegetables produces yellowness in skin. It takes just two months of increased fruit and vegetable consumption to produce yellowing results.

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No, Really – Clowns Increase Chances of Pregnancy

Image by mimentza.

A study in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility concludes that being entertained by a clown shortly after in vitro fertilization increases the chances of pregnancy.

The study involved 219 women, half of whom were treated to a “medical clowning encounter” just after IVF.

Thirty-six percent of the women treated to a twenty-minute clown routine after in vitro became pregnant. Twenty percent of the women who did not have a “clowning encounter” got pregnant.

The study’s author, Dr. Shevach Friedler, is a graduate of the Jacques Lecoq school of mime and theatre in Paris. “My background is in clowning and movement,” he told Nature.com in a 2006 interview. “I’m also a physician who works in IVF. I thought we could combine the two.”

To find out more about this alternately funny and terrifying study, check out The Guardian.

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Chill Out – Your Zodiac Sign Hasn’t Changed

This week, the big news was that we’d all been reading the wrong horoscopes for our entire lives. It was all because an astronomy professor from the University of Minnesota gave an interview in which he said that since Earth’s rotation is different now than it was when the Zodiac was created, all of our signs shifted.

This wasn’t the first, or the second, or even the third time this story was reported, but way back as far as July 2010, there weren’t so many birds falling from the sky, so we didn’t all pay attention to the world falling down around us like we do today.

Anyway, the reason your Zodiac sign hasn’t changed is that the tropical Zodiac (which most Westerners follow) hasn’t changed. And, oh, yeah, that U.M. professor said he was misquoted, anyway.

Read more:

Your Astrological Sign Isn’t Really Changing, But It Was Fun While It Lasted (Jezebel)

No, your zodiac sign hasn’t changed (CNN)

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An Encouraging Look at Our Economy

In a rather mind-blowing map, The Economist has compared gross domestic product from the world’s countries with U.S. states. Click on the link above to go to a more detailed explanation, as well as a population comparison.  Amazing. [Via The Hairpin]

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