V.22 No.26 | 6/27/2013
Time to Sit Up and Review Your Exercise Regimen?
¡Viva la Science!
Maybe you've heard this a jillion times: Core strengthening is vital if you want to avoid injury. But is it true? A new study doesn't conclusively say one way or the other, but it sure casts some doubt on the incredibly common assertion.
In the study, released in the journal Physical Therapy, 1,100 soldiers aged 18 to 35 were divided into two groups. One group used a core stabilization exercise program that lacked sit-ups, while the other used a traditional exercise program that included bent-knee sit-ups. The point was to compare how the two programs affected the rate of musculoskeletal injury.
Why the focus on sit-ups?
Despite longstanding tradition and the widespread popularity of sit-ups, it has been postulated that this exercise results in increased lumbar spine loading, potentially increasing the risks of injury and low back pain (LBP). Specifically, sit-ups produce large shear and compressive forces on intervertebral disks and across the lumbar spine. Increased muscle activation anteriorly results in both initial hyperextension and subsequent hyperflexion of the lumbar spine, contributing to large compressive forces during sit-ups.
Sit-ups have long been an important yardstick by which the US Army measures physical health. But if they're causing injuries, or failing to prevent injuries that core strengthening could prevent, that might need to change.
The results, though, didn't show any massive difference in injuries between the two groups. “There were no differences in the percentages of soldiers with musculoskeletal injuries. There also were no differences in the numbers of days of work restriction for musculoskeletal injuries overall or specific to the upper extremity.”
It’s worth nothing that the results for the two groups weren't identical. Soldiers who completed the traditional exercise program did have more days of work restriction than the other group if their injury was to the low back.
As much as we all like studies that conclusively prove broad truths, the reality is that what we “know” tends to advance in teensy increments. This study is one thread in a much larger tapestry. What it tells us, though, is that sit-ups might not be the bogeyman and core strengthening might not be quite the miracle each has been portrayed as—as usual, more studies are needed.
Via: Saveyourself.ca – check out the lively and informed discussion taking place on their Facebook page
V.22 No.25 | 6/20/2013
The Kinda Good News About Coral Peril
¡Viva la Science!
Marine scientist and paper co-author Adina Paytan points out that it could’ve been worse. “The good news is that they don't just die,” she says, in what one can only imagine to be a hollowly perky tone of voice. “They are able to grow and calcify, but they are not producing robust structures.”
Fortunately, what she’s not saying is that the whole wide world of coral has gone rickety. Scientists, being scientists, work hard to gather data that lets them make predictions about what will happen. In this case, the study focused on coral located near underwater springs off of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where the ocean water becomes naturally more acidic.
Because, though they can simulate conditions in a laboratory, scientists can’t be deliberately acidifying coral environments in the wild, now can they? By looking at a place where coral is already surviving in conditions of higher acidity, the paper’s authors found a site “where nature is already doing the experiments for us,” explains Don Rice, program director in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Ocean Sciences.
For Paytan, the results mix not-terrible news with a concise course of action. "We need to protect corals from other stressors, such as pollution and overfishing. If we can control those, the impact of ocean acidification might not be as bad."
V.22 No.24 | 6/13/2013
Leshaines123 via Flickr
Those Vikings Sure Got Around
¡Viva la Science!
What’s news is that an American researcher from Brown University may have figured out a way to reconstruct a possible voyage undertaken by some of the people who lived there.
Keep in mind that the outpost at L’Anse aux Meadows, consisting of some timber-framed turf buildings, was only occupied for a maximum of 25 years. (And it might’ve been used for a mere two years—scientists just aren’t sure.) So hard evidence is pretty difficult to come by.
What Kevin Smith (the deputy director and chief curator of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, not the Clerks guy) found was that jasper fire starters found near one of the halls at L’Anse aux Meadows most likely came from Notre Dame Bay, 143 miles south of the settlement.
That suggests that Norse explorers left the outpost, went south, and arrived in an area of Newfoundland that’s known to have been heavily populated by the ancestors of the Beothuk people. If they did undertake such a voyage, it’s extremely likely that contact occurred between the indigenous people and the Vikings.
Of course, with so little evidence to go on, the story is largely speculation. It’s not known whether it happened at all, or, if it did, whether it was the very first contact between Europeans and North Americans, or simply a very early example of it. But it’s a lead that gives researchers another clue into the world as it was a millennium ago.
V.22 No.23 | 6/6/2013
Andy Tindle, Open Univeristy
Ancient Egyptian Space Bead
¡Viva la Science!
Did ancient Egyptians make jewelry out of metal from space? According to a new article in Nature, they did indeed.
Archaeologists believe that iron smelting in ancient Egypt started around the sixth century BCE. But an iron bead found in a cemetery in 1911 at Gerzeh, about 43 miles south of Cairo, dates from approximately 3,300 BCE. Scanning electron microscopy, optical imaging and CT scanning revealed the presence of nickel-rich areas on the tube-shaped bead, indicating celestial provenance. The metal, it seems, came from a meteorite.
According to Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley, who co-authored the study that revealed the bead's true nature, the finding offers a clue about the beginnings of the Egyptian religion. “The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians,” she points out. “Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods.”
V.22 No.22 | 5/30/2013
¡Viva la Science!
When tiny arms became crooked legs
Big Bird is a terrible example to us all, at least when it comes to bird anatomy. Check out those gams and you’ll see why. Like humans, real birds are bipedal, but their legs aren’t straight up and down. Instead, bird legs zigzag in such a way that birds are essentially in a permanent crouch, using their muscles to resist gravity. We humans don’t have to do that―our weight is borne passively on our straighter frames.
But of course, we can’t fly. The crouching posture peculiar to birds, says a recent study published in Nature, has everything to do with their evolution from dinosaur ancestors into animals capable of flight.
Previously, it was believed that the bird stance came about as a way for bird bodies to balance as massive T-Rex-style tails disappeared. Using 3-D digital reconstruction, however, the authors of the study determined that the key change was actually in the size of those adorable dinosaur arms. According to co-author John R. Hutchinson:
The tail is the most obvious change if you look at dinosaur bodies. But as we analyzed, and reanalyzed, and punishingly scrutinized our data, we gradually realized that everyone had forgotten to check what influence the forelimbs had on balance and posture, and that this influence was greater than that of the tail or other parts of the body.
Read more about the evolutionary adaptation that made bird flight possible here.
V.21 No.46 |
The Daily Word in BP, poorest president and Pong
BP's looking at a $4.5 billion fine and criminal charges against staff members.
The gap between rich and poor in New Mexico is the widest in the nation.
Pit bull terriers killed a Chihuahua and sent her owner to the hospital.
Debbie O'Malley might remain on the Council and take a seat on the County Commission.
Remember when 48 women training for the military said they'd been sexually assaulted or harassed by their instructors? The Air Force has a weird solution: Trainees must have a wingman all the time.
Nonstop flights from Albuquerque to New York.
FBI investigates death threats against the guy holding the coyote-killing contest in Los Lunas.
The poorest president in the world. "If you don't have many possessions, then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them."
Violence escalates in Gaza and Israel. Rockets kill 15 Palestinians and three Israelis.
Louisiana governor is the first Republican to denounce Mitt Romney's notion that he lost the election because President Obama gave gifts to minorities and youth.
5-Hour Energy shot-like drink blamed for 13 deaths.
Colorado Visitors Bureau plans NOT to capitalize on legal recreational marijuana.
Science looks at rappers' brains to find the basis of improvisation.
Pong is 40-years-old and no one has topped it, says this guy.
How to become as observant as Sherlock Holmes. (Also, "Sherlock," the BBC miniseries available on Netflix instawatch, is dope.)
V.21 No.37 | 9/13/2012
The Daily Word in Bill Clinton, Genesis and Zozobra
I-25 / Paseo overhaul will be on the ballot in November.
Are you going to Zozobra tonight?
Doug Vaughan sentenced to 12 years for Ponzi scheme.
UNM considers making Lobo Village booze-free.
Ex-President Clinton at the DNC, a recap.
Wheelchair rugby players are rock stars.
Does email cause stress?
Freddie Mercury’s private cultural identity.
Prog awards honor Genesis.
Hungarian artist makes a subway stop magical.
Voyager’s getting close to the edge of the solar system.
NASA’s Sunita Williams fixes the International Space Station with a toothbrush.
Jennifer Aniston’s going to be in a movie shooting in New Mexico soon.
V.21 No.36 | 9/6/2012
The Daily Word in Martinez at the RNC, onion nuggets and megalopolises
Hurricane Isaac is grows weaker and heads inland, leaving a soggy mess in its wake.
Someone was keeping a military-grade rocket launcher in a Los Lunas storage unit.
The full text of Gov. Susana Martinez’ speech at the convention last night.
Theft is a big problem at UNM.
100-year-old driver injures kids in L.A.
Do vegetarians and vegans think they’re better than you?
McDonald’s archivist—yes, that’s a real job—says before chicken nuggets, there were onion nuggets.
23 musicians share their paintings. (Results are marginally better than when famous actors record albums.)
Speaking of, here’s cell-phone video of Johnny Depp playing guitar at the Lone Ranger wrap party.
Awkward political candidates: How do they happen?
China’s megalopolises are not fun to inhabit.
Space telescope spots millions of supermassive black holes.
How to listen.
Subscribe to this service and get boxes full of things.
V.21 No.32 |
The Daily Word in Olympic bodies, X-Files, the future
Behold! The surface of Mars. Looks strangely … familiar.
Someone robs an elderly woman in the South Valley, so two APD officers help her out with gift cards and cash.
Want to buy an APS barrack? (No. But I'll take a gold bar.)
13-year-old shoots a camera-phone video of her bus driver touching girls, saves the day.
How Olympic bodies have changed over time.
The oldest person competing in the Olympics.
Dumbest Olympic dive.
Mulder and Scully might be dating.
Young Sikh Americans speak out.
U.S. starts to clean up Agent Orange in Vietnam. You know. The birth-defect causing chemical our military dumped there more than 30 years ago.
Christina Hendricks is—surprise to the reporter!—way smart.
No one can steal Pussy Riot's inner freedom.
V.21 No.31 |
The Daily Word in Judo, Annan and Doctor Who
A smiling tribute to American blubber was stolen from Dairy Queen.
Horse owners like N.M. horse slaughterhouse.
Ex-APD officer who kicked a suspect in the head a bunch of times wants his job back.
Kofi Annan quits gig as Syrian peace envoy because no one's got his back.
Bone marrow transplants eradicate HIV.
What Robyn Lawley—the prestigious plus-size lacy underpants model—eats.
The lady who takes pictures of babies dressed like flowers and peas and things is totally nuts. (Satire)
The Olympic rings as fascinating infographics for nerds like me.
Is being an Olympic gymnast any fun anymore?
Swimmer Ryan Lochte digs one night stands, says his mom.
Kayla Harrison becomes the first American to win the gold in Judo.
How not to write about female musicians.
"Doctor Who" trailer for series 7 features dinosaurs.
V.21 No.30 |
The Daily Word in Olympic fonts and shrunken heads
Food prices set to rise as a result of drought.
Jon Stewart breaks down Obama's "you didn't build that" controversy.
Los Angeles city council bans marijuana dispensaries.
USDA apologizes for suggesting that maybe one day a week you cool it with the meat.
What's going on at Michael Jackson's house?
How to deal with your terrible
Cal Ripken's mom safe at home after kidnapping.
Man sued for downloading porn countersues for defamation.
Designers reveal the Rio 2016 Olympics typeface.
Please tell me you didn't buy one of those tortilla bowl pans.
Scientists prove shrunken heads are real, with science.
V.21 No.25 |
The Daily Word in $3 gas, dirty veggies and peaceful Iceland
Firefighters gain the upper hand in the Bosque.
Taliban attacks a hotel in Kabul.
Gas might go back down to $3 per gallon.
The Sandusky jury deliberates without hearing accusations from his foster son.
The highest temperatures on record in the U.S.
Dirty dozen list shows fruits and veggies with the most pesticides.
Police officers in Santa Fe who lie or participate in sexual misconduct can be fired immediately under a new policy.
What has come true from Blade Runner?
Find out where the rich keep their private islands.
Denham Fouts inspired his lovers and benefactors with cool disinterest.
Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world.
Cat shreds despite earthquake.
Science. It's a girl thing. Like sexiness and makeup.
The British Monarchy is hiring.
V.21 No.12 |
The Daily Word in racist comics, staff cuts for Newt and Winrock revitalization
Why is a there an effort to smear the reputation of Trayvon Martin?
Construction to revitalize Winrock Mall begins next week.
Dude, this racist cartoon is pretty racist, even for Texas.
Guess which Republican Presidential candidate just let go of a third of his full-time staff?
Magdalena's only grocery store is closing.
Fox News hoodies disappear from online store and somehow it's not a conspiracy.
New species of hammerhead shark discovered.
'Dinosaur' and 'dancing' are some of the 50 forbidden words to be removed from standardized tests in New York.
JFK airport employees responsible for 200 thefts per day.
Pharmacies are lying to teenagers about emergency contraception.
Sometimes it's hard being an
Taiwanese woman chats with Facebook friends as she kills herself.
According to a new study, rubbing toothpaste onto your teeth with your fingers will increase fluoride protection by a whopping 400%.
Someone's got a case of the Mondays.
Watch 130 'Simpsons' openings at the same time, for science.
Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson says "Thick as a Brick 2" is coming.
Trailer for a new "Lupin the 3rd" TV series.
Laugh at these treadmill fails.
De-porn your browser before your mom comes to visit.
Hey, remember Luscious Jackson?
V.21 No.6 |
The Daily Word in heavy baby, Icelandic incest and yoga
Belen police chief: "It always raises a red flag for us when we see a sex offender trying to get into the girls bathroom."
Some APD officers make more than the mayor.
Have you seen this missing girl?
JFK mistress speaks out in book form.
15.5 pound baby born in China.
Mickey D's minty green Shamrock Shake goes nationwide.
R.I.P. Florence Green, the last WWI
Can porn be copyrighted?
A website in Iceland helps residents avoid accidental incest.
Maps of stereotypes.
Some yoga is dangerous, but it's mostly awesome, says some guy in his new book.
V.21 No.4 | 1/26/2012
Made of Bright Light
Scientist reflects on his psychedelic research
Over the course of five years in the early ’90s, Dr. Rick Strassman dosed 400 volunteers with DMT at the University of New Mexico. He spoke with us about his study, the Old Testament and alien abduction, among other things.
Bad Penguin Comedy Show! at Box Performance Space and Improv Theatre
Gildan New Mexico Bowl at University of New Mexico Athletic DepartmentMore Recommented Events ››