The World Health Organization launched a website Tuesday it hopes will help cut the estimated 100,000 deaths caused annually by snake poison. The site contains a database of approved antivenoms to treat the 2.5 million people who suffer venomous bites each year, the U.N. health agency said. Antivenoms – antidotes developed from the venom itself – can prevent disability or death, but WHO says many are inappropriate and have led to a loss of confidence among doctors and patients, especially in tropical and subtropical countries. ***MARLAR: The WHO is highly recommending that you simply not get bit by a snake.
I just heard on talk radio “Greece is the warning… we (the U.S.) are no different.” ***MARLAR: That’s odd, because I’d always heard “Greece is the WORD.”
A radio station in New York is being criticized for trying to sound peppier than its rivals by speeding up records to the point that the singing almost sounds like chipmunks. ***MARLAR: I know it’s unethical, but how can you argue with anything that gets a Lady Gaga song over with 20% faster?
It could be that how fat you are is determined not just by what you put in your stomach, but also by what’s already there. Researchers found that fat people — and fat mice, for that matter — have more of a particular kind of bacteria in their gut than skinny mice and skinny people do. They’re not sure if more of the bacteria makes you fat — or if fat people grow more of the bacteria. But the lead author of the study in the journal “Nature” says it appears that a “microbial component” may contribute to obesity. ***MARLAR: I’m not a glutton, I just have a bacterial infection!
Civil rights for robots? It could be coming. A study released by the British government says someday robots might become so advanced, they could demand their independence. The U-K Office of Science and Innovation foresees the day when robots will be able to reproduce and think for themselves. But don’t look for a robot revolution anytime soon. The study says independence for robots probably won’t be much of an issue until the mid-21st century. ***MARLAR: However, they are cautioning people NOT to name their kids John or Sarah Connor.
Two companies, one in Maine and one in Florida, are marketing machines that are a new fad in seafood restaurants. They combine a claw machine game with a lobster tank: for $2, you get a chance to grab a lobster, and if you do, it’s cooked for you for free. But it’s even harder than a regular claw machine because the lobsters try to elude capture. The maker says it’s just good fun, but a PETA spokeswoman called it “absolutely hideous” to “turn animal cruelty into a game.” ***MARLAR: So don’t play with your food, just boil it alive.
If you think you’re getting too much homework, don’t bother whining to your parents about it. A new survey finds that most parents say their children get the right amount of homework, and most teachers agree. If anything, parents and teachers say the homework load is too light. There were some other interesting results in the poll. They found that less educated parents spend more time helping kids with take-home assignments and the most affluent parents spend the least time. Women spend an average 46 minutes a day helping with homework. Men spend 35 minutes. A majority of parents and teachers also agreed that the subject that students needed the most help with was math. ***MARLAR: A majority… that’s like almost 50%, right?
Walgreen’s is stocking a new hand lotion that contains nicotine and claims to stop your craving for a cigarette for up to 4 hours. ***MARLAR: Actually, you still want a cigarette, but your fingers are just too slippery to hold one.