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Health and Fitness News and Notes

By Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times Stress Disorders Tied to Autoimmune Disease Having a stress-related psychiatric condition may increase the risk for autoimmune disease, a new study concludes. Stress is known to cause physiological changes, including changes in immune function, but evidence that links it to specific diseases is limited. This study, in JAMA, used a Swedish database of 106,464 patients who had a severe stress condition, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress reaction or adjustment disorder. They compared them with 1,064,640 people free of stress-related disorders and with 126,652 of their stress-free siblings. During an average 10 years of follow-up, there were 8,284 cases of autoimmune disease among those diagnosed with a stress disorder, 57,711 among those without one, and 8,151 among the unstressed siblings. After controlling for other risk factors, they found that compared with those who had not had severe stress, those with any stress-related disorder were 36 percent more likely to have an autoimmune disease, and 29 percent more likely than their unstressed siblings. People with a PTSD diagnosis were at especially high risk — they were 46 percent more likely to develop an autoimmune illness. “Stress really affects long-term health,” said the lead author, Dr. Huan Song, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Iceland. “It affects not only psychiatric health, but leaves people vulnerable to other diseases. There are many treatments now available for stress-related disorders, and it’s important for people to get […]

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A heat wave made this bridge too swole to function

Firefighters had to hose down the DuSable Bridge in Chicago after the steel surface spiked to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It was so hot last week, even steel bridges were sweating. The DuSable Bridge in Chicago overheated enough to stop working. While it wasn’t dangerous for drivers, the bridge couldn’t open for boats, and had to be closed for a half hour while firefighters hosed it down with cold water. The 98-year-old double-decker bridge shuttles two levels of traffic back and forth over the Chicago River, and opens its decks to the heavens to let sailboats pass through. Baking under the sun for days on end, the joints of the steel bridge swelled, and were stuck in place. Luis Benitez, chief bridge engineer for the Chicago Department of Transportation, says the surface temperature of the bridge had climbed above 100°F that week. The steel finger joints—long, finger-like parts that accommodate expansion as cars travel over the bridge—interlock leaving a bit of space between each part, but the heat caused them to expand enough to rub together. You can think of it like a bridge with arthritis; the joints had become too inflamed to move properly. “The temperature was getting too hot, and the bridge isn’t just expanding longitudinally, it was expanding sideways,” says Benitez. “Those two pieces of metal started rubbing together causing friction. Everything is so finely tuned, if you tried to force them apart, those joints can […]

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North Korea: US is making ‘gangster-like’ demands on denuclearization

North Korea has accused the US of using “gangster-like” tactics to push it towards nuclear disarmament after a fresh round of high-level talks. It branded the US attitude at the meeting as “extremely troubling”. The statement, by an unnamed foreign ministry official, gave a starkly different account from one provided by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just hours before. He had said progress was made during his two-day visit to Pyongyang. It is the first time he has visited North Korea since a summit between Donald Trump and Kim […]

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Thai cave rescue: Four boys freed but rest must wait

The operation to free 12 boys and their coach from a cave in northern Thailand is running “smoothly”, the head of the operation says. Four boys have been brought above ground, rescuers say. The mission has now been paused for at least 10 hours as their oxygen tanks need to be replaced. Rescuers decided to go ahead with the hazardous operation on Sunday because of fears of rising waters. The next phase would begin on Monday morning, after relaying “all of the air tanks and all systems along the way”, […]

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The 10 best places to go on vacation this summer in the US, according to TripAdvisor

  Lake George, New York, is one of TripAdvisor’s hottest destinations for a summer vacation. As temperatures rise across the United States, travelers are hard at work planning their summer getaways. If you’re having trouble choosing a summer vacation spot, TripAdvisor can give you an assist — the travel website revealed its annual list of the hottest summer destinations in the US on Tuesday. The destinations, which range from cozy mountain towns out West and sunny beach spots on the Atlantic coast, were chosen for having the greatest increase in […]

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Get your phone’s AI assistant to actually assist you

It does much more than answering trivia questions. Your smartphone’s artificially intelligent assistant can provide almost any fact on demand, from the capital of France to the number of bananas in a loaf of banana bread. But this app does much more than answer random trivia questions. It can also organize your life, adjust your phone’s settings, control smart gadgets, play music, and more. This guide will focus on how to use these features with Siri on iOS and Google Assistant on Android. Other AI assistants—such as Bixby for Samsung […]

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It’s Been a Lousy Week in Politics, and Some of It Is Obama’s Fault

It’s been a horrible week in politics, and it just keeps getting worse. Now, I don’t entirely agree with my colleague Terrell J. Starr’s assessment from yesterday. I don’t think we’re fucked—yet. But if we are collectively watching the movie of America on a date with Authoritarianism, then they just finished dinner, canceled Uber and are heading up to the hotel room for a few more “drinks.” We all know where this is going. Donald Trump will appoint a maniac, right-wing justice who will be 15 minutes out of law […]

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Lebron James to sign four-year, $154 million deal with Los Angeles Lakers

Update: The management group representing LeBron James has indicated the NBA star will sign a four-year, $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. Update: LeBron James told the Cleveland Cavaliers he would not exercise his $35.6 million contract option next season, making him an unrestricted free agent. NBA teams can begin negotiations with free agent players on Sunday. Cleveland remains a strong possibility, but the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia Sixers are also strong contenders for the NBA star. (Original story) NBA star LeBron James will reportedly be an unrestricted free […]

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Indiana police say they seized ‘Trump-shaped ecstasy pills’

PERU, Ind. (AP) — Some drug traffickers appear to be using President Donald Trump’s image to brand their illegal wares. An Indiana State Police news release about 129 arrests in a series of drug busts in northern Indiana includes a photo of what police describe as “Trump-shaped ecstasy pills.” They are orange and stamped with a face. On the back are the words “great again,” an apparent reference to Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Traffickers sometimes produce uniquely shaped or colored drugs as a marketing technique to encourage […]

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Animal Science Hosts Multi-State Livestock Judging Camp

June 26, 2018 Each year, the University of Arkansas Department of Animal Science hosts a livestock judging camp at the Pauline Whitaker Animal Science Center. Youth from all over Arkansas and surrounding states have the opportunity to learn about the priorities in livestock selection, update themselves on current industry trends, and improve communication skills through oral reasons workshops and presentations.  Fifty-one students ranging in age from 6 to 17 participated in this year’s camp, which was held Monday, June 4, through Thursday, June 7. Students were divided into three divisions […]

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