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Redheads Require More Anesthesia

By Kaye Nemec

It seems ridiculous to say out loud, but the fact of the matter is that studies have proven that redheads actually require more anesthesia than blondes, brunettes etc. In 2004 a study was published in Anesthesiology that found that up to 20% more anesthetic was needed to achieve the same result in redheads that had been achieved in the blondes and brunettes taking part in the study.

So how does this make any sense? Without getting all scientific (those details can be found here) the bottom line is that redheads have specific mutations on the MCR1 gene that not only increase expression of red pigment but may also be involved with the function of the central nervous system.

This study opened the door for scientists to learn more and more about anesthesia and how it affects different patients. Do you know people who swear Tylenol or Ibuprofen doesn’t do anything for them? How about people who swear they have to take more than the recommended dosage in order for the medicine to take effect? Perhaps there is some truth to their claims after all. This study is a breakthrough in what could be a detailed explanation of how different people are affected by different medications.

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Sources: OR.orgMedscape, Discovery Health

Photo: Johnnyalive

May 20, 2011 at 2:00 am 47 comments

Searing Meat Does Not Lock in Moisture

By Terry D. Johnson

The idea that searing meat locks in the juices has been around since the middle of the 19th century. According to the theory, searing changes the structure of the outside of the meat, preventing the escape of moisture during subsequent cooking. It’s still a popular technique – despite demonstrably failing at its purported task.

This is a simple enough one to test. Take two cuts of meat, sear one, cook both, and weigh them to determine whether the seared meat loses less moisture than the unseared cut. Numerous experiments have shown that the seared meat typically loses at least as much moisture, and possibly more.

Does this mean you should avoid searing meat entirely? Not at all. Browning (or caramelization) of the meat’s surface will introduce flavors and texture. A good sear is still a worthy component of a good chef’s toolbox – but not because it laminates your prime rib.

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Source: The Food Lab
Image: Wikimedia Commons

May 16, 2011 at 2:00 am 9 comments

Babies Don’t Find Yawning Contagious

By Kaye Nemec

You’ll probably find yourself yawning throughout this post. For adults, talking about yawning, reading about yawning and watching someone yawn is oftentimes contagious. In fact, at least 50% of adults will automatically yawn if they see another person yawning.

But this contagious behavior does not develop in children until around the age of five. Before age five babies will yawn as a sign of tiredness, but usually only a couple of times per day. On average, adults yawn seven times per day.

In the study performed by the University of Stirling, mothers reported that their babies did not respond to their yawns by yawning. Toddlers who watched a video of people yawning also did not respond by yawning.

Once children reach twelve years old they have usually transitioned into the contagious yawn stage and have a tendency to yawn contagiously as frequently as an adult.

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Sources: CBC, Newser.com

Photo: DanielJames

May 13, 2011 at 2:00 am 6 comments

Up to 40% of Online Clothing Purchases are Returned

By Kaye Nemec

Online shopping is popular for people who don’t have the time to shop in stores or who simply feel browsing through a mall is actually a waste of time. With websites like Ebates.com, which gives you cash back for all your purchases, and PayPal.com, which allows you to pay without using your credit card, it’s ridiculously easy to add a few items to your cart and hope you get what you paid for.

Unfortunately, online shopping results aren’t always what we hope for. In fact, 15 to 40% of all online clothing purchases are returned (depending on the source). One in four loose fitting clothing items like t-shirts are returned when they’re purchased online. Almost half of all form fitting clothing items purchased online are returned.

Twenty percent of computer software purchased online is returned and 15% of books purchased online are returned.

If companies don’t have “return to store” or “free return shipping” options then our great, upfront deals could turn into a total loss in the end. Of the returns made from online purchases, 59% receive refunds, 27% are exchanged for another item and 11% are given a store credit.

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Sources: Shine, The Business Link

May 6, 2011 at 2:00 am 1 comment

The Meaning of Care Symbols on Clothes Tags

By Kaye Nemec

When it’s time to wash a new item of clothing, most people check the tag to see what the manufacturer recommends for washing and drying.

Sometimes instructions are easily spelled out, other times the consumer is given a set of symbols to interpret. With no explanation or key to reference, there is no way to know what these symbols mean. Before you take a gamble with your clothing purchases, use the chart below as a reference guide for the most common symbols. For an extensive list of care symbols visit Textileaffairs.com.

  Machine Wash Normal
  Machine Wash Cold
  Machine Wash Warm
  Hand Wash
  Do Not Wash
  Do Not Bleach
  Tumble Dry Normal
  Do Not Dry
  Iron Normal
  Do Not Iron
  Dry Clean
  Do Not Dry Clean

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Sources: Textile Affairs

April 27, 2011 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Motel 6 Charged $6.00 for Motel Rooms

By Kaye Nemec

In 1962 a couple of building contractors decided to open up a chain of motel rooms that would be available at extremely low rates. It took two years for their business plan to be developed and, in the end, they decided to market themselves as a “no-frills” motel chain, offering customers an alternative to the higher-end hotels that were becoming popular. The budget-saving strategies included black and white, coin operated TV’s in the rooms, basic room décor and no on-site restaurants. The low cost plan allowed them to charge only $6.00 per night for a room.

Today corporate policy still states that Motel 6 will always have the lowest rates of any national chain.

On a related note, Super 8 was opened in 1972 with rates starting at $8.88 per night.

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Sources: Wikipedia, Wikipedia (Super 8)

Photo: J. Stephen Conn

April 20, 2011 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Secret Uses for Olive Oil

By Kaye Nemec

A few weeks ago I accidentally bought waterproof mascara. For those of you familiar with waterproof eye make-up, you know that the term “waterproof” is not used lightly. It is also soap, face wash and wash cloth proof. Conveniently, make-up brands sell make-up remover to use along with their semi-permanent products. But, determined to get the mascara off of my eyes before sleeping with it on all night and running to Target in the morning, I searched for another option and what I landed upon was olive oil. After testing it out and getting a positive result, the doors to a world of uses for olive oil that I never knew existed were opened. Read below for some of the most practical uses.

  • Shaving lubricant
  • Polish – olive oil can be used as a substitute for furniture polish. Just dab a small amount of olive oil on a soft cloth and polish wood furniture as you normally would. Also use it to shine stainless steel and brass.
  • Moisturizer – olive oil makes a great skin moisturizer. Rub it into your hands, use it to moisturize cuticles etc. Using it to remove eye make-up also allows you to moisturize the soft skin around your eyes safely.
  • Frizz control – use a small dab of olive oil to tame unruly or frizzy hair (side note: dryer sheets also work well for this).
  • Snoring/Coughing – take a sip of olive oil to lubricate your throat. Do it before bed to help prevent snoring and do it if you have a scratch or tickle in your throat to prevent coughing.
  • Diaper rash cure – wipe a small amount of olive oil onto a baby’s bottom to help clear up diaper rash.

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Sources: Curbly, Yahoo Green

Photo: PackAge (cc)

April 13, 2011 at 2:00 am 6 comments

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