Showing posts from April, 2016

Women, Been Cheated On? You're Actually the Winner

It was probably one of the most painful experiences in my young life.  A man I was deeply in love with cheated on me.   And he wound up marrying the woman he cheated on me with.

But now a new study is saying that I was the winner (though not if you include the fact that he cheated on his wife, as he was only separated, with me).  Yeah, he was a real dog.

Researchers say that women who are cheated on "win," while the cheating ones "lose."   Women who lose their unfaithful mate to another woman actually win in the long run, according to new research from Binghamton University.

I went on to have many more relationships and have been happily married for over 20 years.  (I would never have met my husband if I'd stayed with that one.)

"Our thesis is that the woman who ‘loses’ her mate to another woman will go through a period of post-relationship grief and betrayal, but come out of the experience with higher mating intelligence that allows her to better det…

Want to Get Fit? It Only Takes a Minute, Say Some

Face it.  We've heard it all.

Do 10 sit-ups in 10 minutes and lose 30 pounds.  Walk a quarter mile and have the heart of a 20-year-old.  

Now they're saying one minute of exercise can do it.

According to, it may be one minute but it's a minute of vigorous, heart-thumping exercise.  You know, the kind where you think you're going to have a heart attack.  This happened to me recently on the arc trainer, what seems like a stair-climbing elliptical (I have yet to figure out what exactly it is, but what I do know is it's the only exercise I can do 10 minutes of and feel like my blood pressure has shot off the charts).

Researchers at McMaster University have found that a single minute of very intense exercise produces health benefits similar to longer, traditional endurance training.

“This is a very time-efficient workout strategy,” says Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster and lead author on the study. “Brief bursts of intense exercis…

Forget Something? Draw It First

I forgot what I was going to write about.

Oh, yeah.  I should have drawn it.

A new study says if you need to remember something, forget the memorizing of the first letters of the word it starts with -- like, you want to get apples so think America or accessories (my favorite), to put the "A" in your mind, and hopefully, you will link it with apples when you go to the grocery store.  Oh, wait.  The word for that is mnemonic.

 Researchers at the University of Waterloo have found that drawing pictures of information that needs to be remembered is a strong and reliable strategy to enhance memory.

"We pitted drawing against a number of other known encoding strategies, but drawing always came out on top," said the study's lead author, Jeffrey Wammes, PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology, at "We believe that the benefit arises because drawing helps to create a more cohesive memory trace that better integrates visual, motor and semant…

If You're Too Harsh a Parent, Your Kid May Suffer, Health-Wise, Down the Line

I admit it, I'm a pushover for a parent.

Fortunately, I got a good kid in the lottery (at least, most of the time), so I've rarely had to discipline him (well, unless you call locking him in his room when he was little and misbehaved, but then I went in my room and cried).  Both my husband and I came from families with very harsh parents and now a new study is saying the harsher you are, the more likely your kid will grow up to maybe not be in such great health, and could become obese, as well.

New research shows harsh parenting may increase a child’s risk for poor physical health and obesity as they get olde, according to And attempts by one parent to counterbalance the harsh behavior are not always effective in lessening that risk. 

Researchers found the link from harsh parenting to physical health is buffered by a warm and nurturing coparent. However, when they measured the effect on body mass index, the health risk of harsh parenting increased as warmth …

Can Kids Kill Your Career?

I admit, the headline caught me.  "Are Children Career Killers?"

This was a study conducted by Washington University in St. Louis and the results?  Women should wait till after 30 to have children if they want career growth, according to

I'm not so sure I agree with that.  Now, most women don't wait till their mid-40s like I did, but the thinking is that, for college graduates and even those without a college degree, researchers found lower lifetime incomes for women who gave birth for the first time at age 30 or younger. The hit was particularly stark for women without college degrees who had their first children before age 25.

"The findings highlight the financial trade-offs women make when considering their fertility and career decisions,” the web site quotes Man Yee (Mallory) Leung, a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University School of Medicine. “Other studies have focused on the effect of children on women’s wages, but ou…

Ever Have the Phone Ring, Then Forget What You Were Going to Say? Blame it on the Surprise

When was the last time you were about to say something, then the phone rings and you completely forget what it was? If we're talking about me, yesterday.

I couldn't count on both hands all the times that's happened to me lately.  Most would blame it on age but I want to believe it's because I've got so much else in my brain, it crowds other things out.

Now experts are finding that our derailed trains of thought have something to do with the brain’s electrical activity and are offering a new explanation of how that happens.

Researchers at the University of California San Diego, along with Oxford University in the UK,suggest that the same brain system that is involved in interrupting, or stopping, movement in our bodies also interrupts cognition – which, in the example of the phone ringing, derails your train of thought. 

The current study focuses particularly on one part of the brain’s stopping system, a small lens-shaped cluster of densely packed neurons in th…

Praying for Healing May Heal, If Not Just for the One Doing the Praying

I know I do.  A new study says most Americans pray for healing.

When my husband had minor surgery several weeks ago, I talked to God continuously.  And now that the surgery was a success, I still do because the knee stiffness he had and hard time walking and getting up doesn't seem to be attributable to the hernia, but something else.  His surgeon wants him to see a cardiologist.

I've been burning up the wires to the heavens.

Some people even believe in the "laying on of hands."  I first became acquainted with this when I lived in the Midwest and many of my friends were evangelical Christians, who believe that, when someone is ill or in pain, the touching of this person by people who feel divinely inspired will make him better.

I have to confess, I never really saw it work, and I'm reminded of a heartbreaking piece on TV about this, a man in a wheelchair who was paralyzed believing desperately, fervently, that he would walk again if just the right hands lay upon …

Your Jeans as a Cell Phone? It's Coming

Get ready.  It's coming.  Computers in your clothes.

According to, Ohio State University researchers have been able to embroider circuits into fabric with 0.1 mm precision—the perfect size to integrate electronic components such as sensors and computer memory devices into clothing.

With this advance, the researchers have taken the next step toward the design of functional textiles—clothes that gather, store, or transmit digital information. With further development, the technology could lead to shirts that act as antennas for your smart phone or tablet, workout clothes that monitor your fitness level, sports equipment that monitors athletes’ performance, a bandage that tells your doctor how well the tissue beneath it is healing—or even a flexible fabric cap that senses activity in the brain.

Sound scary?  It does to, to me.

 "A revolution is happening in the textile industry,” says John Volakis, director of the ElectroScience Laboratory at Ohio State, w…

Let Someone Kill An Innocent Man to Protect Five Others? Your Morals Will Help You Decide

I know I can sometimes seem holier-than-thou.  My family thinks I'm self-righteous but I just consider it moral.  I've even gone so far as to call the cops when I saw a young woman pack in a handicapped space, then hop out and run in to get her hair cut.  (She got a ticket.)

Now a new study is saying that moral sticklers are actually seen as more trust-worthy, according to

The website gives as an example a person who agrees to kill one innocent person to save the lives of five others. 

New research suggests people perceive those who hold fast to these moral rules – even when breaking them might lead to better overall consequences – as more trustworthy and valued social partners than those who would be willing to override the rules for the sake of the greater good.

 Thankfully, I've never had to make that choice.  But in the study, which involved a series of experiments in which participants were given information about how another person responded to a …

Don't Want Cancer? Get Married.

You probably know that race and ethnicity affect your chances of getting and surviving cancer.  Many women of the Jewish faith carry a gene that indicates the potential for breast cancer. Jewish couples may also be at risk of carrying genes that may result in Tay-Sachs, a fatal disease for their children.  It's also more frequent among French Canadians, Cajuns, and people of Irish/British descent.

But did you know marriage is up there, too?

A new study has found that that the benefits of being married vary by race and ethnicity, with male non-Hispanic white bachelors experiencing the worst outcome. This group had a 24 percent higher mortality rate than their married counterparts.Previous studies have shown that married patients with cancer fare better than unmarried cancer patients, surviving more often and longer.

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that unmarried women also had higher mortality than married women, but the difference …

It May Not Be Their Memory That Prevents Alzheimer's Patients From Remembering Who You Are

Probably one of the very hardest parts of a loved one being affected by Alzheimer's is his ability to no longer recognize you.  

That's because the disease not only impairs memory but it also interferes with visual perception, according to 

Face perception plays a fundamental role in human communication, which is why humans have evolved into experts at quickly detecting and identifying faces, the website reports in a story about a new study. This faculty is thought to depend on the ability to perceive a face as a whole. Also known as “holistic perception,” this ability is in contrast to the local and detailed analysis required to perceive individual facial features, such as the eyes, nose or mouth. The study has demonstrated that the holistic ability to perceive faces is impaired by Alzheimer’s disease.

 For the study, the research team recruited people with Alzheimer’s along with healthy seniors to study their ability to perceive faces and cars in phot…

No More Homework: Take Your Kid to the Museum Instead

Who knew?

Taking your kids to a museum will help them get better grades than making them study for hours.

So says a new study that proclaims that spending quality time with your kids will do them a lot better in school than forcing them to hit the books over and over.

Research indicates adolescents are more likely to want to pursue further study if their parents take them to museums rather than homework clubs, according to
Researchers found that adolescents who take part in cultural activities with their mother and father were more likely to aspire to continue their studies post-16 than those who didn’t. This is compared to even those who attended homework clubs or participated in extra-curricular activities.
Why?  Filial dynamics such as emotional closeness to parents and "cultural capital" were better predictors than more school-driven parent-child interactions, researchers found.
In the study, factors relating to family emotional closeness, bullying, frien…

Climate Change (Or the Thought of It) May Cause Depression, Anxiety

My husband and I talk about this all the time, how some politicians think global warming (or the new PC term, climate change) is false.

I know it may be hard to believe when it snows three times in April (and only once in all of January, February and March) but March was the 2nd or 3rd warmest ever and last year was the warmest ever, beating out 2014 by a hair.  2016 looks to end up even warmer. And if we keep going, Manhattan will be under several hundred feet of water in the next century. 

But there's no such thing as climate change.

Anyway, a new study has found that the threat of climate change has been found to be a key psychological and emotional stressor.

According to, consequences can range from minimal stress and distress to clinical disorders, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and suicidal thoughts.

 Messages from the media, as well as public communication about climate change, can affect perceptions of physical and societal risks, con…

Is Risk-Taking Contagious?

I tend to take risks.  Speak up (loudly) about not getting paid for an assignment.  When my son has a teacher who loses his test, then yells at him because she can't find it.  When my late mother-in-law insisted I wear a dress that made me look like a beached whale to her grandson's bar mitzvah (not).

On the other hand, my husband is super-cautious.  Won't send it back when a server mistakenly places the wrong order in front of him.   Panics when a patient leaves a message (he's a dentist) and says it's urgent. Refused to get married for years because of his fear of divorce (we've been married for 22).

Now a new study is asking, is risk contagious?

In my house, not so much.

In the study, 24 volunteers repeatedly participated in three types of trials: a "self" trial, in which the participants were asked to choose between taking a guaranteed $10 or making a risky gamble with a potentially higher payoff; an "observe" trial, in which the part…

Patty Duke, and the Passing of Baby Boomers

Patty Duke died today last week.
A lot of Baby Boomers have died recently. Garry Shandling. David Bowie. Glenn Frey. And now, Patty Duke.
I was connected to her in a very personal way. When we were preteens, my best friend (also my cousin), and I used to sit in front of the TV in our sponge curlers and Lanz nightgowns, fantasizing about what it would be like to be Patty, always getting into trouble (but having fun) in high school. We loved, too, Cathy, her identical perfectly behaved but boring cousin from Scotland (with that adorable accent). I was always Cathy.
This is what high school would be like, falling in love with our French teachers, switching places to fool teachers, Cathy getting a flu shot when they thought she was Patty. And that flip haircut! Kind of like us.
Then came the drugs and divorces, and bipolar disorder, and no more sweet Patty Lane. The fairy tale ended. For a long time, her life was in decline. Just like a lot of us.
But today, hearing of her death…

Can't Get Pregnant? Make Your Partner Stop Using Sunscreen

Did you know that, if you're trying to get pregnant, don't let let your husband wear sunscreen?

That's because some sunscreen ingredients may disrupt sperm cell function, according to

Many ultraviolet (UV)-filtering chemicals commonly used in sunscreens interfere with the function of human sperm cells, and some mimic the effect of the female hormone progesterone, a new study finds. 

“These results are of concern and might explain in part why unexplained infertility is so prevalent,” says the study’s senior investigator, Niels Skakkebaek, MD, DMSc, a professor at the University of Copenhagen and a researcher at the Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet.

Although the purpose of the chemical UV filters is to reduce the amount of the sun’s UV rays getting through the skin by absorbing UV, some UV filters are rapidly absorbed through the skin, Skakkebaek says. UV filter chemicals reportedly have been found in human blood samples and in 95 percen…

If You Have Breast Cancer, And Think You Must Fast, Don't Do It for Short Periods of Time

Here's another shocking thing I just came across.  Short overnight fasting in women with breast cancer may lead to recurrence.

 We've all seen the celebrities who swear by fasting, something I must confess I have never considered, but who claim it enriches everything from their skin to their brains. 

But in women with breast cancer, a short overnight fast of less than 13 hours was associated with a 36 percent higher risk of breast cancer recurrence and a 21 percent higher probability of death from the disease, compared to patients who fasted 13 or more hours per night, reports University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers.

Researchers also reported that fasting fewer hours per night was associated with significantly less sleep and higher levels of glycated hemoglobin, which is a measure of average blood sugar levels over a period of months. These findings are relevant to cancer prevention and control efforts because elevated levels of this hemogl…

Men, Beware: Demanding Perfection in Bed May Bite You in the Butt

I guess it's not such a surprise.  But women who perceive that their sexual partner is imposing perfectionist standards on them may suffer sexual dysfunction as a result, psychologists at the University of Kent have found.

According to, perfectionism is defined as a 'striving for flawlessness and the setting of exceedingly high standards for performance, accompanied by tendencies for overly critical self-evaluations and concerns about negative evaluations by others'. It is a common personality characteristic that may affect all domains of life. However, the longer term consequences of how it affects people's sex life had previously not been explored.

 In the study researchers differentiated between four forms of sexual perfectionism: self-oriented, partner-oriented, partner-prescribed and socially prescribed. They found that partner-prescribed sexual perfectionism contributed to woman's negative sexual self-concept and female sexual dysfunc…