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Al Lewis
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Hungry People Feel More Entitled at Work, Study Finds


iStock/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) -- You don’t necessarily have to be brought up spoiled to have a sense of entitlement. Instead, all it might take is skipping a meal.

After a series of experiments, Cornell University and Dartmouth College researchers say that workers on empty stomachs tend to think they're owed certain privileges than those who’ve satisfied their hunger.

In one of the trials, students both entering and leaving the Cornell cafeteria were asked if they agreed with statements that included “I honestly feel I’m more deserving than others” and, “Things should go my way.”

It was the hungry students who more often agreed with those feelings of entitlement.

At work, this expectation of favorable treatment, particularly when one is hungry, seems to boost self-confidence and spurs people to push a little harder for raises or promotions.

However, feeling entitled also has a bunch of downsides, in that it can make you harder to work with and more apt to blame others when things go wrong. In other words, the person at work no one likes.

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Radio Voices Are Born Not Made


iStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) -- Say, with a voice like that, you ought to be on the radio. If you’ve been told that, you can thank certain vocal cord vibration patterns that set you apart from people with ordinary voices.

Speech pathologists at the University of Sydney Voice Research Laboratory say until now, scientists haven’t been able to figure out what makes radio voices deep, warm and resonant.

However, by using a device called a videoendoscopy camera, Dr. Cate Madill and Dr. Samantha Warhurst noticed that announcers’ vocal cords move and close more quickly, giving their voices that unique sound made for radio.

Warhurst said these findings offer “some significant clues on how a good voice for radio might be trained.”

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The Hard Lives of Organ Transplant Doctors


iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- Organ transplant surgeons usually deal in life-and-death situations. With so much riding on the outcome of their work, it’s no wonder that so many of these doctors are experiencing burnout, according to a study led by the Henry Ford Transplant Institute.

In the survey of 218 transplant surgeons, 40 percent reported feeling emotionally exhausted, which is certainly understandable given the nature of the work they do.

However, what is far more surprising is that close to half of these surgeons also admit feeling a low sense of personal accomplishment.

The researchers attribute this to several factors, including the health of patients, the often long period of recuperation and the frustration that comes when patients die while still waiting for organs.

As for organ transplant surgeons who didn’t experience burnout, their higher sense of accomplishment was related to a sense of greater control in their work lives and more cooperation among co-workers.

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Surgeon General: Skin Cancer Is 'Major Public Health Problem'


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Surgeon General is calling skin cancer a "major public health problem" and says tanning is a direct cause.

A report from the office of Surgeon General Boris Lushniak says unlike other forms of cancer in the United States, the rate of skin cancer is on the rise, with 5 million people getting treated each year.

About 63,000 people are treated for melanoma and about 10% of those cases are directly linked to indoor tanning.

Lushniak says all states should ban minors from using tanning beds and the report urges everyone to wear sunscreen outside.


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Twenty-Five NJ Residents Test Positive for Chikungunya Virus


iStock/Thinkstock(TRENTON, N.J.) -- The New Jersey State Health Department says 25 New Jersey residents have tested positive for the Chikungunya virus, which can be brought back to the United States by travelers from the Caribbean.

The first two cases in the U.S. were reported last week in Florida.

The infection is rarely fatal but it can cause severe joint pain, high fever, headache and muscle pain.

Dr. Greg Williams who heads the Hudson County Mosquito Control Division says his department is now testing mosquitoes caught in traps for the disease and is urging home owners to do what they can to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

"People are coming back with the disease and if the mosquito bites them while they're sick potentially they can carry that virus to other people," Williams said. "The mosquitoes that transmit this usually come from peoples' backyards so you want to monitor your yard to make sure that you eliminate all standing water."

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Moderate Running Can Reduce Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study finds a little bit of activity goes a long way in promoting good health.

From weekend joggers to serious sprinters, a study from the University of lowa determined that even moderate running can profoundly reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The researchers found similar benefits from running as little five to 10 minutes a day to three times as long. According to the lead researcher, because, "time is one of the strongest barriers to physical activity, this study may motivate more people."

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Exercise: Why 6 Seconds Can Be as Worthwhile as 90 Minutes


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to exercise, even a little can go a long way. A slew of new studies suggest that working out for just a few minutes -- seconds, even -- can be beneficial to your health.

Read on to find out how any amount of exercise is completely worthwhile. The amount you should do just depends on your goals.

6 Seconds:  For seniors, every second of exercise counts.  In a new Scottish study, retirement-age subjects were asked to do six six-second sprints on a stationary bicycle with one minute of rest in between. After six weeks, their blood pressure dropped by a respectable 9 percent.  It’s possible these results might translate to younger folks, said Michele Olson, an exercise science professor and researcher at Auburn University in Alabama.  “Even a little activity can increase the efficiency of your heart and lead to more energy overall, no matter what your age,” she said.

5 Minutes:  According to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, a five-minute daily run can cut the risk of death in middle-aged men and women by 30 percent and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 45 percent compared to people who parked themselves on the couch all day.  But don’t cancel your gym membership just yet, Olson said.  “You have to push at a very high intensity to see improvements in heart function and reduce the dangerous, unhealthy visceral fat that collects around the organs,” she said.

10 Minutes:  Olson, who has led numerous investigations on the benefits of quick, intense exercise, said that bone health benefits begin to kick in around the ten minute mark.  “That’s about how much time you need to stress the bones and stimulate bone density to avoid osteoporosis,” she said.

30 Minutes:  Most major health groups, including the American Heart Association, recommend getting at least half an hour of activity daily -- and with good reason.  “Thirty minutes seems to be the tipping point where you begin to see not just health benefits but fitness benefits like reduced weight and increased stamina as well,” Olson said, adding that other advantages include cancer prevention, a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and a healthier cholesterol profile.  Thirty minutes of exercise is also where you’ll see improvements even if you slow down to a moderate pace, which Olson characterizes as brisk but sustainable. However, an International Journal of Obesity study published earlier this year found that pushing hard for the full half hour may lead to even greater weight loss by dulling your appetite.

60 Minutes:  One hour of exercise a day at a moderate pace appears to be the secret to substantial, long term weight loss, Olson said. This may be especially true for middle-aged and older women who are close to their ideal weight, a recent Harvard study revealed.  While sixty minutes of exercise may seem unrealistic, Olson said you don’t have to do it all at once.  “You can accumulate minutes throughout the day doing many different exercises and activities, including some resistance training,” she said. “And if you go at a higher intensity you can cut back to 45 minutes daily.”

90 Minutes:  People who are obese or have lost a lot of weight may have stubborn metabolisms that require up to 90 minutes a day of activity for weight loss or maintenance, studies suggest.  Longer exercise sessions should be done at lower intensity to prevent injury and burn out, Olson said, especially for someone who carries a lot of extra pounds. But here again, breaking up your workout into shorter, more manageable sessions should yield the same results as one marathon session.

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Warm Water Sparks Flesh-Eating Disease Warning


iStock/Thinkstock(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- Florida health officials are warning beachgoers about a seawater bacterium that can invade cuts and scrapes to cause flesh-eating disease.

Vibrio vulnificus -- a cousin of the bacterium that causes Cholera -- thrives in warm saltwater, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If ingested, it can cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. But it can also infect open wounds and lead to “skin breakdown and ulceration,” according to the CDC.

“Since it is naturally found in warm marine waters, people with open wounds can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with seawater,” the Florida Department of Health said in a statement.

The infection can also be transmitted through eating or handling contaminated oysters and other shellfish, according to the CDC.

At least 11 Floridians have contracted Vibrio vulnificus so far this year and two have died, according to the most recent state data. In 2013, 41 people were infected and 11 died. The proportion of skin and gastrointestinal infections is unclear.

Florida isn’t the only state to report Vibrio vulnificus infections. Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi have also recorded cases, and a 2013 outbreak linked to contaminated shellfish sickened at least 104 people in 13 states, according to the CDC.

Most people who contract Vibrio vulnificus infection recover with the help of antibiotics, but severe skin infections may require surgery and amputation, according to the CDC. People with weakened immune systems are also at risk for blood infections, which are fatal about 50 percent of the time, the CDC notes.

The CDC recommends the following precautions to avoid Vibrio vulnificus infections:

  • Avoid exposing open wounds to warm saltwater, brackish water or to raw shellfish
  • Wear protective clothing when handling raw shellfish
  • Cook shellfish thoroughly and avoid food contamination with juices from raw seafood
  • Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers

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Ebola Virus May Have Spread to a Fourth West African Nation


Hemera/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- The world’s deadliest Ebola outbreak continues to spread in the West African nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and possibly one other.

At least 1,093 people have contracted the deadly virus and 672 people have died, according to the latest numbers from the World Health Organization.

Two American aid workers are among the victims of the growing outbreak, which has taken a heavy toll on health care providers treating the sick and working to contain the outbreak. Meanwhile, a top Liberian doctor also died this past weekend.

Officials are also concerned after an infected man managed to board a plane from Liberia to Nigeria, potentially spreading the deadly virus to a fourth country.

In an effort to stop the spread of the incurable disease, Liberia's president has closed all but three land border crossings, restricted public gatherings and quarantined communities heavily affected by the Ebola outbreak.

As for what this means for the U.S.,  Dr. Stephan Monroe at the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions told reporters Monday, "No Ebola cases have been reported in the United States and the likelihood of this outbreak spreading outside of West Africa is very low."

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Social Media Is Where Good News Gets Posted


iStock/Thinkstock(MADISON, Wis.) -- It’s a sign of the times: when people have good news that’s happened to themselves or others, they’ll more often share it on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter to reach the biggest possible audience in the least amount of time.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison arrived at that finding after having 300 undergrads keep a journal of their emotions and the form of media they used to convey these feelings to others.

Far and away, when there was positive news to report, the students generally posted messages on social media.

Interestingly, however, the participants went “old school” when they had to pass along bad news.

The preferred ways of spreading less joyous information was via the phone or even telling people face-to-face.

Study author Catalina Toma put it succinctly, “You often hear people say when the phone rings, its bad news," Toma said. "Our data supports that."

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Your Soul Mate May Not Wind Up Being Your Sole Mate


iStock/Thinkstock(TORONTO) -- Careful soul mates, you're probably deluding yourselves.

Although people who believe they’ve found the perfect mate who “completes” them, University of Toronto researchers say those in love are often surprised when things don’t work out as planned.

Essentially, it’s those couples who understand that a relationship can take some time to develop are the ones who are more successful in the long run, according to study authors Spike W. S. Lee and Norbert Schwarz.

They had participants fill out questionnaires about whether they considered if love meant two people were “made for each other” as soul mates do or if “love is a journey” filled with mistakes and forgiveness.

Not surprisingly, those who believe relationships take work reported fewer conflicts and tended to recall more celebrations with their partner.

Still, the soul mate concept is apparently the more accepted of the two, a Marist poll found, with 73 percent agreeing with it and 27 not believing it. Furthermore, it’s younger folks who are more likely to think that finding a soul mate is the essence of true love.

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People Get Naturally High from the Choices They Make


iStock/Thinkstock(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) -- Are you the kind of person who gets a kick out of the things you choose solely on your own, such as movies, restaurants, clothes, car, etc., while ignoring what others might like?

While some might have an unflattering name for that, neurologists at Brown University are willing to cut you some slack.

They call the high you get from making particular selections “choice bias,” which involves the brain rewarding itself with the pleasure hormone called dopamine.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that but due to constant reinforcement, your brain might actually be over-rewarding itself for a decision that isn’t that much of a big deal.

Again, the Brown researchers say this may not be your fault because “choice bias” is actually in your genes, based on DNA samples they’ve taken from saliva of those who exhibit this trait.

Of course, that fact won’t placate those you irritate if you keep ignoring their choices.

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Study Says Obese Workers Are Less Productive


Digital Vision/Thinkstock(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- Aside from the health risks associated with obesity, those who are grossly overweight are also at a disadvantage at the workplace, according to a joint University of Buffalo-Virginia Tech study.

The researchers had about three dozen people perform a series of tasks that involved hand gripping, elevating the shoulders and an exercise where they pretended to perform on an assembly line.

Participants were male and female, young and old, obese and non-obese. After completion of the tasks, which involved breaks, those who were obese performed worse than the others.

The researchers say this would likely mean in real-work settings that obese employees are less productive, more susceptible to injury and need longer breaks than their co-workers.

The study’s authors are not advocating employers replace their obese workers but instead “make adjustments to the extent that [the workers] have a skill which is necessary, useful and in demand.”

They admit the answer is not making bigger desks or chairs but to encourage wellness programs, gym memberships and other ways of living healthier.

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The Secret to Getting Kids to Eat Their Vegetables


Fuse/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Why won’t kids eat their vegetables? Other than “What happens when we die?,” it’s the question that has frustrated mankind more than any other.

Researchers from Northwestern University didn’t set out to find out why children are so resistant to eating beans, broccoli and other veggies. Rather, their mission was to learn how to entice youngsters to drop their objections to greens and such.

It appears they may have found that elusive magic bullet. They believe that parents may have been using the wrong strategy all along in convincing their kids to eat their vegetables, which is by emphasizing the so-called health benefits of these foods.

Michal Maimaran and Ayelet Fishbach say that kids are too hip to buy the story that somehow they’re going to get bigger, stronger and faster from consuming vegetables.

Now here's the secret. After conducting a series of experiments, the researchers said children were more apt to eat their veggies when parents either said nothing or if it was presented as the best-tasting thing ever put on the planet.

Bottom line: the whole Popeye-spinach connection doesn’t cut it anymore.
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Lightning Strike Feels Like Being Cooked in a Microwave, Survivor Says


iStock/Thinkstock(SENECA, S.C.) -- A South Carolina man who says he's been struck by lightning ten times compares the feeling to being zapped inside a microwave.

"When it hits you, it's like being hit by a freight train. It knocks you out, knocks you down," Melvin Roberts of Seneca, South Carolina, told ABC News Monday. "You can tell what's around, you just don't have any control over your body."

"It's like grabbing an electrical cord," he added. "You don't feel the burns until it's over with. It cooks you from the inside out like being in a microwave. And you've got a hurting in your bones."

Roberts made headlines in 2011 when he was struck by lightning for the sixth time, and his wife says he's been struck four more times since then. If her count is correct, that would make him the world record-holder for most lighting strikes survived, although Guinness World Records still lists Roy C. Sullivan as the record holder.

Sullivan, a park ranger who died in 1983, was struck by lightning seven times. Guinness World Records did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Roberts, a retired heavy equipment operator, can barely remember all the times he's been struck. There were a couple times when he was on his lawnmower, another time when he was trying to cover the mower up before the rain came, and yet another time when he was helping his aunt hang a tarp on her porch.

"It's like a big syringe in the sky and when it hits you it puts all this different stuff in your body," he said. "It turns your insides completely around."

But it doesn't hurt -- at least not at first, Roberts recalled.

"You're in shock," he explained. "Now, when you come to, that's a different thing. You've got big old blisters on you. It takes a long time to get over it."

As a result, he said he suffers from memory loss, headaches, speech problems and has nerve damage in his hands and left leg because of the strikes. Roberts also can't hear well, so he doesn't always know when there's thunder -- that might be a reason he appears to be such a target for lightning, he said.

But John Jensenius, the National Weather Service's lightning expert, says it's a myth that once someone is struck, they're more likely than anyone else to be struck again. He noted that people who work outdoors are more vulnerable.

"Nothing attracts lightning," he said. "It generally does strike the tallest thing, like trees."

He recommends people seek shelter if they hear thunder and stay away from tall trees, doors, windows and anything that conducts electricity.

People struck by lightning can suffer neurological damage, burns, memory loss, headaches and changes in personality, and the strike could also stop their heart, Jensenius said.

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