Saturday, February 25, 2012

News with No Views: Scattered Snippets from the Hinterlands

Happy birthday to actor Abe Vigoda, who turns 91 today! Yes, Abe Vigoda is still alive. No, I’m not kidding.

Vigoda's longevity has turned him into a punchline, a standing joke representing all those actors and actresses who are still with us, but seem perhaps like they might have passed on years before.

No insult to the man intended, but when there's a website ( solely devoted to which side of the dirt you're waking up on, you've got to acknowledge and have fun with it.


The term "red tape" has many mythical origins, but the National Archives believes it has the right answer: red ribbons were used to bind piles of government documents dating back to the Civil War. Opening the files required someone to "cut through" the red tape.


Just how long a relationship will last can be predicted by the amount of "love hormone" in the bloodstream of a newly smitten person, a new study says. Researchers measured levels of oxytocin in people who had recently begun relationships. Six months later, the couples with the higher levels of oxytocin tended to still be together, while the others had split.


Your cell phone and your shoes have whole communities of microbes living on them, as distinctive as the germs on your fingers and in your mouth. Among the bacteria that typically live in your pocket are the relatives of nasty bugs that can cause pneumonia, meningitis and gonorrhea. In contrast, the soles of your shoes could harbor bacteria related to E. coli, salmonella and the microscopic critters that cause pink eye.



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