News Pages


How to Survive a Bear Attack

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A recent black bear attack in a Florida suburb has people on edge as authorities hunt for the missing animal, which fled after mauling a woman in her garage over the weekend.

The odds of encountering a bear outside the wild are slim, experts say, but here’s what to do if you ever come face-to-face:

Brown Bear vs. Black Bear

First, know what bear you’re dealing with.

If you’re in the eastern part of the country, you’ll only come in contact with black bears. If you’re out west, brown bears, or grizzlies -- distinguished by a shoulder hump and a concave or "dished" facial profile -- are also a possibility.

"What can be confusing is if you go out west, black bears can be brown or cinnamon in color," Bill Stiver, a wildlife biologist at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park told ABC News.

Don’t Play Dead Unless ...

The only time playing dead works as a survival technique is if you’re dealing with a brown bear whose attack was a defense -- maybe it’s guarding its cubs or food, Stiver said.

Simply stop moving and the bear will stop attacking.

"They’ll fight until that threat is gone," he said. "With black bears, you don’t see that. They’re not as defensive of their cubs. Usually, if a black bear attacks you, it’s an offensive attack."

In that case, fight.

"If you’re attacked, your best defense is to fight back with everything you’ve got,” Stiver said. “Punch it, kick it, do everything you can to get that animal off you."

Get Big and Loud, but Never Run

If a bear approaches, make some noise.

"Clapping your hands, yelling -- even throwing things is appropriate,” Stiver said. “You’re trying to scare it away before it gets too close. Get a big stick, some rocks. Bang pots and pans."

Bears will back away from the clatter. Wave your arms and stand as tall as possible to make yourself appear larger. If you’re with a group of people, stand together.

Never run or climb trees -- two things bears are better at than humans.

"Stand your ground. You can’t outrun a bear,” Stiver said. “You’re basically trying to show the bear you’re not afraid of it."

Drop the Food, Cameras

Most bear encounters happen when food is out in the open, according to Linda Friar of the National Park Service.

"If you’re camping, make sure you move the food away from where you’re sleeping,” she said. “And make sure you’re using bear-proof containers that restrict odors. The most common interactions are with campers or backpackers who have food that the bear can smell.”

And if you’re awake and approached by a bear, drop any food you’re holding.

Also keep cameras and smartphones pocketed.

"We find that some visitors in national parks across the country get too close -- particularly with cameras -- and try to interact with the bear, not realizing they’re wild animals," Friar said. “That’s not a good idea.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Study: The More Kids Watch TV, the Less They Sleep

Image Source White/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Previous studies have shown that when children get less sleep, it has negative effects on both their mental and physical health. Now, a study specifically links TV watching with lack of proper sleep.

Researchers at Mass General Hospital for Children and the Harvard School of Public Health studied more than 1,800 kids over several years and found that the more time children ages 6 months to 8 years watch TV, the less sleep they get.

More specifically, the researchers discovered that each additional hour of television viewing was associated with seven fewer minutes of sleep daily. The effects were more pronounced in boys than in girls.

Furthermore, if the children slept in the presence of a bedroom TV, they slept about a half an hour less per day.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Some Love Taking Risks Because It Makes Them Feel Good

amoklv/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Like a lot of what we do, the amount of risk we're willing to take in a game of chance is tied to how much pleasure we derive from it.

Dr. Kaisa Hytonen of Finland's Aalto University explains, "The stronger the emotion areas of the brain react to experiences of profit and loss, the more people subsequently accept risk."

Hytonen, a neurofinance researcher, said that by studying MRI images of the brain of people making choices subject to risk, he could see that the desire to engage in greater risk taking, after profit and loss, linked to greater activity in the processes affecting mood.

He adds that the choices people make when risk is involved is also influenced by previous experience.

That seemed to be the case whether people are at a casino, the racetrack or playing the stock market.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Naps Might Not Be So Good for You After All

BONNINSTUDIO/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you take a regular nap, you may be taking your life in your hands. Seriously.

Researchers at Cambridge University tracked the sleep habits of about 16,000 men and women in their 90s over 13 years. During that time, about 3,000 of the participants died.

What the researchers say they learned was that compared to non-nappers the risk of premature death went up 14 percent among those who napped less than an hour a day and rose by 32 percent when people took an afternoon siesta lasting more than 60 minutes.

The study points out that napping can cause inflammation in the body, leading to certain lung diseases, including bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia.

However, the researchers also admit that perhaps "napping might be an early sign of system dis-regulation and a marker of future health problems." In other words, people might nap more because they're already ill.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Does the Polar Vortex Mean a Pollen-Heavy Allergy Season?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  After a seemingly never-ending winter, temperatures have finally warmed from "polar vortex" lows to more spring-like temperatures. However, a new menace lurks for those wanting to enjoy the outdoors: pollen.

"This is truly the gift that keeps giving," ABC News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said. "Instead of a gradual blooming of everything we normally see on the windshield of our car, it's all happening at once really setting up a perfect storm for allergy sufferers."

Kate Weinberger, a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Health Sciences at Mailman School of Public Health in Columbia University studying the effects of climate change on pollen, said studies have shown that wet and warmer winters have resulted in earlier and longer allergy seasons and that the past few stormy months may be a sign that allergy sufferers will soon need to reach for the antihistamines.

"There were all of these storms and there's been a lot of tree growth," Weinberger said of the severe winter. "[Scientists] are theorizing that because we've had a wet winter the pollen season will be worse."

Additionally, allergy seasons are usually separated into distinct seasons, with trees causing problems in the spring and grasses causing issues in the summer. However, Weinberger said there is a chance that if the weather warms very quickly it could mean plants that normally bloom at different times over a period of weeks to months will bloom all at once.

"[Trees] need to experience a certain amount of heat over a certain period before they will start flowering, so if it stays colder in the spring it will be later when they reach the threshold," Weinberger said. "People are speculating that everything is going to show up all at once [as the plants flower] in the warm temperatures."

If you have allergies, particularly oak and birch allergies, experts have a few tips about how to avoid the agony of allergy season over the next few weeks without retreating to a hermetically sealed bubble. Experts say using a neti pot, showering before bed to get rid of pollen particles on the body and keeping windows closed to keep out errant pollen particles are all key.

Additionally, Ashton says there are new medications available to those in need including Oralair, a new medication made up of freeze-dried grasses that can help combat allergies.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


CDC Looking into Second Viral Outbreak on Cruise Ship in Two Weeks

Photo Courtesy Royal Caribbean(BALTIMORE) -- Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas is scheduled to leave Baltimore on its next voyage on Saturday afternoon, but will need approval from the Centers for Disease Control after its last two cruises saw passengers fall ill.

During its last trip, which departed on April 5, 99 of the ship's 2,120 guests and eight of the 800 crew members experienced an illness believed to be norovirus. In a statement, Royal Caribbean said that steps were taken during the last cruise to prevent transmission of the illness -- including "enhanced cleaning procedures and protocols, and using special cleaning products and disinfectants that are proven to kill norovirus."

Due to extra cleaning, Saturday's departure was pushed back to about 6 p.m. All guests are expected to receive a letter when they board asking whether they have experienced any gastrointestinal symptoms in the last three days. Royal Caribbean also said that passengers can also reschedule their trip if they are uncomfortable on the ship.

Two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and one epidemiologist will board the ship on Saturday to conduct an investigation and evaluate both the outbreak and the cruise line's response.

The previous journey, which departed on March 28 and returned to Baltimore on April 5, was also affected by a similar illness, with 111 of 2,122 passengers and six of 790 crew members falling ill. The CDC confirmed the illness on that trip was caused by norovirus.

The CDC says up to 300 million people around the world are stricken with norovirus, a figure only surpassed by the common cold.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Illinois Health Dept. Takes Man with Tuberculosis to Court

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Officials in Illinois say a man infected with tuberculosis has been ordered by the county court to remain quarantined in his home for at least six weeks and be fitted with an ankle monitor.

Julie Pryde, the administrator for the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, said that Christian Mbemba Ibanda will remain in quarantine at his home for six weeks and has been fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet so that local officials can ensure he is not exposing others.

Pryde said that the health department had been working with Mbemba Ibanda for a month and warned him that he was contagious with a dangerous form of TB. In spite of their warnings Pryde said Mbemba Ibanda exposed people to the virus when he left his home and hosted visitors. He was also living with five other people, who are now being monitored for active TB.

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria attacking the lungs and causes violent coughing, weight loss and chills. The disease can be fatal although not all infections result in symptoms. People with latent TB may not be infectious, although latent TB can become active TB, which is contagious.

Pryde said that Mbemba Ibanda did not show up to court for the hearing on Saturday and that health department officials had to track him down at his home to fit him for an ankle bracelet after the court’s decision. She said the patient would be isolated for at least six weeks unless he presented three negative sputum samples test.

“I think he got a nice dose of reality today. Unfortunately it took court ordered quarantine and ankle-bracelet,” said Pryde.

Calls to a number listed to Mbemba Ibanda were not answered.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Standing Desks Aren't for Everybody, Techies Discover

pickcrew.com(MONTREAL) -- Mikael Cho, 28, thought having a standing desk in the office would be the bee's knees, transforming his sedentary job to support his active lifestyle. But despite the trendy stories of health and productivity benefits, after about three weeks, he kissed his standing desk goodbye.

"A lot of us are focused on work and producing good work. The challenge was it interrupted your flow because I would think of physical things rather than the work," Cho said.

Studies warning of possible health dangers for those with sedentary lifestyles (shorter lifespan, for example), moved Cho, founder of Crew in Montreal, Canada, an independent network of mobile and web designers and programmers, into building his own standing desk made from Ikea furniture.

For about $22, he loosely followed a popular how-to guide for a do-it-yourself standing desk.

"I didn’t want to buy a $1,000 desk before I knew how it felt," he said.

And it's a good thing he didn't splurge for his experiment. Cho said he gave the standing desk a good college try, but it was too distracting and tiring during his three-week trial. He details in a company blog post how, day by day, he focused too much on the pain in his body than his work.

Instead, he settled on a more relaxed position: a chair that leans back 135 degrees to relieve pressure on his back, and a stool on which to rest his feet to improve circulation.

As the "guinea pig" in his office, the other four people also have voluntarily followed suit and have similar workstations with chairs that lean in varying angles and elevated feet.

Marc Hamilton, a professor of inactivity physiology at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., led studies that demonstrate the health dangers of inactivity or sitting for long periods of time. He told ABC News in November there is little doubt that long periods of sitting carries health risks, but he has not seen evidence directly linking the use of standing or moving desks to improved health.

Cho said he was able to complete short tasks, such as reading and answering emails, on his standing desk, but he struggled when work required elongated periods of concentration.

Cho, who used to play soccer competitively as part of the Olympic development program, said he tries to maintain a level of activity by walking and stretching during the day.

He also plays soccer and trains every other day.

"That’s where I get my workout -- not trying to get a workout while I’m writing," he said.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


New NHL Lawsuit Is the Most Graphic Yet

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd(NEW YORK) -- A new lawsuit that accuses the NHL of putting profits before safety is littered with images of bloodied, toothless hockey players.

The class action suit, filed Wednesday in federal court in New York on behalf of nine former players, claims the league "fosters a culture of ‘enforcers’ and ‘goons.’”

"[The players] have suffered and will continue to suffer serious health problems as a result of the NHL’s sophisticated use of extreme violence to bring fans to the game in hockey arenas, on television, the radio and the Internet,” the lawsuit claims.

The nine former players are Dan LaCouture, Dan Keczmer, Jack Carlson, Richard Brennan, Brad Maxwell, Michael Peluso, Tom Younghans, Allan Rourke and Scott Bailey.

LaCouture, 36, was involved in 52 fights and “suffers from headaches, irritability, sensitivity to light, change of personality, and depression,” according to the lawsuit.

Peluso, 48, was involved in 179 fights in NHL games and is one of just four players to incur over 400 penalty minutes in a single season, the suit states.

The 110-page complaint includes 51 images ranging from grainy black-and-whites to high-resolution broadcast screen grabs. Some images capture bench-clearing brawls in action, while others show injured players being carried off the ice.

A spread of six images from the 2010 documentary, Broad Street Bullies shows one player with blood streaming down his face and another grinning with no front teeth.

"Popular culture has reflected the fused association between extreme violence and the NHL in many different media,” the lawsuit reads, citing the goalie mask-wearing killer in Friday the 13th as an example of hockey's culture of violence.

The complaint also calls out “incidents” from nearly a century ago, including the "the Coutu Incidents” of 1925, in which Wilfrid Arthur Coutu incurred a measly $50 fine after severing another player’s ear, and “the Richard Incident” of 1955, in which Maurice Richard was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame six years after punching a referee in the face.

But the bulk of the complaint criticizes the NHL for failing to protect players from the dangers of head trauma –- a claim that mirrors a class action filed by former NFL players that resulted in a $765 million settlement last summer.

The complaint is the second class action suit filed against the NHL. The league's deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he intends to “defend the case vigorously.”

"While the subject matter is very serious, we are completely satisfied with the responsible manner in which the League and the Players' Association have managed Player safety over time, including with respect to head injuries and concussions," he said in a statement.

A growing body of research has linked repeated head trauma to chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE -– a disorder marked memory loss, impaired judgment, aggression and depression. At least four NHL players have been diagnosed with CTE after death, including New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard, who died from a drug overdose in 2011.

Paul Anderson, a Kansas City, Mo.-based attorney who founded NFLConcussionLitigation.com, said the graphic new class action “certainly has merit,” but went “overboard.”

“I think using multiple pictures in a complaint is unnecessary,” he said. “I think they’re going to lose credibility with the judge.”

Only one of the 51 images clearly shows a player involved in the suit, with the remaining 50 depicting famous examples of hockey violence.

"It’s unfortunate,” Anderson said of the “immaterial” images and "factual errors" in the suit, including a reference to Gordie Howe dying from Pick's disease when in fact the hockey legend is still alive. “I don’t want them to override the actual merits of the complaint."

Cullin O’Brien, an attorney with the Boca Raton, Fla. firm that filed the suit, called the Gordie Howe error “a distraction” from the suit’s serious claims.

“Anyone who’s focusing on the typos doesn’t understand that this is a serious allegation,” Cullin said on behalf of the firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, acknowledging another error in the misspelling of Sidney Crosby’s name. "We’re pleading the facts to show that the NHL undisputedly had knowledge that the extreme violence from its game was harming its players for a very long time -- so much so that it’s engrained in our cultural consciousness through various media depictions of the NHL."

“The typos will be corrected,” Cullin added.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Research Shows Babies Photos Not Really Taking Over Your Facebook Newsfeed

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It only looks like new moms are oversharing on social media.

In reality, women’s posts on Facebook decrease by half after they give birth, according to research from Meredith Ringel Morris, a computer scientist for Microsoft Research.

"They’re actually not sharing that much, it just seems that way,” Morris told ABC News.

"For the most part, new moms are using Facebook to keep in touch with other parts of their life they lost after having kids."

But there's an explanation for that seemingly constant stream of baby photos on your Facebook page. Facebook values photos when it comes to selecting posts that appear in a user’s newsfeed, Morris said.

"A higher proportion of mothers’ posts are photos, and photo posts are shown more prominently in Facebook’s algorithm,” she said.

The algorithm also values posts’ popularity, and -- despite their reputation -- baby posts are among the most popular posts on Facebook, according to her research.

"The most popular post you’re ever going to put on Facebook is the birth of your child," Morris said.

"Even though there are complaints, those posts get many more likes and comments on them than those that don’t mention a baby’s name. So baby posts are actually popular! And that pushes it up in Facebook’s algorithm."

Facebook, meanwhile, did not respond to ABC News request for comment.

The way women use social media after kids also changes, Morris' recent research shows.

"They’re asking questions, getting advice,” she said. “A lot of the baby-related posts aren’t bragging about their child, but really taking advantage of social media and gathering information."

Women in Morris’ sample -- more than 200 Facebook users -- used the social network to poll friends about car seats and arrange play dates.

The bad news?

It doesn’t look like all those beach vacation snapshots and marathon training updates are an illusion.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Page 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 ... 893 Next 10 Entries »