11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week – April 1 Edition

News, discoveries and … fun We’ve hidden a few April Fools items in 11 Things this week. Tell us which ones you think they are in Comments below — and no peeking. 1. Among the new species discovered last year is the Tinkerbell Fairyfly, in Costa Rica. (Learn more at the International Institute for Species Exploration) 2. A 1,000-year-old remedy that mixes juices from onion and garlic with bile from a cow’s stomach successfully combats the deadly MRSA superbug. (Learn more at …

Aging Issues, Volunteerism Top Talks in Phoenix

“We have to start thinking about healthy aging starting at an early age,” Amy St. Peter, human services manager for the Maricopa Association of Governments, told attendees in Phoenix at the second of a series of five forums leading up to the White House Conference on Aging this summer. Experts on aging issues along with advocates and everyday older Americans gathered for the invitation-only confab to offer opinions and help set the agenda for the White House conference in Washington. …

Are You Scam Savvy or an April Fool?

This week, Hump Day is more than just Watchdog Wednesday. Being April Fools’ Day, when better not to be fooled by common scams of the season. Take this quiz to gauge your gotcha-avoidance know-how (answers at the bottom): 1. After you file your tax return, the IRS telephones, asking that you verify submitted personal information. How should you respond? A. Hang up. B. Provide the requested data. 2. Bathing-suit season beckons, and advertisements promise that a miracle supplement drops pounds fast — with a …

Consumer Agency May Clamp Down on Payday Lenders

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is proposing new rules to restrict high-cost payday and car-title loans that often leave borrowers in worse financial shape. The agency can’t do anything about the interest rates charged — that’s up to the states — although it does have the authority to regulate the lenders making these loans. “Too many short-term and longer-term loans are made based on the lender’s ability to collect and not on a borrower’s ability to repay,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray …

Cochlear Implants Shown to Reverse Cognitive Decline

New research finds that cochlear implants in older people not only help with hearing loss but may also improve thinking and memory. In a study published March 12, French researcher Isabelle Mosnier, of Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris examined the effect of cochlear implants on elderly patients, ages 65 to 85, with profound hearing loss. The study, published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, is important because it is the first to measure the effect of cochlear implants on memory and mental flexibility in elderly patients. Previous research has found older people with …

Restaurateur B. Smith Urges More Funding for Alzheimer’s Research

Former model and restaurateur B. Smith, who revealed last June that she had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, urged senators on Wednesday to “make a difference” for the millions like her and approve more funding for research into the debilitating brain condition. Smith, 65, testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, along with medical and research experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Mayo Clinic and other centers. Fighting back tears, Smith told the committee …