11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. For $50,000, the Dallas Zoo will sell you naming rights for a baby giraffe. (Learn more at CBS DFW) 2. More than $2 billion in lottery prizes went unclaimed in 2013. (Learn more at Yahoo! Finance) 3. Some male hummingbirds use their sharp, curved beaks to stab rivals’ throats. (Learn more at University of Connecticut) >>  Best Small Towns in America 4. Carlos Santana became a guitarist because his first instrument, the violin, sounded like an “alley …

Trick or Treat: Does Chocolate Help Brain Health?

A new study this week that linked the antioxidant-rich flavanols in cocoa to improved memory in healthy older adults produced lots of yummy headlines, so  it’s OK to stuff ourselves with leftover Halloween candy, right? Well, not exactly. Study participants — all between the ages of 50 and 69 — saw striking improvements in memory after drinking a special cocoa drink daily for just three months. On average, the memory of 60-year-olds improved to perform more like that of  30- or 40-year-olds, according to …

¿’Pastillas de chocolate’ para un corazón sano?

Suena espectacular. ¿Quién se ofrece a ser parte de este estudio? El hospital Brigham and Women’s en Boston y el centro de investigaciones Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center en Seattle están a punto de comenzar un estudio para comprobar si los nutrientes que contiene el chocolate negro previenen o no los infartos y las apoplejí­as. Ya sabí­amos que comer una onza de chocolate negro al dí­a puede ayudar a bajar la presión arterial; pero durante este estudio los participantes tendrán …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun …   1. Dolphins are 10 times stronger than the fittest humans. (Learn more at Discovery) 2. A spandex suit that combats slipped disks in astronauts might also help people on Earth with lower-back problems. (Learn more at Mashable) (hat tip to Mike Kulick) 3. One percent of the world’s population controls half the wealth. (Learn more at NPR) 4. The Peace Corp’s oldest volunteer, 80, is winding up her assignment in South Africa. (Learn more at AARP) …

11 Things We Didn’t Know. 2014 Predictions

News, discoveries and fun … 1 … That science fiction author and futurist Isaac Asimov got it right 50 years ago when he wrote: “Communication will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone.” (Learn more at Buzzfeed) 2 … That about half of us think 2014 will be a better year overall than 2013. (Learn more at USA Today) 3 … That some things will be more expensive in 2014, including beef, bread, …

Yummy News! Cocoa May Help Keep Brain Healthy

When the press release hit email in-boxes, health editors across the country – including yours truly – were certainly dancing a jig. “Chocolate May Help Keep Brain Healthy,” said the release headline. “Drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may help older people keep their brains healthy and their thinking skills sharp.” Obviously, fantastic news. The study, published in the respected journal Neurology, comes from the hallowed halls of Harvard. So it was with something close to glee that …