Wednesday, May 8, 2024



Study finds creatine supplements may improve cognitive performance

A recent study finds that just one large dose of creatine supplements may improve cognitive performance in people who are acutely sleep-deprived. Experts hope that, in the future, creatine-based interventions could help people who need to perform at a high level despite insufficient sleep, like healthcare professionals, firefighters, and night-shift workers. However, much more research is needed before we rush out and bulk-buy creatine. Some athletes and fitness enthusiasts take creatine supplements to enhance physical performance. However, its role in cognitive performance has recently entered the spotlight. Formed of three amino acids, the human body produces around 1 gram (g)Trusted Source of creatine daily, mostly in the liver and kidneys, and to a smaller degree, in the pancreas. It is also present in some food — mostly meat and fish. Someone who follows an omnivorous diet will consume around 1 g per day. Around 95% of the body’s creatine is stored in skeletal muscle but also in the brain. Sports scientists are interested in creatine because it helps the body regenerate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — our cells’ primary energy source. evidence is mounting that creatine may also “reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can benefit the brain,” and that creatine may reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, be neuroprotective against brain injury, and help support brain health and development. (Medical News Today)


Study finds human noise negatively impacts cricket survival and reproduction

As the sun sets and the sweltering heat gives way to a balmy evening, there’s one sound that fills the air, both beloved and bothersome: the rhythmic symphony of chirping crickets. However, human-generated noise can mask the harmony of the cricket song, prompting researchers to question whether it is also drowning out the melody. University of Denver researchers have evaluated the impact of human-generated noise on crickets. Invertebrates comprise more than 95% of all animal species on earth. Vehicular noise exposes at least 83% of land in the continental U.S., and 88% of people experience noise equivalent to constant rainfall. However, less than 4% of noise research on terrestrial organisms has focused on invertebrates. Under certain noise levels, the rate of survival to adulthood decreased, and the number of offspring that hatched depended on the combination of noise experiences a female had during the juvenile and adult stages. Researchers exposed the crickets to four traffic noise levels commonly experienced in their natural environment: silence, 50 decibels, 60 decibels, and 70 decibels—noting that 55 decibels are equivalent to constant rainfall. Crickets raised with noise levels at 70 decibels (like a busy street or vacuum cleaner) were 35% less likely to survive adulthood than those raised in silence. The research team analyzed the impact of noise pollution on 15 cricket traits, discovering that the rate of survival to adulthood and the number of offspring that hatched were affected. Tinghitella suggests that human-generated noise acts as a stressor on crickets. However, despite these effects, 13 other characteristics measured did not change depending on noise exposure, indicating that crickets are learning to live with the constant noise of humans. (


Influencers now too influential?

Has influencer marketing gone too far? Internet celebrities have been hawking products and promoting brands for nearly two decades, bringing in $21.1 billion in 2023 alone. However, a lack of regulation has led to unethical practices from companies and creators alike. Some influencers mislead brands about their follower counts and reach, while many Black and Hispanic creators face a pay gap and consumers are sometimes duped about product quality or outright scammed. Despite these challenges, influencer marketing is still likely to persist because it feels more authentic than traditional ads. (Business Insider)


TSA Discovers Bag of Snakes in Passenger’s Pants at Miami International Airport

A passenger at Miami International Airport was caught with some slithering stowaways in his pants, according to TSA. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers reported discovering a bag of snakes tucked away in a man’s pants at a checkpoint on April 26. Officers called U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Miami-Dade Police to assist with the snakes, TSA said in a post to X. The post included a picture of two snakes, as well as a small camouflage bag that the creatures were kept in. The snakes were turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, according to the agency. (TSA Gulf X)


Israel orders Al Jazeera to close its local operation and seizes some of its equipment

Israel ordered the local offices of Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite news network to close Sunday, escalating a long-running feud between the broadcaster and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line government as Doha-mediated cease-fire negotiations with Hamas hang in the balance. The extraordinary order, which includes confiscating broadcast equipment, preventing the broadcast of the channel’s reports and blocking its websites, is believed to be the first time Israel has ever shuttered a foreign news outlet operating in the country. Al Jazeera went off Israel’s main cable and satellite providers in the hours after the order. However, its website and multiple online streaming links still operated. The network has reported the Israeli-Hamas war nonstop since the militants’ initial cross-border attack October 7 and has maintained 24-hour coverage in the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s grinding ground offensive that has killed and wounded members of its staff. While including on-the-ground reporting of the war’s casualties, its Arabic arm often publishes verbatim video statements from Hamas and other regional militant groups. Al Jazeera issued a statement vowing it will “pursue all available legal channels through international legal institutions in its quest to protect both its rights and journalists, as well as the public’s right to information.” (Associated Press)


Biden administration puts hold on US ammunition shipment to Israel

The Biden administration has put a hold on a shipment of U.S.-manufactured ammunition to Israel for the first time since the deadly October 7 Hamas terror attack. Two Israeli officials said that the weapons shipment was stopped last week, leaving officials within the Israeli government scrambling to understand why. When asked about the report, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said that it has supported Israel’s defense since the October 7 attack. “The United States has surged billions of dollars in security assistance to Israel since the October 7 attacks, passed the largest ever supplemental appropriation for emergency assistance to Israel, led an unprecedented coalition to defend Israel against Iranian attacks, and will continue to do what is necessary to ensure Israel can defend itself from the threats it faces,” the statement said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to carry out a military operation in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where some 1.5 million Palestinians have taken shelter, and where Hamas maintains its last remaining stronghold. (Fox News)


Hawaii to limit vacation rentals in response to tight housing market

Hawaii lawmakers have voted to put limits on short-term rentals such as Airbnbs. The governor, Josh Green, signed a bill that would give counties the power to regulate short-term rentals and even phase them out to become long-term housing for local residents. The move on short-term rentals was one of several legislative decisions to come out of the meeting of the state legislature. It also appropriated $1bn to go toward the ongoing recovery from the Lahaina fire on August 8, 2023 including more than $120m in rental assistance for people who are ineligible for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) and $500m for emergency housing for residents who remain displaced. The bill will essentially give counties the authority to redefine zoning ordinances and phase out short-term rentals into long-term residential housing, something that has been a dire need, especially since the Maui wildfires. (The Guardian)


Siri for iOS 18 to gain massive AI upgrade via Apple’s Ajax LLM

Several of Apple’s standard system components are on the verge of receiving significant AI-related enhancements, with Safari, Spotlight Search, and Siri being first in line for the treatment. Over the past several months, there’s been various chatter regarding AI-related features bound for iOS 18, and some specifics on the functionality of Apple’s Ajax large language model (LLM), as well as information on features the company has been testing alongside it. This report focuses only on information that could be verified independently through people familiar with the software. In addition to specific features, they’ve collectively shared some info on the iPhone maker’s internal AI test environments as well. Apple’s approach to generative AI will focus on practical benefits for the end-user while simultaneously attempting to preserve user privacy by using on-device LLM. Rather than offering short-term entertainment value in the form of an AI chatbot, the company aims to improve its existing portfolio of system applications via generative AI. Features like text summarization, document analysis, and AI-enhanced search options would all directly benefit end-users in meaningful ways. Apple intends to introduce AI-related improvements to several of its built-in system apps beginning next month, including Siri, Spotlight Search, Messages, Mail, and Safari. (Apple Insider)


Wendy’s Expects to Close 100+ Restaurants This Year

From TGI Fridays to the bankrupt Tijuana Flats, a number of major restaurant chains have been shuttering locations this year due to lagging sales, rising costs, and other financial woes. Now, Wendy’s has also joined the growing list of restaurant brands closing a significant number of stores in 2024. The burger chain released its latest quarterly earnings, reporting a 0.9% increase in global same-store sales and a 0.6% increase in the United States. During a subsequent earnings call with investors, Wendy’s CFO Gunther Plosch announced that the chain plans to shutter a little over 100 restaurants in 2024. Several of those closures already took place in the first quarter, which ended on March 31. The company reported 35 total new store openings during the quarter and eight net new store openings. This indicates that Wendy’s shuttered 27 locations throughout the first three months of the year. Even though it will lose a large swath of locations in 2024, Wendy’s still expects to end the year with a larger footprint than it had at the start. The chain anticipates opening 250 to 300 restaurants throughout the year. These openings should add up to more than 2% of net new unit growth for the burger slinger. (Eat This Not That)


YouTube’s AI-powered ‘Jump Ahead’ feature rolling out widely to Premium users

YouTube is now rolling out its new AI-powered “Jump Ahead” feature more widely. The platform started testing the feature back in March, and it’s now available as a perk for YouTube Premium subscribers. “Jump Ahead” lets you skip to the best parts of a video by combining user data and AI to predict what you’d like to watch. The feature was previously only available to select Premium users in the US, but all YouTube Premium members can now try it out through For now, the feature only works on the YouTube Android app in the US and is available only for English-language videos. Since it’s an experimental feature, YouTube has stated that it’s only available to try out until June 1. Following the deadline, the platform may roll it out officially as part of its Premium subscription, or it could extend the experiment further. (Android Authority)


DOJ alleges Google destroyed hundreds of thousands of chats as antitrust case winds down

Hundreds of thousands of potentially damning internal conversations may have gone missing at Google, according to allegations from the Department of Justice. As the landmark antitrust trial over Google’s search engine monopoly winds down, this revelation could prove pivotal. The DOJ alleges that Google instituted a policy encouraging employees to disable chat history and delete logs of discussions around sensitive business practices, such as revenue-sharing agreements and mobile app distribution deals. According to government lawyers, these conversations may have revealed Google’s intent to illegally exclude rivals and maintain its dominance in the search market. The Justice Department has been forthright in its approach. It has asked Judge Mehta to sanction Google by issuing harsh presumptions that the deleted chat logs contained evidence of anticompetitive conduct and monopolistic intent. Essentially, the government wants the court to assume the worst about those undisclosed conversations. In Google’s defense, company lawyer Colette Connor argued that the DOJ has no proof that the lost chats were relevant to the case. She also claimed that Google had properly disclosed its chat retention practices to at least one state involved in the litigation: Texas. (Tech Spot)


Maps show where the disease-carrying parasites, ticks,  live

Tick season is ramping up, and experts say people should take precautions before venturing outside. Of the 700 species of ticks in the world, the U.S. is home to nearly 50 species, according to the National Institutes of Health. Though a select few can transmit disease to people, those species are growing in numbers and reach. The number of people diagnosed in 2022 with tick-borne diseases in the U.S. rose to 62,551, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the previous decade, infections averaged about 33,000 a year, but the reporting was more cumbersome. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects annual cases to continue growing, though. With climate change raising temperatures, tick populations have expanded into new regions and put more people in contact with ticks and their illness-causing bacteria. The blacklegged tick and Western blacklegged tick can spread Lyme disease, which can lead to a wide range of health problems. Most Lyme disease cases have been reported in the upper Midwest, Northeast and mid-Atlantic states. The CDC says Lyme disease is the most prevalent disease transmitted through tick bites in the U.S. But even in high-risk regions, the chance of contracting Lyme disease from a tick bite is 1% to 3%. (USA Today)


Wednesday Is Slammed With:

  • Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
  • Bike and Roll To School Day
  • Coconut Cream Pie Day
  • Cruelty Free Day
  • Donate A Day’s Wages To Charity (Second Wednesday)
  • Free Trade Day
  • Golf Day
  • Have A Coke Day
  • International Thalassaemia Day
  • Night Shift Workers Day (Second Wednesday)
  • Third Shift Workers Day (Second Wednesday)
  • No Socks Day
  • Receptionists Day (Second Wednesday)
  • School Nurse Day (Always the Wednesday of School Nurse Week)
  • Student Nurse Day
  • Time of Remembrance & Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During The Second World War
  • V E Day
  • World Ovarian Cancer Day
  • World Red Cross / Red Crescent Day


Historical Events

589 – Reccared summons the Third Council of Toledo.

1096 – Peter the Hermit and his army reached Hungary. They passed through without incident.

1450 – Jack Cade’s Rebellion-Kentishmen revolted against King Henry VI.

1541 – Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River. He called it Rio de Espiritu Santo.

1794 – Antoine Lavoisier was executed by guillotine. He was the French chemist that discovered oxygen.

1794 – The United States Post Office was established.

1821 – Greek War of Independence: The Greeks defeat the Turks at the Battle of Gravia.

1846 – The first major battle of the Mexican War was fought. The battle occurred in Palo Alto, TX. U.S. General Zachary Taylor beat back the Mexican forces.

1847 – The rubber tire was patented by Robert W. Thompson.

1879 – George Selden applied for the first automobile patent.

1886 – Pharmacist Dr. John Styth Pemberton invented what would later be called “Coca-Cola.”

1914 – The U.S. Congress passed a Joint Resolution that designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

1915 – H.P. Whitney’s Regret became the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby.

1919 – The U.S. Navy’s first transatlantic flight took off with three Curtiss NC flying boats.

1919 – Edward George Honey first proposes the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate The Armistice of World War I, which later results in the creation of Remembrance Day. In the United States it was called Armistice Day and is now Veterans Day.

1921 – Sweden abolished capital punishment.

1927 – The White Bird and its crew mysteriously disappear. French aviators, Charles Nungesser and François Coli, had taken off from Paris in their Levasseur PL.8 biplane in an attempt to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight. Their disappearance remains a mystery. Charles Lindbergh succeeded two weeks later.

1933 – Gandhi began a hunger strike to protest British oppression in India.

1939 – Clay Puett’s electric starting gate was used for the first time.

1941 – The German Luftwaffe launch a bombing raid on Nottingham and Derby.

1943 – The Germans suppressed a revolt by Polish Jews and destroyed the Warsaw Ghetto.

1945 – U.S. President Harry Truman announced that World War II had ended in Europe.

1945 – Hundreds of Algerian civilians are killed by French Army soldiers in the Sétif massacre.

1946 – Estonian school girls Aili Jõgi and Ageeda Paavel blow up the Soviet memorial which stood in front of the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn.

1954 – Parry O’Brien became the first to toss a shot put over 60 feet. O’Brien achieved a distance of 60 feet 5 1/4 inches.

1956 – Alfred E. Neuman appeared on the cover of “Mad Magazine” for the first time.

1958 – U.S. President Eisenhower ordered the National Guard out of Little Rock as Ernest Green became the first black to graduate from an Arkansas public school.

1959 – Mike and Marian Ilitch founded “Little Caesars Pizza Treat”.

1960 – Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union resumed.

1961 – New Yorkers selected a new name for their new National League baseball franchise. They chose the Mets.

1970 – The Beatles release the album “Let It Be”. The recording was the last studio album ever released by the legendary English rock band.

1970 – Construction workers broke up an anti-war protest on New York City’s Wall Street.

1973 – A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota ends with the surrender of the militants.

1978 – Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler climb Mount Everest without oxygen supply. Prior to the Italian and Austrian mountaineers’ ascent, it was thought to be impossible to conquer the world’s highest mountain without supplemental oxygen.

1984 – Joanie (Erin Moran) and Chachi (Scott Baio) got married on ABC-TV’s “Happy Days.”

1984 – Moscow announces that the USSR will not take part in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Several other countries, such as Cuba, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Vietnam joined the boycott. 4 years earlier, the United States had not sent any athletes to the Summer Olympics in Moscow.

1985“New Coke” was released to the public on the 99th anniversary of Coca-Cola.

1986 – Reporters were told that 84,000 people had been evacuated from areas near the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Soviet Ukraine.

1987 – The Loughgall Ambush: The SAS kills eight Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers and a civilian during an ambush in Loughgall, Northern Ireland.

1993 – The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina and rebel Bosnian Serbs signed an agreement for a nationwide cease-fire.

1996 – South Africa adopted a constitution that guaranteed equal rights for black and white people.

1997 – Larry King received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1998 – A pipe burst leaving a million residents without water in Malaysia’s capital area. This added to four days of shortages that 2 million already faced.

1999 – The first female cadet graduated from The Citadel military college.

2003 – The U.S. Senate unanimously endorsed adding seven former communist nations to NATO. The countries were Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

2018 – U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear accord with Iran and restored harsh sanctions.

2020 – In the U.S., it was reported that the unemployment level had reached 14.7%. It was the highest level seen since the Great Depression.