Taught Napping

By Scott LaFee

June 26, 2019 5 min read

Exhausted parents and teachers have long insisted that naps are beneficial — for the kids, too. Now they've got some empirical evidence to back them up. A new University of California, Irvine study of nearly 3,000 middle schoolers found a correlation between midday napping and greater happiness, improved self-control, fewer behavioral problems and higher IQ.

"Children who napped three or more times per week benefit from a 7.6% increase in academic performance in Grade 6," said one study author. "How many kids at school would not want their scores to go up by 7.6 points out of 100?"

That's a question worth sleeping on.

The Other Blight Meat

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that, contrary to popular belief, consuming white meat, such as poultry, results in similar high levels of blood cholesterol compared to consuming red meat, such as beef.

The study did not look at fish consumption but did note that plant proteins did not produce the same negative effect as the meats.

Get Me That, Stat!

By the year 2040, according to one industry report, 60% of the "meat" consumed in the world will not come dead animals but rather came from plant-based products or was grown in vats.

Doc Talk

Zebra: A term for the tendency of young doctors to make rare diagnoses. It derives from Dr. Theodore Woodward, who in the 1940s reportedly told medical students, "Don't look for zebras on Greene Street." That quote morphed into "When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don't expect to see a zebra," meaning don't look for a more exotic diagnosis when there's a more routine, ordinary explanation.

Mania of the Week

Pteridomania: Obsession with ferns

Never Say 'Diet'

The Major League Eating record for ice cream sandwiches is 25.5 in six minutes, held by Joey Chestnut. Warning: Most of these records are held by professional eaters, the rest by people who really should find something better to do.

Best Medicine

A patient at a medical clinic filled out a form. After "Name" and "Address," the next question was "Nearest Relative."

The patient wrote "walking distance."

Observation

"I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?" — Author Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

Medical History

This week in 1924, a tuberculosis vaccine was developed by Albert Calmette and Alphonse Guerin. The vaccine is rarely used in the United States, where the disease is rare and declining in cases (most of which involve non-U.S.-born persons), but the vaccine is widely employed elsewhere in the world where the disease is endemic. TB kills more people in the world each year than any other infectious disease, with approximately 10 million infections and 1.8 million deaths.

Ig Nobel Apprised

The Ig Nobel Prizes celebrate achievements that make people laugh and then think — a look at real science that's hard to take seriously and even harder to ignore.

In 2003, the Ig Nobel Prize in psychology went to researchers at Stanford University and the University of Rome for their discerning report: "Politicians' Uniquely Simple Personalities."

Med School

Q: How many kinds of tonsils do you have?

A: If you think the question suggests more than one, you're right. People actually have four kinds: the palatine tonsils visible at the back of the throat, the lingual tonsil at the base of the tongue, tubal tonsils and the adenoid tonsil (often just called the adenoid). Collectively, they form what's known as Waldeyer's ring: a barrier of specialized tissue designed to detect and block inhaled or ingested pathogens before they enter the body.

Epitaphs

"In." — Headstone of actor Jack Lemmon (1925-2001), who instructed that his marker contain only his name and one simple word.

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: artbyrandy at Pixabay

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