» The secret world of cats: A test of the National Geographic Society’s Crittercam program, run by the University of Georgia, showed a couple of interesting things about kitties that we didn’t already know about — that, given the opportunity to go outside, they will kill, but they may not bring their prey back with them (something that happens only 23 percent of the time). “The results were certainly surprising, if not startling,” said the University of Georgia’s Kerrie Anne Loyd, in the understatement of the year. The study has prompted American Bird Conservancy president Dr. George Fenwick to estimate four billion animals per year — and 500 million birds alone — are killed by cats, whether domestic or feral. “Cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American bird species are in decline,” Fenwick claims. That’s right, it’s Kitty’s fault.
We use the term ‘comfort food’ for a reason. It can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. So it may be that people with depression are turning to [fast food] for relief.Dr. David Katz, the director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center • Discussing how fast food might be a sign of depression among people who eat eat. Researchers in Spain recently found that people who ate lots of fast food were 51 percent more likely to be depressed. Anyone else surprised by that finding?
» Between 1897 and 2009, 32 separate sets of sleeping guidelines for kids gradually suggested that children get less and less sleep — at a rate of about 0.71 fewer minutes each year. Despite this, parents over the year managed to fail at these declining expectations, with children getting on average of 37 fewer minutes of sleep each year. Why’s that? Depends on the era — at the turn of the 20th century, it was artificial light, radio and cinema; in the ’90s, it was video games, cell phones and the Internet. Let’s update these standards slightly: We blame Twitter and the iPad.