Hospital Emergency Codes

Have you ever wondered what the classic "Code Red" means when you hear it announced in the background of your favorite hospital television show? Or maybe you've actually heard a "code" announcement at your hospital?

Reader's Digest to the rescue! Below are the definitions of the common hospital codes that they published in their May 2012 issue (although codes can vary).
RED: fire
BLUE: adult medical emergency
WHITE: pediatric medical emergency
PURPLE: child abduction
GRAY: combative person
SILVER: combative person with a weapon and/or hostage
YELLOW: bomb threat
PINK: infant abduction
ORANGE: hazardous-materials spill
BROWN: bed full of excrement
Actually, those all sound awful! Let's just hope and pray that we all only reference this guide because we hear them on tv!


"Decision Fatigue"

According to the May issue of Reader's Digest, "Decision Fatigue" has become a catchphrase. In their words:
[The definition]: The notion that the mental work of making decisions over and over again can warp your judgement and lead to poor choices. In one example, an Israeli study found that judges granted more parole requests early in the day than they did after making a series of rulings. According to the New York Times, "the more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain."
Of course, does everyone agree that granting parole requests is the "better" choice? :)

Luckily, it's all explained more thoroughly in the New York Time's article. To read it, click here. Lots of good learning to be had there! It seems like we probably all can relate to feeling worn out after using a lot of mental energy. Check it out!


Why Is A Marathon 26 Miles?

From the "Word Power" section of the April issue of Reader's Digest:
A marathon is 26 miles and 385 yards. The word and that oddly specific distance date back to the 490 BC battle of Marathon, Greece, in which the Greeks defeated the Persians. A messenger carried news of the victory to Athens across some 26 miles. Centuries later, in the 1896 Olympics, the footrace debuted and adopted the name marathon in honor of the runner.
Is anyone else wondering how long it took that messenger to carry the message? :)


Vinegar: A Dieter's Friend?

For those of you just joining us, I am recapping some of the things I've learned this year (so far) from my favorite little magazine Reader's Digest.

Today's fact comes from April's issue in an article about their new book, The Digest Diet. It explains the health benefits of eating vinegar (their example was in a salad dressing):
[Why do salads at the beginning of meals starves off hunger?] One reason is that salads are a great source of fiber: lettuce greens, carrots, tomatoes, and the like all have plenty of this macronutrient. Fiber's effects on increasing feelings of satiety are well documented. 
The surprise here? The vinegar that comes along for the ride in salad dressing also helps you feel full. Research has shown that vinegar can lessen the glycemic effect of a meal (meaning it tends to not spike your blood sugar), which has been linked to satiety that reduces food intake. Vinegar may also prevent body-fat accumulation, according to a 2009 animal study by Japanese researchers. Mice that were fed acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, for six weeks accumulated less body fat.
Not a bad condiment! Especially paired with something with fiber, it appears.

If you don't like salad, though, snacking on pickles or pickled things can accomplish the same goal. Or there is a long list of vinegar-based recipes on homecooking.about.com if you're interested!


Words That Should Exist In English 3

I am always on the lookout for words that can save me time and energy. Oftentimes, unfortunately, the most "efficient" new words I learn only exist in other languages. Maybe if we all work together, we can popularize them in the melting-pot English language?

Reader's Digest appears to share my love for these words. Last year, I posted some they found. In their April 2012 issue, they published some more in an editorial humor section written by Andy Simmons, so I thought I'd pass them along to you, too:

Cotisuelto: One who wears his shirttail outside his trousers.
(Caribbean Spanish)

Bakku-shan: The experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.

Kummerspeck: Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, "grief bacon".

Pesamenteiro: Someone who joins a funeral party just for the refreshments.

Zeg: The day after tomorrow.

I am sure these will save you tons of words when texting, as you probably use these phrases all of the time.

ie. Dale, a contisuelto, was so upset about the bakku-shan, he became a pesamenteiro and gained a ton of kummerspeck. He's going to another funeral zeg!
words saved: approx. 39



Teens WANT Braces?

Yeah, I think I am over braces.

From March 2012's issue of Reader's Digest:
"Today's teens are opting for braces even if their grins are good to go. Dr. Paul Siu, a Manhattan dentist, is fitting straight-toothed teens with non-movable braces just for the look. 'When I've done it for one kid, all his classmates get it,' he says. 'There's a demand because of peer pressure to look like everyone else.'
source: New York Post
Part of me understands - I definitely wanted braces as a kid, but my teeth were a mess - but this also seems really sad to me. If kids that young are going through all of that pain just to fit in (although the non-movable braces are likely to be unarguably less painful), I can only imagine what they'll do when they are older if they stick with that mindset.

Let's just hope this just stays a pre-teen fad!


Babies' Super-Grip!

This is a "Stuff I Just Learned" favorite, from the March 2012 issue of Reader's Digest:

Stronger than it looks?
"Using what's known as the palmar grasp reflex, many infants can squeeze a finger or small object tightly enough to support their body weight if they were lifted. Experts think the reflex, which lasts until a baby is about six months old, may have originated with young primates who needed to hold tight to their mothers while they moved from branch to branch."
Did you catch that? When your friend's baby grips your finger with his little hand, this says that if you lifted your hand, the baby could hang from your finger on his own strength! I am just not sure if I believe that, although I know that babies do hold on tight. I wonder if my brother will let me try with his new baby... :)

Dr. John B. Watson & Rosalie Raynor studying a newborn's grasp reflex, 1916-1920
(via WeirdHistoryPix)


How To Remove Wax From Cloth

From Reader's Digest, March 2012:
"Remove candle wax from a tablecloth, carpet, or couch by gently rubbing the spot with a plastic bag full of ice until [the wax] hardens. Then gently tap the splotch with a hammer and vacuum the chips."
And now if you'll excuse me, I have some stain-removing to do... ;)


How Long To Cook Hard-Boiled Eggs?

Reader's Digest recently answered this question for us thankfully. Making hard-boiled eggs is one of those things that seems like it should be common knowledge, but is it? :)

From March's issue, here are their simple hard-boiled-egg cooking instructions:

1. Place eggs in a pot large enough to hold them comfortably
2. Fill the pot with water until it's about 2 inches over the eggs
3. Bring the water in the (uncovered) pot to a boil over medium-high heat
4. Remove from heat
5. Cover

Then, based on the amount of time you leave the eggs in the hot water, you'll get different levels of "boiled"ness. They offered this handy guide:

3-Minute Soft-Boiled Egg
The yolk is completely runny and barely warm; the white is still slightly liquid.

5-Minute Soft-Boiled Egg
The yolk is cooked but runny; the white is soft.

7-Minute Medium-Boiled Egg
The yolk is partially hardened; the white is fully cooked and almost solid.

9-Minute Hard-Boiled Egg
The yolk is firm but not too dry; the white is also firm.

11-Minute Hard-Boiled Egg
The yolk is edible but "a little chalky"; the white is firm.

Also, they recommend replacing the hot water with ice-cold water in the pot right away to prevent the yolks from having a green "skin".

Hope that helps all of you hard-boiled egg and deviled egg lovers!


Avocados Help Prevent Depression

Hey friends!  Back to the Reader's Digest facts. Doesn't time fly? ;)

Today's tidbit comes from the February 2012 issue about "Nature's Best Stress Soothers". It lists superfoods fish, dark chocolate, and black tea as food that help to lower blood pressure and relax. Then it had this to say about avocados:
The flesh of these delicious green fruits is loaded with two powerful stress fighters: potassium and monounsaturated fatty acids. Both nutrients can lower blood pressure, and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) may play a part in helping ward off depression. In a large 11-year study, the more MUFAs Spanish participants ate, the less likely they were to be depressed. Researchers think the fats may improve how the brain absorbs the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin.
So scrape your avocados well when making your guacamole! Getting more of the "flesh" may be a healthy way to eat your way through rough times. :)

Other foods high in MUFAs, according to livestrong.com: olive oil, seeds, and nuts. Eat away!


Ann Arbor Karaoke

We're taking a Reader's Digest Break this week - don't worry, though, I have more fun facts to share!

In the meantime (and this may not apply to many of you) I wanted to make a list of places that offer karaoke in the Ann Arbor area, since I am having a very hard time finding that succinctly on the web. Maybe you also have that problem?

Here's what I can find (as of today):
(this does not count the places that only do karaoke: Blue Karaoke, Friends Karaoke, etc)

couldn't find any!

           Aut Bar
Good Time Charley's
Banfield's Westside Grill
            Blue Leprechaun
BTB Cantina
Tower Inn Cafe (Ypsilanti)
Powell's Pub (Ypsilanti)
The Arena Bar & Grill
Bel-Mark Lanes
Circus Bar & Billiards
Fenders Bar & Grill (Milan)
Katie's Food & Spirits (Dexter)
Bel-Mark Lanes 
Circus Bar & Billiards
Dan's Downtown Tavern (Saline)
Hamburg Pub (Hamburg)
Thompson's Bar & Grill (Saline)
Bel-Mark Lanes
Circus Bar & Billiards
Hamburg Pub (Hamburg)
Powell's Pub (Ypsilanti)
Tap Room (Ypsilanti)
Places that may have karaoke, but aren't answering their phones:
- Blue Leprechaun
Rick's American Cafe
Places that no longer have karaoke:
- The Blind Pig
- Conor O'Neill's
- Elbow Room (closed)
- The Heidelburg Restaurant
If you know of any others or changes to this list, please let me know so my list can be more complete!
And please call ahead to make sure this info is accurate for the night you want to go.

Hope this helps all of you brave singers in Washtenaw County. :)