News Around the World

Bar Offers Pool of Cherry Blossoms

The cherry blossom has been an important symbol in Japan. Because of this, the Japanese hold the cherry blossom trees in high regard. A bar in Tokyo (Sakura Chill Bar) now offers a ‘pool’ filled with 1.2 million imitation cherry blossom petals. You can get in with your friends and take pictures fully immersed in cherry blossom petals.

News Around the World

Husbands & Wives Disagree on How Much Money They Have

No wonder married couples argue so much about money: They can’t even agree on how much they have. And guess which partner is likely to have a more optimistic view of the family’s finances? That’s right., husbands are likely to provide significantly higher values for annual income and net worth, while wives are likely to report higher household debt. The typical older man in the study reported assets of about $4,700 more than his wife reported, while the typical older woman reported debt of about $500 higher than the figure given by her husband.

News Around the World

Wacky But True: Selfie Edition

Reece Park had a big night out in Australia (Launceston, Tasmania). Things got so out of hand that after he climbed into a taxi, the driver called police. Officers took Reese home and put him in bed. But before leaving the cops took the opportunity to record the moment with a selfie in case Reese couldn’t remember how he got home. They used his camera.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Teens, Young Adults Visit Emergency Rooms More than Others for Heat-Related Illnesses, New Data Review Finds

A new look at data from Minnesota and Wisconsin found that teens and adults 15 to 34 years old in both states are the most likely to visit the emergency department for heat-related illness. 

This finding was somewhat surprising as the majority of public health alerts during heat waves focus on the very young and the very old since they are at higher risk for death and longer hospitalizations. This work highlights that teens and younger adults, particularly those involved in athletics or working outdoors, also need to take steps to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Epidemiologists from Minnesota and Wisconsin joined forces to look at heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke, from 2006-2015 in both states. There were 7,537 heat-related illness emergency department cases in Minnesota or 14.2 heat-related emergency department cases per every 100,000 people, and 8,445 cases or 14.9 cases per every 100,000 people in Wisconsin.

Other findings include the following:

  • Men are about twice as likely to visit the emergency department for heat-related illness as women.

  • Counties with a higher heat index generally had more cases of heat-related illness.

  • Counties in rural areas had heat-related illness rates significantly higher than counties in more metropolitan areas.

A summary of the methodology, findings and limitations, and future directions can be found on our website.

“Over the past few years, our agencies started noticing more and more cases of heat-related illness among younger, working-age people,” said Tess Konen, an epidemiologist and project lead from Minnesota Department of Health. “We were interested in knowing more about who is impacted by extreme heat in our states.”

Minnesota and Wisconsin share similar climates, populations, and patterns of heat-related illness. “Given our similarities, we knew our project would have the biggest impact if we combined our data and worked together to assess heat-related illness trends and patterns,” said Paul Creswell, an epidemiologist and project lead from Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Public health professionals at both agencies will be using the results from this project to improve their heat-related outreach efforts. “During hot summer months, we are still concerned about the very young and very old. But what we learned from this project is that we can do better to reach other populations who may not be aware of their risk,” said Konen.

As we head into summer months, both agencies are reminding Minnesotans and Wisconsinites to take steps to stay safe during extreme heat:

  • Stay in air conditioning. When possible, stay in air conditioning on hot days. If you don’t have air conditioning, head to libraries, malls, and other public spaces to keep cool.

  • Check on loved ones. Extreme heat can affect anyone of any age, including youth and adults. Be sure to check on older friends and neighbors who live alone and don’t have air conditioning.

  • Avoid the hottest part of the day. If you have to be outside, stick to the cooler morning and evening hours. Wear light, loose clothing and take frequent, air conditioned breaks.

  • Beware of hot cars. Never leave a person or a pet in a parked car, even for a short time. On an 80 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water on hot days. Avoid alcohol and hot, heavy meals.

  • Stay informed. Watch your local weather forecasts so you can plan outdoor activities safely. Pay attention to any extreme heat alerts.

If you start feeling overheated, weak, dizzy, nauseated, or have muscle cramps, you could be experiencing heat illness. Move to air conditioning, drink water, get under a fan, and put on cool washcloths. If your symptoms worsen or don’t improve, go to the emergency room.

For more information, visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services heat safety webpage and review heat-related illness data in our County Environmental Health Profiles.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

AAA Study Reveals Key Deadly Behaviors for Teen Drivers as “100 Deadliest Days” Begin

Over the past five years, nearly 3,500 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the number of crash fatalities involving a teen driver historically rise. New crash data from 2013-2017 reveals major factors contributing to fatal teen crashes during the summer driving period include:

  • Speeding (28 percent)
  • Drinking and driving (17 percent)
  • Distraction (9 percent)

“Crash data shows that teens are a vulnerable driver group with a higher probability of being involved in crashes,” said Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “And while teens may make mistakes when first learning to drive, it is important to continue educating them about safety behind the wheel so they avoid the reckless behaviors that put themselves and others at risk on the road.”

AAA Foundation research found that nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel. Crashes for teen drivers increase significantly during the summer because teens are out of school and driving more. Over the past five years during the “100 Deadliest Days”:

  • An average of almost 700 people died each year in crashes involving teen drivers.
  • The average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 15-18 was 17 percent higher per day compared to other days of the year.

Reckless behavior like drinking and driving, speeding and distraction are contributing to the alarming number of crash deaths involving teen drivers each summer.

Speeding

Speeding significantly increases the severity of a crash and is a growing problem among teen drivers. In the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, half (49.7 percent) of teen drivers reported speeding on a residential street in the past 30 days and nearly 40 percent say they sped on the freeway.

Drinking and Driving

Despite the fact that teens cannot legally consume alcohol, one in six teen drivers involved in fatal crashes during the summer tested positive for alcohol.

Distraction- Underreported Problem

More than half of teen drivers (52 percent) in the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index report reading a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days and nearly 40 percent report sending a text or email. It is difficult for law enforcement to detect distraction following a crash, which has made distracted driving one of the most underreported traffic safety issues.

Additional AAA Foundation research using in-vehicle dash-cam videos of teen driver crashes found distraction was involved in 58 percent of teen crashes, approximately four times as many as federal estimates.

“Parents have plenty to be concerned about as their teen hits the road this summer,” said Nick Jarmusz, Midwest director of public affairs for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Teens are making deadly mistakes on the road. Parents are the best line of defense to keep everyone safe behind the wheel.”

To keep roads safer this summer, AAA encourages parents to:

  • Talk with teens early and often about abstaining from dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving.
  • Teach by example and minimize risky behavior when driving.
  • Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.
  • AAA members and insureds can utilize AAADrive™, a free feature within the AAA Mobile app that can help parents keep their new teen driver safer buy setting limits such as when they can drive, where they can drive and how fast they can drive. Download it by texting MOBILEAPP to 99513.

“Teens should also prepare for summer driving by practicing safety during every trip,” said Dr. Bill Van Tassel, AAA Manager of Driver Training Programs. “Storing your phone out of reach, minding the speed limit, and staying away from impairing substances like alcohol and marijuana will help prevent many crashes from ever occurring.”

TeenDriving.AAA.com has a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teens for the dangerous summer driving season. The online AAA StartSmart program also offers great resources for parents on how to become effective in-car coaches as well as advice on how to manage their teen’s overall driving privileges. Teens preparing for the responsibility of driving should enroll in a driver education program that teaches how to avoid driver distraction and other safety skills.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Electronic Patch to Keep You Cool

If you’re one of those people who have a tricky internal thermostat, technology may soon give you a hand, in the form of a high-tech patch.

Engineers at the University of California San Diego say their soft, flexible patch they’ve developed can cool you down if you’re too hot, and make you feel warm when the temperature drops.

With an eye on someday embedding the tech into “smart clothing”, and helping people and businesses save on utility bills, the researchers’ findings have been published in the journal Science Advances.

Unlike other devices currently on the market, this patch requires no water or fans — instead it uses varying flows of electricity to warm or cool a person down.

A prototype of the device was woven into an armband worn by a male subject. When the ambient temperature was changed from 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit all the way to nearly 97 degrees, it kept the wearer’s skin stable at a pre-set 89.6 degrees.

The engineers say regulating an individual’s temperature is far more efficient than having to raise or lower a building’s temperature.