French citizens now automatic organ donors under new law

Published: Wednesday, January 04, 2017 @ 2:44 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 04, 2017 @ 2:44 PM


            A new French law makes everyone an organ donor automatically. The law took effect on Jan. 1.
            Graham Chadwick/Getty Images
A new French law makes everyone an organ donor automatically. The law took effect on Jan. 1.(Graham Chadwick/Getty Images)

All French citizens are now automatic organ donors, unless they officially opt out of the program.

A new law that went into effect on Jan. 1 makes everyone an organ and tissue donor. People can opt out of the program, but they must enroll in something called the National Rejection Register in order to do so.

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A low number of organ donations prompted the new rule, according to news reports.

France’s biomedicine agency said in a statement on its website that “in the name of national solidarity, the principle of presumed consent was chosen,” The World Post reported.

“The law says that we are all donors of organs and tissues, unless we have expressed our refusal,” the agency added.

In the United States, people can register for organ donation when they renew their driver’s license or online at organdonor.gov.

Want better sleep? Cut down on binge-watching, study suggests

Published: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 @ 4:44 PM

It's important to get a good night's sleep, and these eight tips will help you catch some serious Z's. Powder down electronics Block the clock Beds are for sleep Avoid caffeine Eat right before bed No pets allowed

Love to binge-watch? Be cautious, because tuning in to your favorite shows for hours at a time could contribute to poor quality of sleep, according to new research

Scientists from the University of Leuven in Belgium conducted a study to determine the link between television viewing habits and quality of sleep. 

To do so, they handed out a survey to 423 people ages 18 to 25. The questionnaire was designed to record symptoms of insomnia and fatigue and the amount of time participants spend watching TV. 

On average, a binge-watching session lasted for three hours and eight minutes, and 52 percent of respondents viewed three to four episodes in a single sitting. 

After analyzing the data, researchers found that binge-watchers had more symptoms of fatigue, insomnia and greater alertness right before bed. Additionally, binge-watchers were more likely to have a poorer quality of sleep compared to non binge-watchers.

"The narrative structure that characterizes “bingeable” television shows involves a larger number of more diverse storylines that extend beyond one episode...As such, the narrative complexity in these shows leaves viewers thinking about episodes and their sequel after viewing them,” the study said. "This prolongs sleep onset or, in other words, requires a longer period to “cool down” before going to sleep, thus affecting sleep overall.”

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Scientists, however, did note their study did not factor in the different types of television content and television viewing behavior, which could introduce further variables.

“It would be interesting to study whether, for instance, relaxing media content does the opposite,” the study said. 

In the meantime, analysts believe there is one primary way to combat poor sleep caused by binge-watching. They suggest that streaming services allow users to set their “optimal viewing duration” beforehand. 

Related

Hungry sea lice likely attacked, bloodied teen's legs at Australian beach

Published: Monday, August 07, 2017 @ 3:20 AM
Updated: Monday, August 07, 2017 @ 3:59 AM

Hungry Sea Lice Likely Attacked, Bloodied Teen's Legs At Australian Beach

An Australian teen is recovering after tiny creatures – likely sea lice – attacked his legs at a beach in Brighton, a Melbourne suburb.

According to a report by the Guardian and the Australian Associated Press, 16-year-old Sam Kanizay of Melbourne went to the beach Saturday to soak his legs after a soccer game. But when he got out of the water 30 minutes later, his legs were numb, bloody and "covered in what his family said were tiny marine creatures eating his legs," the article said.

Sam's father, Jarrod Kanizay, took Sam to the hospital for the wounds, which the teen described to 3AW as "hundreds of little pin-sized bites" on his feet and ankles.

"There was a massive pool of blood on the floor," Jarrod Kanizay said, adding that "no one" at the hospital "knows what the creatures are." 

Marine experts say parasitic sea lice may be to blame.

>> Read more trending news

"They're scavengers who'll clean up dead fish and feed on living tissue," University of Melbourne marine biologist Michael Keough told The Age. "They're mostly less than a centimeter long, and so the bites they make are pretty small, and so that's more consistent with pinprick size marks."

He added: "It's just food for them. Especially if he's been standing around for a long time, it's the chance for more of them to come in and start biting. Just be attracted to a little bit of blood. And if he's standing in the water and he's cold and may not notice a whole lot of little bites."

University of New South Wales Associate Professor Alistair Poore, an authority on marine invertebrates, echoed the sentiment.

"If it is sea lice, then it is a pretty dramatic example of it," he told the Guardian.

In an effort to solve the mystery, Jarrod Kanizay said he returned to the spot where his son was attacked and caught some of the creatures using a net filled with meat. He then recorded the creatures eating the meat in a now-viral – and nauseating – video.

>> See the clip here (WARNING: Graphic content.)

Read more here or here.

Sea Lice and the Rash They Cause

Vladimir Putin bares chest, goes spearfishing

Published: Saturday, August 05, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

Vladimir Putin - Fast Facts

Russian president Vladimir Putin took a short vacation to begin August, heading to Tuva in southern Siberia to fish, swim and catch some rays.

In images and footage released by Russian state television, Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu can be seen enjoying the outdoors, The Associated Press reports. Putin is seen swimming and fishing, including spending two hours hunting a pike while spearfishing.

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Most of the images of Putin feature him bare-chested, except for the photos where Putin dons a wetsuit.

Putin is known for his love of adventure and the outdoors, and has taken active vacations since becoming Russia's president, The Associated Press reports.

In this photo released by Kremlin press service on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a fish he caught while fishing during a mini-break in the Siberian Tyva region, a few days ago.(Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Chinese censors block Winnie the Pooh

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 3:50 PM



MJ Kim/Getty Images
(MJ Kim/Getty Images)

The Chinese government is blocking social media posts including the image of A.A. Milne’s beloved Winnie the Pooh, apparently due to constant comparisons between the cartoon bear and Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

The Guardian reported that references to “Little Bear Winnie,” Winnie the Pooh’s Chinese name, were bringing up errors on Monday for some social media users in China.

Authorities didn’t explain the decision to block to bear, according to The Guardian. However, BBC News reported that bloggers’ comparison of Pooh’s image to that of the country’s president prompted the clampdown.

“It is not only that China's censors will not tolerate ridicule of the country's leader, they do not want this beloved children's character becoming a kind of online euphemism for the Communist Party's general secretary,” according to the news site’s China blog. “In other countries such comparisons might be thought of as harmless enough and some might even think that having Winnie as your mascot could even be quite endearing: not in China.”

The New York Times reported that government censors have been battling with Pooh bear since at least 2013, when an image of Xi and then-President Barack Obama drew comparisons to Winne the Pooh and Tigger. Since then, multiple social media users have compared Pooh to Xi.