Monday, April 11, 2011

The Sleepless Elite

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Columnist's name
By Melinda Beck
Why Some People Can Run on Little Sleep and Get So Much Done?

For a small group of people—perhaps just 1% to 3% of the population—sleep is a waste of time.

Natural "short sleepers," as they're officially known, are night owls and early birds simultaneously. They typically turn in well after midnight, then get up just a few hours later and barrel through the day without needing to take naps or load up on caffeine.

They are also energetic, outgoing, optimistic and ambitious, according to the few researchers who have studied them. The pattern sometimes starts in childhood and often runs in families.

While it's unclear if all short sleepers are high achievers, they do have more time in the day to do things, and keep finding more interesting things to do than sleep, often doing several things at once.

Shopping and Health

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Shopping 'may improve health'

By Helen Briggs
Health reporter, BBC News

Shopping prolongs life, at least for the over 65s in Taiwan, according to research.

Even after adjusting for factors like physical and mental infirmity, men and women who shopped daily lived longer than those who shunned retail therapy, say scientists.

The data

  • Taiwanese researchers studied 1,850 people aged 65 plus
  • All were living independently at home
  • During a survey in 1999-2000 they were asked how often they went shopping
  • The team tracked how long they lived by linking individuals to national death registries between 1999 and 2008
  • Those who shopped daily were 27% less likely to die than those who shopped infrequently, with the biggest effect seen in men

Shopping may provide companionship, exercise and an opportunity to maintain a healthy diet, they report in the Journal of Epidemiology Community Health.

I want my Al Jazeera

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The lack of availability in the United States of international news outlets is a cause for concern, author argues.

by Naomi Wolf Last Modified: 05 Apr 2011 11:20

Al Jazeera correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin is on a victory lap in the United States – or rather, Al Jazeera is sending him on its own victory lap.

After all, Mohyeldin is a modest guy, despite being one of Al Jazeera's best-known reporters – and clearly a rising international media star.

Al Jazeera has good reason to gloat: it has a new cachet in the US after millions of Americans, hungry for on-the-ground reporting from Egypt, turned to its online live stream and Mohyeldin's coverage from Cairo's Tahrir Square.

So now Mohyeldin is in the US for three weeks of media events – there will even be a GQ photo shoot – having become well known in a country where viewers are essentially prevented from seeing his station.