Stronger and Sharper Kids… Making sure kids have good muscle fitness might also benefit their school performance, according to a recent U.S. study. Aerobic fitness has already been linked to better thinking abilities in pre-teen children, but the current study found an independent link between muscle fitness and kids’ performance on memory tests as well as their math and reading skills. For the study, funded by Nike, 75 kids ages 9 to 11 completed anaerobic exercise test at steady speed on a treadmill with gradually increasing incline until they were too out of breath to continue, then completed a similar test of muscular fitness with a battery of upper body, lower body and core exercises using body weight or a medicine ball, including lunges, push-ups and shoulder presses. The kids did as many repetitions of each exercise as possible within 30 seconds while maintaining proper form. They also completed computerized tests of working memory, algebra, geometry, reading and writing. After accounting for age, sex, grade, IQ and family education levels, researchers found that kids with better aerobic fit- ness on the treadmill test also had more accurate responses in the memory test and better perform- ance at algebraic functions. Kids with more muscular fitness on the body weight and medicine ball tests had similar positive results. For now, children should get more than 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity and regular weight bearing exercise, according to current guidelines.
Man Pods… Now here is an idea, I think, that’s ready for the U.S. At a Shanghai mall, rows of “man pods” equipped with video games are proving a big hit, providing a refuge for hundreds of weary husbands and boyfriends as their other halves shop their day away. The first pods were launched at the Global Harbor shopping mall in Shanghai this past June, and since then over 4,000 men have used the facilities, according to Ruwo Smart Technology, the company behind the scheme. “Man pod” users can recline in a chair with a large screen and play video games while enclosed behind clear glass walls that shut out the bustle of other shoppers. With retail spending increasing, there could by huge demand for such facilities and the firm said it plans to expand the service to other shopping malls in the future. “We found in most malls men and women go shopping together, but men cannot accept spending a long time shopping,” said Zhao Wei, an operator of one of the pods. “Sometimes they’ll even start having arguments. So we think in this situation, we can have a product that gives a man something to do and the girls can go shopping at ease.”
But That’s Not All… When the first oil wells were drilled they had made no provision for storing the liquid so they used water barrels. That is why, to this day, we speak of barrels of oil rather than gallons.