August 31, 2012

Blue Moon Tonight – But Is It Really Blue – The Daily Orbit

— What’s blue about a blue moon?

— What did an 8-year-old find in the sand that put some cha-ching in his pocket?

— And you might just be surprised at the secrets to a long and healthy life!

— All this and new studies that will make your Labor Day weekend even better!  Coming up on the Daily Orbit!

Hi I’m Emerald Robinson, welcome to the Daily Orbit.

Well, if you’ve been holding out for something that comes “once in a blue moon”, today’s your lucky day!  Tonight you will be able to see a “Blue Moon”.  But if you’re expecting to look up in the sky and see a blue-colored moon you might be disappointed.  The term “blue moon” can be a little misleading.  There are three circumstances that this term refers to. First, when moon is literally blue in appearance. This bluish hue happens due to ash or dust in the air which acts as a color filter to the eye– generally from major events like forest fires or volcanic eruptions.  The second circumstance occurs when there are four full moons in a season, rather than three.   And the third circumstance is when there are two full moons in one calendar month— like tonight’s blue moon! Coming in under the wire, tonight’s full moon is the second this August.  Awww….a blue moon just sounds so romantic doesn’t it?

This next story just makes me want to gag….ugh!  Eight year old Charles Naysmith scored more than a bag of sea shells during his trip to the beach in New Zealand  recently.  In fact, he came back with whale vomit.  Turns out what might sound disgusting to you is worth about $60,000 big ones.  Ambergris, the technical name for whale vomit, is formed in the intestinal tract of sperm whales and often regurgitated or secreted into the ocean.  It is commonly used in perfume to prolong its scent.  Think $60,000 sounds like a big score?  In 2008, two beach-goers found a 110 lb piece of ambergris in North Wales worth $790k.  Who knew vomit could be so lucrative?

Ok all you Type A science nerds out there, like me, you need to take a chill pill….  As if you needed anymore proof, yet another study says stress will kill.  The study, published in the Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry, found that the chronic stress common in a Type-A personality has been linked to an increased risk of stroke and heart disease.  Researchers took into account behavior patterns, life-altering events, physical health and general well-being in conducting their research.   Those with a truly “Type A” personality or those who smoked or drank 2 or more energy drinks a day, saw double the stroke risk.  And if you’re a man, well you’re just SOL, because the study found men had nine times the risk.  So throw out the coffee, chuck the cig, and if you’re a man….well…there’s not much you do about that!

Eat up!  Just in time for Labor Day  weekend, a new study from the National Institute on Aging says that a restricted calorie diet doesn’t increase longevity.  Scientists previously thought that by reducing the average 2,200 calorie diet by 30%, animals and humans could add years to their lifespan.  However, this new study suggests that the theory does not apply to humans.  The 23 year long study used two groups of monkeys, where one group was given 30% less calories than the control group.  The two groups showed no significant difference in lifespan. However, researchers did see lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the monkeys eating the calorie-restricted diet.   So this weekend, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should eat your weight in food but maybe you can feel a little less guilty about hitting your Labor Day cookout…I know will :)

I love this!  Chocolate just keeps getting healthier!  It has recently been found that eating chocolate may lower blood pressure in some people.  No wonder mine is so low!  A study performed by Swedish researchers say that men who consume a standard chocolate bar every week lower their risk of having a stroke later in life by 17%.  And they believe that eating even more chocolate can reduce the risk even further.  These findings support a 2011 study that saw the same effects in women.  It just keeps getting better and better.  The benefit comes from the cocoa which contains flavonoids.  Flavonoids are compounds that have been shown to lower blood pressure, increase good cholesterol and improve arterial function.  I’m just loving these studies this week!

That’s it’s for the Daily Orbit, we will see you on Tuesday….and this holiday weekend listen to what the scientists say and relax, eat up, and indulge in chocolate!

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