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Life in Brief — Week of Nov. 10

Catchy videos instruct air passengers on safety

Let’s admit it: Almost no one listens to the safety instructions that flight attendants give at the start of each flight.

Even the airlines know it. That is why so many have tried to make catchier safety messages.

Virgin America and Delta Air Lines have unveiled new videos to get the safety message across to passengers in an attention-grabbing way.

Delta’s new video has a definite holiday spin, featuring Christmas elves, Santa Claus, snowmen and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. Virgin America’s video is a bit more lively, with dancing, upbeat music and rapping children.

There is only one problem: In the videos, passengers are admonished to turn off their electronic devices during takeoffs and landings. The Federal Aviation Administration recently announced plans to ease those restrictions.

Delta spokeswoman Leslie Scott said the airline plans to make announcements after the videos to explain the latest FAA rules.

“This video is too much fun to scrap the whole thing,” she added.

No word on whether Virgin America will do the same.

— Hugo Martin

Los Angeles Times

Hints from Heloise:

GPS system in car puts home address at risk

A reader in Pennsylvania writes: Many people now have a GPS system in their car. It often asks for your home address as a starting location. I didn’t feel safe doing that, considering if people stole my car, they easily could find out my home address. Instead, I entered the gas station that is at the entrance to my neighborhood. I can start directions from there and feel safe knowing that no one has my address.

— King Features

Eating at unusual times 
may disrupt gut clock

That late-night pizza may affect not only your waistline but your overall health.

A series of powerful biological cues influence how and when your body works at peak efficiency, said Vincent Cassone, a University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences professor and chair of the biology department.

Most people are aware that there are universal biological cues that help set a body’s clock to do certain things at certain times — such as sleep when it is dark — during the 24 hours in a day. These circadian rhythms have long been thought to be controlled through a collection of neurons in the hypothalamus. But Cassone said his research has shown that “the molecular mechanisms for clocks are distributed all over the body.”

The body is biologically wired to restore and repair certain systems while resting, and rest is dictated by that 24-hour cycle. Cassone’s research shows that environmental cues, such as eating late, can potentially disrupt that repair cycle and affect overall health.

Research has shown that people whose biological clocks are out of sync with their lifestyles — people who work night shifts, for example — have higher rates of some illnesses. People who eat at unusual times have more digestive illnesses than those who eat primarily during daytime.

If there could be a complete understanding of how those gut clocks work, Cassone said, there is better hope for prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases.

— Mary Meehan

Lexington Herald-Leader


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