Lifestyle

Got fleas? Get the vacuum
December 18, 2007 04:25 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vacuum cleaners kill fleas just as well as any poison, surprised researchers said on Tuesday. They said a standard vacuum cleaner abuses the fleas so much it kills 96 percent of adult fleas and 100 percent of younger fleas. So no need to worry that a vacuum cleaner bag may turn into a fleabag breeding ground for the pesky, biting creatures, said Glen Needham, associate professor of entomology at Ohio State University. Needham studied the cat flea, or Ctenocephalides felis, the most common type of flea found in households.

2007 deadliest year for journalists since 1994: CPJ
December 18, 2007 12:22 PM - Michelle Nichols, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - At least 64 journalists were killed in 2007, making it the deadliest year in more than a decade with Iraq the most dangerous place in the world to report, a U.S. media watchdog said on Monday. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said the number of deaths was up from 56 last year and that it was still investigating whether another 22 deaths in 2007 were work-related.

Fed proposes new mortgage protections for consumers
December 18, 2007 09:47 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lenders would have to determine that a borrower can afford a mortgage before making the loan under a Federal Reserve staff proposal on new regulations released on Tuesday. The proposed rules, which will be considered later on Tuesday by the Fed board, would also require that borrowers get details on their brokers' compensation and be billed monthly for escrow. If the board approves the new regulations, they would be released for public comment before becoming final

More holiday shoppers say they'll spend less
December 18, 2007 08:56 AM - Nicole Maestri, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - More consumers are planning to spend less this holiday season than a year ago, according to a survey released on Tuesday that adds a fresh note of caution to what is shaping up to be a ho-hum holiday shopping season. The National Retail Federation survey also showed consumers continue to procrastinate, meaning the final days of the shopping season will be crucial for retailers.

San Francisco to offset some emissions
December 18, 2007 04:09 AM - Reuters

San Francisco will become the first U.S. city to offer a program to offset the impact of global warming by funding local green activities, the mayor said in an interview on Monday. Under the program to be announced on Tuesday, city officials would calculate the carbon cost of their travels and contribute to one of several city programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions -- or forego the travel altogether.

New Year's resolution: Shed carbon
December 18, 2007 03:21 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three-quarters of Americans, the world's largest polluters, plan to be more environmentally responsible in 2008 by reducing household energy or recycling more, a survey showed on Monday. Half of those polled said they would make a "green" New Year's resolution, according to the survey by GfK Roper and commissioned by marketing consultancy Tiller LLC.

Growth hormone may relieve fibromyalgia pain
December 17, 2007 06:42 PM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Daily injections of growth hormone may help reduce pain and improve the quality of life in some patients with fibromyalgia, new findings of a small study suggest. Fibromyalgia, which causes muscle pain and fatigue, is seen more often in women than in men. Muscle spasm and tightness can often be elicited by depressing certain "trigger points" overlying the muscles. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but stress, poor sleep, injury, infections, and other conditions have been linked to the disorder.

EU eyes phasing in CO2 fines for carmakers: source
December 17, 2007 06:16 PM - Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission is considering phasing in fees it charges to carmakers who fail to meet ambitious targets to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2012, a European Union source said on Monday. Amid fierce lobbying, the EU executive is due to announce on Wednesday how it will share out cuts in the main gas blamed for global warming between makers of light and heavy cars.

Officials Urge Safety for Motorists and Residents Using Alternative Heat Sources
December 17, 2007 05:58 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

HARRISBURG, Pa. - With freezing rain causing downed trees and power lines over large portions of the state, officials in affected areas -- that includes much of the northeast US -- are urging motorists to be cautious on the roads and to not drive over downed wires or branches. "Be especially careful when driving at night and watch for black ice, downed wires or debris in the roadway," said PEMA Director Robert P. French. "If possible, turn around to avoid such obstructions. Do not try to move fallen power lines yourself."

Lack of Light and Seasonal Depression
December 17, 2007 05:18 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

BOSTON - People troubled by depression usually experience their dark moods in an on-again, off-again fashion. In that respect, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) differs only in that the oscillations follow a seasonal schedule, with the depression usually starting in the fall and lasting through the spring. Lack of light is often blamed for SAD, but just how darker days cause depression in SAD sufferers is still in question, reports the January 2008 issue of the Harvard Health Letter.

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