July 18, 2012

    Photo: John Loo/Flickr

Chocolate Is Good for You

EU regulator supports flavanol health claims

The European Food Safety Authority has ruled that dark chocolate and cocoa powder can help improve blood circulation, supporting a claim by the world's largest producer of chocolate products. The decision marks the EFSA's first positive opinion that the consumption of cocoa flavanols has health benefits. If the European Commission signs off on the ruling, chocolate producer Barry Callebaut will be able to claim health benefits on the packaging of its products, which include Kraft and Hershey chocolate bars. The company says it uses a special procedure that maintains the cocoa's flavanols, normally destroyed in the chocolate-making process because of their bitterness.

Via Reuters

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    Photo: LollyKnit/Flickr

Naked Hiker Freed After 6 Years in Jail

Leaves clink in the buff

A British hiker who spent the past six years in prison for repeatedly refusing to wear clothes has been released. Stephen Gough, 53, walked naked from Perth Prison in Scotland on Tuesday after a shift in police policy. "My opinion is that the police have thought, The guy's not going to give up, so let's have a think about it," Gough said. Known as the "Naked Rambler," Gough, a former Royal Marine and truck driver, became famous in 2003 during a clothes-free, cross-country walk from Land's End to John O'Groats. He was convicted of breaching the peace in 2006 and sent to prison for a year; within a minute of being freed, he again removed his clothes and was promptly rearrested. His determination to live his life free of clothes has landed him 17 convictions over the past six years, much of which has been served in solitary confinement.

Via The Telegraph

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Frank Schleck denies doiping     Photo: Edwin Vermaas

Schleck Says He Was Poisoned

Denies Xipamide found in doping test

Luxembourgish rider Frank Schleck plans to file a formal complaint of poisoning if his B sample confirms the presence of the banned diuretic Xipamide at the Tour de France. After testing positive Tuesday, Schleck voluntarily withdrew from the Tour but maintained his innocence. "I categorically deny taking any banned substance,” Schleck said. “I have no explanation for the test result and therefore insist that the B sample be tested, which is my right. If this analysis confirms the initial result, I will argue that I have been the victim of poisoning." Xipamide falls under the “specified substances” portion of the World Anti-Doping Code, meaning that Schleck will have the opportunity to argue that he ingested the drug without the intention of enhancing performance. If WADA accepts this argument, he would face only a reprimand rather than a long period of ineligibility. Xipamide increases the frequency of urination and is typically used to mask other drugs.

Via VeloNews

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Beaver     Photo: Paul Stevenson/Flickr

Beaver Attacks Girls in Virginia Lake

Police confirm animal was rabid

A 65-pound rabid beaver attacked two sisters at Virginia's Lake Anna, leaving them with serious injuries. Annabella and Alyssa Radnovich, ages 8 and 11, were swimming in the lake Sunday morning when the large rodent approached. “She could see this dark shadow underneath her, so she thought it was a person,” the girls' mother said. The beaver bit Alyssa as she tried to get out of the water, then went for Annabella. An uncle shot the animal with a BB gun, finally killing it with a hunting knife. One of the girls received stitches, but the other's injuries included muscle damage and could not be immediately closed due to infection risk. The police department took the animal for testing and confirmed it had rabies.

Via MSNBC

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Badwater     Photo: Jeff Hitchcock/Flickr

Mike Morton Wins Badwater Ultra

Beats defending champ by 40 minutes

Mike Morton of Lithia, Florida, won the 25th annual Badwater 135 ultramarathon in California's Death Valley, beating defending champion Oswaldo Lopez by over 40 minutes. Morton, 40, crossed the finish line on Tuesday in 22 hours 52 minutes 55 seconds, missing Valmir Nunes' course record by just over a minute. Course conditions were about 10 degrees cooler than average, peaking at 109 degrees Fahrenheit. Billed as "the world's toughest foot race," the 135-mile run includes 13,000 feet of cumulative vertical gain and about 5,000 feet of descent. This year's third-place finisher, Zach Gingerich of Tigard, Oregon, crossed the line about three hours after Morton.

Via Ultrarunning

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