June 10, 2013

    Photo: Pikoso.kz/Shuttestock.com

Study: Yoga Boosts Brainpower

Better than aerobic exercise

Good news for yogis. Just 20 minutes of hatha yoga improves your ability to focus and use new information better than aerobic exercise, a study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health reports.

Researchers enlisted 30 college-age subjects and gave them a series of tests to measure their cognitive performance. Each subject was tested three times: without exercising or performing yoga, after 20 minutes of yoga, or after 20 minutes of jogging. While previous studies have shown that aerobic exercise can boost mental performance, the yogis saw the bigger boost.

"The breathing and meditative exercises aim at calming the mind and body and keeping distracting thoughts away while you focus on your body, posture or breath," study lead Neha Gothe announced. "Maybe these processes translate beyond yoga practice when you try to perform mental tasks or day-to-day activities."

A study last month found that twice-weekly sessions of yoga can reduce high blood pressure, while another published earlier this year showed yoga may alleviate depression.


    Photo: Adam Roy

Stohr, Sharafutdinov Win Vail Bouldering World Cup

Austrian nets sixth win of 2013

Anna Stohr and Dimitrii Sharafutdinov won the only Bouldering World Cup event on U.S. soil on Saturday, beating out 85 climbers at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado, after two days of intense competition.

Stohr, 25, grabbed victory at the last minute with a send of the last problem in finals, putting her in first place over Akiyo Noguchi of Japan and Alex Puccio of the U.S. The win is the sixth this year for the Austrian, who has won the overall classification in the Bouldering World Cup for two years running, and currently sits in first place for 2013.

In the men's competition, Russia's Sharafutdinov and teammate Rustam Gelmanov dominated the final, each quickly finishing three out of the four problems to take first and second place respectively. The Netherlands' Jorg Verhoeven rounded out the podium in third place with just one send in finals, edging out early favorite Sean McColl of Canada.

The Bouldering World Cup now takes a break before heading to Munich, Germany, on August 24 and 25.


    Photo: Youtube.com

WATCH: Rare Video of a Wild Oarfish

Shot by the SERPENT project

Alien, reclusive, majestic. These are just a few of the terms that come to mind while staring slack-jawed at the most recent footage of the elusive oarfish. The oarfish (which bears no small resemblance to the creatures in James Cameron's 1988 film, The Abyss) is the longest of all bony fish and is known to reach nearly 50 feet in length. While they sometimes wash up on shore or get caught by fishermen, video of an oarfish in the wild is rare.

The footage, which was shot by the SERPENT project over the past few years, is part of a recently released research paper. SERPENT, a collaborative effort between marine researchers and the oil and gas industry, provides scientists with industrial data and other advanced deep-sea research technology.  The video, which will almost certainly brighten your day and imbue the world around you with a sense of wonder, can be seen below. (The best shots come after the 5:00-mark):


    Photo: fpsurgeon via Flickr

Scout Leader Dies During Hike

As temps in Arizona skyrocketed

A 69-year old scout leader died during a hike on Saturday in Arizona's Lake Mead area. His companions, four scouts and another man, all suffered from heat-related illnesses and were later rescued.

Clawson Bowman Junior had been hiking with seven scouts and two other leaders. The group had left early in hopes of avoiding the heat, but as temperatures climbed to 110 degrees, Bowman started having problems and couldn't continue. The group split up to search for help while some stayed with Bowman. 

The four scouts and other guide who remained called 911 and were able to maintain phone links until a helicopter arrived. Paramedics treated the entire group for heat exposure, but Bowman was already dead by the time they arrived. An autopsy will determine the official cause of death.



A luxurious trip up the Nile has never been more affordable.     Photo: Ad Meskens

Egypt, Ethiopia Clash Over Nile Dam

Foreign minister headed to Addis Ababa

Egypt's foreign minister on Sunday said that the country "won't give up a single drop of water from the Nile" in response to Ethiopian plans to dam one of the river's major tributaries.

"No Nile, no Egypt," Mohamed Kamel Amr told Egypt's state news agency after Ethiopia rejected Egyptian demands to stop construction on the dam on the Blue Nile. According to Yahoo, Amr said he would head to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to discuss the project with officials there.

"Ethiopia has said it will not harm Egypt, not even by a liter of water. We are looking at … this being implemented," he said.

When complete, the $4.7-billion Grand Renaissance Dam will be able to generate 6,000 megawatts, about three times as much as the Hoover Dam, and could enable Ethiopia to export power to Sudan, where frequent blackouts due to power shortages are a recurring problem.