If high-schoolers seem stressed by active lifestyles and competitive pressures, and consequently fail to sleep the recommended nine to 10 hours a day, it must be a good idea for the federal government to give grants (including to Las Cruces High School in New Mexico) to purchase comfy, $14,000 "nap pods" that drive out the racket with soft music, for 20 minutes a shot during those frenzied classroom days. A May NPR report based on Las Cruces' experience quoted favorable reviews by students, backed by a doctor and a nurse practitioner who pointed to research showing that adequate sleep "can" boost memory and attention and thus "can" improve school performance (and therefore must be a great use of federal education dollars).
News you can use
• Briton Fred Whitelaw, 64, who has bowel cancer, recently began working "therapeutic" breast milk into his diet, but only that supplied by his daughter, Jill Turner, who recently gave birth and said she is happy to double-pump to assure both Fred and baby Llewyn adequate supplies (although husband Kyle is trying it out for his eczema, as well).
• Scientists writing in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology recently recommended that parents not discourage children from picking their noses because snot contains a "rich reservoir of good bacteria" beneficial to teeth and overall health — fighting, for example, respiratory infections and even HIV.
Giving it his best shot
James Pelletier, 46, was arrested in Hollis, Maine, in May after he fired a BB gun point-blank at his two sons, ages 9 and 11 — but only, he said, as a "rite of passage" into maturity (perhaps thinking the experience would help them become as mature as their father). He said if the kids knew how it felt to get shot, perhaps they would not be so quick to fire their own guns.
Military allies in odd places
• In April, three days after ISIS fighters reportedly executed 25 villagers about 50 miles south of Kirkuk, Iraq, the three murderers were themselves killed — and eight more wounded — when a pack of wild boars overran their position and gnawed them into martyrdom.
• A Russian naval reconnaissance ship sank in the Black Sea off Turkey in April when it collided with a livestock barge flying the flag of Togo. All aboard the Russian ship were rescued; the much-heavier Togolese vessel suffered barely a scratch.
Over the limit, into the river
Winneshiek County (Iowa) Engineer Lee Bjerke said he had no idea how the driver of the loaded 18-wheeler had missed the "Load Limit 3 Tons" sign at the entrance of the small, rickety bridge near Cresco in May, but in seconds, the span was wiped out, and the tractor-trailer had become part of the Turkey River. The loaded grain truck weighed more than 30 tons.
Nine lives up in smoke
The world's only museum devoted to the "house cat" allows self-guided tours in Sylva, N.C., where curator Harold Sims displays 10,000 artifacts including a genuine petrified cat — with whiskers — pulled from a 16th-century English chimney.
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