Here are are this week’s 5 things you should know.
01. Learning a new sport or physical activity midlife can strengthen your brain’s functioning
According to this NYT article, learning in midlife to juggle, swim, ride a bicycle or snowboarding could change and strengthen the brain in ways that practicing other familiar pursuits such as crossword puzzles or marathon training will not, according to an accumulating body of research about the unique impacts of motor learning on the brain.
02. You can get Botulism from consuming olive oil infused with raw garlic, especially if it’s not refrigerated
Throwing in some garlic into olive oil is a popular salad dressing, especially since many commercially-made dressings use variations on it. However, many might not realize how dangerous it can be if proper precautions are not taken in its storage and preparation.
For home-prepared mixtures of garlic in oil, the FDA recommends that these “be made fresh for use and not left at room temperatures.” Any leftovers should be refrigerated for use within three days, frozen for longer storage, or discarded.
The reason for the concern is that unrefrigerated garlic in oil mixtures lacking antimicrobial agents have been shown to permit the growth of C. botulinum bacteria and its toxins, without affecting the taste or smell of the products.
Toxin production has been known to occur even when a small number of C. botulinum spores were present in the garlic. When the spore-containing garlic is bottled and covered with oil, an oxygen-free environment is created that promotes the germination of spores and the growth of microorganisms at temperatures as low as 50 degree Fahrenheit.
03. These things about sunscreen
Here are some good tips to remember when using sunscreen
- You don’t need high SPF. In fact the FDA is thinking about banning high SPF because it has health risks. You can do just fine with 50 spf. People also misuse it. They apply it once and believe they are set, but you need to reapply every hour or so regardless of SPF.
- Avoid the sunscreens with added vitamins as these ingredients can also accelerate skin cancer.
- Avoid aerosols, they look like it makes life easier but turns out they lead to thinner coverage.
- Another thing worth noting is to apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before going into the sun to allow the screen to bind properly to the skin. I see many people using sunscreen that jump straight into the pool then ask why the sunscreen didn’t work.
- Also helpful: EWG’s guide to the best sunscreens, updated every year. You can see quality information for a large number of brands there.
04. If you want to sign up for a “free trial” but need to provide a credit card…
You can try using one of these test numbers. They will look legit to the system so you can sign up, but when they try to charge you after the trial period, it will fail. While testing, use only the credit card numbers listed here. Other numbers produce an error. Expiration Date must be a valid date in the future (use the mmyy format).
Test Credit Card Account Numbers
|Credit Card Type||Credit Card Number|
|American Express Corporate||378734493671000|
Note : Even though this number has a different character count than the other test numbers, it is the correct and functional number.
05. Common Foods Toxic to Pets
Some foods that are considered good for people can be very dangerous for pets. The list below highlights some of the most common foods that can be dangerous to animals. This is not an exhaustive list, and any decision to provide your pet with food not specifically intended for animals should be discussed with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist. For more information on foods that could be unsafe for pets, visit the ASPCA’s “People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets” page. The following foods may be dangerous to your pet
- Alcoholic beverages
- Apple seeds
- Apricot pits
- Cherry pits
- Candy (particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
- Coffee (grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans)
- Gum (can cause blockages and sugar free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
- Hops (used in home beer brewing)
- Macadamia nuts
- Moldy foods
- Mushroom plants
- Mustard seeds
- Onions and onion powder
- Peach pits
- Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
- Rhubarb leaves
- Tea (because it contains caffeine)
- Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
- Xylitol (artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets)
- Yeast dough