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New Research Suggests Extreme Morning Sickness Could Signal Baby Girl

The condition hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which is commonly referred to as extreme morning sickness, affects approximately one out of every 100 expectant mothers. The most prominent figure to suffer this condition in recent times is undoubtedly Kate Middleton. According to The Daily Mail, the Duchess of Cambridge has actually suffered through this elevated morning sickness condition during both of her public pregnancies.

Now new research is attempting to better determine what causes this debilitating conditions, and some scientists believe they’ve found at least one interesting factor. The Trivers-Willard hypothesis, as it’s known, says that women who experience hyperemesis gravidarum have a better chance of bearing a girl, according to the New Scientist.

“Normally, slightly more boys than girls are born, we don’t quite know why that is,” said the study’s lead researcher, Lena Edlund of Columbia University in New York.

However, analysis of 1.65 million pregnancies in Sweden used for the study found that 56% of women who had successful pregnancies with the extreme morning sickness conditions had baby girls. Perhaps even more interesting was the data they found relating to socioeconomic standing.

The team of researchers found that women who left school at the age of 16 were 76% more likely to develop the hyperemesis gravidarum condition compared to women who earned masters or Ph.D. degrees. Unfortunately, HG also carries an even deadlier consequence as well. Approximately one-third of pregnant women with the condition will not reach full term and miscarry.

HG has similar symptoms to the flu, which affects between 5% and 20% of Americans annually, and can have severe side-effects for both the mother and unborn child. It’s not uncommon for women to vomit 50 times a day or more when suffering from extreme morning sickness, and they oftentimes require intravenous fluids to remain hydrated.

Even if a pregnant woman avoids a miscarriage, the child’s development can still be affected and result in premature births and low birth weight.

Study: Men With High Testosterone Are Terrible at Communicating

A new study from the University of Connecticut is getting some attention this April for its claim that some men with high testosterone are less likely to communicate –with their partners, in the bedroom, and after they… hug.

Yes, that’s right, UConn researchers are studying pillow talk.

Researchers tested the testosterone of 253 young men and women, who were asked to keep a detailed sexual activity diary for two weeks. The data showed a correlation between testosterone levels and the amount of “positive, post-coital communication.”

Mic.com concluded:

“When testosterone levels were higher, post sex disclosures were less intentional and less positive,” the authors wrote. Therefore, they concluded, individuals with high levels of testosterone “may be the least likely to experience the beneficial effects of post sex communication.”

And here’s something interesting: This takeaway seemed to be true for both men and women with high levels of testosterone. The authors wrote that “similar results were found both when biological sex was controlled for and when analyses were conducted separately for women and men.”

The degree to which testosterone levels affect men’s behavior has been getting increased attention in recent years, especially as testosterone replacement therapy is evolving into a $5 billion business. Proponents of the treatment say that 13 million men in the United States have low testosterone, which can cause weight gain, low energy, and loss of sex drive.

While low levels of testosterone can be harmful, so, too, can high levels. This April, Vice’s new women’s vertical Broadly also covered the new pillow talk study, with writer Gabby Bess asking, “How Much Can We Blame Testosterone for Men’s Many, Many, Many Faults?”

In the early aughts, hormone replacement therapy was a popular treatment for women, until it was revealed that it increased the risk of breast cancer and other health problems. Now, for better or worse, a new generation of American men are boosting their own hormone levels, even if it makes them terrible at post-coital cuddling.

MIT Engineers Discover Science Breakthrough… With Chocolate

A new theory discovered by MIT engineers can predict the thickness of thin shells — and all because of chocolate.

Reported this week in Nature Communications, MIT researchers found out that by just knowing a few key variables, they can now predict the mechanical response from chocolate shells and can thus use this process on many other types of outer layers. The potential to use this new theory on small pharmaceutical capsules as well as large airplane and rocket structures all comes from this chocolatey discovery.

“I’m sure chocolatiers have come up with techniques that give empirically a set of instructions that they know will work,” said Pedro Reis, the Gilbert. W. Winslow Associate Professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. “Our theory provides a much better, quantitative understanding of what’s going on, and one can now be predictive.”

Every year, the worldwide consumption of chocolate is approximately 7.2 million metric tons. It’s surprising, therefore, that researchers were able to use the popular treat to examine shell mechanic issues, which have been under examination since about the 1950s.

“We’re revisiting an old topic with new eyes,” Reis said. “This is a really simple, robust, rapid prototyping technique, and we’ve established design principles together with a predictive framework that characterizes the fabrication of thin shells.”

These MIT researchers are hopeful the technology breakthroughs will greatly help other industries, and not just the chocolate one. “I think ‘rapid fabrication’ is how we can describe this technique,” Reis added. “Usually that term means 3-D printing and other expensive tools, but it could describe something as simple as pouring chocolate over a mold.”

According to Gizmodo, the formula developed by the MIT researchers is the square root of any fluid’s viscosity multiplied by the radius of the mold and then divided by the curing time of the polymer. Finally, they multiply that figure by the polymer’s density and the acceleration.

This new technology could improve everything from pharmaceutical capsules to aircraft and rocket design — or even perfect the art of chocolate fondue.

Justin Bieber’s Mom Prays Her Son Will Encounter God

Justin Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette, tweeted on her son’s birthday that she prays he encounters God. Her tweet read: “22 years ago I was 18 years old, pregnant and scared. But God. Lord encounter @justinbieber for his birthday. Give him all I couldn’t in Jesus name.”

The relationship between the mother and son became strained when the singer plummeted into a life of heavy drinking, partying, and drugs. In 2014, 19-year-old Justin Bieber was charged with drunk driving and resisting arrest in Miami Beach.

A police officer caught Bieber street racing in a residential area at 4 a.m., going approximately 60 mph in a 30 mph zone.

After failing a sobriety test, Bieber was booked into a Miami jail. Police Chief Raymond Martinez told CNN reporters that Bieber had “made some statements that he had consumed some alcohol, and that he had been smoking marijuana and consumed some prescription medication.”

Bieber’s DUI marked the first time the singer was arrested, though he was under investigation at the time for vandalizing his neighbor’s house. More than 1.4 million people are arrested each year for DUI first offenses, and celebrities are certainly not exempt.

Bieber revealed that his behavior had affected his relationship with his mother, who had instilled in him Christian values at a young age. He recalled his mother only allowing him to listen to “Pastor Judah’s tapes” at bedtime.

“I was distant because I was ashamed,” he said in an interview with Billboard last year. The singer is reaching out and trying to reconnect with his Christian faith. He admitted that he had tried to resist his mother’s Christian influence for a long time, but he has finally come to embrace it.

Pink is the New Blonde for Cate Blanchett

Actress Cate Blanchett has been spotted walking about in London with a brand new hair-do. The 46-year-old British Oscar-winner dyed her hair bright pink!

In a survey, 25% of people said that they changed their hair style in order to “reinvent” themselves. So, what’s going on with Cate? Is this a transformation in progress, or just a passing fad?

“We’ve been talking about doing it for a while but wanted to get all the award seasons out of the way to have a play and a bit of fun,” her colorist, Nicola Clarke, told The Telegraph. Clarke explained that the dye is semi-permanent. “It will last a couple of weeks, depending on how many washes it has.”

Blanchett is generally known for her sophisticated look on the red carpet, often wearing a chic bob in Old Hollywood waves, so this change was a shock to her fans, who barely recognized her.

Blanchett is not the only celebrity looking pretty in pink lately. Katy Perry, Rihanna, and even Helen Mirren have all sported pink hair in recent years.

Blanchett’s hair has been through a lot during her career as an actress. She’s a natural blonde but has had to make some drastic (and not so pretty) changes to her look. To play Queen Elizabeth I in the movie “Elizabeth,” she had actually had to shave her hairline.

“The front portion was bleached white,” Blanchett told Allure. “I had these really short tufts that used to stick out, so I had to pin them back. It wasn’t a good look.”

In 2002, Blanchett had to have her entire head shaved onscreen for her role in the movie “Heaven.”

Her hair will only remain pink for a short amount of time, so the question is: What next?

Drunk Driving Issues Still Plaguing United States

The fight to deter drunk driving seems to have no end in sight. However, officials around the U.S. are implementing different strategies to curb the number of drunk driving incidents, especially around certain holidays.

St. Patrick’s Day was just the other day. Although more and more people die each year from drunk driving and drunk driving on St. Patrick’s Day, people still tried by the masses.

In New York City alone, the NYPD arrested more than 50 people on Thursday, with checkpoints in each of the five boroughs. The NYPD even posted a warning on social media to try and deter drunk drivers, according to ABC News.

In the United States, someone is injured in a drunk driving accident every two minutes. On average, two out of three people will be involved in a drunk driving accident in their lifetime, and as reported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD), in 2013, more than 28 million people, which is more than the entire population of Texas, admitted to driving under the influence.

Yet despite how many times the message “don’t drink and drive” has been preached, people still are going to do it — and the problem has only been getting worse. The FBI estimates that around 300,000 people drive drunk every day in the United States.

Beyond the sheer number of people guilty of the offense, perhaps the most shocking thing of all is that, according to the National Department of Transportation, approximately one-third of drunk drivers are repeat offenders. Furthermore, the consequences of such acts are devastating: one life is lost in a drunk driving accident every 53 minutes in the United States.

There are new developments regarding interlock device technology that could help prevent future drunk driving accidents. This new technology would act like a DNA strand that would match the device to the driver’s breath. This way, other people will not be able to blow into the device to start the car.

Crude Oil Prices Are Crushing Alternative Energy, But Not Propane…

Consumers have benefitted greatly from lower costs at the gas pump, but the continuing drop in crude oil prices has been an unmitigated disaster for much of the energy industry. A global oversupply problem has led to plummeting crude oil prices, a trend that’s expected to continue until at least 2017.

Yet while crude oil prices have left much of the oil and gas industry in full-on panic mode, a boom in propane exports has gone largely unnoticed. That is, until a Bloomberg report in February highlighted the record-high propane shipments buoying a troubled oil and gas market.

Based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. propane exports rose 46% in 2015. The natural gas liquid, which is mostly used to heat homes and produce plastics, topped both monthly and annual export records, when it topped 750,000 barrels a day in December 2015 (14% of all hydrocarbon exports).

And now that the U.S. government has turned the tap on for crude oil exports, the propane boom is welcome news for an otherwise troubled industry. According to Bloomberg, “For all of 2015, propane exports averaged 616,000 barrels a day, up 46 percent from the record set in 2014 and more than five times the 2010 level.” Moreover, experts predict the boom will continue through 2016 and possibly into the 2020s.

Plus, propane fuel is also becoming a popular new choice for domestic trucking fleets.

“We have been using propane as a motor fuel on our trucks for many years. Over half of our fleet is powered by clean burning propane and our replacement vehicles will be propane powered,” said Thomas Link, President, Lin-gas, Inc. “Propane is economical, clean and reduces our maintenance costs. Most petroleum products have fluctuated wildly in the last several years, but propane motor fuel has continued to make business sense for us throughout these volatile price swings.”

This March at the NTEA Work Truck Show, Nestlé Waters North America and Bimbo Bakeries USA (known for brands like Entenmann’s and Sara Lee) announced that they were expanding their propane fueled trucking fleets this year.

For trucking fleets, propane has three benefits. It lowers emissions, has a more stable price (currently about $1.00 per gallon), and allows companies to save money on fuel costs. Bill Ardis, National Fleet Manager for Nestlé, said propane fuel is the company’s long-term solution for replacing diesel.

Shy Dogs Are Acclimated By Children Volunteering At Missouri Humane Society

Dog owners are responsible for making sure their dogs go for a walk at least once a day, are properly fed, and receive medical attention. Unfortunately, many people who assume the responsibility associated with owning a pet aren’t able to live up to the challenge, and their animals end up in shelters for adoption.

But the spirits of the dogs at the Humane Society of Missouri will be significantly lifted when children practice reading to timid shelter dogs, in an attempt to socialize them, through a new program called Shelter Buddies Reading Program.

The chance is beneficial to both parties: kids get to read to a totally non-judgmental audience, while the dogs are acclimatized to the presence of humans.

JoEllyn Klepacki, the assistant director of education at the Society, told ABC News that there were two reasons for starting the program.

“Dogs in a shelter environment exhibit a lot of signs of anxiety and show stress signals,” Klepacki explained, “so we wanted to do something to comfort them, and we have a lot of children in our area who are really engaged and they ask, ‘How can I help? How can I make a difference?”

The children, ranging in ages from six to 15, go through a 10-hour training program about how to interact with dogs. The children sit in front of the dog’s kennels so as not to overwhelm them, and the dogs get a treat every time they approach the children.

The reading program is offered once a month, at the state’s humane society’s headquarters in St. Louis.

“These dogs, if you had seen them before the kids sat down, these were the dogs who would stay at the back of their kennel, scared,” said Klepacki. “The goal is to get the dog to come to the front of the kennel by the time they finish their book, or a few books.”

Old Habits Die Hard With Trump As His Campaign Utilizes Signage, Real Estate Style

It seems that real estate methods, and habits, die hard with Donald Trump in his race for the Republican ticket this year.

A detailed document, which was distributed to volunteers and staff members in South Carolina, lays out exactly where large “Trump” signs can and cannot be staked into the ground, reports The New York Times.

Interstate highways are off limits, because the signs would be removed by the Department of Transportation, and the “railroad side” of some small town main streets is also a no, “as this land belongs to the railroad company.”

Also off limits are university or government property, since it would suggest allegiance where there might not be any.

Approved locations are intersections (without blocking visibility), the outside curve of a road, and across the street from exits of malls and schools.

Signage, a low cost form of advertising that Trump had excelled in during his career as a real estate magnate, is being fully embraced by Trump supporters. A Greenville campaign staff member bragged that their office had just received a shipment of 12,000 yard signs.

Authors of the memo urge, “Use a series of three signs, spaced 10-15 feet apart. This catches the eye.”

The Trump campaign’s emphasis on yard sign designs may not be for naught, as an eye-catching design could help a candidate get noticed.

Trump is undoubtedly an aggressive and often effective advertiser. Earlier this week, Trump bought the domain rights to www.JebBush.com, which one would expect to lead to the site of his competitor for the Republican nomination. However, now the site automatically redirects to DonaldJTrump.com, his official campaign website.

Indiana County Considers Ordinance Allowing Golf Cart Travel

People use all sorts of modes of transportation to get around — from driving cars and trucks to riding bicycles and hoofing it with their own two feet. In Elkhart County of Indiana, however, residents might soon be legally allowed to add golf carts to the list of vehicles they can take on the road.

According to local NBC affiliate WNDU, Elkhart County Commissioners are in the process of examining an ordinance that would allow limited access to golf carts on certain roadways.

“We’ve actually had some discussion on and off for the last year, year and a half,” said Tom Byers, Elkhart County Administrator.

The main reason they’ve been having those discussions stems from the fact that many locals have taken a liking to traveling around their neighborhoods and cul-de-sacs on the motorized carts.

“Technically that is not legal,” Byers said. “I think because of that and the growing interest is why we wanted to take a look at it and say, okay, if this is a growing trend and this is what people want to do, let’s at least try to accommodate it.”

The proposed ordinance would essentially restrict the golf carts to slower traveling subdivision streets in order for safety and to keep traffic flowing smoothly. Most golf carts travel at top speeds of 15 to 25 miles per hour.

“You can cross a county road to get to another subdivision but you can’t drive along another numbered county road,” explained Elkhart County Commissioner Frank Lucchese.

The idea of such an ordinance is not unique and has, in fact, been initiated in towns and counties across the the United States.

There would, of course, be other restrictions besides where the golf carts are allowed, including the presence of mirrors, driving hours, and keeping them off of sidewalks. The commissioners will open the topic up for public debate on March 7.