Watching the World
Bible Proofreading Errors
“Errors in Bible printing were fairly commonplace in the 17th and 18th centuries,” notes Bible Review magazine, “but that doesn’t mean they were taken lightly.” For example, what became known as the Fool Bible came out during the reign of Charles I. In Psalm 14:1, the printers mistakenly changed a word. As a result, the first verse read: “The fool hath said in his heart there is a God.” This brought a fine of 3,000 pounds. Another company, Barker and Lucas, was fined 300 pounds in 1631 for omitting a word in what was called the Adulterous Bible. This put them out of business. Their version read: “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Similar was the Sin On Bible, of 1716. Where Jesus told the man he healed to “sin no more,” it has him saying “sin on more.” Not to be overlooked is the Vinegar Bible, published in 1717. The chapter heading over Luke 20 says, “The parable of the Vinegar,” instead of reading, “The Parable of the Vineyard.”
In an effort to get more in touch with people in their neighborhoods, some police officers in North America are putting on in-line skates. Patrolling on foot, horseback, and bicycle is also becoming more common, reports The Toronto Star. Police are using skates in such big cities as Chicago, Miami, and Montreal. One of the pioneer roller cops, Sergeant Bill Johnston of the Fort Lauderdale police force, says: “It’s been accepted wholeheartedly from the get-go. With skates on, you kind of become more public-oriented, more approachable.” The Toronto Star points out that “being on skates is an advantage—surprising car thieves in parking lots, for example.”
How do rainbow trout navigate? New Zealand biologists have found that they have “a magnetic compass in their noses,” reports New Scientist magazine. Many birds and reptiles and some mammals can orient themselves relative to earth’s magnetic field. But scientists had never identified north-sensing cells, cells believed to contain the magnetic mineral magnetite. In trout, researchers at the University of Auckland discovered a nerve fiber in the fish’s face that fires when exposed to a magnetic field. Tracing the fiber led them back to the fish’s nose, where they found nerve cells that contain magnetite.
The intense rivalries between various teams participating in last year’s World Cup soccer competition sparked celebrations that often ended in violence. In Mexico, more than 1,500 police were called out to control fans of the Mexican team. Over 200 people were detained by the police, reports Mexico’s newspaper El Universal. A firecracker thrown during the mayhem exploded in the face of one young fan, destroying part of his skull. In Argentina, Belgium, and Brazil, celebrations also deteriorated, resulting in injuries and arrests. In France, reports Mexico City’s newspaper Excelsior, about 1,000 people were arrested in connection with the World Cup matches, and 1,586 were prohibited from ever reentering the country.
Your Hands and Health
“When a person sneezes and puts his hand across his mouth or blows his nose, the hands need washing before touching telephones or doorknobs,” says The Medical Post of Canada. The Post quoted the U.S. Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, which says that “80% of common infections are spread directly by hands and touching, not through the air.” Dr. Audrey Karlinsky of the University of Toronto recommends washing frequently and rubbing soap into your hands “for 10 to 15 seconds, taking care to get in between the fingers and under the nails.” After that, she suggests, you should rinse your hands in hot water and use a paper towel to turn off the faucet. How can you get children to take enough time? Have them recite the whole alphabet while they soap up, suggests Dr. Karlinsky.
New Blood Virus
Following the discovery of a new virus in the blood of European donors, French health authorities have decided to set up a “permanent scientific watch group,” reports the French newspaper Le Monde. The infectious agent, known as transfusion transmitted virus (TTV), was first identified in Japan in 1997, where 10 percent of blood donors are infected. Doctors do not yet know the virus’ exact pathological role, but studies in Britain revealed the presence of TTV in 25 percent of a group of patients suffering from severe liver infections of unknown origin. At present, there is no standardized screening process for this virus, states Le Monde.
First Measured ‘Sunquake’
Analyzing images taken by the European Space Agency’s Soho spacecraft, researchers Valentina Zharkova of Scotland’s Glasgow University and Alexander Kosovichev of Stanford University, in California, have detected a ‘sunquake’ for the first time. “It came after a moderate-sized flare—an explosion of hydrogen and helium above the Sun’s surface—was detected in July 1996,” reports The Daily Telegraph of London. With a magnitude of 11.3, it had waves two miles [3 km] high and produced ripples similar to those caused when a stone is thrown into a pond. These ripples traveled up to 70,000 miles [120,000 km] across the sun’s surface, reaching a speed of 250,000 miles [400,000 km] an hour. This ‘sunquake’ released about the same amount of energy as the United States consumes in 20 years and 40,000 times the seismic power of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which measured 8.3 on the Richter scale.
Bundle of Joy—And More Work!
“Many young couples underestimate the additional work load that comes with a child. This often leads to conflict between the mates after the child’s birth,” writes Germany’s Nassauische Neue Presse. A study carried on at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, showed that young mothers are often dissatisfied because of the radical changes brought by the birth of a child. On average, mothers need an additional 40 hours a week for the child—of which 6 are for the extra cleaning, laundry, and cooking required and 34 are devoted directly to their offspring. For fathers, 17 hours devoted directly to the child was their only additional activity. According to the report, the marital stress “is not so much a question of who changes the diapers or gets up at night to bottle-feed the baby but, rather, of the dividing up of the housework.”
TV and Accidents
Children who spend much time watching TV may be inclined to attempt to imitate the dangerous stunts they see. According to a study conducted by Spanish researcher Dr. José Umberos Fernández, the likelihood of childhood injury increased with every hour that a child spent in front of a TV set. Fernández suggests that this is because TV presents a distorted view of reality. What might parents do to offset this effect? According to the Greek newspaper To Vima, parents should share in selecting the programs their children see and help them to use a “critical and demanding eye,” instead of accepting everything they see as reality.
Kids and Caffeine
Even if children do not drink coffee or tea, many consume enough caffeine in carbonated and chocolate drinks to suffer withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking them, reports The New York Times. A team of psychiatrists led by Dr. Gail A. Bernstein, of the University of Minnesota Medical School, focused on the effects of caffeine on the attention span of 30 school-age children. The children’s intake of caffeine was raised to the equivalent of drinking three cans of cola a day. After one week the children stayed off caffeine for a day. On this day and for a week afterward, the students’ attention span dropped sharply. “The best way to prevent this phenomenon,” commented the researchers, “is to have children avoid consuming high levels of caffeinated beverages.”