Wednesday News: Facebook=life extender; Amelia Earhart’s bones (maybe), research PTSD, and recommend one book
Facebook users live longer, study finds – Despite the way this study is being described in headlines, it’s not so much that Facebook extends your life expectancy – it’s that using Facebook to enhance sociability extends life. In other words, it’s Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone for the online world:
A new study suggests that using Facebook increases longevity. However, this is only the case when Facebook is used to maintain and improve real-life social connections, according to the authors.
The study looked at 12 million Facebook users and was led by University of California-San Diego researchers William Hobbs and James Fowler. . . .
The results of the study have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in which the researchers matched California Facebook users with vital records from the California Department of Public Health.
They studied people born between 1945 and 1989, and monitored their online activity over a period of 6 months. The researchers compared the activity of those still living with those who had died. – Medical News Today
Amelia Earhart mystery deepens with study of castaway bones – I SO want someone to solve the mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, although I don’t have a lot of hope that it will ever happen. The possibility that Earhart died on the uninhabited island, Nikumaroro, has been buoyed by the revelation that the skeleton found there has “unusually long forearms,” as Earhart did. Unfortunately, the bones are no longer available (they disappeared, too!), so it seems like a long shot. Still, enough for a headline.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (Tighar) evaluated the original medical files in 1998 and found the measurements could actually be consistent with “a female of Earhart’s height and ethnic origin.” In October, Tighar released an update on the bones that focuses on the measurements of the humerus and radius arm bones, which indicate unusually long forearms. Tighar brought in forensic imaging specialist Jeff Glickman to evaluate a historic photograph of Earhart.
“Jeff found that Earhart’s humerus to radius ratio was 0.76 – virtually identical to the castaway’s,” Tighar notes. Proponents of the Nikumaroro theory will take this information as further support for the concept that Earhart died as a castaway on the island. – CNET
Cornwell: Scarpetta book research left me traumatized – You need access to the BBC News or iPlayer to watch the whole interview, but in this clip Patricia Cornwell talks about how she basically has PTSD (she refers to having given herself a “disease”) from all of the things she has seen and heard over the years in the course of her book research. I’ve often wondered how authors write about particularly horrific things, and I wonder how common a claim like this is, especially for an author who has written so many books.
“I have images and things that are like malware. I can’t get them out of my head. I’ve seen things that I don’t show my readers, I heard things I don’t ever tell my readers,” she said. – BBC News
Imagine you worked in a bookstore. What’s the one book you’d recommend? – This is a really great question, and one I don’t think I have an answer to yet. Do you?
You wake up and your dream has come true: You work in a bookstore. You get to recommend your favorite books all day long.
So what book do you pick? If you could recommend just one book to an eager customer, what would it be? – MPR News