Livin' on the MDedge

Cat ladies, heroic music, and Canadian cannabis


Cat ladies: They’re just like you and me


Crazy cat ladies are … not so crazy after all. Bad news for stereotypes, but good news for women who love kitties.

A research team from UCLA observed over 500 pet owners to analyze how people reacted to distress calls from their pets. The investigators also looked at possible links between pet ownership and any mental health or social difficulties.

Pet owners were not significantly different from non–pet owners in rates of depression, anxiety, or interpersonal relationship functioning – meaning cat owners are scientifically proven to be normal.

The study authors specifically stated, “We found no evidence to support the ‘cat lady’ stereotype: cat-owners did not differ from others on self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety or their experiences in close relationships.” Who would’ve thought?

Music is my hero

Teenage boy wearing headphones works at desk in his bedroom. monkeybusinessimages/Thinkstock

If you’re feeling down and need a little more motivation in life, try putting in your headphones and listening to some Hans Zimmer scores. A recently published study found that “heroic” music stimulates motivating and empowering thoughts in listeners.

Researchers had participants listen to heroic and sad music samples and fill out questionnaires after listening. They found that listening to heroic music while the mind starts wandering promotes positive, constructive, and motivating thoughts.

No word yet, though, on whether any of the participants attempted to fly or save some kittens from a tree.

The arms race continues


Intrauterine devices, pacemakers, insulin pumps, gastric bands, coronary stents, car keys: What do all of these things have in common? Right now, you’re probably thinking, “Well, I know what those first five have in common, but … car keys? There’s no way.” Yes way.

Aime Dansby, a software engineer from Dallas, had the key to her Tesla 3 – not the entire key, just the RFID chip from the credit-card-sized valet key – implanted into her arm by a body modification artist named “Pineapple,” according to Car & Driver. Seems she couldn’t get a physician to perform the procedure.

To make the chip “safe” for implantation, Ms. Dansby dissolved the rest of the card with acetone and then had the chip itself encased “in a biopolymer that is safe to use in the body and under the skin,” Popular Mechanics reported.

Ms. Dansby discusses some of her reasoning in a video on YouTube: “They say you can’t, like, start your car with that. It’s not secure. It won’t work. It makes me want to do it more.” We here at LOTME understand and support that kind of thinking, but we also hope that no one ever tells her she can’t start her car by sticking her finger in an electrical socket.

O (THC)anada

Aerial view of a public sewage treatment plant abadonian/iStock/Getty Images Plus

It can be difficult to get a precise estimate on the level of drug use within a city or country. Perhaps not surprisingly, many people aren’t entirely forthcoming about their drug habits, legal or not. But their poop … the poop never lies.

That’s why Stats Canada, in an effort to find new ways to collect data relating to the legalization of cannabis, conducted a survey of wastewater from five Canadian cities: Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver. In other words, they looked through the poop of about 8.4 million people to find out what drugs they preferred, gathering information on cannabis, cocaine, opioids, and methamphetamine.

Despite its legal status, cannabis usage was not uniform across the country, as Halifax and Montreal wastewater had THC levels more than twice as high as the other three cities. Stats Canada noted that Nova Scotia has higher-than-average cannabis usage, but Quebec as a whole has lower-than-average usage. Apparently the people of Montreal just really like their weed.

In fact, only cocaine showed no geographic bent. Opioids were significantly less popular in Toronto and Montreal, and methamphetamine was much more common in Edmonton and Vancouver.

In the end, Stats Canada concluded that wastewater analysis was an effective way to test drug usage, though we suspect they may have come to a different conclusion had they made anyone other than a bunch of polite Canadians sample the sewage of over 8 million people.

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