Male Infertility, Congressional Ethics, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow, and More

Brief stories touching on male infertility, congressional ethics, and the endangered dusky seaside sparrow were among those covered in this regular feature in 1980.

| November/December 1980

  • 066 dusky seaside sparrow - Fotolia HOVSKIY
    The dusky seaside sparrow was endangered in the early 1980s and extinct by 1987.

  • 066 dusky seaside sparrow - Fotolia HOVSKIY

HUG A HARE FOR HEALTH? Researchers at Ohio State University have found that tender loving care seems to protect rabbits — even those on experimental high-fat diets — against clogging of the arteries. The recently completed study suggests that extra cuddling may actually affect hormone levels in the bunnies ... enabling them to better withstand heart disease.

MALE INFERTILITY: An estimated one out of every ten men in America today is sterile. Fifteen years ago, a count of 80 to 100 million sperm cells per cubic centimeter of semen was the average among healthy males ... now the figure has dropped to between 80 and 40 million. Possible contributing factors include increased drug use; exposure to pesticides, radiation, and chemicals; emotional stress; and — believe it or not — the popularity of tight jeans and underwear.

THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH? Long-term convicts appear to age about 30% more slowly — both physically and mentally — than do persons who are not in prison. The Center for Studies in Aging at North Texas State University attributes the phenomenon to the prison population's better eating habits, lack of stress, daily exercise, and inability to obtain alcoholic beverages.

FEMALE FARROWING SCHOOLS: When the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine (in cooperation with that state's extension service) offered a "women only" workshop on caring for pregnant sows and farrowing, they were deluged with applications from farm women. Officials believe the interest may be due to the fact that today's back-to-the-land women are often responsible for livestock care ... since their husbands commonly must hold off-the-farm jobs.

JUST HOW MUCH IS $900 BILLION, the estimated federal debt? Well, if you had started a company in the year 1 A.D. with 800 employees, and instructed them each to spend $5,000 a day, those men and women would still be spending. Moreover, your staff would be able to keep on using money at the same rate for the next four and a half centuries! And, if they "retired" after that, you could still afford to pay each one of the 200 people a tidy $1 million retirement bonus!

A GOOD READ? Congressional Ethics is a factual, non-muckraking, paperback book loaded with information — on scandals, salaries, perquisites, outside income, reform moves, etc. — concerning members of Congress.

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