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Really?
July 11, 2014
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The next time someone at your office lets out a "silent but deadly" emission, maybe you should thank them. A new study at the University of Exeter in England suggests that exposure to hydrogen sulfide — a.k.a. what your body produces as bacteria breaks down food, causing gas — could prevent mitochondria damage. Yep, the implication is what you're thinking: People are taking the research to mean that smelling farts could prevent disease and even cancer.

The study, published in the Medicinal Chemistry Communications journal, found that hydrogen sulfide gas in rotten eggs and flatulence could be a key factor in treating diseases.

"Although hydrogen sulfide gas is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases," Dr. Mark Wood, a professor at the University of Exeter, said in a statement.

While hydrogen sulfide gas is harmful in large doses, the study suggests that "a whiff here and there has the power to reduce risks of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, arthritis, and dementia by preserving mitochondria," Time reports.

Dr. Matt Whiteman, a University of Exeter professor who worked on the study, said in a statement that researchers are even replicating the natural gas in a new compound, AP39, to reap its health benefits. The scientists are delivering "very small amounts" of AP39 directly into mitochondrial cells to repair damage, which "could hold the key to future therapies," the university's statement reveals.

You'll have to decide for yourself, though, whether exposure to hydrogen sulfide in flatulence is worth the potential health benefits. Meghan DeMaria

Deflategate
3:09 p.m. ET
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The NFL issued a 20-page statement Tuesday announcing that it would uphold the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after he was found "at least generally aware" of team employees tampering with game balls during the 2015 playoffs. The NFL originally suspended the star signal-caller back in May after a league-commissioned report found "credible evidence" that he was involved in the scheme.

The NFL said its decision was based in part on the fact that Brady destroyed a cell phone he used the week of the Patriots' January 18 playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, The New York Times reports, during which it is alleged members of New England's staff deliberately deflated Patriots footballs to make them easier to grip. The cell phone apparently contained potentially incriminating evidence in the form of texts between Patriots staff members that seem to suggest Brady was aware of team employees adjusting the air pressure in footballs. Brady has consistently denied knowledge of tampering, and appealed his original suspension in June, which set the stage for the league's ruling Tuesday. Kimberly Alters

This just in
2:59 p.m. ET
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Donald Trump's personal aide Michael Cohen claimed he was speaking during a moment of "shock and anger" when he told a Daily Beast reporter that "You cannot rape your spouse." Cohen made the comment while defending Trump against a Daily Beast exposé, which claimed that Trump's ex-wife Ivana had used the word "rape" to describe an incident that occurred between the couple while they were still married.

"Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me," Cohen said in a statement. "In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment — which I do not believe — and which I apologize for entirely."

Ivana Trump has since added that The Daily Beast's story is "totally without merit," and that her comments were made during a time of "very high tension." Jeva Lange

This just in
2:53 p.m. ET
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Jonathan Pollard, the U.S. intelligence analyst who was sentenced to life in prison in 1985 for passing classified documents to the Israeli government, will be released on parole on November 21, the United States Parole Commission announced Tuesday.

Pollard was scheduled to become eligible for parole in 30 years, granted the government did not show he was still a threat to national security. Pollard will be required to remain in the U.S. for the next five years following his November release from a North Carolina prison. Becca Stanek

zombie apocalypse
2:25 p.m. ET

Watching zombies gruesomely try to rip apart and devour the stars of AMC's The Walking Dead may not be appetizing, but if watching the show makes you thirsty, Terrapin Beer Co. is here to help.

The Athens, Georgia brewery is partnering with AMC to concoct the themed beverage, and they already spilled the flavor — a red IPA made with blood orange peel and, naturally, a "horrific amount" of hops.

There's no sale date for the specialty brew yet, but if the zombie apocalypse ever becomes a reality, here's hoping the undead like this beer more than human flesh. Stephanie Talmadge

(Courtesy photo)

The law of karma
1:54 p.m. ET
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Walter Palmer is a dentist at River Bluff Dental in Bloomington, Minnesota. But he's also allegedly the tourist who shot and killed Zimbabwe's most famous lion. After the news broke Tuesday morning that Palmer is allegedly responsible for the beloved lion's death, angry critics flooded Palmer's Yelp page with one-star reviews that had nothing to do with his dental work. Below, a sampling of the most witty and most brutal "reviews":

"He lured my teeth out of my mouth, shot them, and then told me I needed fillings!"

"You know what happens to your money at this place? The a--hole dentist spends it on a big, fancy vacation to Africa where he kills wild animals for fun."

"Scar's really appreciative of the fine work that Dr. Palmer did."

"He'll have to lure patients in using a dead smiling model tied to the bumper, shoot them with an arrow, wait 40 hours, kill them with a rifle, skin them and THEN start his procedure."

"I am not lion about this: I will not go to a dentist who shoots and kills amazing animals for pleasure on my funds. That is nothing to smile about."

"'You know the difference between a dentist and a sadist, don't you? Newer magazines.' -Seinfeld"

"I really love the way that he tore off his shirt, puffed out his chest, let out a brave cry and stopped a vicious man-eating lion from killing his entire family as they were quietly playing Yahtzee in the comforts of their own home."

"Customer service was ok, but shortly after my first appointment I caught Dr. Palmer hiding in the bushes in my front yard with a crossbow, stalking my Lhasa Apso. Would not recommend." [Yelp]

Becca Stanek
PC Police
1:37 p.m. ET

It has been frowned upon to use the term "illegal immigrant" for awhile now, with The Associated Press dropping the phrase from their stylebook back in 2013. However, the usage still persists — and that's where Twitterbots come in:

"That term, 'illegal immigrant,' hangs in the air, permeates the conversation in social networks like Twitter and Facebook, and ends up in daily conversations at work, at school, and at home," immigration activist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas told Fusion. Fusion has since created a Twitterbot, @DroptheIBot, which automatically tweets back at users who write "illegal immigrant" in their posts. Fusion explains:

[In] a modest effort to help America shed some of its historical baggage, we built a Twitter bot that replies to some of the people who tweet the words "illegal immigrant," letting them know that in 2015, the preferred terms are "undocumented immigrant" or "unauthorized immigrant." To avoid spamming people, the bot only runs once every ten minutes, and it never replies to the same user twice. [Fusion]

Unfortunately, many of recipients of @DroptheIBot's messages aren't pleased:

Good thing bots don't have feelings. Jeva Lange

silence please
1:32 p.m. ET
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Looking for peace and quiet? Simply head to 47°51'57.5"N, 123°52'13.3"W, otherwise known as a the quietest square inch in the United States.

Marked by a "tiny red pebble resting on a mossy nurse log," this square inch of land in Washington state's Olympic National Park is the spot in America most untouched by human-made noise, writes Erin Berger at Outside Online. From Outside:

"The quietest inch isn't a sound vacuum. It represents a place with a minimum of human-made noise. The discipline of acoustic ecology… outlines an important distinction between sound and noise. The blip of water droplets from a forest canopy? Sound. The tinny din of Taylor Swift through smartphone speakers? Noise." [Outside Online]

Berger explains that if you stand at the red pebble — placed on the log by acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton in 2005 to mark the spot — you'll still hear the "flute-like bugling from Roosevelt elk, the Morse-code chirp of the American Dipper, and assertive hooting from the endangered Northern Spotted Owl." But what makes the spot "quiet" is the total lack of human-made noise — at least, for now.

The silence of the "inch," as it's called, is in jeopardy thanks to increasing air traffic from both Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the nearby Naval Air Station. Hempton originally found the spot devoid of overhead noise for an hour on average back in 2005, but now jets roar overhead nearly every 20 minutes. To read more about America's quietest spot — and Hempton's quest to keep it that way — head over to Outside Online. Kimberly Alters

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