Across Cultures, Acting Extroverted And Outgoing Linked To Happier People

PULLMAN, Wash. (UPI) — Across cultures, people who act extroverted — energy, positive emotions, assertiveness, sociability and stimulation seeking and talkativeness — feel happier.

Timothy Church, a professor and associate dean of research in the College of Education at Washington State University, and his team used a “Big Five” personality trait survey to measure behavior and mood in college students in the United States, Venezuela, China, the Philippines and Japan.

The big five factors are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

Using the big five personality trait survey, the study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, found people across the board reported more positive emotions in daily situations where they felt or acted extroverted.

“We are not the first to show that being more extroverted in daily behavior can lead to more positive moods. However, we are probably the first to extend this finding to a variety of cultures,” Church said in a statement.

“Despite all of our cultural differences, the way personality is organized seems to be pretty comparable across cultural groups.”

Children With Autism Bond With The Family Dog

COLUMBIA, Mo. (UPI) — Man’s best friend may indeed be the best friend of a child with autism providing a child who has trouble interacting with people companionship and unconditional love.

Gretchen Carlisle, a research fellow at the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, interviewed 70 parents of children with autism.

She found two-thirds of the families owned dogs, and of the families with dogs, 94 percent of the parents reported their children with autism bonded with the dogs. However, even in families without dogs, 70 percent of parents said their children with autism liked dogs.

“Children with autism spectrum disorders often struggle with interacting with others, which can make it difficult for them to form friendships. Children with autism may especially benefit from interacting with dogs, which can provide unconditional, non-judgmental love and companionship to the children,” Carlisle said in a statement.

“Dogs can help children with autism by acting as a social lubricant. For example, children with autism may find it difficult to interact with other neighborhood children. If the children with autism invite their peers to play with their dogs, then the dogs can serve as bridges that help the children with autism communicate with their peers.”

Carlisle said her study only addressed dog ownership, but dogs might not be the best pet for a child with autism.

“Dogs may be best for some families, although other pets such as cats, horses or rabbits might be better suited to other children with autism and their particular sensitivities and interests,” Carlisle said.

The findings were published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing.

Mozilla Appoints CMO Chris Beard As Interim CEO

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (UPI) — Mozilla appointed Chris Beard to the board of directors and as its new acting CEO, following the controversy surrounding the the ouster of Brendan Eich.

Beard has been at Mozilla for years and has been involved in multiple roles, including overseeing products, innovation and most recently as the chief marketing officer. He was involved in the launch of two of Mozilla’s feature products — Firefox for Android and the Firefox OS mobile operating system.

“In this time of transition there is no better person to lead us. Chris has one of the clearest visions of how to take the Mozilla mission and turn it into programs and activities and product ideas that I have ever seen,” Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker said in a blog post.

Baker says that Beard was one of the strong candidates for CEO and that “there is no better person to lead” the company through the crisis it is facing.

Beard has also worked as an executive-in-residence at Greylock Parners, where two other Mozilla board members were employed — Reid Hoffman and former Mozilla CEO and board member John Lilly.

Beard’s appointment along with Mozilla’s announcement of a formal search for a new CEO, suggests the company is in a hurry to leave behind a difficult chapter. Mozilla’s public image took a beating after it appointed Brendan Eich as CEO, only to have him leave the position after public anger boiled over regarding his $1,000 donation in 2008 to an anti-gay marriage cause in California.

Acknowledging that the Eich fiasco was partially the responsibility of the board as well, Mozilla said it was working on adding more members.

“We intend to use recent events as a catalyst to develop and expand Mozilla’s leadership. Appointing Chris as our interim CEO is a first step in this process,” Baker said. “Next steps include a long-term plan for the CEO role, adding board members who can help Mozilla succeed and continuing our efforts to actively support each Mozillian to reach his or her full potential as a leader.”

Consumer Prices Rise 0.2 Percent, Americans Paying More For Food And Rent

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Americans paid more for food and rent as the Consumer Price Index inched up by 0.2 percent for the month of March, as the Fed contemplates increasing rates.

With this 0.2 percent increase in consumer prices, the year-over-year inflation rate is now 1.5 percent, still below the Federal Reserve’s threshold. The median forecast by 82 economists polled by Bloomberg estimated a 0.1 percent rise.

While food prices rose 0.4 percent, natural gas prices rose 7.5 percent, airfares rose 0.5 percent, and hospital services increased 0.8 percent, the largest rise was seen in rent or shelter costs, which accounts for nearly a third of the basket of goods and services tracked in the consumer price index.

Renters saw their rents go up 0.3 percent in March, bringing the yearly rise to 3 percent, double the inflation rate.

The Federal Reserve has suggested two percent inflation as the mark after which it will consider raising interest rates. The central bank wants to see inflation rise as it is a sign of healthy business activity. While the Fed has been careful not to indicate when it will start raising rates, many observers say it may not happen for at least another year.

“The overall picture is that inflation has stopped falling and is on a gradual uptrend,” said Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered in New York. “To some extent, today’s numbers relieve fears about the U.S. slipping into deflation.”

Yellen: Fed Considering Tougher Rules For Big Banks

STONE MOUNTAIN , Ga. (UPI) — Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen indicated that the central bank was considering tougher rules for big banks, including stronger capital and liquidity standards.

Federal Reserve officials approved stricter rules for the eight largest banks in the country, but Yellen said that additional measures may be required to prevent a freezing up of the credit market, which happened during the financial crisis.

Yellen said the Fed was actively considering some measures, such as requiring firms to hold larger amounts of capital, stable funding or highly liquid assets based on use of short-term wholesale funding, and that such measures would apply to only the large, complex banking organizations.

Yellen also suggested minimum margin requirements for repurchase agreements and other securities financing transactions could be implemented across the market.

“In 2007 and 2008, short-term creditors ran from firms such as Northern Rock, Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros., and from money market mutual funds and asset-backed commercial paper programs,” Yellen said in a video speech to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s financial markets conference.

“Together, these runs were the primary engine of a financial crisis from which the United States and the global economy have yet to fully recover,” she said.

Yellen did concede there was a fine balance to be found when asking banks to hold on to more capital, because the more capital banks hold the less money they have to lend to businesses and investors.

Fed officials are “carefully thinking through questions about the trade-offs associated with tighter liquidity regulation,” Yellen said.

White Supremacist Could Face Death Penalty For Killings Outside Jewish Community Center

OLATHE, Kan. (UPI) — A white supremacist charged with killing three people outside Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kansas, was formally charged with capital murder Tuesday.

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., who also calls himself F. Glenn Miller and is better known under that name, could face the death penalty if he is convicted of killing Dr. William Lewis Corporon, 69, and his grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, 14. Miller was charged with the first-degree murder of Terri LaManno, 53, and faces 25 years to life on that count.

Prosecutors have not yet said if they will seek the death penalty. Barry Grissom, the U.S. attorney for Kansas, has said he will ask a grand jury to add a Federal hate-crimes charge. That could make Miller eligible for the Federal death penalty if he is convicted.

Miller, a resident of Aurora, Mo., was arrested on Sunday not long after Corporon and his grandson were gunned down at the Jewish Community Center and LaManno at Village Shalom, a senior living facility where she was visiting her mother. Although investigators say Miller hoped to kill Jews on the eve of Passover, LaManno, a mother of three from Kansas City, was Catholic and Corporon, who was taking his grandson to a performing competition, a Methodist.

On Monday, police said Miller called “Heil Hitler” when he was put in a police car after his arrest.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says that Miller has a long history as a white supremacist and anti-Semite. He founded the South Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1980s and served as its “grand dragon” and then formed the White Patriot Party, the group said.

Miller served three years in Federal prison after pleading guilty on weapons charges and testifying against other supremacist leaders.

Corporate America Makes Tax Day A Little Easier With Discounts

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Taxes are due in the U.S. today and American businesses are attempting to make it a little easier with free products and discounts.

For those who are hungry after spending all their energy itemizing, Arby’s is giving away snack-sized curly fries with the proper coupon. Bruegger’s Bagels is selling 13 bagels and 2 tubs of cream cheese for $10.40. Boston Market is selling two half-chicken individual meals for $10.40.

From now until April 20, Pinkberry customers can bring in a proof of purchase from the day before and get a 50 percent discount on an equivalent frozen yogurt. Hard Rock Cafe has the most amusing discount as they are giving away a free burger, sandwich or salad between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to anyone who stands up and sings in front of the other diners.

For those who need to feel the cathartic release of shredding all those useless documents used for filing, Office Depot will shred up to 5 pounds of paper for free until the end of April with the proper coupon. After shredding all those important forms, taxpayers can get a free massage bed session from Hydro massage until April 18 with the right coupon.

For the procrastinators, McDonald’s is offering a free small coffee so people can caffeinate their filing to beat the deadline.

Rand Paul, Ted Cruz Test Waters For 2016 Presidential Bids

MANCHESTER, N.H. (UPI) — Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tested the waters for the 2016 Presidential race at a Tea Party Freedom Summit in New Hampshire.

The conservative Senators rallied the people at the summit, saying that ultra-conservatism is not what is damaging the Republican party, but rather timidness and establishment politicians who are out of touch with the American people.

“Some say we just need to dilute our message, let’s just be a little more like the Democrats,” Paul told the audience. “You think that’s a good idea? Hogwash. It’s exactly the wrong thing to do. Our problem isn’t that we are too bold. Our problem is that we are too timid.”

Cruz went in a different direction than Paul and said it’s not the politics that frustrates the American people, but the politicians.

“You want to know why people are frustrated out of their mind in Washington? The biggest divide we have is not between Democrats and Republicans,” Cruz said. “It’s between entrenched politicians in both parties, and the American people.”

Both Senators’ potential 2016 Presidential hopes rest on the conservative element of the right-wing Tea Party. And according to Molly Ball at The Atlantic, Cruz had the upper hand among attendees in that demographic.

“In interviews with a dozen audience members, I could find only one who preferred Paul to Cruz. Then there was Cynthia Howard, who told me her favorite potential candidate in attendance was neither of those two. ‘Donald Trump,’ she said firmly,” writes Ball.

Real estate mogul Donald Trump was in attendance along with talk-radio host Mike Huckabee. The more moderate Republicans who have been considered establishment favorites like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were not on the program to speak at the event. The Tea Party favorites took the opportunity to slam Bush for his support for Common Core education standards and his recent comments on immigration.

There is no clear Republican front-runner for the Presidential primary, leading the candidates to get a feel for the voting environment. As for the Democrats, though former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is only considering a Presidential run and has yet to announce, she is the clear favorite for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

Obama Uses Presidential Power To Correct Typo, Reduce Man’s Prison Sentence

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Proving the importance of proofreading, President Barack Obama used the power of his office to commute the sentence of a prisoner who was serving an extra 3.5 years due to a typo.

Ceasar Cantu, a convicted drug dealer from Katy, Texas, would have been forced to spend an extra 42 months in Federal prison because of a clerical error.

In 2006, Cantu pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering charges. According to sentencing guidelines, Cantu’s offense should have been a level 34, which comes with a mandatory 11.5-year sentence, but administrators accidentally entered his level as 36 in the paperwork, landing him a 15-year sentence.

Both Cantu and his lawyer failed to notice the mistake right away, and when they did, the judge told them it was too late to have the sentence changed through judicial means. Because they failed to file within the one-year statute of limitations and Cantu’s lawyer didn’t object at the initial sentencing, U.S. District Judge Jackson Kiser dismissed Cantu’s request to correct the error and reduce his sentence, leaving executive clemency as Cantu’s last hope.

On Tuesday, Obama commuted Cantu’s sentence to what it would have been under the sentencing guidelines had the typo not been made.

“A judge ruled that Mr. Cantu did not discover this error in time to correct it through any judicial means; as a result, it can now only be rectified through clemency,” a White House official said, according to Business Insider.

Obama granted only one commutation during his first term, but this marks his 10th commutation during his second term, along with 52 Presidential pardons while in office. In December, the President commuted the sentences of eight people convicted for crack cocaine, part of an effort to remove racial biasing from sentencing.

According to Time, experts predict Obama may issue mass commutations for low-level drug offenders before he leaves office.

Wisconsin Republicans To Vote On Secession

MADISON, Wis. (UPI) — Wisconsin Republicans are going to vote at the next state GOP convention on whether to secede from the United States.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican who is possibly considering a 2016 presidential run, disagrees with his party on this matter.

“I don’t think that one aligns with where most Republican officials are in the state of Wisconsin — certainly not with me,” Walker told reporters last week.

Joe Fadness, executive director of the State Republican Party, has also said that he does not support the move to secede.

The resolution made it past committee on April 5, so it will be submitted for an up or down vote at the Republican convention May 2-4.

Florida Teacher Fired After Allegedly ‘Ordering Hit’ On Seventh-Grade Student

PORT SAINT LUCIE, Fla. (UPI) — A Florida school board has decided to fire a teacher who allegedly ordered a group of six boys to attack a younger student to “teach him a lesson.”

During the incident, seventh-grade student Radravious Williams told teacher Dru Dehart that he “wished he could curse out teachers someday.” She apparently didn’t like what she heard and allegedly asked six eighth graders to attack Williams.

According to reports, the boys picked up Williams by the neck and made him forcibly apologize to the teacher.

“(She) made a very poor decision that day,” David Miklas, a school district representative, told
WPTV. “She used students to carry out discipline.”

The boy’s mother, Latasha Darrisaw, said she has yet to receive an apology.

“As a person and as a parent you would like some kind of apology, but I guess we will get that whenever she’s ready,” Darrisaw told
CBS 12
. “It’s been rough, it’s been rough, and we as a family have been dealing with it.”

Williams’ family may soon be filing a civil suit.

Mark Wilensky, Dehart’s attorney, said she doesn’t expect to be getting her job back. “I don’t think she had any real hopes or expectations that in this setting today that was going to happen,” Wilensky said.

Oklahoma Gun Range Hopes To Be First In The State To Sell Booze

OKLAHOMA CITY (UPI) — An Oklahoma business is hoping to make history by becoming the first gun range in the State to have a café that serves alcohol.

When the state-of-the art indoor range at Wilshire Gun opens in Oklahoma City this spring, owners hope that the 24 firearm lanes, 10 archery lanes and classrooms will be complemented by a VIP Lounge serving food and alcohol.

“As a group we wanted to build a place, the first one in Oklahoma, where you could go in, shoot, enjoy the retail area and then go to the café,” co-owner Jeff Swanson told KOKH.

Gun ranges in California and Texas have already been granted the right to serve alcohol.

“People can shoot first, then drink,” co-owner Jane Moran told the Journal Record.

After the City Planning Commission already voted to allow the plan to move forward, the Oklahoma City Council will vote about the issue May 27.

“I’ve not seen a business that does the firearms that has a liquor license,” said Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement Commission spokesperson Capt. Brent Fairchild, “but it’s possible that if they apply they could be the first one.”

Wilshire Gun still has to turn in an official liquor license application to the ABLE Commission.

“We would just encourage and hope they would be responsible people, especially in today’s age, with the issue of firearms,” Fairchild said.

North Korean Officials Visit London Hair Salon About Kim Jong Un ‘Bad Hair Day’ Ad

LONDON (UPI) — North Korean embassy officials visited a London hair salon after the business put up a poster with leader Kim Jong Un’s face on it offering discount haircuts.

The M&M Hair Academy posted Jong Un’s picture accompanied by the phrase, “Bad Hair Day?”

“We put up posters for an offer for men’s hair cuts through the month of April. Obviously in the current news there has been this story that North Korean men are only allowed one haircut,” barber Karim Nabbach told the BBC.

After embassy officials contacted the police, they paid a brief visit to the salon before being asked by the manager to leave.

“We didn’t realize but the North Korean embassy is a 10-minute walk from the salon. The next day we had North Korean officials pop into the salon asking to speak to the manager,” Nabbach said. “He said ‘listen this isn’t North Korea, this is England, we live in a democracy so I’m afraid you’re going to have to get out of my salon.'”

Nabbach, 26, came up with the poster, which offers 15 percent off men’s haircuts. Despite the large ad, he hasn’t had too many people coming in to request Jong Un’s hairdo.

“We have never had to perform that haircut on anyone,” Nabbach told The Guardian. “Perhaps, if David Beckham wore it. But, I don’t really see it catching on to be honest.”

Illinois Garden Center’s Business Increases After DEA Agents Raid Home Of Customer

CREST HILL, Ill. (UPI) — After DEA agents raided the home of a customer who had purchased organic fertilizer for an edible hibiscus plant, the owner of an Illinois garden center thought his business would wither up and die.

As it happens, customers have been coming back to Midwest Hydroganics in Crest Hill in droves.

“It’s been nothing but support,” proprietor Joe Vota told the Holliston-Hopkinton Patch. “They say, ‘We’re not leaving you. The community’s not letting this store close.”

Although the raid of 46-year-old Angela Kirking ‘s home has drawn a lot of attention, that month-long investigation was just one of 11 that authorities have conducted on Midwest Hydroganics, according to Will County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesman Charles Pelkie.

When agents invaded Kirking ‘s home, they did find nine grams of marijuana.

“We charge the cases that the DEA brings to our office and we charge them appropriately,” Pelkie said. “When they bring us felony cases we charge felony cases. When they bring us misdemeanor cases we charge misdemeanor cases.”

The attention has only helped business flourish at Midwest, “Illinois’ #1 Hydroponic and Organic Garden Center.”

“A women’s gardening club came in on Saturday because they read about Ms. Kirking,” Vota said. “They bought 47 bags of soil for their gardening club. They’d never been here before. I’m putting people to work, not taking them away from their families.”

Australian Driver After Hitting Biker While Texting Behind The Wheel: ‘I Just Don’t Care’

KOROIT, Australia (UPI) — An Australian driver who pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to dangerous driving after using her phone 44 times prior to hitting a cyclist has been fined $4500 and lost her license for nine months.

Kimberley Davis’ sentence might have been more lenient had it not been for her comments to police officers following the accident.

After she hit the man on the bike, the 21-year-old allegedly told officers that, “I just don’t care.”

Davis also refused to help the biker, who suffered a spinal fracture, after striking him.

“I just don’t care because I’ve already been through a lot of [expletive] and my car is like pretty expensive and now I have to fix it,” Davis reportedly told a police officer. “I’m kind of pissed off that the cyclist has hit the side of my car. I don’t agree that people texting and driving could hit a cyclist. I wasn’t on my phone when I hit the cyclist.”

She called for emergency services to help the rider 51 seconds after receiving a text message.

The cyclist’s wife was reportedly upset Davis didn’t lose her license for a longer period of time.

Texas Woman Arrested After Failing To Stop And Talk To Police Officer

WHITEHOUSE , Texas (UPI) — A Texas woman who was approached by a police officer who was “acting suspicious” was arrested after she failed to stop and talk to him.

Melissa Bonnette was out for a walk on Friday morning when a Whitehouse Police Department officer pulled up alongside her on a motorcycle and asked her to talk.

The officer, Shawn Johnson, allegedly approached Bonnette because she was walking on the wrong side of the road.

“I thought that maybe he was flirting,” Bonnette told KYTX. “I just thought it was odd, I thought it was odd. I wasn’t really sure but I felt uncomfortable because there wasn’t anyone around. He just crept along beside me on his motorcycle and he started saying, ‘Hey ma’am! I want to talk to you. Hey stop, ma’am! I want to talk to you.’ Then my anxiety rose even higher.”

Bonnette refused to stop and began jogging away from Johnson. He then got off the bike, tackled her and put her in handcuffs.

“Normally if a police officer pulls up, in my opinion, it’s awful odd for somebody just to take off and not want to speak to the police officer,” said Whitehouse Police Chief Craig Shelton. “And he had a lawful reason to be there and to stop her.”

No charges were filed after the arrest.

“I really don’t want to live in a town where something like this could happen to a law-abiding citizen,” Bonnette said. “I’m not going to be able to walk anymore, and that’s sad because I enjoy walking every day. But I’m terrified. It was just so traumatic.”

New Jersey Man Sets Out On 224-mile Run To Boston To Honor Marathon Bombing Victims

BOSTON (UPI) — A New Jersey man set off on Sunday to run 224 miles to Boston with the hope of arriving by Saturday before running the Boston Marathon — another 26.2 miles — on Monday.

Larry Grogin ran the Boston Marathon last year and was just about the cross the finish line when the first bomb exploded.

“It was incredible to be at the runner’s high at the end of the marathon last year and suddenly the bottom fell out,” Grogin told NJ.com. “It was such a horrible surprise and end to a wonderful and special day.”

As of Sunday afternoon, Grogin and running partner John Renaldo had raised more than $200,000 for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp charity. “What I thought was a zany stunt has actually been inspiring for people,” Grogin said.

During the marathon bombings last year, three people were killed and 264 others were injured.

Camp Hole in the Wall caters to children who are suffering from serious illnesses and was founded by Paul Newman in 1988. “Some of these kids have been robbed of their childhoods and thanks to Paul Newman’s camp they’re able to bring that back,” Grogin said.

Pot Vending Machine To Debut

AVON, Colo. (UPI) — A Colorado company has introduced the first-ever marijuana vending machine, which will soon be put to use at a dispensary in Eagle-Vail, Colo.

The so-called Zazz machine was produced by Stephen Shearin’s company, American Green, and was delivered to the Herbal Elements dispensary Friday.

The dispensary debuted the machine to the public outside Montana’s Smokehouse barbecue restaurant in Avon on Friday.

“We’re looking forward to using the ZAZZ machine to easily track all this inventory … we’re gonna eliminate the middle man. It’ll go straight from the budtender right into our machine. There’s no room for theft by patients, employees … there’s no way to lose track of the inventory,” Herbal Elements owner Greg Honan said.

The machine includes technology that requires users to swipe their driver’s license to verify their identity and age. Multiple cameras attached to the machine make sure the person swiping the card is the same person depicted on the card.

“They would swipe their driver’s license at which point multiple cameras would allow us to use some advanced biometrics to make absolutely certain that the person who swiped the card is the owner of that card,” Shearin said.

Pregnant Women Who Took Antidepressants Linked To Higher Autism Risk In Boys

BALTIMORE (UPI) — Boys whose mothers took antidepressants such as Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft while pregnant, were almost three times more likely to have autism spectrum disorder.

Rebecca A. Harrington and Li-Ching Lee of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Rosa M. Crum of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Dr. Andrew W. Zimmerman of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Irva Hertz-Picciotto of the University of California, Davis said the study involved a total of 966 mother-child pairs.

Using data from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment Study, 492 children had autism spectrum disorder, 154 children had developmental delays and 320 children had typical development.

The study, published online in Pediatrics ahead of the May print issue, found prenatal exposure to the antidepressants was lowest — 3.4 percent — in children that developed typically, but rose to 5.2 percent of children with developmental delays and higher still at 5.9 percent of children with autism spectrum disorder. The strongest association was in the first three months of pregnancy.

“In boys, prenatal exposure to selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, a class of compounds used as antidepressants to treatment of depression, anxiety and some personality disorders, might increase susceptibility to autism spectrum disorder or developmental delays,” the researchers wrote in the study.

“Potential recall bias and residual confounding by indication are concerns. Larger samples are needed to replicate developmental delays results. Because maternal depression itself carries risks for the fetus, the benefits of prenatal SSRI use should be carefully weighed against potential harms.”

Postpartum Depression A Risk For Young Dads Too

EVANSTON, Ill. (UPI) — In analyzing health data on 10,623 young men, ages 24 to 32 — data collected as part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health — researchers at Northwestern University found that depression symptoms went up by an average of 68 percent during the first five years of fatherhood.

While most studies have focused on the ways postpartum depression affects mothers and their children, this study is one of the first to detail the development of depression symptoms in young fathers.

“It’s not just new moms who need to be screened for depression, dads are at risk, too,” said Dr. Craig Garfield, lead author of the new study. “Parental depression has a detrimental effect on kids, especially during those first key years of parent-infant attachment. We need to do a better job of helping young dads transition through that time period.”

Garfield hopes his new paper, which was published this week in the journal Pediatrics, will lead to earlier and more successful interventions and treatment for young men who may be at increased risk of clinical depression in the first several years of fatherhood.

“Identifying at-risk fathers based on social factors and designing effective interventions may ultimately improve health outcomes for the entire family,” Garfield and his colleagues write in their paper.

Postpartum depression isn’t just bad for moms and dads, but also children. Previous studies have shown fathers struggling with depression are more likely to use corporal punishment. They are also less apt to read books to their children or spend time with them. As compared to children of non-depressed dads, children struggling under the weight of their father’s poor mental health are more likely to have trouble with language and reading development. The same children also have a higher tendency to misbehave.

“This is a wake-up call for anyone who knows a young man who has recently become a new father,” Garfield said. “Be aware of how he is doing during his transition into fatherhood. If he is feeling extreme anxiety or blues, or not able to enjoy things in life as he previously did, encourage him to get help.”

Low Blood Sugar May Incite Marital Conflict

COLUMBUS, Ohio (UPI) — Low blood sugar can lead to feelings of anxiety and irritability — sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat, dizziness, extreme hunger and other symptoms.

A drop in blood sugar can also make humans more likely to lash out at their spouses or significant others. That according to researchers at Ohio State.

“People can relate to this idea that when they get hungry, they get cranky,” said Brad Bushman, lead author of the study. “We found that being hungry can affect our behavior in a bad way, even in our most intimate relationships.”

To find out just how much of an effect hunger and low levels of blood glucose had on the likelihood of marital arguments, Bushman and his fellow researchers recruited 107 married to couples to participate in a study.

Over the course of 21 days, participants were asked to take out their anger on a doll representing their spouse. At the end of each day, participants were allowed to use anywhere from 0 to 51 pins to express the amount of anger they were feeling toward their life partners.

All along, participants’ fluctuating blood sugar levels were measured. The researchers found lower blood sugar levels closely corresponded with higher numbers of pins stuck in the dolls.

At the end of the 21-day period, spouses came into the lab for a new experiment. Asked to face off against each other in a simple button-pressing game that tested reaction time, winners were allowed to blast their spouse with a loud noise via earphones. In reality, the spouses were not playing each other, but a computer program that allowed them to win half of the time. Each spouse, upon winning, got to choose how loud of a noise to subject their partner to.

Yet again, lower blood sugar levels predicted louder noises, a more intense punishment for the hypothetical loser.

But why? The short answer, our brain is needy. To function properly, humans must feed it with plenty of energy.

“Even though the brain is only 2 percent of our body weight, it consumes about 20 percent of our calories,” Bushman explained. “It is a very demanding organ when it comes to energy,” he said”

The old wisdom for marital bless, “never go to bed angry,” may need to be updated to include the rule: “never have an argument while hungry.”