TIME People

You Can Now Read Millions of Wills Online

ancestry.com
ancestry.com

Wills from the Colonial Era are now available on Ancestry.com

Every wonder what Paul Revere, Eli Witney, and other famous historical figures gave away in their wills? Ancestry.com now has the answer.

A new feature launched by the family history website Ancestry.com allows users to search through digital wills and probate records of over 100 million people, the Associated Press reports. The database contains items from the Colonial era to the start of the 21st century. An entry for Revere shows he set aside $500 in his will for all but one of his grandchildren, who the patriot declared “shall have no part of my estate” except for $1.

Many of the documents are available in courthouses nationwide, but this is the first time wills and probate records have been pulled together on such a large scale.

The database, which has over 170 million documents from all 50 states, will be publicly available starting Wednesday.

TIME medicine

FDA Warns Powdered Caffeine Is Dangerous

caffeine-powder
Center for Science in the Public Interest

One teaspoon of the powder has around the same caffeine content as 28 cups of coffee

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warning letters to five pure powdered caffeine distributors arguing the products are dangerous. The agency said it did so to prevent further deaths from powdered caffeine.

In 2014, two young men who were otherwise healthy died after consuming powdered caffeine. The FDA says it sent the companies the warning letters because “these products are dangerous and present a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury to consumers,” the agency wrote in a statement.

According to the FDA, there’s a very small difference between a safe amount of pure powdered caffeine and a toxic amount, and it’s “nearly impossible” to measure safe amounts accurately using normal measuring tools. One teaspoon of pure powdered caffeine equals the same amount of caffeine in 28 cups of coffee, so it’s not possible to use a teaspoon to measure out a standard caffeine serving, the FDA says.

The five companies the FDA warned are SPN, LLC (Smartpowders), Purebulk, Inc., Kreativ Health Inc. (Natural Food Supplements), Hard Eight Nutrition, LLC and Bridge City Bulk. Bridge City Bulk founder Jeffrey Stratton told the New York Times that the company “immediately stopped selling the material” and had not had any complaints.

The federal agency says it is continuing to monitor the powdered caffeine product market and if it finds violations, it will take action, including seizing the product or preventing producers from manufacturing it.

TIME Heart Disease

Here’s How To Find Out Your Real Heart Age

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Getty Images

So much for being "young at heart"

The age on your birth certificate may say one thing, but the age of your heart is likely significantly older.

A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released on Tuesday reveals that three out of four Americans have a predicted heart age that’s older than their real age, which means they are at a greater risk for heart issues like attacks and strokes.

A person’s heart age is based on risk factors like blood pressure levels, whether they smoke and how much they weigh.

(Calculate your heart age here, if you’re between ages 30 and 74.)

In the new study, the researchers analyzed data collected from every state and from the Framingham Heart Study and estimated that about 69 million U.S. adults had a heart age older than their actual age. For men, the average heart age was about eight years older than their chronological age; for women, their hearts were an average of five years older than their real age.

MORE: This is the Worst Type of Fat for Your Heart

The researchers found some notable demographic differences. Heart age was highest among black men and women: black men had hearts three to four years older than white and Hispanic men, while black women had hearts five to seven years older than white and Hispanic women. Southern adults also had notably higher heart ages overall.

In the report, the study authors argue that heart age is a simple way to convey heart disease risk to their patients—one that might motivate Americans to adopt heart-protective lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, eating better or exercising more often.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

5 Foods That Taste Better in September Than They Will All Year

Here's what should be on your grocery list this month

Never know what’s growing now? Let’s take it one month at a time, with TIME‘s Foods That Taste Better Now Than They Will All Year.

As summer draws to a close, you might think your best days of produce are behind you. But there are plenty of fruits and vegetables to fall for in September. We asked Joan Casanova, spokesperson for Bonnie Plants, what early-fall items are worth watching.

Swiss chard: This deep green veggie with colorful stems means it’s both beautiful and nutritious, says Casanova. Swiss chard is one vegetable that tolerates both cool temperatures and the heat, so you will see tasty varieties in September.

Rutabaga: A fall favorite, this root vegetable can be chunked or mashed, similar to potatoes. “It ripens best in cool autumn weather, taking on its characteristic mild, rich flavor after fall frosts descend on the garden,” says Casanova.

Lettuce: While lettuce is known for growing fast in full sun, Casanova says it is one of few vegetables that also does well in the shade. Home gardeners can grow lettuce in a small space, too.

Turnip leaves: These greens are extremely easy to grow in the fall, when nights become longer and cooler turnip greens get crisper and sweeter, says Casanova.

Leeks: Leeks are sweet, mild and gentle on the digestive system, Casanova says. They don’t produce bulbs like onions do, but they “stash their flavor in thick, juicy stems that look like huge scallions.”

TIME viral

This Boy Wrote an Adorable Apology Note to the Library for Ripping a Page

He felt bad for other kids who may want to read the book

An 8-year-old boy wrote an adorable apology note to the Toronto Public Library for accidentally ripping a page in an Asterix comic book.

The letter, written by Jackson Dowler, reads: “I am sorry that a page ripped when it fell out of my bed when I fell asleep reading it. It won’t happen again. I’m sorry. From Jackson.”

The library shared the letter on social media, and it had over 4,600 likes on Facebook and over 1,000 shares by Monday evening.

It was the widespread social media fervor over the letter that ultimately identified Dowler as the author of the letter, which was taped to the comic book in the overnight drop box addressed “Library.” One individual touched by Dowler’s letter shipped him some Asterix comics.

“We tried to tape it, but I wrote the note so I could tell the library it was ripped so they could fix it better,” Jackson told PEOPLE. “Other kids who want to read it don’t want to be missing a page. It was my dad’s favorite book and it’s mine too. It’s full of adventure!”

[People]

TIME Canada

Canadians Are Cutting $20 Bills in Half to Make Two $10s

Canadian 20 dollar bill
Chris Wattie—Reuters The new Canadian 20 dollar bill made of polymer is displayed at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on May 2, 2012.

People in Canada are cutting $20 and $20 bills in half and using them as new currency.

According to CBC News, people in Quebec’s Gaspé region are cutting bills like $20 and $10 and using them for half the amount.

They are calling it a new currency by the name, “demi.” Local stores and residents have starting using and accepting them, with half a $20 bill worth $10.

The trend is not illegal, but the Bank of Canada is frowning on the practice.

“The Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes or mutilating them [is] inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride,” Bank of Canada spokeswoman Josianne Ménard said in a statement to CBC News.

[CBC News]

TIME Diet/Nutrition

McDonalds is Making a Big Change to the McMuffin

Egg McMuffin McDonald's
Mike Blake—Reuters An Egg McMuffin meal is pictured at a McDonald's restaurant in Encinitas, Calif. on Aug. 13, 2015.

The McMuffin will soon be made with real butter

McDonald’s is going to make McMuffins with real butter.

Instead of using liquid margarine, CNBC reports that McDonald’s is changing how it makes its biscuits, English muffins and bagels and is transitioning to using the real stuff.

Some stores are already advertising the change.

According to CNBC, one sign at a Manhattan McDonald’s location said: “We’re proud to cook breakfast items on the grill with real butter and we toast our English Muffins, biscuits and bagels with real butter too.”

McDonald’s has not responded to requests for confirmation or comment.

It was unclear how long the chain has been using real butter on its breakfast items.

[CNBC]

TIME Research

Your Kids Should Know About the Dangers of Drinking By Age 10, Doctors Say

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Getty Images

Kids should know about the dangers of alcohol before their first sip

Health care professionals should be talking to children about the risks of alcoholic drinks when they are as young as nine, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

“Surveys indicate that children start to think positively about alcohol between ages 9 and 13 years,” the AAP authors write in the report. “The more young people are exposed to alcohol advertising and marketing, the more likely they are to drink, and if they are already drinking, this exposure leads them to drink more. Therefore, it is very important to start talking to children about the dangers of drinking as early as 9 years of age.”

In the United States, alcohol is the substance most commonly abused by kids and adolescents. The new report says that 21% of young people say they had more than a sip of an alcoholic beverage before they were 13 years old, and 79% have tried alcoholic drinks by the time they were seniors in high school.

The study also found that 80% of adolescents say their parents are the biggest influence on whether they drink or not, which suggests parents have a role as well. “We must approach drinking in children, particularly binge drinking, differently than we do in adults,” said co author and pediatrician Dr. Lorena Siqueira, a member of the AAP Committee on Substance Abuse. “Given their lack of experience with alcohol and smaller bodies, children and adolescents can have serious consequences — including death — with their first episode of binge drinking.”

Other research reviewed by the AAP committee suggested that continued use of alcohol at a young age can hinder brain development, lead to alcohol-induced brain damage, and increase the risk of substance use problems later on. The AAP says every pediatrician should screen their adolescent patients for alcohol use during appointments and offer preventative messaging.

The report authors focused specifically on the risks of binge drinking, which is classified as three or more drinks in a two-hour period for girls between ages nine and 17. For boys it’s three or more drinks in two hours between age 9 to 13, four or more drinks for boys ages 14 to 15, and five or more drinks for boys ages 16 to 17. The authors note that drinking rates increase in high school with 36 to 50% of high school students drinking and 28% to 60% binge drinking.

TIME weather

See Astronaut’s Photo of Hurricane Jimena From Space

Hurricane Jimena Space Station Kjell Lindgren
Kjell Lindgren—NASA A view of hurricane Jimena taken from the International Space Station and posted to Twitter by NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren on Aug. 30, 2015.

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren captured this image of Hurricane Jimena from the International Space Station and posted it to Twitter on Sunday.

Jimena is a Category 4 hurricane that’s located more than 1,330 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii. Weather experts predict it will remain a Category 3 hurricane or greater through Tuesday. According to The Weather Channel, on Saturday and Sunday Jimena was one of three Category 4 hurricanes in the Pacific, along with hurricanes Kilo and Ignacio. Such a concentration of storms is rare.

TIME History

Menu From Titanic’s Last Lunch Is Going to Auction

Titanic Money Boat Artifacts
Lion Heart Autographs/AP Titanic's last lunch menu.

It could bring in as much as $70,000

A menu of the last lunch offered on the Titanic, which was saved by a passenger on a rescue boat, is going to auction, where it is expected to bring in $50,000 to $70,000.

The menu, which was saved by passenger Abraham Lincoln Salomon, listed items including corned beef and dumplings, the Associated Press reports. The menu is signed on the back by another passenger named Isaac Gerald Frauenthal. It’s believed the two first-class men had lunch together on that day.

Salomon was on a lifeboat that was known as the “Money Boat” in the press, based on allegations that the passengers bribed crew members to row away to safety rather than go back and save others.

On Sept. 30, auctioneer Lion Heart Autographs is offering the menu and other artifacts from the lifeboat. The objects being auctioned are from the son of a man who was given them by a direct descendent of one of the survivors.

[AP]

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