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]

TIME Health Care

Physicians Avoid Conversations About Religion in the ICU

TIME.com stock photos Health First Aid Kit Gloves
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Even though it's important to patients and their families

Religion and spirituality are not common topics of discussion in intensive care units (ICUs), and doctors often go out of their way to avoid them—even though religion is often very important to patients and their medical surrogates during end-of-life care, a new study shows.

In the study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers listened to audio recordings of 249 meetings between surrogates of critically ill patients and health care professionals in 13 different ICUs across the country. The goal was to investigate the religious or spiritual content in these talks. The researchers found that although religion was considered important to 77.6% of the surrogates (a surrogate is a family member or another person responsible for making medical decisions for a patient), conversations about religious and spiritual topics occurred in less than 20% of the goals-of-care conversations. Health care professionals rarely “explored the patient’s or family’s religious or spiritual ideas.”

When conversations about spirituality did occur in some of these end-of-life care conversations, the researchers found that 65% of the time the topic was initiated by the surrogate. Health care professionals raised the issue of spirituality only 5.6% of the time.

The types of religious conversations surrogates would bring up fell into categories such as: referencing their religious or spiritual beliefs, having the notion that the physician is God’s tool to aid in the healing of their loved one, and the idea that the end of life would be a new beginning. For example, surrogates said things like, “All I can do is pray for her to continue to get better and maybe one o’ these days, she can walk outta here.” Or, “I’m very, very optimistic because I know our faith is strong.”

The most common response among health care providers when a surrogate brought up religion or spirituality was to change the subject. In only eight conferences did a health care professional try to understand the beliefs of the surrogate by doing things like asking about the patient’s religious beliefs. “Our findings suggest that religious considerations—viewed as important to a large proportion of Americans—are often absent from end-of-life conversations,” the authors wrote. “This may signal a need for changes in health care delivery in ICUs.”

The study authors concluded that one potential solution would be to “redesign” health care processes so that spiritual care providers were a larger part of end-of-life care discussions for patients who value spirituality and religion.

In a corresponding editorial, health care professionals who were not involved in the study wrote: “Although we health care professionals struggle to connect spirituality and medicine as evidenced by the many and mounting articles that refute or explicate their connection, our patients and families typically do not struggle. For most, thoughts of what is most sacred, of what transcends the finitude of human life, come flooding in the moment the physician shares the news of the serious illness or the telephone call comes urging the listener to the bedside of a critically ill loved one.”

The new study suggests that religion and spirituality may be a conversation that people want to have at the end of life, and they are not getting it from their health care providers. Finding a solution for this discrepancy could be in patients’ and health care professionals’ best interest, the editorial said.
TIME Courts

University of Texas Removes Jefferson Davis Statue

Jefferson Davis - Univesity of Texas
Eric Gay—AP A statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis is moved from it's location in front of the school's main tower the University of Texas campus onAug. 30, 2015, in Austin.

The UT student body had voted for the statue to be removed

The University of Texas at Austin removed a statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis on Sunday.

The move happened days after an appeal by a Confederate supporter group was rejected by a state district judge. The statue of Davis is expected to be placed in UT’s Briscoe Center for American History in about 18 months.

In March the UT student body had voted for the statue to be removed from its prominent spot on campus. The Sons of Confederate Veterans had sued to prevent UT from moving the statue, but lost.

As the AP notes, Confederate symbols nationwide have been a target of criticism in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C. The statue of Davis at UT was criticized as a symbol of racism.

TIME celebrities

Hulk Hogan Apologizes for Racist Comments

Terry Bollea, Hulk Hogan,
Chris O'Meara—AP

The wrestler said racial slurs were thrown around casually where he grew up

An emotional Hulk Hogan apologized to fans Monday on Good Morning America for racist comments he made that were caught on tape.

The wrestler addressed his use of racial slurs in a recording that was recently released, resulting in Hogan’s removal from the WWE’s Hall of Fame. According to Yahoo, it’s believed that the tape was recorded between 2006 and 2007.

Hogan told GMA, “I’m not a racist, I never should have said what I said. It was wrong. I’m embarrassed by it.” Hogan said he grew up in a rough neighborhood where the N-word was “thrown around like it was nothing.” He said it was “very fair” to say that he inherited a racial bias. He asked his fans for forgiveness.

He added that the aftermath of the leak was very troubling for him: “I was to the point where I wanted to kill myself,” he said.

“Just because a person makes a mistake, just don’t throw them away. You don’t throw good people away,” said Hogan. “People get better every day.”

TIME Infectious Disease

Blue Bell Ice Cream Slowly Returns to Stores

The ice cream is making its way back into select markets after spurring a listeria outbreak

Blue Bell Creameries resumed delivering ice cream to select regions on Monday, several months after shutting down production when Blue Bell products were identified as the source of a multi-state listeria outbreak.

The first deliveries of ice cream were made early Monday morning in Brenham, Texas, where a local NBC News station says freezers were well stocked with Blue Bell ice cream.

Blue Bell production was shut down earlier this year after it was determined that Americans were getting sick with listeriosis from consuming Blue Bell products. The multi-state outbreak hospitalized 10 people, and three people died. In April, Blue Bell recalled all of its products.

MORE: How Ice Cream Gets Contaminated—and Sometimes Kills

In early August, Alabama approved Blue Bell’s request to resume production and delivery. Since the company still only has limited production capacity, it plans to re-enter 15 states in five phases. Monday began the first phase, which includes distribution to the Brenham, Houston and Austin, Texas areas and Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala.

“Over the past several months we have been working to make our facilities even better, and to ensure that everything we produce is safe, wholesome and of the highest quality for you to enjoy,” Ricky Dickson, vice president of sales and marketing for Blue Bell, said in a statement.

You can see where Blue Bell will be distributing next, here.

TIME public health

Turkey Bacon and Six Other Foods to Avoid This Week

200418761-001
Getty Images

Spoiled turkey bacon and bread with glass bits are being recalled

In our food supply, safety sometimes slips through the cracks. Unfortunately, the U.S. saw quite a few recalls this week, and since not every recall reported to authorities makes headlines, we’ve rounded them up for you. If you purchased a product that’s been recalled, you can often return it from where you bought it for a refund.

Turkey bacon
Brand: Oscar Mayer
Contaminated with: Spoils earlier than indicated.
Kraft Heinz Foods Company is recalling about 2,068,467 pounds of turkey bacon products because the products may spoil before their “best when used by” date. The issue was discovered when consumers complained about spoilage problems. The company has received reports of illness. Read the full report here.

Breads
Brands: Sara Lee, Great Value, Kroger, Bimbo, Nature’s Harvest and L’Oven Fresh
Contaminated with: Possible glass fragments
Bimbo Bakeries has recalled some of its breads sold under a variety of brands due to the possible presence of glass from a broken light bulb in one of the company’s bakeries. The company was made aware of the problem after three consumers reported small pieces of glass on the outside of the bread. Read the full report here.

Duck head and neck
Brand: California Qi Li’s Braised Chicken
Contaminated with: Undeclared soy sauce
California Qi Li’s Braised Chicken is recalling about 6,644 pounds of duck head and duck neck products due to undeclared soy sauce. There have been no reports of illness from the product. Read the full report here.

MORE: Why You Shouldn’t Eat Delicious Charred Foods

Macadamia nuts
Brand: Jansal Valley
Contaminated with: Salmonella
Food distributor Sid Wainer and Son of New Bedford, MA is recalling Jansal Valley brand Raw Macadamia Nuts after the bacteria Salmonella was found in a one-pound package of the nuts. So far no illnesses have been reported. Read the full report here.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Brand: Sam Mills
Contaminated with: Undeclared dairy
Sam Mills is recalling 11,083 cases of 4.4 ounce boxes of Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Granola Bars due to possible contamination with dairy. The product currently claims to be dairy-free even though there is a risk of cross contamination with dairy. This could be problematic for people with dairy sensitivities. Read the full report here.

Dark Chocolate covered Honey Grahams with Sea Salt
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Contaminated with: Undeclared milk
Candy retailer Jo’s Candies is recalling Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate covered Honey Grahams with Sea Salt because the product may contain milk which is not listed on the label. That’s problematic for people who have milk-related allergies. So far there have been two reactions to the product reported. Read the full report here.

Green beans
Brand: Cascadian Farm
Contaminated with: Listeria monocytogenes
General Mills is recalling packages of its Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans. One package tested positive for the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported. Read the full report here.

TIME Infectious Disease

The Vast Majority of U.S. Kids Are Vaccinated

TIME.com stock photos Health Syringe Needle
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Less than 1% of children received no vaccinations in 2014, but pockets of low vaccination rates put kids at risk

Vaccines are one of the most effective tools for preventing serious diseases in childhood and later in life, and new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows most children in the U.S. are vaccinated.

CDC researchers looked at national, regional, state and local vaccine coverage rates and found that overall coverage remains high, and hasn’t changed much between 2013 and 2014. The data shows that the national target of 90% coverage was reached for poliovirus (three or more doses of the vaccine), measles, mumps and rubella (one or more doses of the vaccine), hepatitis B (three or more doses of the vaccine) and varicella (one or more dose of the vaccine).

Overall, children below the federal poverty level had the lowest coverage for nearly all types of vaccinations.

A second report published Thursday from CDC researchers found that most kindergarteners entering the 2014-15 school year were vaccinated, and the exemption rate for vaccines nationwide was about 1.7%.

That’s the national picture at least. The data also shows that state-exemption rates range pretty significantly, with Mississippi at less than 0.1% and Idaho at a high of 6.5%. There were five states that did not meet the CDC’s reporting standards for providing vaccine exemption data. Pockets of children who miss vaccinations exist in our communities and they leave these communities vulnerable to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in a press conference.

Pockets of low vaccination rates have proven problematic this year. In the new report, the researchers write that in 2015, measles outbreak cases included 68 unvaccinated Americans, and among those people, 29 cited philosophic or religious objections to vaccines. The CDC says the U.S. experienced a record number of measles cases in 2014 at 668 cases. That’s the highest number of measles cases since the disease was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. Between January to August 21, 2015, there have been 188 cases of measles so far.

“We always worry about children and others with leukemia and other similar medical problems who can’t actually receive the [measles, mumps, and rubella] vaccine themselves,” said Schuchat.

The CDC reports in its latest study, that among the 49 reporting states and the District of Columbia (DC), the median vaccination coverage rate was 94% for the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and approximately 94% for local requirements for the diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine. Varicella coverage was 93.6% among the 39 states and DC that have a 2-dose varicella vaccine requirement.

Some states are strengthening their requirements for exemptions. In 2015, California removed religious and philosophic exemptions for kids in public and private schools and Vermont removed philosophic exemptions. Schuchat recommended parents find out what their states’ vaccination exemption rates are.

Getting routine vaccines in childhood is estimated to prevent 322 million cases of disease and 732,000 early deaths among kids, the CDC points out in its report. The benefits of vaccination are not just for health. Routine vaccination could save $1.38 trillion.

TIME Research

Marijuana Does Not Affect Brain Volume, Study Finds

TIME.com stock health brain
Illustration by Sydney Rae Hass for TIME

The latest research adds to the debate over marijuana's effects on the brain

Using marijuana does not cause changes in brain volume, a new study suggests.

Public health experts have cited concerns that using marijuana could be associated with structural changes in the brain. However, a new trial comparing the brains of marijuana users and non-users to their siblings reveals that marijuana use likely does not cause changes in brain volume.

In the study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers looked at a large group of siblings ages 22 to 35. Of the 483 people, 262 reported ever using marijuana, even just once. The researchers then split the men and women into groups: sibling pairs who had never used marijuana, sibling pairs where both had reported using marijuana, and sibling pairs where one had used marijuana and one had not. Overall, they noticed that people who reported using marijuana had smaller volumes in certain parts of the brain—like the left amygdala, which is involved in emotional processing. However, these differences still fell within a range of volume that is considered normal.

The researchers hypothesized that in the sibling pairs where one had used marijuana and one had not, they would see differences in brain volume. But instead, they found that the exposed and unexposed siblings had the same amygdala volume. “We found no evidence for the causal influence of cannabis exposure on amygdala volume,” the authors concluded.

The researchers suggest that differences in volume could be due to other factors, like genetics or living environment. “Our study suggests that cannabis use, or at least the simple index of it that we used, does not directly impact changes in brain volumes,” says study author Arpana Agrawal, an associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine. “Instead, any relationship that we did see between cannabis use and brain volumes was due to predisposing factors that influence both cannabis use and brain volumes.”

The study did not find that brain volume has any effect on whether or not a person uses marijuana.

Another study, also published by different authors in the same journal, found that using marijuana could alter the brains of males at high risk for schizophrenia in potentially meaningful ways.

More research needs to be done to understand whether marijuana does or does not have potentially harmful effects on the brain, or whether the risks are different from one person to the next.

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