TIME Research

How Your Sense of Smell Is Linked to Your Lifespan

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Older adults who suffer an impaired olfactory sense are more likely to die within five years, say researchers

The loss or erosion of an individual’s sense of smell may signal impending death, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Chicago found 39% of subjects who failed olfactory sense tests died within a five-year period, compared with 19% of subjects with moderate smell loss and just 10% who retained a healthy sense of smell.

This mean the loss or degradation of the olfactory sense may serve effectively as an “early warning” signal that something has gone very wrong inside the body, says the study published in the journal PLOS One on Wednesday.

“We think loss of the sense of smell is like the canary in the coal mine,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Jayant Pinto. “Our findings could provide a useful clinical test, a quick and inexpensive way to identify patients most at risk.”

The research was conducted in two waves over the course of more than five years and surveyed approximately 3,000 adults.

TIME Afghanistan

Taliban Suicide Bombers Kill 7 in Kabul, Wound 21

Afghanistan
Afghan security forces guard the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on Oct. 1, 2014 Massoud Hossaini—AP

Wednesday's attacks involved two suicide bombers targeting buses carrying Afghan troops in the country's capital

(KABUL, AFGHANISTAN) — Taliban suicide bombers struck two buses carrying Afghan soldiers in Kabul early Wednesday, killing seven people and wounding 21, just a day after the signing of a key U.S.-Afghan security pact.

The long-awaited deal allows U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of 2014, ending the uncertainty over the fate of foreign troops supporting Afghans as they take over the fight against the Taliban insurgency.

Wednesday’s attacks involved two suicide bombers targeting buses carrying Afghan troops in the country’s capital.

The first attacker hit a bus with Afghan National Army officers in west Kabul, killing seven and wounding 15, said the city’s criminal investigation police chief Mohammad Farid Afzali.

The second attacker, who was also on foot, blew himself up in front of a bus in northeastern Kabul, wounding at least six army personnel, Afzali said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying the security pact with America has only motivated the group and given the Taliban “more morale” to fight the enemy.

“They need to give more sacrifices to make their homeland free,” Mujahid said, referring to Taliban fighters.

In a separate statement to media, the Taliban denounced the Bilateral Security Agreement as an “American plot” and said that “such fake documents will never hold back the lawful jihad,” or holy war.

In Kabul, dozens of Afghan security forces sealed off the attack sites, littered with broken glass, as military ambulances took the victims to hospital. Worried Afghans passed by, on their way to work.

Under the security pact, along with a separate deal signed with NATO, about 10,000 American troops and several thousand more from other NATO countries will stay to train and advise Afghan forces after the international combat mission ends on Dec. 31.

More than a decade after U.S. forces helped topple the Taliban in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Afghanistan is still at war with the Islamic militant group, which regularly carries out attacks, mainly targeting security forces.

There are also serious questions about the ability of the Afghan security forces to take on the militants, even with a residual U.S. force remaining in the country.

In other violence, two police officers were killed when a suicide bomber targeted a police vehicle late Tuesday in Lashkar Gah, the capital of southern Helmand province. Five policemen were also wounded in the attack, Omar Zwak, the spokesman for the provincial governor said Wednesday.

The U.S.-Afghan pact was long in the making. U.S. officials had first warned their Afghan counterparts that if the security accord was not signed by the end of 2013, the Pentagon would have to start planning for a full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

But when the year ended, the White House moved back the deadline, saying then-President Hamid Karzai needed to sign off within weeks. Karzai surprised U.S. officials by ultimately saying he would not sign the accord and would instead leave that task for his successor.

But the results of the race to replace Karzai took months resolve, finally coming to a conclusion on Monday with the swearing in of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as Afghanistan’s second elected president.

Ghani Ahmadzai signed the security agreement Tuesday, nearly one year after the White House’s initial deadline.

TIME People

What Price Fame: James Dean Was “Barely a Celebrity” Before He Died

James Dean advice
From the Sept. 3, 1956, issue of TIME TIME

Sept. 30, 1955: James Dean is killed in a California car crash

James Dean’s career picked up considerably after he died.

The budding film star was killed on this day, Sept. 30, in 1955 after crashing his Porsche Spyder en route to a road race in Salinas, Calif., in which he was scheduled to compete. Just 24, he was “barely a celebrity” at the time, according to a 1956 story in TIME, which went on to report that within a year of his death he had gained more popularity than most living actors. Magazine and book publishers looking to memorialize the enigmatic icon were preparing “to jump aboard the bandwagon that looks disconcertingly like a hearse,” the piece proclaimed.

When he died, Dean had acted in only three movies: East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant, only one of which had yet been released. He had worked his way up from smaller to larger roles: from appearing in a Pepsi commercial to working as a “test pilot” for stunts on a TV game show called Beat the Clock — a sort of precursor to Minute to Win It in which contestants competed in absurd timed challenges — to a well-reviewed role as a young gigolo in a Broadway adaptation of Andre Gide’s The Immoralist.

After he died, though, his fame reached new heights. By September of 1956, TIME noted Deans’ bewildering ascent to Hollywood superstardom:

Today he ranks No. 1 in Photoplay’s actor popularity poll, draws 1,000 fan letters a week (“Dear Jimmy: I know you are not dead”) at Warner’s — more than any live actor on the lot. Marveled one West Coast cynic: “This is really something new in Hollywood — boy meets ghoul.” Hollywood’s explanation: Dean not only appeals to a “mother complex” among teenage girls, but his roles as a troubled insecure youth prompted many young movie fans to identify with him.

Business types were eager to cash in on his posthumous popularity. In 1956, the story continued, Dean was still “haunting” newsstands with “four fast-selling magazines devoted wholly to him.”

He hasn’t stopped earning since. Forbes reported that in 2000, Dean’s estate raked in $3 million, very little of which took the form of royalties from his three films. Most came instead from licensing and merchandizing: “The rebellious heartthrob currently hawks everything from Hamilton watches, Lee Jeans, and Franklin Mint collectibles to cards by American Greetings, funneling funds to James Dean Inc., which is run by cousin Marcus Winslow.”

One of the many teenage girls pining for the departed heartthrob wrote to the advice columnist Dorothy Dix in the year after Dean’s death, lamenting, “I am 15 and in love. The problem is that I love the late James Dean. I don’t know what to do.” Dix advised her that time would lessen the sting of love and loss. In this case, however, the platitude’s been proved not entirely true: more than half a century on, society’s love for the late James Dean is still going strong.

Read about James Dean’s legacy here, in TIME’s archives: Dean of the One-Shotters

TIME Crime

Police, Protesters Scuffle After Ferguson Apology

Protesters call for resignation of Ferguson police chief
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson begins to march with protesters before clashes led to arrests in front of the Ferguson Police Department on Sept. 25, 2014 Robert Cohen—AP

The police chief started to march with protesters at around 11 p.m. Soon after, a scuffle broke out about 20 ft. behind the chief, and one protester was arrested

(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Police and protesters clashed briefly in Ferguson just hours after the St. Louis suburb’s police chief issued an apology to the family of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a white police officer last month.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson appeared outside the police department in civilian clothes late Thursday to assure protesters that there would be changes in the wake of Brown’s killing, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

“All those things that are causing mistrust are being evaluated and we are going to be making changes,” Jackson said.

The police chief started to march with protesters around 11 p.m. Soon after, a scuffle broke out about 20 feet behind the chief and one protester was arrested. The Post-Dispatch said at least three other protesters were arrested after another confrontation.

The Ferguson Police Department spokesman didn’t immediately return call to The Associated Press early Friday.

Earlier Thursday, Jackson released a video apology to Brown’s family and the community in which he acknowledged that Brown’s body should have been removed from the street much sooner after he was killed. Brown’s body remained on Canfield Drive, a residential street, for more than four hours while policecollected evidence.

“It was just too long and I’m truly sorry for that,” Jackson, dressed casually in a red polo shirt instead of his police uniform, said on the video. “Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family, to the African-American community or the people of Canfield (Drive). They were simply trying to do their jobs.”

To the Brown family, Jackson said: “I’m truly sorry for the loss of your son.”

Brown’s parents declined comment when told about Jackson’s video during a news conference with civil rights leaders at the National Press Club. Their attorney later said they hadn’t heard about the video but would review it.

Brown was unarmed when he was fatally shot Aug. 9 during a confrontation with Officer Darren Wilson. The shooting sparked numerous protests and racial unrest in the predominantly black community. Some residents and civil rights activists have said responding police officers were overly aggressive, noting their use of tear gas and military-style vehicles and gear.

“It is clear that we have much work to do,” Jackson said in the video.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Ferguson Police Department for possible civil rights violations.

TIME India

Floods Have Killed 73 in India’s Northeast

People use cycle rickshaws to commute through a flooded road after heavy rains in Guwahati
People use rickshaws to commute through a flooded road after heavy rains in the northeastern Indian city of Guwahati on Sept. 23, 2014 Utpal Baruah—Reuters

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes

Around 73 people have been killed in India’s northeast, after flash floods and landslides hit two states in the region.

A senior government official in Meghalaya told the Associated Press on Wednesday that 35 bodies had been recovered over the past two days with 15 people still missing. Police in neighboring Assam said the floods had claimed 38 lives there.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes in both states mere weeks after flash floods in Kashmir killed over 400 people, about half of them in Pakistan. Local news channel NDTV reported that the army and disaster-response forces have been evacuating people, with authorities setting up 162 relief camps in the worst-affected areas.

The Assam-Meghalaya floods have so far not seen the kind of backlash against alleged government inaction that marked the Kashmir floods.

“We are taking all relief and rescue measures in the flood-hit districts,” said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

TIME Sports

The Deadliest Football Seasons on Record

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish run on the field during a game circa 1931 at the Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind. Collegiate Images / Getty Images

A look back at the years when the sport may have claimed more casualties than ever

In the new issue of TIME, Sean Gregory looks at the risk of brain injury that accompany playing football. It’s a harrowing tale focused on the death of a high-school player.

That risk is a problem that has lurked on the football field since the end of the nineteenth century. “Football killed 40 boys and young men during the 1931 season,” TIME reported in the Dec. 14, 1931, issue. “To approximate that record of deaths it is necessary to go back to 1905 when more than a score of players died and President Roosevelt stopped the roughness of play.” The article continued:

Among this year’s dead 40 were Joseph I. Johnson, 13, of Lafayette, Ind., who shot himself in the abdomen because he could not “make” his grade school team. Another fatality was Coach Ray Pardue. 24, of Statesville, N. C. High School team, cuffed to death by Garfield Jennings, 20, vexed linesman of the Taylorsville, N C. High School, which was playing Statesville High. Almost all the other deaths followed bashings on the football field. Most discussed of the deaths from violence were those of Army’s Richard Brinsley Sheridan (TIME, Nov. 2) and Fordham’s Cornelius Murphy. Murphy, 22, died fortnight ago from a ruptured brain blood vessel. Eleven days prior he had been buffeted into unconsciousness. He was hospitalized for concussion of the brain, released prematurely.

That 1931 record may still stand.

With more than a century of football played throughout the United States, it’s difficult to determine exactly how many deaths are related to the game each year. Early seasons, like the legendarily tough 1909 year, have their high injury counts blamed on lack of protective equipment — but prior to 1931, and especially prior to that 1905 year when Teddy Roosevelt intervened to make the sport safer, it’s hard to find any numbers at all.

Starting in 1931, coaches with joined the Committee on Injuries and Fatalities of the American Football Coaches Association to track football-related injuries and fatalities. The group has issued a report every year since (with the exception of 1942), though its methods of measurement have evolved over the years. It separates direct fatalities (the result of a “traumatic blow to the body,” in the words of the 1966 report) from indirect football-related deaths (in the words of the latest report, “caused by systemic failure as a result of exertion while participating in a football activity or by a complication which was secondary to a non-fatal injury,” eg. heart failure or heat stroke), and counts players at every level from “sandlot” to professional.

The committee counted 49 deaths related to football in 1931–31 direct and 18 indirect. The only year on record between 1931 and 2013 with more direct fatalities was 1968 (36), but that year’s indirect fatalities were lower (12) than 1931. Indirect fatalities were only equal or higher in 1933, 1935, 1936, 1961, 1965 and 2009. Only 1965 manages to tie 1931 for total deaths, leaving them sharing the title of deadliest year.

From the beginning, the point of keeping track was to figure out ways to bring the numbers down. (The reports, organized by a group of people closely linked to the sport, also tend to point out how small the numbers are in terms of percentage of players.) That 1931 article, published shortly before the first fatalities report, suggested a few ideas:

Dr. Beverly Randolph Tucker. Richmond, Va. neurologist, advised President Hoover to appoint a National Commission which would prevent sports becoming too rough for human anatomy to withstand.

Dr. Henry Ottridge Reik, executive secretary of the Medical Society of New Jersey, urged New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania doctors, who were meeting at Atlantic City last week, to campaign for the complete abolition of college and high school football.

Dr. Reik’s advice seems unlikely to ever be heeded, though his modern descendents are out there. Football is death for some, and a way of life for many.

Read more about the dangers of the game in this week’s issue of TIME: The Tragic Risks of American Football

TIME celebrities

Watch Hugh Jackman Describe The ‘Uplifting’ Experience of Singing at Joan Rivers’ Funeral

He sang "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage"

Joan Rivers’ funeral was held on Sept. 7, and as she wished, it was a star-studded affair with celebrity guests like Sarah Jessica Parker, Howard Stern and Rosie O’Donnell. Rivers had also wanted X-Men star Hugh Jackman to perform at her funeral after seeing him in a musical, The Boy From Oz, 10 years ago. Jackman sang a song from that musical titled “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on Stage.”

Jackman described the experience on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as “uplifting” and “moving” but also “funny.”

TIME Television

Read the Real 1931 Announcement of That Shocking Death on Boardwalk Empire

TIME had the news before HBO did

The following post contains spoilers for the Sept. 7 episode of Boardwalk Empire.

If you’re a student of history (or reader of Wikipedia), you likely had an idea of what was in store for Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria when you saw that Boardwalk Empire was skipping forward six years to 1931 for its fifth and final season, which premiered on Sunday.

Here’s how TIME announced, on April 27, 1931, what Boardwalk viewers now know:

April 27, 1931
From the April 27, 1931, issue of TIME

The HBO drama wasted no time in arriving at the New York crime boss’s demise, having him clipped by Bugsy Siegel and another assassin under orders from Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky in the season’s very first episode. And because this is Boardwalk Empire, it’s a safe bet that this death of a real-world character will be followed by the deaths of fictional characters (and ultimately other real-world ones as well).

Read James Poniewozik’s review of the final season of Boardwalk Empire here on TIME.com

TIME celebrities

Joan Rivers Gets a Heartfelt Farewell From Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Sawyer and Other Stars

The 81-year-old's funeral services were held in New York City on Sunday

Joan Rivers’ Sunday funeral was a star-studded memorial, featuring performances and heartfelt speeches from some of the 81-year-old comedian’s closest friends.

Rivers’ services were held at Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker, Hoda Kotb, Diane Sawyer and Whoopi Goldberg were in attendance. According to PEOPLE, Howard Stern delivered a truly touching speech about his “best friend” Rivers, whom he called a “big sister.”

The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, Audra McDonald and Hugh Jackman were among the performers.

Read more about Rivers’ funeral at PEOPLE.

TIME Accident

Chicago Church Sorry for Falling Gargoyle That Killed Mom

Chicago Cityscapes And City Views
The Second Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois on April 1, 2011. Raymond Boyd—Getty Images

Second Presbyterian Church remains open

A historic Chicago church apologized Friday to the family of a woman who was killed Thursday when she was struck by crumbling pieces of a gargoyle that fell off the church steeple.

The church said it is “deeply sorry at the death,” Reuters reports. Sara Bean, 34, was walking to lunch with her fiancé Thursday when the gargoyle pieces fell on her. She was a nurse’s aide and a mother of two boys, ages 10 and 14. The fiancé, her longtime boyfriend, is the children’s father.

Second Presbyterian Church, located in the South Loop neighborhood near downtown Chicago, dates from 1873 and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. It moved quickly to put protective scaffolding around the structure, Reuters reports.

The building has no outstanding complaints but in 2011 failed an inspection due to problems that included a failure to maintain exterior walls. After repairs were made that case was dismissed. The church was made a historic landmark last year and will remain open despite the tragedy.

[Reuters]

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