Vital Statistics

Wii may actually be a real form of exercise

Games from Wii Fit and Wii Sports really do help burn off some calories. The study, funded by Nintendo and presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, found that about one-third of the games in Wii Sports and Wii Fit are equivalent to moderate intensity exercise. The game that helps to burn the most calories is the single-arm stand in Wii Fit, followed by boxing in Wii Sports.

How communication drives work performance

According to a new survey by Watson Wyatt, companies that have effective communication have a 47 percent higher return to shareholders over a period of five years. The survey also found that highly effective communicators are 37 percent more likely to report that their social media tools are cost-effective. Watson Wyatt defines effective communication as having courage, innovation and discipline.

How efficient are energy-efficient light bulbs?

A new study published in Engineering and Technology magazine reveals that the packaging for energy efficient light bulbs may be misleading consumers. The study found that the energy efficient bulbs lose an average of 22 percent of their brightness over their lifetime, compared to about 7 percent with traditional light bulbs.

Oceans not absorbing as much human-made carbon dioxide

According to a study out of Columbia University, the world’s oceans might not be able to keep up with the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted by humans. In 2000, the oceans absorbed 27 percent of human-made CO2. In 2007, the amount decreased to 24 percent. Although the drop seems small, this falling percentage could mean major changes are in store for the future climate.

Playing sounds while asleep may help memory

Research out of Northwestern University has found that playing specific sounds while one sleeps may help to enhance associated memories. The study’s participants were taught to move 50 pictures to corresponding locations on a computer screen. Each picture was accompanied by a related sound; for example, a meow for a cat, shattering glass for a wine glass.

Afterward, each subject was told to take a nap and after verifying the participant was in a deep sleep, the researchers played 25 of the sounds along with white noise. The participants had much better recall of the picture locations associated with the 25 sounds that had been played while they napped. The findings indicate that while sleeping, the brain may work to strengthen and consolidate memories.

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