Exercise, brain training may boost brain health in old age

 Music with a beat makes seniors exercise longer

Exercise, controlling blood pressure and some forms of brain training might preserve brain health.(Kzenon/shutterstock.com)

WASHINGTON — Are you seeking steps to keep your brain healthy in old age?

There are no proven ways to stave off mental decline or dementia. But a new report says there are hints that exercise, controlling blood pressure and some forms of brain training might offer some help.

Without proof, the government should not begin a public health campaign pushing strategies for aging brain health, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said in a report released Thursday.

But the public should be told the evidence is “encouraging,” though inconclusive, the report concluded. That way, people can use the information in deciding whether to invest time and money on different interventions.

The three highlighted strategies “do no harm,” said neuroscientist Alan Leshner, chairman of the National Academies committee. “At least two of them are really good for you” even if the brain link doesn’t pan out.

Scientists know that risky changes in the brain begin decades before symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementias become apparent, suggesting there’s a window when people might bolster their cognitive health. But the report says Americans face a “bewildering” array of products and strategies promoted for brain health despite little if any rigorous science to back them up.

The National Institute on Aging asked the prestigious National Academies to review the field. The committee said three interventions should be more closely studied to prove if they really can help:

— Getting high blood pressure under control, especially in middle age. People with hypertension need treatment anyway to prevent heart disease and strokes.

— Increased physical activity. Similar to the blood pressure advice, what’s good for the heart has long been deemed good for the brain.

— Cognitive training, specific techniques aimed at enhancing reasoning, problem solving, memory and speed of mental processing. While immediate task performance may improve, the committee said it’s not clear whether there’s lasting, meaningful benefit.

This is not merely “brain games” on your computer, Leshner said. The committee isn’t backing those costly computer-based programs. Indeed, the government fined one brain training company last year for misleading consumers.

Instead, the best study to date included training done in groups, providing social engagement too. And cognitively stimulating activities include such things as learning a new language, the report noted.

“Since generally keeping intellectually active appears to be good for you, do that,” Leshner advised, and if you’re considering a commercial program, ask the company to see studies backing it.

The Alzheimer’s Association had been awaiting the recommendations, and agreed that “more research is needed to determine what the optimal interventions should be,” said chief medical officer Maria Carrillo. “In the meantime, we recommend that people challenge their brains to maintain brain health.”


AIDS virus almost half a billion years old: Scientists

<p>AIDS virus almost half a billion years old: Scientists<br></p>AIDS virus almost half a billion years old: Scientists

Retroviruses, the family of viruses that includes HIV, are almost half a billion years old – several hundred million years older than previously thought, claim scientists from Oxford University.

New research suggests that retroviruses have ancient marine origins, having been with their animal hosts through the evolutionary transition from sea to land.

Until now, it was thought that retroviruses were relative newcomers – possibly as recent as 100 million years in age.

“Our research shows that retroviruses are at least 450 million years old, if not older, and that they must have originated together with, if not before, their vertebrate hosts in the early Paleozoic era,” explained Dr Aris Katzourakis from Oxford University’s department of zoology.

Furthermore, they would have been present in our vertebrate ancestors prior to the colonisation of land and have accompanied their hosts throughout this transition from sea to land, all the way up until the present day.

Retroviruses are a family of viruses that includes the HIV virus responsible for the AIDS pandemic.

They can also cause cancers and immuno deficiencies in a range of animals.

The ‘retro’ part of their name comes from the fact they are made of RNA, which they can convert into DNA and insert into their host genome.

In this study, the researchers unearthed genomic fossils for foamy-like retroviruses in highly diverse hosts, including ray-finned fish and amphibians in which they had not previously been found.

“We need to consider the adaptations that vertebrates have developed to combat viruses, and the corresponding viral countermeasures, as the product of a continuous arms race that stretches back hundreds of millions of years,” Katzourakis noted in the journal Nature Communications.

Top Comment

We, humans will have final laugh on this virus”s battle to destroy human race. Not by beating the virus, but by destroying ourselves first due to religion without giving virus a chance to destroy us.Parivrajaka S

The findings will help researchers understand more about the continuing ‘arms race’ between viruses and their hosts


Having last baby after 35 makes women sharper in old age

IANS | Nov 18, 2016, 05.20 PM IST

Having last baby after 35 makes women sharper in old age (Representative image)Having last baby after 35 makes women sharper in old age (Representative image)
Women have better brainpower after menopause if they had their last baby after age 35, says a study.

“Based on the findings, we would certainly not recommend that women wait until they’re 35 to close their family, but the study provides strong evidence that there is a positive association between later age at last pregnancy and late-life cognition,” said lead author Roksana Karim, Assistant Professor at Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in the US.

This is the first study to investigate the association between age at last pregnancy, which can be a marker of a later surge of pregnancy-related hormones, and cognitive function in later life, Karim added.

The main hormones at play are estrogen and progesterone. In animal studies, estrogen has a beneficial impact on brain chemistry, function and structure; progesterone is linked with growth and development of brain tissue, Karim said.

An outpouring of estrogen and progesterone, especially in later life, appears to be beneficial, Karim noted.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, included 830 women who, on average, were 60 years old.

Participants were given a series of tests that included assessments of verbal memory, psychomotor speed, attention and concentration, planning, visual perception, and memory.

The researchers found that postmenopausal women who had their last pregnancy after 35 had better verbal memory — remembering a list of words or retelling a story after some distraction.

The study found that other reproductive events were also important to later life cognition. More time between first and last period — longer reproductive life — proved valuable for executive function.

“Starting your period early means you have higher levels of the female sex hormone being produced by the ovaries,” Karim said.

“Girls are receiving the optimal levels early, so it’s possible that their brain structures are better developed compared to those who are exposed to estrogen levels associated with menstrual cycles at a later age,” Karim noted.

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Women are sexually active in old age: Study

Visible signs of ageing may predict risk of heart disease (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Visible signs of ageing may predict risk of heart disease (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)

Age is just a number and it has nothing to do with one’s sexual desire as a recent study has found that older women are sexually active beyond their seventh decade of life.

The research suggested that at least one in seven women aged 65 to 79 years has hypoactive sexual desire dysfunction (HSDD).

In the study, more than 1,500 Australian women were assessed for sexual function and sexual distress as defined by the Female Sexual Function Index and the Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised.

The group consisted of 52.6 per cent partnered women, with a mean age of 71 years. Within this group, 88 per cent were found to have low sexual desire, 15.5 per cent had sexually related personal distress, and 13.6 per cent had HSDD, which is defined as the presence of both low sexual desire and sexually related personal distress. This percentage was higher than what had previously been reported for women in this age group and similar to the prevalence reported for younger women.

The independent factors included vaginal dryness during intercourse in the past month, having moderate to severe depressive symptoms, and having symptomatic pelvic floor dysfunction.

“This study demonstrates that healthcare providers need to have honest and open discussions with their patients as they age with regard to desire, mood, vaginal dryness, and pelvic floor issues to determine whether these factors are affecting a woman’s desire or ability to be sexual,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton.

The study has been published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.(ANI)

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Men’s long working hours, short sleep may harm health in old age (Getty Images)Men’s long working hours, short sleep may harm health in old age (Getty Images)

Working long hours and skimping on sleep in midlife may lead to poorer physical health in old age, according to a study from Finland.

A quarter-century study of Finnish businessmen found those who worked more than 50 hours a week and slept less than 47 hours weekly when they were middle aged were in worse physical health as old men than peers who had healthier work and sleep habits when they were in their prime.

“The results are in line with what we hypothesized, but we were not sure if we would be able to detect these long-term associations,” said lead author Dr. Mikaela Birgittavon Bonsdorff of the University of Jyvaskyla.

She and her coauthors examined a very unique cohort of old businessmen, Dr. von Bonsdorff told Reuters Health by email.

The researchers used data from the Helsinki Businessmen Study to follow the health outcomes for more than 3,000 white men born between 1919 and 1934. About 1,500 of the men had provided clinical characteristics of health, self-rated health, working hours and sleep duration in 1974 when they were in their mid to late 40s, on average, and completed health related quality of life surveys in the year 2000, when most were in their 60s and 70s.

During their working years, nearly half of the original group of men had what researchers considered normal working hours of less than 50 hours per week and 352 men worked more than 50 hours a week. Similar proportions of men had normal sleep of at least 47 hours per week, versus shorter sleep totals.

Researchers found that men with long work and short sleep or long work and normal sleep in midlife had poorer scores for physical functioning, vitality and general health than those with normal work and normal sleep, according to the results published October 25 in the journal Age and Ageing.

Midlife smoking and self-rated poor health at that time explained some of the association with the results at older ages, but not all.

“My thought is that official working hours are not that long today but the time that people actually work (e.g. email etc.) is not included in the official working hours and thus my thought is that people actually today work quite long hours,” Dr. von Bonsdorff said. “I think that this is true for several professions, particularly for white-collar jobs, businessmen, entrepreneurs and managers.”

Short sleep increases stress and strain, which are important aspects of quality of life, she said, and sleep problems might be related to an unhealthier lifestyle as well.

Professionals with disturbed sleep or experiencing sleep deprivation will experience physical, cognitive and emotional changes, in addition to a drop in immune function, said Dr. Marco Tulio de Mello of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, who was not part of the new study.

“This is an exciting study because the follow-up is unusually long, 26 years,” said Dr. Mika Kivimaki at University College London in the U.K. who also was not part of the new study. “It also adds a new element to the research on long working hours as overwork in combination with short sleep captures a stressful lifestyle much better than long working hours alone.”

The effects of working life may persist into older ages and affect the quality of retirement, Dr. Kivimaki told Reuters Health by email.

“The results indicate that it is important to rest if working long hours,” and employers should promote healthy living habits which contribute to better sleep quality, Dr. von Bonsdorff said.

Time is running out to update old Windows 10 preview builds

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Microsoft is serious about putting all its old Windows 10 Insider builds out to pasture, and time is running out for Insiders to upgrade. The company says older Insider Preview builds will stop working on October 15. Since October 1, affected PCs have been rebooting every three hours, Insider program chief Dona Sarkar said in a recent blog post.

Once October 15 rolls around, PCs with these old builds will stop booting at all. At that point, you’ll have to reinstall Windows from a USB or DVD drive to get your computerworking again.

Anyone running an old Insider Preview build can check their status by typing run into the Cortana search box to open the Run program.

new expiration

Then type winver.exe and hit Enter. A small window will appear similar to what you see here complete with an expiry date. If you don’t see an expiration date, then check what the “OS Build” number is and compare it against this list in Microsoft’s help forumsshowing the various expiry dates for each Insider build.

Forcing old Insider builds to expire is nothing new for Microsoft; it’s happened several times before. Besides, updating to the latest build is simple. Open the Settings app and go to Update & security > Windows Update. Then click the Check for updates button to download a newer build.

The latest version of Windows 10 available to Insiders on the Fast ring is build 14396, which was released on Friday, September 28. The newest build adds several new Edge extensions, including Turn off the Lights and Tampermonkey, as well as an upgrade to the Windows Subsystem for Linux from Ubuntu 14.04 to version 16.04.


Old People Suffering From Hip Fracture May Never Recover: Study

Old People Suffering From Hip Fracture May Never Recover: Study

WASHINGTON: A recent observational study has shown that one in every two elderly people, who have suffered a hip fracture will never be as physically active and independent as they were before.

The odds are even lower for the very old and those with dementia or other ailments.

Around 300, 000 older Americans are hospitalized and receive surgery because of hip fractures annually.

Although efforts are made to provide rehabilitation to patients so that they can enjoy the same level of physical activity as they were used to before the injury, many become increasingly frail and dependent on others.

To make an informed assessment of how well older adults recover from a hip fracture, Victoria Tang, the lead researcher and her colleagues compared the physical condition and ability of 733 adults older than 65 years before and after the fracture.

Their particulars were retrieved from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative longitudinal study that measures changes in the health and economic circumstances of people as they age.

Participants’ functional recovery was measured based on how they were still independently able to care for themselves post-injury in terms of bathing, dressing, eating and going to the bathroom on their own.
Factors such as their ability to walk around a street block or climb stairs without resting were noted, as well as their age and health status prior to the hip fracture.

“The likelihood of recovery to pre-fracture level of function was less than 50 percent regardless of one’s previous level of function. The likelihood of returning to a high level of function was particularly low in those who were older than age 85, had multiple comorbid conditions, or had dementia,” said Victoria.

Of all subjects, 31 percent returned to their prior daily functioning, 34 percent and 41 percent were respectively able to move and climb stairs as before.

Things were only marginally better for those who were physically very active before their injury. Of them, 36 percent could go on living independently without assistance, 32 percent had no difficulty walking one block, and 29 percent had no problems climbing stairs.

She believes it is essential to be aware of expected outcomes after a hip fracture, so that patients, families and supportive caregivers can set realistic expectations to meet additional needs once the patients return home.

“Ascertainment of the patient’s values and goals of care is critical at this juncture in order to optimize quality of life and assist in future medical decision making,” said Victoria.

The research was published by Springer.


Catch ‘No Country for Old Men’ and other movies streaming online

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Another week, another crop of movies now on your favorite streaming services. Whether you’re partial to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, one of the others, or all of the above, new and old movies are yours for the watching.

Catch the Coen brothers’ classic No Country for Old Men. Witness Christian Bale’s turn as a serial killer in the sardonic American Psycho. Or get your horror on with Final Destination 3. 

Too dark? Partake of some lighter fare with the delightful stop-animation Shaun of the Sheep; a movie adaptation of The Little Prince; or the hilarious-if-juvenile antics of Police Academy. 

That’s just a sampling of the goods. Read on to learn about all 12 movies now available online.  

The Little Prince (Netflix)

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Given that it’s based on one of the most popular books of all time (Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s 1943 novella), fans may rule that Mark Osborne’s movie version of The Little Prince (2016) is somewhere between an insult and a disaster. But taken on its own, it’s a wonderfully creative, soul-soothing work. After screening at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, it was successfully released overseas, but a U.S. release somehow never happened. Now Netflix has picked up the ball, and it can be seen at last (at least in its English-dubbed version).

In this movie, we meet “the aviator” as an old man (voiced by Jeff Bridges). He once encountered the Little Prince and now tries to tell his story to a modern-day little girl (voiced by Mackenzie Foy). The girl’s mother (voiced by Rachel McAdams) only wishes for her to get into a good school; things like friends, stories, and imagination are unworthy of her time. Eventually she goes on her own journey. This storyline is computer-animated, while the classic “Little Prince” material is stop-motion animated. The focus is more on storytelling and joyous images than it is on noise and flash, and it’s a standout for families as well as movie buffs. The voice cast also features Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Bud Cort, Paul Giamatti, and Albert Brooks.

Final Destination 3 (Netflix)

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In retrospect, this horror series has become something rather unique, especially after the unexpectedly clever fifth and final entry in 2011. Unlike many horror films, it has no serial killers or ghosts or vampires or zombies or monsters. The villain is simply the force known as death. Though the characters may try, there’s no puzzle to figure out, no way to fight. The suspense comes from hoping against hope as death mounts complex, spectacular, and gruesome Rube Goldberg-style accidents to kill those that have previously escaped its grasp.

Final Destination 3 (2006) begins, like the others, with a major disaster, this time a rollercoaster crash that kills many riders. Teen Wendy (the talented Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has a vision of the crash beforehand and manages to get several of her fellow passengers off the ride. Death is not pleased, and begins hunting them down, one by one. Aside from the unusual, monster-less plot, the loss of life actually means something here; the departed are missed and mourned by the living. It’s a scary movie stripped down to its most existential and primal state. James Wong, a veteran of The X-Files on TV, directed and co-wrote, just as he did on the first Final Destination. (As of now, Netflix only offers this single film in the series, but perhaps next month….)

[email protected] (Netflix)

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The documentary [email protected] (2007) sounds awfully cutesy, but it’s very easy to get caught up in its music and emotions. It tells the story of troupe director Bob Cilman, a brutal drill sergeant who puts together a singing musical show. The twist is that these singers are all senior citizens in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s. They don’t sing show tunes; they sing soul, alternative, and punk music from the likes of Sonic Youth, Coldplay, James Brown, the Clash, David Bowie, and the Ramones. Cilman chooses the songs carefully, finding lyrics that will connect with folks that have put in some time on this earth, including Sonic Youth’s “Schizophrenia” and Coldplay’s “Fix You.”

The focus is not on polished professionalism, but rather on emotional truth. While he’s hard on his artists, he’s also capable of moments of tenderness, required as sometimes the members of his troupe simply pass away. Director Stephen Walker narrates and occasionally enters into the film, which makes it seem less like a documentary and more like something personal. But the highlight has to be a powerful, soul-shattering concert given for a prison full of inmates. The group continues today, and has its own YouTube channel: youngatheartchorus.

No Country for Old Men (Netflix/Amazon Prime)

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The Oscars, for once, got it right when they gave No Country for Old Men (2007) four Academy Awards, including Best Picture; some will contend that There Will Be Blood deserved to win, but I maintain that this adaptation of a complex Cormac McCarthy novel is a masterpiece in every respect. Joel and Ethan Coen adapted the screenplay and directed this story. (They won Oscars for both jobs.) Vietnam veteran Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon a grisly crime scene and decides to steal a case of drug money. Meanwhile, killer Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem, who also won an Oscar)—with his weird curtain of hair—is also after the money.

The two men use all their skills, one to chase, and the other to evade, while the old man, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), uses phone calls and detective work to solve the case. The dialogue in this film is sharp and poetic, a perfect melding of McCarthy and Coens, while their visual sense (and Roger Deakins’ cinematography) beautifully represents McCarthy’s story. Using a wide canvas of empty spaces and harsh close-ups, their depiction of violence is quieter than usual, sometimes grisly, but other times careful. (It’s probably the quietest movie about violence ever made.) Woody Harrelson co-stars as a bounty hunter, and Kelly Macdonald plays Moss’s wife.

St. Vincent (Netflix/Hoopla)

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Two stars from this summer’s Ghostbusters—Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy—first worked together in St. Vincent (2014), which wasn’t nearly as controversial. Except, possibly, for the fact that Murray portrays perhaps the world’s worst role model (the titular Vincent) being paid to watch a child after school while his mother works. Vincent is an unemployed Vietnam War veteran living off of a reverse mortgage that has just run out. To cover his various expenses, which include the regular company of a pregnant Russian prostitute (Naomi Watts) as well as copious amounts of booze, he reluctantly agrees to watch the nerdy, bullied Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher).

The movie effectively copies the structure of Bad Santa without missing a beat (perhaps ironic, given that Murray was once considered for that movie), but it has enough personality to succeed on its own. It helps that Murray, by now one of the undisputed comedy masters of all time, plays the jerky Vincent not as an angry man, but as a man without care, which is hugely appealing. The final shot of Vincent playing with a garden hose illustrates just how free he is. Terrence Howard co-stars in a subplot about a debt collector that is weirdly forgotten. For viewers not subscribed to Netflix, the movie is also available free on Hoopla; check your local library for details.

Robocop (Hulu)

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It may be hard to imagine what Robocop (1987) looked like before it came out; it could have been a wretched, laughable B-list item destined to go straight to video. But in actuality, it was an insane black comedy, an action movie obsessed with brutal, grueling violence, that, at the same time, satirized that very violence. The absurd, hilarious, fake TV ads that decorate this tense future world are just the frosting on all of it; we’re part of the joke, but in on it, too. Peter Weller—who had already played another cult superhero, Buckaroo Banzai—stars as Alex Murphy, a good cop who is fatally injured in a shootout.

Scientists turn him into the title cyborg (all from his, and our, point of view). His partner, Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) figures out that it’s him, and together they discover a massive corporate conspiracy behind the robot armor. In the midst of all the shooting and bleeding are several unforgettably simple moments, including a robot navigating a staircase, and the famous “you’re fired” scene. Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, Dan O’Herlihy, and Ray Wise co-star. Hulu has this, plus two sequels: the not-quite-as-good, but still-underrated Robocop 2(1990), which was written by Frank Miller and directed by The Empire Strikes Back’s Irvin Kershner; and Fred Dekker’s PG-13 rated Robocop 3 (1993), which was made without Weller.

Marathon Man (Hulu/Amazon Prime)

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This classic 1970s thriller hasn’t aged very well, but it still contains one of the indelible images of its time: Laurence Olivier as the sadistic, ex-Naxi dentist torturing Dustin Hoffman for information, asking the simple, sinister, “Is it safe?” Screenwriter extraordinaire William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) adapted his own novel and Oscar-winner John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) directed a tale of a secret government spy, Henry “Doc” Levy (Roy Scheider), and his brother, a scholar and a jogger (the marathon man of the title), Thomas “Babe” Levy (Dustin Hoffman).

On his latest case, Henry inadvertently brings Thomas along, and the latter gets caught up in a deadly plot, dating back to the WWII days. Schlesinger takes 125 minutes to tell his story, and, oddly, it does best when it gets a chance to slow down, but its pacing is nevertheless uneven. Moreover, while Hoffman was, and still is, one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation, his performance here is too much, too full of manners and ticks, whereas Scheider and Olivier’s cooler approaches seem more effective. Olivier received the movie’s only Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor.

Shaun the Sheep Movie (Hulu/Amazon Prime)

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Shaun the sheep was originally introduced in Aardman Animations’ Oscar-winning short film A Close Shave (1995), and he eventually won his own animated TV series. The trick is that it contained no dialogue, only music and sounds, to convey its 7-minute stories. It’s even more impressive, then, to consider that Aardman filmmakers Mark Burton and Richard Starzak made the 85-minute Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) the same way; it’s practically a silent comedy, as funny and wonderful as anything since Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton.

After tiring of the crushing routine of the daily farm work, Shaun and his fellow sheep decide to trick the farmer into taking a nap so that they can escape and have a vacation. Unfortunately, the farmer goes to sleep in a trailer that gets loose and careens its way toward the big city. When he wakes, he’s lost his memory and gets a job as a hair stylist. It’s up to Shaun and Bitzer the dog to find and rescue him before a mean dog-catcher does his work. The stop-motion visuals are extraordinary, but it’s the character expressions and the film’s sound—including a few delightful songs—that make it work wonders. It received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature.

Police Academy (Crackle)

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It’s hard to know what a new viewer might think of this movie today; inspired by such films as National Lampoon’s Animal House, Airplane!; and Stripes, Police Academy (1984) is just about as lowbrow as it gets, but not without its moments of brilliant comic timing and crafty compositions and editing. The simple premise begins with the fact that the new mayor has loosened the requirements needed to qualify for the police academy, thereby winding up with an class full of outcasts and weirdos. Steve Guttenberg stars as the carefree Bill Murray type, a cool, unflappable troublemaker called Mahoney.

Michael Winslow makes an astounding array of sound effects with his mouth (including gunshots), Bubba Smith is the giant-sized Hightower, David Graf is the gun-nut Tackleberry, Donovan Scott is the overweight wimp named Leslie Barbara, Marion Ramsey is the soft-spoken Hooks, and so on. Kim Cattrall appears, pre-Sex and the City, as socialite Karen Thompson. Aside from its many guilty laughs, the movie is filled with stereotypes and thoughtless humor, and its huge success drove critics crazy at the time, but not as crazy as the six sequels did. (Four of them sport the infamous “0%” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.) All seven movies are now on Crackle, free with ads.

Living in Oblivion (Fandor)

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Legend has it that 1990s indie filmmaker Tom DiCillo made Living in Oblivion(1995) based on the horrible experience he had making his debut feature, Johnny Suede (1991), with a young Brad Pitt. I can’t confirm that the legend is true, but whatever it was that inspired DiCillo, it worked. Living in Oblivion is one of the darker, funnier, and more brutal cinematic looks at a movie set ever filmed. Steve Buscemi plays the hapless director Nick Reve, making a low-budget film in New York and struggling every step of the way.

Many of his problems are real, and—in another clever parody of low-budget filmmaking—some are dreamed. The movie even occasionally uses black-and-white to cement its skewering of indie pretensions. One of its most memorable sequences features a just-starting-out Peter Dinklage, cast as a dwarf in the movie-movie’s dream sequence. He protests: “Have you ever had a dream with a dwarf in it? I don’t even have dreams with dwarves in them!” James Le Gros plays the egomaniacal movie star, Catherine Keener co-stars as the actress, and Dermot Mulroney as the cinematographer.

American Psycho (Shudder)

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An adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s most infamous novel, American Psycho(2000) is a gruesome slasher movie and a slick black comedy at the same time. It takes place in the greedy, corporate world of the 1980s, where business cards are a fetish object and where cocaine flows as freely as money. The main character, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), gets ready for the day with facial creams and stomach crunches. He’s never seen doing any work, but he does go to the office. He is dating Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon) and sleeping with Courtney (Samantha Mathis) on the side. He occasionally hires prostitutes and listens to generic 1980s pop tunes. Oh, and he’s a serial killer.

Amazingly, the movie was made by women, co-writer and director Mary Harron and co-writer and actress Guinevere Turner, and they give it a refreshing approach; the violence is bracingly mixed with humor and shock, without fetishizing, without rubbing it in. It’s wicked, nasty fun. Chloe Sevingy is terrific as Patrick’s unknowing assistant, future Oscar-winner Jared Leto is another corporate d-bag, and Willem Dafoe is an investigator. Patrick Bateman’s younger brother Sean (played by James van der Beek) was the focus of the next Ellis adaptation, The Rules of Attraction (2002).

Hardcore Henry (Vudu)

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Director Ilya Naishuller, of the Russian indie rock band Biting Elbows, is known for making impossible-looking first-person music videos, including the astounding, ultra-violent “Bad Motherfucker,” which currently has 35 million views on YouTube. Employing this technique over the 90 minutes of Hardcore Henry (2016) is much harder, but Naishuller borrows a few ideas from first-person shooter video games (i.e. the main character has amnesia and can’t speak, so other characters speak to him and tell him what’s going on).

Our unseen hero Henry wakes up, is told he has a beautiful wife (Haley Bennett), and has been turned into a cyborg. A man named Jimmy (Sharlto Copley)—who somehow has the power to keep showing up in different disguises, even after it appears that he has been shot—seems to want to help, and a bad guy Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) seems to have telekinetic powers. Needless to say, there’s a great deal of running, jumping, falling, crashing, chasing, escaping, shooting, and a lot of other stuff, but not much in the way of character development. Nevertheless, as an exercise in pure, stripped-down style, it’s hard to get much cooler than this.


Fountain of youth? dietary complement may also prevent and reverse excessive damage to getting old mind, research shows

A nutritional complement containing a blend of thirty nutrients and minerals — all natural componentsbroadly available in fitness food stores — has proven brilliant anti-growing old homes that couldprevent or even reverse massive brain cell loss, according to new research from McMaster university.

it’s a mixture scientists trust may want to sooner or later slow the progress of catastrophic neurologicalillnesses including Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s.

“The findings are dramatic,” says Jennifer Lemon, research partner in the department of Biology and a leadauthor of the study. “Our desire is that this supplement ought to offset a few very extreme ailments andin the long run improve high-quality of life.”

The components, which contains not unusual elements along with vitamins B, C and D, folic acid,green tea extract, cod liver oil and different nutraceuticals, became first designed by scientists in McMaster’sdepartment of Biology in 2000.

a sequence of studies posted over the past decade and a half of have proven its advantages in mice, ineach ordinary mice and those specifically bred for such studies due to the fact they age unexpectedly, experiencing dramatic declines in cognitive and motor function in a count number of months.

The mice used on this take a look at had tremendous loss of extra than half in their mind cells, severelyimpacting a couple of areas of the mind by means of 12 months of age, the human equal of intenseAlzheimer’s sickness.

The mice were fed the supplement on small pieces of bagel every day over the path of several months.over time, researchers determined that it completely removed the excessive brain mobile loss and abolished cognitive decline.

“The research indicates that there may be exceptional potential with this complement to help those whoare affected by some catastrophic neurological diseases,” says Lemon, who carried out the work with co-creator Vadim Aksenov, a publish-doctoral fellow inside the department of Biology at McMaster.

“We recognise this due to the fact mice revel in the identical simple mobile mechanisms that make contributions to neurodegeneration that humans do. All species, in reality. there’s a commonality amongus all.”

similarly to looking at the most important markers of ageing, they also determined that the mice at thesupplements skilled enhancement in vision and most remarkably in the feel of odor — the loss of that’sfrequently associated with neurological disorderimproved stability and motor activity.

the following step inside the research is to check the complement on human beings, probably within the next years, and target folks who are managing neurodegenerative sicknesses. The studies is postedonline in the journal Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis.