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February 1, 2019

Weekend reads: A herd of seals took over a beach closed during the government shutdown—and they're not leaving

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    He didn't know CPR. When he came across a woman with no pulse, he remembered 'The Office.' Cross Scott, a tire technician in Arizona, was out on a test drive earlier this month when he noticed a car on the side of the road moving slowly, with its hazard lights on. He approached the car and saw an unconscious woman in the driver's seat. So, he smashed the car's window with a rock, and checked the woman for a pulse—and didn't feel anything. Scott said he'd "never prepared" for CPR in his life, but knew he had to do something. That's when he thought back to a scene from "The Office," in which Steve Carrell's character does chest compressions to the chorus of "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees in order to provide compressions at 100 beats per minute. With this in mind Scott started doing compressions while singing the chorus of "Stayin' Alive" out loud. About a minute later, the woman started breathing, and soon after, paramedics arrived.

    Hedgehogs: Cuddly—but dangerous. CDC earlier this week warned Americans not to snuggle hedgehogs after 10 people across eight states were infected with a strain of salmonella after having been in contact with a hedgehog. "Don't kiss or snuggle hedgehogs, because this can spread salmonella germs to your face and mouth and make you sick," CDC said. "Don't let hedgehogs roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored, such as kitchens." CDC recommends thoroughly washing your hands after touching a hedgehog as well as cleaning any toys or suppled near the hedgehog outside rather than in the kitchen.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    Seal-ing the deal. A herd of elephant seals took over Drakes Beach in California while it was closed due to the partial government shutdown. A spokesperson for Point Reyes National Seashore Park said a storm that flooded the seals' usual habitat and an absence of park rangers "aided in the colonization of the beach." Since the herd's arrival, the female seals over the last two weeks have given birth to over 35 pups, increasing the herd's size to 100. The park reopened on Sunday, but the road to the beach and its parking area will remain closed until park rangers figure out how to work around the new inhabitants. 

    In LA, electric scooters might be more dangerous than bikes. A study of two Los Angeles EDs found that, between September 2017 and August 2018, more people were admitted for injuries from riding electric scooters than from riding bicycles or walking. The study, which was published in JAMA Network Open this week, found that most of the scooter injuries were serious or severe. Of the 249 patients who were injured while riding scooters, 15 were admitted to the hospital, 30% had fractures, and 40% had head injuries. The researchers added that "only 4.4% of injured scooter riders were documented to be wearing a helmet."

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