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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

18 minutes ago
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Edit note: This report contains accounts of rape, violence and other disturbing events.

Sex trafficking wasn't a major concern in the early 1980s, when Beth Jacobs was a teenager. If you were a prostitute, the thinking went, it was your choice.

Jacobs thought that too, right up until she came to on the lot of a dark truck stop one night. She says she had asked a friendly-seeming man for a ride home that afternoon.

Jacobs says he gave her something in an old McDonald's cup — a drug — and as she was waking up the man announced that he was a pimp. Her pimp.

The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

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Sorry, But Bananas Won't Calm Your Caffeine Jitters

Mar 13, 2013
Originally published on March 14, 2013 9:43 am

It happens to the best of us. You drink one too many cups of coffee and, for the next few hours, you end up acting like a hyper preschooler who just can't sit still.

Which can be pretty inconvenient if it's, say, noon and you're at the office, or if it's midnight and you can't fall asleep.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were something quick and easy that you could take to combat the effects of over-caffeination? Something like ... a banana?

Last week, food blog Serious Eats floated the idea that eating a banana might indeed be an effective way to remedy over-caffeination. This, based on advice solicited from baristas like Simon Ouderkirk of SPoT Coffee.

"Folks, science has proven that bananas will stop the jitters and get your eyesight right after too many espressos," he told Serious Eats.

As far as we can tell, the "scientific" argument for why bananas might tame an unwanted caffeine jolt rests on the fact that caffeine is a diuretic. If you consume too much of it, you risk depleting your levels of important electrolytes like potassium. Eating foods rich in potassium, like bananas, can help to counter this effect.

It's a plausible theory, but is it correct?

Unfortunately not, says Dr. Randy Eichner, professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

According to Eichner, drinking a few too many cups of coffee will not have any noticeable effect on potassium levels.

"The only cases of low potassium from caffeine I know of were flukes," he writes in an email to The Salt.

He points to the case of a 44-year-old Australian ostrich farmer who experienced severe muscle weakness after drinking 10 liters of Coca-Cola during a wild and crazy night of kangaroo hunting. Turns out, he'd been following that kind of cola-heavy diet on a daily basis for the previous three years.

But even if you did manage to consume enough caffeine to significantly deplete potassium levels, Eichner adds that eating just one banana wouldn't help you out much.

For example, in order to restore the potassium lost from a severe bout of diarrhea, he says you'd have to eat the equivalent of a 5-foot-long banana.

Sorry, folks, but it looks like bananas aren't a caffeination cure-all after all.

And until the day when mega bananas do become available for purchase, Eichner suggests a more practical, if less whimsical, way to treat over-caffeination: "Just let it wear off."

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