International News Desk – At Home: Slackers Beware – Around the World: Pass the Salt

International News Desk – At Home: Slackers Beware – Around the World: Pass the Salt

At Home: Slackers Beware

Mind drifting at work? Easily distracted? Slackers, beware! Your boss may be watching?with a high-tech device that seems tailor-made for futuristic fiction.

As The Globe and Mail reports, ?Ontario nuclear plants are the first in their industry worldwide to test-drive a futuristic gizmo that measures employees? concentration by reading brain waves.?

The device, which is small, portable, and ?attaches via Velcro straps anywhere on your body,? measures its subject’s concentration level by ?[using] the electric current released by neurons firing in the brain.?

Specifically, it monitors the waves created by brain activity. Subjects with a ?higher . . . beta wave concentration [have a] higher . . . focus.?

Ontario Power Generation, which is implementing the device, feels that because of the volatility of nuclear power, ?the imperative of teaching concentration is greater than ever.?

The technology was originally developed for use with ADHD children. It’s also been used with success for Olympic athletes and NASA employees.

Around the World: Pass the Salt

Salt gets a bad rap, and It’s not entirely undeserved; research indicates that too much sodium can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. However, a new international study suggests that the opposite may also be true: insufficient sodium in our diets can cause us similar bodily harm.

As The Globe and Mail reports, the study found that ?people with a low salt intake had higher rates of cardiovascular death and hospitalization for congestive heart failure.? At the same time, the study confirmed earlier findings that excessive sodium consumption increased the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The results were unexpected, according to co-principal author Salim Yusuf. He told reporters that they ?weren’t able to show? that ?extreme salt reduction? would keep reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes.

The clear winner was moderation: those ?who had moderate daily sodium intake?the case for a third to half of Canada’s population?[had] the lowest rates of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.?

The study, which has been criticized by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, comes at a time when health care advocates are increasingly targeting salt as a villain. Yusuf, however, told reporters that the study is ?challenging? the assumption ?that the lower the sodium, the better it is for people.?