Bleats

There's A New Blood Test That'll Predict When You'll Die So That's, Uh, Nice

Is it an answer you want to know though?

We all die at some point but it would be nice to know exactly when you’ll get shuffled off this mortal coil so you can plan the rest of your life accordingly. As it so happens, scientists have actually come up with a way to (roughly) predict your life expectancy and it involves a blood test.

In a paper published in Nature Communications by the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany, researchers developed a new blood test that predicted someone’s mortality risk within five to 10 years.

Come back in few years time.

Over 44,000 healthy patients aged between 18 to 109 took part in the study, all of whom provided blood samples and had their health events tracked for up to 16 years. By measuring 14 “biomarkers” in the blood, the researchers were able to predict the likelihood of death within the next five to 10 years with an 83% accuracy rate.

Now before you go asking your local pharmacist for this magical blood test that will predict when the grim reaper is going to pay you a visit, there are a number of things to keep in mind about this study.

Firstly, the 83% accuracy rate sounds pretty good and is about 10% more accurate than other life expectancy indicators. However, a 17% error rate is too high for the blood test properly work in the real world.

Put it another way, it means 1 in 6 people will get the wrong prediction.

Not good at all.

Secondly, the test doesn’t give you the be-all-and-end-all answer of when you’ll cark it. Rather, it is a marker of your physical condition and is aimed at providing an insight into how healthy (or unhealthy) you are so you can change your lifestyle accordingly.

And lastly, there’s still much more work to be done in this specific field of research. The tested subjects were all European so there’s a lot of unknowns regarding people from other ethnic backgrounds, not to mention what happens to your life expectancy when you’re rocking pig organs instead of human ones.

Researchers say their designed test isn’t quite ready for doctors to use on patients but are hopeful it will one day be used to provide a guide on treating people with ailments less serious than the touch of death. So don’t hold your breath for this future-predicting blood test any time soon.

But hey, we’re one step closer to cracking the code of when exactly we’ll die so be patient. And besides, why stress over when you’re headed to the pearly gates when ignorance is bliss?

People Think You're An Insecure, Narcissistic Jerk If You Post Heaps Of Selfies

Maybe hold off on posting that selfie.

Are you the person who simply has to post a couple of selfies every day? Do you lose sleep over the number of Instagram likes your selfies get?

If you fit that basic profile, congratulations because people will think you’re an insecure, unlikable, unsuccessful jerk who is close-minded towards new experiences and in desperate need of validation from strangers!

Well done!

According to a study in the Journal of Research in Personality by Washington State University psychologists, there are certain types of photos will cause others to make knee-jerk judgments on the owner’s personality.

Using 30 of the most recent Instagram pics from 30 students, 119 people were asked to rate these photos on 13 attributes like self-esteem, success and self-absorption. The results showed that those who posted more “posies” – pic where people posed – were seen as having more self-esteem, more adventurous, less lonely, more successful and more dependable.

For those who posted more selfies, well, it was the complete opposite to all those positive posie traits. So maybe hold off on posting that selfie for a bit.

You narcissistic, insecure, unsuccessful jerk.

Okay firstly, who on earth came up with the word “posie?” We already have a word for that – it’s called a “photo.”

Secondly, the researchers say this study merely scratches the surface of this particular topic but they think people think negatively of selfie takers because it makes the owners seem strange and unnatural compared to a regular photo.

And lastly, the study did point out that while people viewed selfie-lovers as close-minded, insecure, unlikable and unsuccessful, those traits aren’t necessarily indicative of the poster’s actual personality.

So while someone may seem like they’re a jerk in their selfies, it doesn’t mean they are.

Except for this guy.

Having said all that, don’t let this study deter you from taking selfies. If you’re comfortable in your own skin and have the confidence to take photos of yourself while on a public train, then kudos to you because who cares if strangers incorrectly think you’re someone who’s close-minded, insecure and unlikable.

But if you’re a selfie-pushing Instagram influencer who is indeed a close-minded, insecure and unlikable individual, you’re are getting unfollowed and blocked.

I Took A Brand New Smartwatch To The Top Of A Mountain To Figure Out Why We Even Have Them

There's no better testing environment for a smartwatch than snowboarding down a mountain.

We live in an age where technology is capable of incredible things, like mobile speeds faster than our internet and AI’s ability to make worryingly convincing deepfakes. And yet I remain baffled by one piece of tech that everyone seems to love: the smartwatch.

Sure they look nice but you have to charge it week in week out, you can receive messages but you can’t reply to any of them, and the installed apps are all just fitness stuff. I just don’t get it. Why bother when my phone can do everything a smartwatch can?

So to figure out what the fuss is about, I took the new Huawei Watch GT Active to a snow-covered mountain in New Zealand in an attempt to wrap my head around the idea of a smartwatch.

After a week of testing my new toy from Huawei, I think I finally get it.

The first thing I noticed was how comfortable and light the smartwatch was, which was great as I didn’t have to worry about adjusting it when I was snowboarding down run after run. The watch face also looked great and checking the time while at full speed wasn’t an issue, though the people I nearly hit may beg to differ.

Huawei must’ve made a deal with the devil about the build quality of its new smartwatch because it was fantastic. Not only did it withstand some nasty pounding during the many stacks I had when coming down a run, it was unfazed with all the snow and water that got squished into its nooks and crannies.

It certainly held up far better than I did on the snow.

The smartwatch packs the usual slew of utility apps, like a heart rate monitor, workout tracker, step counter, barometer and compass. These work fine in an everyday setting but they made so much more sense on a mountain.

The barometer helped keep me in the loop about the atmospheric pressure (which is important… somehow); the compass helped me get my bearings; the weather app let me know if snow was coming and whether I should layer up or down; the fitness apps tracked just how hard I was working every time came down a red or black run; and if I ever lost my phone, I could just use the “Find My Phone” app to locate it.

It’s nice to know that I can cover anywhere between 1-2 km while burning a couple hundred calories per run and my heart rate fluctuated anywhere between 60 to 130 bpm the whole time, all while knowing that I was doing it at an altitude of around 1,100 metres above sea level and at a temperature of around -4 degrees Celsius.

Just wear a smartwatch and all your worries will be gone!

After a day of falling over a lot and getting snow into places where snow shouldn’t go, it’s time to rest up for another day and the smartwatch still finds a way to be useful.

The idea of sleeping while wearing a watch is ludicrous to me but to my surprise, I completely forgot I was wearing it as I drifted off. The Watch GT Active has a pretty nifty sleep tracker so I got to wake up to some nice stats about my time in dreamland and tips on improving my sleep. Apparently I wake up too many times every night.

Now using a smartwatch in this fashion does use up a bit more power than expected. Huawei say the Watch GT Active’s battery lasts two weeks but I only got around a week’s worth of use in while snowboarding. Having said that, I was using nearly everything the watch had so the battery life is actually not that big of a deal.

Overall, I think I finally see the value of owning a smartwatch as it’s proved to be very handy in more ways than I initially expected and all it took was a week’s worth of snowboarding (and falling) down from the top of a mountain for me to reach that epiphany.

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