The Weekend Links

"¢ My mom likes to talk about the "good ole days." But were they always so good? Here are 10 Creepy Old Ads to make you think twice before hopping into that time machine. (Thanks Janice from Atlanta)

"¢ Who was the Mona Lisa named after? Madd Zapper (are you a Zappa cousin?) sent in an article on this intriguing discovery.

"¢ Breann from Bloomington, Illinois, sent in this vintage link for Viking Kittens. If you haven't seen it before, give it a look. I can no longer hear the song without seeing bobble-headed kitties valiantly crossing a lake.

Our friends at YesButNoButYes have put together their Top Ten Trends for 2007. It really was a year for ugly fish, I'll give them that.

"¢ Brett Favre may soon lead the Packers to the Super Bowl, but did you know he was originally drafted by the Falcons? I happened to catch a guy wearing his Falcons jersey last week, and I wept openly. If you've spotted a ridiculous jersey, snap a pic and send it to BadJerseyBlog@gmail.com. Our own Ethan Trex runs a website called Straight Cash, Homey that aims to become the internet's #1 resource for pictures of people in Ryan Leaf-esque jerseys.

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"¢ This link on Ads vs Reality made me consider bringing my lunch from home. We know that advertisers use all kinds of tricks to make fast food look delicious, but imagine their campaigns if they stuck to the real thing. (Thanks Suzie from South of Boston for the link)

"¢ Parody songs are a genre I typically avoid, but this Harry Potter tribute song to the tune of "Hey Delilah" made me chuckle. Reader Erin says she most identified with the lyric, "Ohh what you do to me / even though I'm 33..."

"¢ Say whoa unto us, the television fan, for what cometh. With the ongoing writers strike, be prepared to be inundated by reality shows. Some will be good, some will be bad, and some will be about...Webster?

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"¢ Flossy reader Patrick from Elberton, Georgia, is mighty talented "“ and legally blind! He made the above origami peacock, which I think could rival some of the paper art made by Physicist Robert Lang. The best I can make is a fortune teller, and some eight-year-olds have told me "it's not all that." Patrick also sent in this incredible video on sand art. The obvious question for Patrick -- how are you reading mentalfloss.com?

"¢ Imagine a website where someone does a live performance of a Garfield strip, shows the strip, and then continues on to Garfield/Jim Davis-related fan abstraction pieces ... in all of its ridiculous, hilarious glory, it lives! (This one came from my co-worker Kevin, who keeps me very entertained.)

"¢ Wikipedia offers a list of U.S. College and University Endowments (only those over $1 billion need apply). Harvard wins with $34.9 billion. Emory, my alma mater, comes in with a paltry (ha) $5. What do schools do with these war-chests? Some are finally going to start spending.

"¢ Are you looking for new ways of self-promotion? Or perhaps you have trouble keeping your fan base aware of your latest trends? Here's an idea: Daniel Felton puts out an Annual Report. On himself. (Via NoahBrier.com)

When Gilbert Arenas scores, he screams "Hibachi!" When Jack from Will & Grace gets excited he sometimes exclaims, "Sarah Jessica Parker!" What did an ESPN announcer cry out when Kevin Garnett scored on a dunk? Find out here, and see some other suggestions for the spontaneous invoking of names.

"¢ And finally, this shirt is not new, but it is hilarious...

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Let's end with a question: What's the greatest "“ and by greatest, I mean cheesiest "“ shirt you own?

I want to thank everyone who sent in links "“ keep 'em coming! You can reach me at flossylinks@gmail.com. (Feel free to send photos of your cheesy shirts, too.) Looking forward to hearing from you!

[Last Weekend's Links]

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Feeling Down? Lifting Weights Can Lift Your Mood, Too
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There’s plenty of research that suggests that exercise can be an effective treatment for depression. In some cases of depression, in fact—particularly less-severe ones—scientists have found that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants, which don’t work for everyone and can come with some annoying side effects. Previous studies have largely concentrated on aerobic exercise, like running, but new research shows that weight lifting can be a useful depression treatment, too.

The study in JAMA Psychiatry, led by sports scientists at the University of Limerick in Ireland, examined the results of 33 previous clinical trials that analyzed a total of 1877 participants. It found that resistance training—lifting weights, using resistance bands, doing push ups, and any other exercises targeted at strengthening muscles rather than increasing heart rate—significantly reduced symptoms of depression.

This held true regardless of how healthy people were overall, how much of the exercises they were assigned to do, or how much stronger they got as a result. While the effect wasn’t as strong in blinded trials—where the assessors don’t know who is in the control group and who isn’t, as is the case in higher-quality studies—it was still notable. According to first author Brett Gordon, these trials showed a medium effect, while others showed a large effect, but both were statistically significant.

The studies in the paper all looked at the effects of these training regimes on people with mild to moderate depression, and the results might not translate to people with severe depression. Unfortunately, many of the studies analyzed didn’t include information on whether or not the patients were taking antidepressants, so the researchers weren’t able to determine what role medications might play in this. However, Gordon tells Mental Floss in an email that “the available evidence supports that [resistance training] may be an effective alternative and/or adjuvant therapy for depressive symptoms that could be prescribed on its own and/or in conjunction with other depression treatments,” like therapy or medication.

There haven’t been a lot of studies yet comparing whether aerobic exercise or resistance training might be better at alleviating depressive symptoms, and future research might tackle that question. Even if one does turn out to be better than the other, though, it seems that just getting to the gym can make a big difference.

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