The Weekend Links

"¢ One of the most amazing videos I have ever seen ... a monkey on a mini motorcycle. Even more astonishing is his conscientiousness: he wears a tiny helmet, and waits for traffic before zooming off!

"¢ Movies still on VHS that just aren't good enough for DVD. I thought I had erased the horrors of Meet the Deedles, but this list brought it all flooding back. Anything on this list you've been awaiting anxiously to convert?

"¢ Thanks to my friend Thomas who sent in this clip with the instructions to wait until the :47 second mark. If you do, you will be rewarded tenfold. I KNEW I should have stuck with those piano lessons.

"¢ Flossy Reader Heather has brought this amazing site to my attention: MAD magazine fold-ins that are completely interactive. Enjoy procrastinating with these!

"¢ An online card trick—can you savvy Flossers figure out how it works? For more magic, watch this absolutely hilarious clip of (a faux) David Blaine scaring the mess out of some "unsuspecting" LA residents. (Warning: lots of profanity).

"¢ As a film nerd, I am constantly amazed at all of the new ways people are finding to integrate various media into their online videos. This is another fantastic find—fun with flip books.

"¢ Have trouble keeping up with your news in an organized fashion? Newsflashr lists all of the top headlines from a plethora of respected sources so you can keep an eye on what's considered important news. Or vote for what you think should be considered "top" news here. (Thanks Jan!)

"¢ Cindy brings to us the hidden hilarity of grocery lists. Another reason you should be careful not to litter. One man's trash is another man's blog.

"¢ If the US presidential race isn't interactive enough for you, consider making your own candidate finger puppets and staging your own debates. Film it, and you could be the next YouTube star!

"¢ An addicting game that connects with ocean conservation efforts. See how easy it is to catch the bluefin tuna? EXACTLY. The music is uber-soothing, though. (Thanks so, so much to Angie who sent in a sundry of awesome links this week).

"¢ I would provide a photo for the anecdote I am about to relate, but this is a (sorta) highbrow website. In any case ... you know when you go to certain sushi joints you get the little orange peel man? (the curious can Google it). In any case, apparently there are many kinds of art that can be crafted from our friend the Orange. Here's a beautiful example.

"¢ What happens if you raise a child from birth to hone in on a certain skill? Deeper considerations aside, this dad has brought up his son to appreciate his passion of skateboarding ... and in doing so has created a tiny Tony Hawk.

"¢ I found out that this video is a little old, but since it's my first time seeing it, it may be yours as well. How far will some people go to keep neighbors from allowing their dogs to do their 'business' all over the neighborhood? Watch this and find out ...

"¢ Spring is in the air! If you are feeling the call of the birds and bees, check out this beautiful art project called Hidden Love Song.

"¢ Speculation as to the demise of the Titanic may never cease (but would we want it to?) Katie points us to new evidence that claims faulty rivets may have been a major part of the problem (oh yeah ... and that iceberg.) For more on when Ship Happens, read up on Stacy's recent post on the subject.

"¢ Thank you so much to everyone who sent in links this week—you guys heard the call and answered it overwhelmingly. But don't stop there! As you do your internet trawling, think of me at FlossyLinks@gmail.com, and send anything you find in your nets on over (just not any bluefin tuna, of course).

[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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