The Quick 10: 10 Facts About Carmen Sandiego

As much as I love the Wii, it's lacking a game I have been craving for a couple of years now: Carmen Sandiego. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on the old computer at the public library playing Carmen Sandiego on floppy disk until we finally got it for our home computer. And when the T.V. show came out? Amazing. Anyway, until Nintendo satiates my Carmen Sandiego needs, I'm going to have to make do with this list of Carmen Sandiego trivia.

1. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego was first released in 1985 for the Apple II.

2. An early version of the computer game had Henry VII running around England collecting treasures.

3. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I didn't know it: Carmen used to be an ACME agent before defecting to V.I.L.E. (the Villains' International League of Evil).

4. The list of improbable things stolen by Carmen and her V.I.L.E. Henchmen included the Ngorongoro Crater, the La Brea Tar Pits, the entire Great Wall of China, the Panama Canal, the Dead Sea, Paris' Fall Fashion Collection, the Great Barrier Reef, all of Idaho's potatoes, Old Faithful, all of the George Washington faces from $1 bills, the Vienna Boys Choir's voices, the Trojan Horse, the wigs of London's judges and barristers, the sun, Mardi Gras, the Internet and the Spanish letter ñ. Busy crooks!!

5. Carmen's middle name is Isabela.

6. The animated series Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego featured legendary actress Rita Moreno as the voice of Carmen.

7. One episode of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego was never aired, because the contestant fell down in the bonus round and broke her arm.

8. If you watched the show, surely you remember the phrase that kicked off the theme song at the end: "Do it, Rockapella!" In addition to Carmen Sandiego, Rockapella "did it" for lots of commercials, including Taco Bell, Coca-Cola, Doritos and Folgers.

9. The eleven members of Carmen's posse on the original show included Vic the Slick, The Contessa, Eartha Brute, Top Grunge, Robocrook, Patty Larceny, Double Trouble (twins), Kneemoi, Wonder Rat and Sarah Nade.

10. At one point, there were plans for a Carmen Sandiego movie. Sandra Bullock was going to star.

And, because I want you guys to have this stuck in your head for the rest of the day like I do, here are the lyrics to the song. You can thank me later.

Well, she sneaks around the world from Kiev to Carolina
She's a sticky-fingered filcher from Berlin down to Belize
She'll take you for a ride on a slowboat to China
Tell me: where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

Steal their Seoul in South Korea, make Antarctica cry "uncle"
From the Red Sea to Greenland they'll be singing the blues
Well they never Arkansas her steal the Mekong from the jungle
Tell me: where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

She goes from Nashville to Norway, Bonaire to Zimbabwe,
Chicago to Czechoslovakia, and back!

Well she'll ransack Pakistan and run a scam in Scandinavia
Then she'll stick 'em up Down Under and go pickpocket Perth
She put the "Miss" in "misdemeanor" when she stole the beans from Lima
Tell me: where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

Tell me: where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? (x6)
Watch your back

One-Syllable Presidents
Feeling Down? Lifting Weights Can Lift Your Mood, Too

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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