The Sideshow
  • Caffeinated drinks in moderation are generally considered safe, but consuming too much caffeine may present health risks. (ABC7)After the recent lawsuit against the manufacturers of Monster energy drinks, Popular Science looked into the question of "how much caffeine would it take to kill you?"

    In short, it would take at least six gallons of McDonald's coffee. In April, a coroner's report cited a New Zealand woman's consumption of Coca-Cola as being related to her death. But she reportedly had a number of other unhealthy habits, including smoking cigarettes and a poor diet.

    But as Popular Science notes, individual reactions to caffeine intake vary from person to person and are heavily influenced by a number of other factors, including related health issues and the consumption of other substances, such as alcohol.

    The Journal of Caffeine Research editor-in-chief Jack James tells PopSci that it takes "about" 10 grams of caffeine to achieve lethal levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult can safely consume 200 mg to 300 mg of caffeine per day, the equivalent of about 2 to 4 cups of coffee. However, consuming more than 500 mg per day can begin to trigger side effects, including insomnia, fast heartbeat and muscle tremors.

    The U.S. National Institutes of Health says that deaths from toxic levels of caffeine are rare, but does cite two examples in recent years.

    A wrongful-death lawsuit filed last week against the makers of Monster energy drinks claims that 14-year-old Anais Fournier drank two 24-ounce cans of Monster in the day before she unexpectedly died late in 2011. The coroner's report described "caffeine toxicity" as contributing to her death.

    "Caffeine toxicity of the kind experienced by Ms. Fournier (if, indeed, that is what she experienced) is not well understood," James says. "There is speculation in the literature regarding the possibility of some individuals having a peculiar sensitivity to caffeine, but there is no clear definition or understanding of what such sensitivity might be."

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  • Is a New York Republican behind a Twitter account spreading false Hurricane Sandy information? (BuzzFeed)As Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Monday, the Twitter account "@ComfortablySmug" began issuing a series of false tweets about alleged incidents happening across New York City.

    BuzzFeed has done some digging and claims that the proprietor of the ComfortablySmug account is 29-year-old Shashank Tripathi, a hedge fund analyst and campaign manager for Christopher R. Wight, the Republican candidate in New York's 12th congressional district.

    The false claims made on the Twitter feed, which has more than 6,000 followers, include assertions that the New York Stock Exchange was flooding, that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was trapped in Manhattan and that all power in Manhattan was being shut off by Con Edison.

    From BuzzFeed contributor Jack Stuef:

    "When I called Tripathi and introduced myself, he immediately hung up. @comfortablysmug did not respond to a DM request for comment. Wight could not immediately be reached for comment. Jordan Terry, founder of hedge fund consultancy Stone Street Partners, whose

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  • The "Man in the Moon" may have been created by a giant asteroid (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology)The famous flattened image across the surface of the moon, long dubbed the "Man in the Moon," appears to have been created by a giant asteroid the size of Austria.

    A new study published in the British journal Nature Geoscience says the flattened, 1,800-mile-wide section of the moon's Procellarum basin was caused after the large asteroid crashed into the moon's surface.

    "The nearside and farside of the Moon are compositionally distinct," reads the introduction to the study. "The detection of low-calcium pyroxene around large impact basins suggests that the huge Procellarum basin on the nearside may be an ancient impact structure and a relic scar of the violent collision that produced the lunar dichotomy."

    Scientists at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology studied the distribution of minerals on the moon's surface using data collected by Japanese moon exploration orbiters, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

    The size of the asteroid is estimated to have been 180

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