Chewing the Facts: 675 Russian Fisherman and How Tearjerkers Make You Happy

Chewing the Facts is a round up of recent news for Moxy readers to chew on and chat about at their after-work cocktails or during mid-day coffee breaks. Published  twice a month, this brain candy is meant to create an open conversation about the things happening in our world today. 

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675 Russian fishermen rescued from drifting ice

It is a common occurrence in Russia. People who are out for a day of ice-fishing in late spring become trapped when the ice they are standing on breaks free and begins to drift off into the ocean. Most are rescued without incident.

On Sunday, however, 675 fishermen were trapped on the same ice floe, and that number is not so common.

The ordeal lasted about 6 hours before rescue by boat and helicopter began. (Read the rest of the story on the Associated Press.)

Milestone promotions for the US Capitol Police

Two minority police officers have recently been promoted to the rank of captain within the United States Capital Police, (USCP) a department that has been plagued in recent years by allegations of racial discrimination. Yogananda Pittman and Monique Moore are the first two female African-Americans to obtain that rank within the USCP.

“When you see someone that looks like yourself attain the rank of captain and what have you,” Pittman said of other aspiring black police officers in the department, “they know they can do it.”

In the last ten years, multiple lawsuits and Congressional hearings have addressed the numerous allegations of racism levied against the USCP by officers and former officers. (Read the whole story at the Associated Press.)

Skye cave find: Western Europe’s ‘earliest string instrument’

A recent discovery in the archeologically rich Pasture Cave in Northern Scotland may be part the oldest example of stringed instruments in Western Europe.

The artifact, a broken and charred piece of wood, is approximately two inches long, and believed to be the bridge to an ancient lyre. If true, it would indicate a longer history of organized music on the continent than was previously theorized.

“It pushes the history of complex music back more than a thousand years,” said Dr. Graeme Lawson, music history expert at the University of Cambridge. “Into our darkest pre-history.” (Read the full story at the BBC.)

New Home for Wounded Warrior

Sgt. Jose Pequeno, of Land O’ Lakes, Florida, has a new home to call his own, six years after being nearly killed in Iraq.

Local contractors, Beazle Homes, helped Pequeno’s family finance and build the home.

Pequeno lost nearly 50% of his brain when a grenade exploded inside his vehicle while on patrol in Iraq. According to his family his recovery and rehabilitation since then has been difficult, though having his own home will, they say, help that process.

“This house for Jose is going to be a place where he can finally relax and finally feel like home,”, Pequeno’s mother, Nellie Bagley said during a welcoming ceremony at the new home. (Read the whole story on Fox.)

Smiling Through the Tears:
Study Shows How Tearjerkers Make People Happier

Recent research at Ohio State University has revealed quite the irony—watching tragedies in the movies might actually increase one’s short term happiness.

Author of the study, Ohio State professor Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, put it this way:

“Tragic stories often focus on themes of eternal love, and this leads viewers to think about their loved ones and count their blessings.”

It had been previously theorized by multiple experts in the field that the enjoyment that comes after viewing tragic stories was the result of the viewer realizing his life was better than the lives of those in the story. The recent research, however, discounts this.

“Tragedies don’t boost life happiness by making viewers think more about themselves,” Knobloch-Westerwick said of her findings. “They appeal to people because they help them to appreciate their own relationships more.” (Read the full story on Science Daily.)

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