Ear to the ground:

“Did you ever notice that whenever someone leaves the Telegraph, there’s a natural disaster wherever they go?”
– Observation on the spooky coincidence of three ex-staffers being hit by hurricanes, or hurricane remnants, shortly after leaving town

Made in the shades

Cory Hart was on to something. Of course we’re talking the ’80s Canadian pop star and not the Seattle Mariners pitcher. According to a recent report in the Boston Globe, habitual wearing of sunglasses can help vision later in life

New research conducted in Boston and Israel suggests wearing sunglasses can help prevent a harmful eye condition called exfoliation syndrome, which can increase one’s risk for cataracts and glaucoma.

The study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, found that rates of exfoliation syndrome vary with latitude and ethnicity. Those of European descent who live far from the equator are at higher risk, said study leader Dr. Louis Pasquale, of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

 And for those who like to frolic in the outdoors at high altitude: listen up. People who work outdoors surrounded by snow or water have nearly four times the risk of developing exfoliation syndrome.

Exfoliation syndrome occurs when a whitish, flaky substance builds up on the eye and gets rubbed off as the eyeball moves, raising pressure in the eye, which increases the likelihood of glaucoma.

The study found Americans who donned sunglasses regularly when outdoors were at lower risk than those who didn’t. And donning sunglasses indoors, while not exactly necessary, can lead to an increase in one’s overall hipness factor while decreasing chance encounters with those you are trying to avoid.

Hats off

The local rez dog rescue operation Blackhat Humane Society could get a lifeline of its own. Blackhat was recently named as one of 10 animal rescue and shelter finalists for the Tractor Supply Co.’s $10,000 “Rescue Your Rescue” contest.

The 10 finalists represented a diverse group of representing a wide variety of animals from dogs and cats to waterfowl and woodland creatures. The 10 finalists were chosen from more than 1,800 nominations. The public has until Sept. 14 to vote for the grand prize winner  at Facebook.com/TractorSupplyCo.

The top vote-grabber will be announced Sept. 17 in conjunction with “Pet Appreciation Week,” an annual store event. On Sat., Sept. 20, every Tractor Supply store – including the new Durango location near Wal-Mart – will feature pet adoptions, demonstrations, discounts on pet food and supplies, giveaways and prizes.

For more on Blackhat, go to www.blackhathumanesociety.org.