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conflicts. He even flew 12 missions in a B-17 bomber over Europe in the 8th Air Force until a Georgia Tech graduate was promoted to operations officer and put the kibosh on his service. Burdell wed the fictional Agnes Scott student Ramona Cartwright in 1958, served on the board of directors for Mad magazine, and was nearly voted the 2001 Time Person of the Year before the magazine removed him from consideration. Barack Obama even did his part to further the myth. While giving a speech at the school in 2015, he began “Now, I understand George P. Burdell was supposed to introduce me today — but nobody could find him!” The only thing more impressive than Mr. Burdell’s abundant achievements is his fans’ dedication to keeping him alive. You may think your buddies’ inside jokes are long-running — this one practically willed a human into existence.

Somehow, despite the fact that Mr. Burdell never once attended a day of class, he managed to secure his B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1930. Soon after, he continued on to his master’s degree. At some point, George P. Burdell morphed from an elaborate practical joke into a bona fide legend with countless copycat pranks to his name. One of the most famous came early on, when a truckload of furniture arrived “collect on delivery” to a Georgia Tech fraternity, addressed to one George P. Burdell. Apparently, a freshman had felt snubbed by the frat and decided to get even. Burdell was continually enrolled in the school by loyal fans for decades. In 1969, Georgia Tech computerized the registration process, but intrepid hackers found a way to enroll him in every single class offered at the school that quarter. The man was unstoppable. Members of the armed forces carried on the Burdell hoax, and Private Burdell began to appear all over the world in dozens of

or during football games. Even in his ripe old age, he still has time to be the production assistant on “South Park” and read thousands upon thousands of magazines during his spare moments. Wherever he is, we can only wish him well and hope that all the would-be pranksters out there take a note fromWilliam Edgar Smith’s playbook this April Fools’ Day. After all, if you’re truly dedicated to your craft, what’s 70-plus years?

Today, people always seem to be on the lookout for Burdell, paging him at the airport

The ManyWonders of Omega-3s One Little Pill That Can Do Your Body Good

WHICH OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENT IS RIGHT FOR ME?

Because fish oil is said to improve everything fromheart health to chronic dry eye, it may sound a bit like, well, snake oil. But this brilliant little supplement packs a big punch, especially for older adults.

If you eat fatty fish several times a week every week, you may already get enough omega-3s, but it can be difficult to get a therapeutic dose of fish oil from food alone on a regular basis. A fish oil supplement can provide additional fatty acids. Look for an ingredient list that specifically shows EPA and DHA; some brands use misleading labeling that only shows the total amount of fish oil rather than the actual omega-3s. Recommendations vary, but most sources indicate that a dosage of 1,000–2,000 milligrams (1–2 grams) of combined EPA and DHA provides benefits. If the smell or “fish burps” bother you, choose enteric-coated capsules, which dissolve in the small intestine rather than the stomach. Omega-3 caps also come in vegan options sourced from seaweed and algae.

HEART HEALTH BENEFITS The omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have been shown to support heart health in multiple ways. The Mayo Clinic cites research suggesting that higher levels of EPA are associated with a reduced risk of congestive heart failure in older adults. Studies also report that people with moderate to severe hypertension typically see a positive effect on their blood pressure if they regularly take omega-3s. JOINT AND EYE BENEFITS Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling associated with osteoarthritis and other joint disorders by lubricating the joints and acting as an anti-inflammatory.

As we age, our ability to produce tears diminishes. Fish oil’s lubricating and anti- inflammatory properties also make it a great treatment for and defense against chronic dry eye. COGNITIVE FUNCTION BENEFITS Several studies have concluded that regularly consuming omega-3 fatty acids can help maintain cognitive function. While research shows no cognitive recovery in extremely elderly subjects who already suffer from dementia, evidence indicates that taking fish oil on a regular basis may prevent or postpone the onset of cognitive decline. Omega-3 consumption may also improve the quality of life for individuals suffering from depression or anxiety at any age.

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