The heat will make you do dumb things

This coming weekend, the sun is expected to come back out and the temperatures are supposed to rise again. And when that happens, we’ll all get a little dumber.

There’s a growing body of research which suggests that as it gets hotter, people make worse decisions. Studies have correlated rising temperatures with increases in crime, road rage incidents and even the likelihood of baseball pitchers intentionally trying to hit batters. Similarly, researchers have attributed questionable shopping decisions to high heat.

There’s a silver lining in all this research, though. As Maine is actually pretty cool most of the year, Mainers must be more likely to make reasonable decisions, right?

Or, I guess, we make dumb decisions without being able to blame hot temperatures.

What we’re talking about

Attorney Mary Davis wants to give local neighborhoods veto power over zoning changes, the publication MaineBiz is reporting. She’s leading an effort to collect signatures to force a citywide referendum which, if passed, would make it so that if 25 percent of residents and property owners within 500 feet of a proposed zoning change objected to it, they could block it.

The Portland Press Herald’s Randy Billings is reporting that Wharf Street’s once “wild bar scene” is seeing investments which could change its reputation to more of an upscale attraction.

Portland city councilors will discuss whether to join a lawsuit against prescription opioid makers, file their own or do nothing at all. Big pharmaceutical companies are being blamed for contributing to the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, which claimed more than 300 lives in Maine last year. The council will discuss its legal options in an Aug. 2 talk behind closed doors.

An “enemy alien” from the Middle East is the one you can thank for those iconic Maine lobsterman statues. The three identical statues are in Harpswell, Washington, D.C., and right here in Portland, over by the Nickelodeon Cinemas. In his weekly series on Portland history, the BDN’s Troy R. Bennett tells the story of Victor Kahill, a Lebanese immigrant who sculpted the lobsterman and fought on the side of the United States in both world wars, despite initially being labeled an “enemy alien” because of where he was born.

We keep hearing about how Maine’s lobster catch is exploding, but that hasn’t been the case so far in the southernmost part of the Gulf of Maine this year, according to a report by Deborah McDermott of The York Weekly. Unlike Down East, lobstermen in York are saying it’s been a slow season. Furthermore, they’re worried about how the often outspoken President Donald Trump will handle an already very fragile — but so far lucrative — lobster trade with Asia.

Tweet of the day

From @YouHadOneJ0B:

The Big Idea

Can humans breathe liquid?  Scientists are working on developing some kind of oxygenated liquid people could “breathe” — such a liquid could be used by divers deep underwater, as well as folks who have certain respiratory limitations above-water.

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email us at jbleiberg@bangordailynews.com or skoenig@bangordailynews.com or tweet @JZBleiberg or @SethKoenig

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