Create your own online GIFs in 3 easy steps

A diet containing dried plums can positively affect beneficial gut bacteria.
A diet containing dried plums can positively affect beneficial gut bacteria. TMS File Photo

GIF tips for mini-videos worth repeating

You’ve seen them all over the Internet: cute or funny animated or film images that are a few seconds long and repeat over and over. These are called GIFs, and if you’ve ever wanted to create one from a scene in a YouTube video, here’s an easy way to do it.

1. Find a video scene you want to capture. Define the video’s Web address and hit the Ctrl and “c” keys to copy it. Go to, and place your cursor in the “Paste YouTube URL” window, then press the Ctrl and “v” keys to paste the video’s Web address. Press Create GIF.

2. Title your GIF and add a caption if you wish. Slide the start time bar to the exact time where you want your GIF to begin, and then move the duration bar to where you want it to end (up to 15 seconds). The screen will show you what you have selected. When you are satisfied, press Create GIF.

3. Once your GIF is created, there are links on the right for saving, viewing and embedding it. On the left, a drop menu allows you to share your creation on social media. Although Facebook isn’t a choice, you can copy and paste the GIF file link URL into Facebook’s “update status” window to make it appear on your page. newsday

Dried plums may reduce risk of colon cancer

Researchers from Texas A&M University and the University of North Carolina have shown that a diet containing dried plums – also known as prunes – can positively affect microbiota, also referred to as gut bacteria, throughout the colon, helping reduce the risk of colon cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S.

“Through our research, we were able to show that dried plums promote retention of beneficial bacteria throughout the colon, and by doing so they may reduce the risk of colon cancer,” said Nancy Turner, a research professor in the nutrition and food science department at Texas A&M.

"Dried plums contain phenolic compounds, which have multiple effects on our health, including their ability to serve as antioxidants that can neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals that can damage our DNA.

According to Turner, “The hypothesis we tested in this experiment was that consumption of dried plums would promote retention of beneficial microbiota and patterns of microbial metabolism throughout the colon. If it did this, then it might also help reduce the risk of colon cancer.”

The research was presented at the 2015 Experimental Biology conference in Boston.