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Social Studies

Buying a mattress? Give it another month Add to ...

Don’t spring for a mattress

“Don’t upgrade your mattress in April,” advises The Huffington Post. “The middle-of-spring month doesn’t have any major holidays, and mattress retailers love to hold sales around days that most people have off from work or school. … Plus, in May, manufacturers tend to mark down old models to clear them out and make room for the new ones coming in, so if you buy in April, you’ll be too early to score a deal.”

Are you a dog person?

“Well, it looks like there really is such a thing as a dog person,” says Michaeleen Doucleff of U.S. National Public Radio. “Humans who share their homes with canines also share the similar bacterial house guests on their skin, ecologists reported in the journal eLIFE. In fact, two dog owners who don’t even know each other have about as many of the skin bacteria in common as a married couple living together. The signature doggie blend is a mixture of harmless bacteria from their tongues and paws, the report finds. Microbial sharing from pooch to person occurs primarily through two routes: tongue to skin and paw to skin.”

Fame may come with a price

“Do famous, successful people live longer lives?” asks Pacific Standard magazine. “New research suggests the answer depends upon how they achieved their fame and success. An analysis of 1,000 obituaries from The New York Times finds the average age of death for notable people varies depending upon their occupation. Athletes, performers and creative types such as writers and artists died younger, on average, while people in business, politics and the military hung on the longest.”

Here’s my father

“A British woman who took her father’s ashes to a bank said she wanted to prove his death and stop the debt collection letters,” reports United Press International. “Siobhan Peers, 31, of Stockport, England, said her father, David, died of bone cancer at the age of 67 in October, 2011, but she has since received about 20 letters from the Royal Bank of Scotland seeking to collect on a $9.17 (U.S) overdraft debt. … Peers said she sent the bank a copy of David’s death certificate within two weeks of his death, but the bank insisted on being shown the original certificate and [with daily interest] the debt eventually grew to $955.31. ‘I took my dad to the bank and slapped his ashes on the counter,’ Peers said. ‘I’m sick of getting hassled.’”

Video went too far

“Psy’s new music video Gentleman is not only breaking YouTube records, hitting more than 145 million views in less than a week, it just got banned by his home country’s biggest TV broadcaster,” says the Los Angeles Times. “South Korea’s KBS, a state-funded broadcaster, said Thursday it was banning the video because it shows Psy kicking a traffic cone with a ‘no parking’ sign on it. The TV network says it has a policy prohibiting the showing of videos that abuse public property.”

The hippie chimp?

“Much of what we know about bonobos comes from observing animals in captivity,” says the New Scientist. “Famously characterized as peaceable and sex-loving, a darker and more complex picture emerges from studies in the wild. For example, far from being the ‘hippie chimp,’ bonobos hunt for meat, consuming monkeys without bothering to kill them first.”

Thought du jour

"The value of an idea has nothing whatever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it."

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer (1854-1900)

 

 

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