Why chimps win at poker?
"Chimpanzees apparently can figure out what others are thinking, a mental ability seen nowhere else in the animal kingdom so far except for in humans, scientists find," Livescience.com reports. "In recent years, research has revealed just how much chimpanzees - humanity's closest living relatives - have in common with us. They can hunt with spears, play with improvised dolls and mourn their dead. Past research also showed that chimps can figure out what others know. … It was an open question as to whether chimps' mental capabilities might go beyond knowing what others might know to what others might think. Now scientists find they might possess this advanced mental ability." They detailed their findings online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A three-year vacation
A British immigration officer put his own wife on a terrorist watch list - so she couldn't get home from a trip to Pakistan, the Sunday Mirror reports. "The officer was so sick of his partner that when she was visiting family overseas, he added her name to the register of people banned from flights to the U.K. When she went to the airport to get her return flight back, officials told her she could not board the plane and did not explain why. She called her husband, who promised to look into it - but left her stuck in Pakistan for three years. … The officer was caught out when bosses vetted him after he went for a promotion that required him to have a higher level of security clearance. They realized his wife was on the watch list and asked him for an explanation. He had no choice but to confess what he had done - and was fired."
Size matters, even to babies
"Long before they learn about popular kids or bullies - much less how to walk or talk - infants already understand social hierarchies and the fact that size is a key factor in determining who will yield when paths cross, according to a new study by Harvard researchers," The Boston Globe reports. "Far from being something children learn on the playground, from pop culture, or in lessons from parents, the importance of size in social hierarchies may be innate or develop very early in life, the research suggests. The study, published [Jan. 27]by the journal Science, describes an experiment in which babies watched animated cartoons in which big and small blocks bound toward one another, bump against each other and bow deferentially. If the big block bowed to the small one, infants as young as 10 months old stared for a long time, indicating to researchers that this bit of social choreography defied their expectations."
It's true, they are No. 1
"Over the last several decades, both through good economic times and bad, the United States has transformed itself into the planet's undisputed worry champion," Slate.com says. "Around the turn of the millennium, anxiety flew past depression as the most prominent mental-health issue in America, and it's never looked back: With more than 18 per cent of adults suffering from an anxiety disorder in any given year, the United States is now the most anxious nation in the world, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. … And this anxious strain hits us well before we reach college. As psychologist Robert Leahy points out: 'The average high-school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s.' "
Interns' résumé mistakes
James Kotecki, head of research for the Cypress Group, a Washington consulting firm, gave Campussplash.com his list of résumé faux pas:
- High school is over. "Unless you cured cancer or negotiated some kind of ceasefire, nothing you did in high school is relevant."
- Useless padding. "You don't have to fill up a page with unrelated tasks just to prove to me that you've been busy. I know you've been busy. You're in college."
- You did what? " 'Interned at a congressman's office' tells me nothing. Did you lick envelopes or write legislation? Give me lots of details about your relevant experience."
- Obvious typos. "If you can't even get you're résumé write, you're either incompetent or you just don't care."
- You don't match. At all. "I asked for a junior, you're a freshman. I asked for someone with a policy background; your focus is Renaissance art. Did you not read the job description and consider whether you're even remotely qualified? Oh, that's right, you're just blindly shooting the same generic résumé out to 100 different openings! Yeah, I can tell."
Thought du jour
"Bless your uneasiness as a sign that there is still life in you."
- Dag Hammarskjold (1905-61), Swedish statesman and UN secretary-general