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Dennis O'Brien of Charlottetown dressed for the record-breaking cold temperature, Jan. 23, 2013 when he headed to the grocery store in Charlottetown. (Brian McInnis/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Dennis O'Brien of Charlottetown dressed for the record-breaking cold temperature, Jan. 23, 2013 when he headed to the grocery store in Charlottetown. (Brian McInnis/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Social Studies

When's the last time you washed that scarf? Add to ...

Are your gloves clean?

Hats, gloves and scarves should be cleaned three to five times a season, according to RealSimple.com. “ ‘Think about the facial oil, makeup and perfume buildup, plus the germs you pick up with gloves,’ says Corinne Phipps, the founder of Urban Darling, a San Francisco wardrobe-consulting firm. Handwash knits. Dry-clean leather gloves and structured hats. … Never store gloves in coat pockets. ‘The glove linings get damp from your hand perspiration and need to air out. Otherwise, they could smell like mildew,’ says Lindsey Wieber Boyd, a co-founder of the Laundress, a line of cleaning products.”

Rich, poor in hard times

“When times get hard, do you hunker down and save or start living for the moment? It might depend on the economic conditions in which you grew up,” says The Boston Globe. “Based on a new study, exposure to recessionary images or words appears to activate a live-for-the-here-and-now mindset among people who grew up poor. After seeing images or reading a newspaper article evoking tough economic times, people who grew up with a lower socioeconomic status sought more immediate rewards, took greater risks and were more attracted to luxury items, whereas the opposite pattern was manifested in people who grew up with a higher socioeconomic status.”

Do cities heat the North?

“Heat rising up from cities such as New York, Paris and Tokyo might be remotely warming up winters far away in some rural parts of Alaska, Canada and Siberia, a surprising study theorizes,” reports Associated Press. “Meteorologists long have known that cities are warmer than rural areas. … That’s called the urban heat island effect and it has long been thought that the heat stayed close to the cities. But the study [published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change], based on a computer model of the Northern Hemisphere, now suggests the heat does something else, albeit indirectly. It travels about half a mile up into the air and then its energy changes the high-altitude currents in the atmosphere that dictate prevailing weather.” The computer model showed that parts of Siberia and northwestern Canada may get, on average, an extra 0.8 to 1 degree Celsius during the winter.

The wild, wild kingdom

A group of coyotes going after a dog in Chicago’s suburb of Riverside early Friday chased the pet into a home and broke windows trying to get in, the Tribune newspaper reports. Police said the homeowner used a high-powered BB gun to shoot two of the coyotes, stopping them from getting into the residence.

A Scottish man was knocked to the ground and needed hospital treatment after he was attacked by an owl, The Daily Telegraph reports. John Mackay was left bleeding from the back of his head in an area of Inverness near the city centre. He thought he had been hit by a brick. The 58-year-old went into shock after the owl, which he believes to be of the eagle owl family, managed to slice the back of his head, causing heavy bleeding.

“Deep in the Sonoran desert, a terrifying creature searches for fresh meat – even venomous scorpions are on the menu,” says the New Scientist. “Throwing its head back, the animal howls at the moon. This isn’t a horror movie, but a day in the life of the southern grasshopper mouse, North America’s only carnivorous mouse.”

Newsprint remains vital

“San Francisco’s animal control agency is relying on donations to solve an unforeseen problem in the digital age – a shortage of newspapers needed for potty training puppies,” says Associated Press. “Now, the San Francisco Public Library is donating old newspapers to make sure the shelter has a consistent paper stream.”

Thought du jour

There is more to life than increasing its speed.

Mohandas K. Gandhi, Indian statesman (1869-1948)

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