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(Thinkstock/Thinkstock)
(Thinkstock/Thinkstock)

Live longer, courtesy of having an older father Add to ...

Thanks, Dad

“If your father and grandfather waited until they were older before reproducing, you may experience life-extending benefits,” says Psych Central. “A new Northwestern University study suggests our bodies may learn to slow the pace of aging when evolutionary pressures demand. This means that our bodies may thus utilize more resources in repairing cells and tissues. ‘If your father and grandfather were able to live and reproduce at a later age, this might predict that you yourself live in an environment that is somewhat similar – an environment with [fewer] accidental deaths or in which men are only able to find a partner at later ages,’ said Dan T.A. Eisenberg, PhD, lead author of the study. ‘In such an environment, investing more in a body capable of reaching these late ages could be an adaptive strategy from an evolutionary perspective.’ ”

Faux cuisine

“Housebites.com, the [British] takeaway service that delivers restaurant quality food has today [June 13] announced a service called ‘pretend you cooked’ that allows customers to pretend they have slaved away at a hot stove more convincingly by delivering the dirty pans alongside the food,” says a press release. “Cooked by a professional chef and delivered to your door, Housebites main courses cost on average between £10 and £12 [$16-$19], and now for an additional £5 [$8], customers can request the pans used to cook them for added authenticity. Collection of the pans is then arranged as easily as the original delivery slot.”

Who would volunteer?

“Last [month], a private Dutch company, Mars One, announced that it hopes to send a four-person crew to Mars by 2023,” writes Alex Boese of The Wall Street Journal. “To keep costs down, it will be a one-way mission. Mars will become the astronauts’ permanent home. It’s not clear whether this will be a scientific mission so much as a reality TV show, since the company plans to finance the operation by airing the entire thing live, with commercial sponsors. But the scheme echoes similar plans [of] bona fide members of the scientific community ... If humans do land on Mars any time soon, it could very well be on such a trip.” Citing examples of volunteers suffering for science, the writer notes: “When the Navy conducted its atomic bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll in 1946, more than 90 people volunteered to man the ships stationed in the target area, so that scientists could gather data about the biological effects of the blasts. Navy researchers admitted that human test subjects would be ‘more satisfactory than animals,’ but they worried about the public-relations aspect of using people, so all were turned down.”

That pesky to-do list

“Is your to-do list mocking you at the end of the day with its barely-crossed-off items or frantic scrawls?” asks The Huffington Post. “For better or worse, you’re not alone. A LinkedIn survey of more than 6,000 global professionals found that just 11 per cent of respondents regularly accomplish all the tasks on their daily to-do lists. Why do the other 89 per cent fail? Distractions were the biggest offender, with 40 per cent of respondents admitting they’re easily distracted, citing e-mail, impromptu meetings and phone calls as the biggest hindrances to getting work done.”

Deadly little drones

“Seeking to reduce civilian casualties and collateral damage, the Pentagon will soon deploy a new generation of drones the size of model planes, packing tiny explosive warheads that can be delivered with pinpoint accuracy,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “Errant drone strikes have been blamed for killing and injuring scores of civilians throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan. … The Predator and Reaper drones deployed in these regions typically carry 100-pound [45 kg] laser-guided Hellfire missiles or 500-pound [227 kg] GPS-guided smart bombs that can reduce buildings to smouldering rubble. The new Switchblade drone, by comparison, weighs less than six pounds [2.7 kg] and can take out a sniper on a rooftop without blasting the building to bits.”

THOUGHT DU JOUR

“It is much easier to become a father than to be one.”

– Kent Nerburn, U.S. theologian (1946- )

 

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