Life? Want chips with that?
"Scientists tag animals to monitor their behaviour and keep track of endangered species," Gene Koprowski writes for FoxNews.com. "Now some futurists are asking whether all of mankind should be tagged, too. Looking for a loved one? Just Google his microchip. … Already, the government of Mexico has surgically implanted the chips, the size of a grain of rice, in the upper arms of staff at the attorney-general's office in Mexico City. The chips contain codes that, when read by scanners, allow access to a secure building, and prevent trespassing by drug lords. … Having one in every person could relieve anxiety for parents and help save lives, or work on a more mundane level by unlocking doors with the wave of a hand or starting a parked car. … But this secure, 'instrumented' future is frightening for many civil liberties advocates. Even adding an RFID chip to a driver's licence or state ID card raises objections from concerned voices."
Parking lot vigilance
"Parking attendants and meter maids could be the nation's latest line of defence against terrorist attacks," Associated Press reports. A new federal program administered by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration aims to train parking industry employees to watch for and report anything suspicious - abandoned cars, for example. Other oddities that might be noticed days or months before an attack: strange odours such as diesel from gasoline vehicles; cars parked where they shouldn't be; people who seem to be conducting surveillance by taking photos or drawing sketches. Would-be terrorists may attempt to gain access to sensitive places or materials by applying for jobs or asking employees strange questions.
Do more of what you like
When Trent Hamm interviewed a 66-year-old woman who had retired from a fairly lucrative career, only to take a "retirement job" as a grade-school lunch lady, she offered him a few nuggets of wisdom about working, he writes for The Christian Science Monitor:
- "If you hate your job, a good situation can become a bad one. If you love your job, you can turn a bad situation into a good one."
- "If you hate your job, stop doing the parts you don't like and spend more time doing the parts you do like. The worst that can happen is that you get fired from a job you hate, and is that really a loss? The best that can happen is that you start producing much better work that helps you move up the food chain."
Men's thick skulls
"Winning a mate used to depend only on physical prowess and men with the strongest jaw line and thickest skulls were better able to survive onslaughts from love rivals," Richard Alleyne writes for The Daily Telegraph. "That meant that over time all men developed thicker bones in the jaws, around the eyes and on the forehead than women. They also developed a greater proportion of muscle to fat than women and became taller than women, said [a recent]study. Dr. David Puts, whose findings are published in Evolution and Human Behaviour, said unlike many animal species men and women are similarly sized although men develop more muscle and women more fat." Dr. Puts also noted that while a deep voice has been considered an appealing trait to women, it actually signals dominance. "A deep voice makes men look dominant and older," he said. "A low voice's effect on dominance is many times greater than its effect on sexual attraction."
Viagra for the pit bull
"A New York animal shelter is seeking donations of Viagra to treat a pit bull with a heart condition," Associated Press reports. "Staff members at the Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center in Huntington, on Long Island, say six-year-old Ingrid needs two of the little blue pills every day or she will risk heart failure. They said a vet suggested it. The pills cost about $10 [U.S.]apiece, and the shelter has been asking Viagra users to pitch in and donate their unused pills. … One woman donated her husband's stash to the dog because she suspected he was having an affair."
Walks into a bar
- A young Texan walks into a bar and orders a drink. "Got any ID?" asks the bartender. The Texan replies, "About what?"
- A man in Cork, Ireland, walks into a bar and asks the barman: "What's the quickest way to get to Dublin?" The barman replies: "Are you walking or driving?" "Driving." The barman says: "That's the quickest way."
- A bear walks into a bar and says, "I'll have a whisky and … soda." The bartender asks: "Why the big pause?" The bear replies, "I've always had them."
- Charles Dickens walks into a bar and says, "I'm bereft of inspiration. Prepare me a martini." The bartender replies: "Olive or twist?"
Thought du jour
"The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer."
- Alice Wellington Rollins