Sign at the top, please
“Many official forms require that you sign your name at the bottom to signify that you have, to the best of your knowledge and ability, supplied honest information,” blogs Valerie Ross for Discover magazine. “But if you really want people to be honest, a recent study in [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences] suggests, it’s better to have them sign their names at the top of the form instead, before they fill in anything else. Having people sign the top of a form made them less likely to cheat when reporting how much money they’d earned in a simple experiment, the researchers found, or when claiming travel expenses for their trip to the lab; people who signed in the usual spot at the bottom of the form were, statistically, just as likely to cheat as those who didn’t have to sign the form anywhere.”
It happened on an elevator
“While most people follow standard elevator etiquette of facing forward and generally keeping to themselves, a CareerBuilder survey has uncovered some odd, and highly questionable, behaviour witnessed by employees while riding up and down,” reports BusinessNewsDaily, including:
Pulling down a coworker’s pants.
Changing a baby’s diaper.
Showing someone a rash and asking for a diagnosis.
Cars as swift as the wind
Texas has approved the fastest speed limit in the United States – 85 miles (138 kilometres) an hour – about the speed associated with the winds in a Category 1 hurricane, says the Los Angeles Times. “Many U.S. highways have limits of 75 miles an hour though some roads go as high as 80. ‘If you’re looking at an 85 mph speed limit, we could possibly see drivers going 95 up to 100 miles per hour,’ Sandra Helin, president of the Southwestern Insurance Information Service, said in an interview.”
Soldiers teamed with rats
“[A] properly trained rat can smell explosives and signal the threat’s location to a human handler,” reports Pacific Standard magazine. “Now the U.S. Army Research Center has contracted a Virginia firm, Barron Associates, to look into training rats to accompany American soldiers. … If successful, the program suggests a more aggressive posture for the rodents, transforming them from peacetime work removing mines from civilian farms and walkways, to a soldier’s tool, detecting IEDs with patrols. Currently, the Army uses dogs. Rats cost far less to train – about $10,000 (U.S.) reach – and weigh only three pounds, small enough to fit in a soldier’s backpack. A bit coldly, an Army spokeswoman … noted that it’s a lot harder to get emotionally attached to a rat than to a dog.”
When pink was for boys
“As strange as it might seem to us today,” says Dailymail.co.uk, “less than 100 years ago the colours pink and blue had very different gender connotation. In 1918, the Ladies’ Home Journal reported: ‘Pink, being a more decided and stronger colour, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.’”
Thought du jour
“The fool mistakes power for virtue, acclaim for merit, nonconformity for dangerousness, conviction for truth, revenge for justice, license for liberty, and kindness for weakness.”