When winners’ eyes water
“A study has found sportsmen who found it easier to display their emotions were more successful both on and off the pitch,” says The Telegraph. “Psychologist and report co-author Jesse Steinfeldt, PhD, of Indiana University, said: ‘Overall, college football players who strive to be stronger and are emotionally expressive are more likely to have a mental edge on and off the field.’ His study is based on interviews with 150 American college footballers about their perception of crying after they had read four different scenarios about a player who wept. The narratives involved a player, named Jack, who either welled up or sobbed after losing or winning a critical match. Overall, the results showed footballers [who] thought it was fine for players to well up after losing also had higher levels of self-esteem.”
“For Count Dominique de Causans, helping fellow aristocrats in distress is a noble cause,” says The Wall Street Journal. “ ‘It is not easy to be a noble in modern France,’ he said as he addressed a crowd of fellow nobles at a recent gathering at [an]18th-century château. ‘We have to carry the values of the nobility, set an example and prove [to be]irreproachable.’ Seeking to offer a helping hand is the Association for the Mutual Assistance of the French Nobility. The Paris group helps down-and-out nobles rediscover some of the glory. It takes legal action against commoners trying to claim noble names, pays the school fees of promising young nobles and offers an informal meeting service to single nobles. ‘The problem with France is that there is no king,’ says Count de Raffin, the vice-president of the association, known as the ANF. ‘We need to help these people climb back up the social ladder and join us.’ ”
Shopping comes full circle
“Malls and churches may seem like a strange combination, like Auntie Anne’s pretzels washed down with communion wine,” says DailyFinance.com. “Still, over the past decade, congregations in Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Michigan, Florida, Ohio and Colorado, among others, have taken advantage of cheap suburban retail space to expand. As malls across the country empty out, it’s no wonder their remains are being scavenged. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, a third of America’s indoor malls are currently in ‘financial distress.’ Retailers are leaving indoor and strip malls for popular outdoor ‘lifestyle centres,’ those cutesy, mixed-use developments that resemble the Main Streets their predecessors helped destroy.”
Add beer to the fest? Might work
“With German roots and Bible Belt values, the north Alabama town of Cullman marked Oktoberfest for decades with oompah music, lederhosen and bratwurst, but no beer,” Associated Press reports. “Now the party long billed as the world’s only dry Oktoberfest is finally going wet. Organizers tapped a keg for the first time Monday at Cullman’s Oktoberfest, ending an autumn prohibition in a town of 14,000 that had banned alcohol sales outright until church leaders lost that fight last fall. … In a compromise aimed partly at helping ease the concerns of townspeople who worried about adding booze to the party, there was still an alcohol-free side to the celebration located about 50 yards away under a big, open shed.”
More shopping, less dropping?
“Whatever happened to the unannounced, drop-in visit?” Robert Klose writes for The Christian Science Monitor. “When I was a boy growing up in New Jersey back in the 1960s, it seemed that people – mostly relatives, but also friends – were always popping in. ‘We were just in the neighbourhood and thought …’ was one way of easing oneself into someone else’s home. … I never heard either of my parents say anything like, ‘We weren’t expecting you,’ or, ‘This isn’t a good time.’ Drop-in visitors had a certain right of way and became Priority 1, relegating all other activities to the back burner. When I ask, rhetorically, what happened to such visits, I am being wistful, because I know the answer. Times changed. Everybody went to work; everybody got busy. There was no longer a stay-at-home mom to maintain a pot of hot coffee or tea and stand at the ready throughout the day for the surprise guest. And the explosion of malls and so-called big-box stores meant that shopping had graduated from being a necessity or occasional pleasure to a central form of entertainment, a destination that kept people out of the house while they ‘shopped till they dropped.’ ”
What earthly use is Klingon?
“A [British]man has revealed how translating Klingon has helped him deal with dyslexia,” BBC News reports. “Jonathan Brown, 50, of Furzton spent 12 years learning the fictional language of the alien race from Star Trek films. Then, after being appointed as the lead ‘linguist’ on a CD for others wanting to learn it, he found a different way of dealing with words. … ‘I realized I’d been trying to remember the words in the name part of my brain and because I can’t remember names, I can’t remember the words. With the Klingon language games used on the CD, I tended to put words into a different place and it went into my long-term memory. I’ve still got a long way to go to speak it fluently, but there are many people who do.”
Thought du jour
“It is never too late – in fiction or in life – to revise.”
- Nancy Thayer (1943-), American novelist