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CHOPPY WATERS: Four pigs paddle furiously across a trough of water as part of a fall event at Southern Belle Farm in McDonough, Ga. (Ron Harris/Associated Press)
CHOPPY WATERS: Four pigs paddle furiously across a trough of water as part of a fall event at Southern Belle Farm in McDonough, Ga. (Ron Harris/Associated Press)

Talking points: Baby dinosaur breakthrough, baby Einsteins and the Aussie gamer Add to ...

A DINO BREAKTHROUGH

The chance discovery of a baby dinosaur skeleton by a Utah high schooler is being hailed as a paleontological breakthrough. The National Journal reports that student Kevin Terris was poking around Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument in southern Utah in 2009 when something caught his eye. “At first I was interested in seeing what the initial piece of bone sticking out of the rock was,” Terris said. “When we exposed the skull, I was ecstatic!” Terris had stumbled upon a near-pristine skeleton of a baby Parasaurolophus, a herbivorous dinosaur that existed roughly 75 million years ago.

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BABY EINSTEINS

If you want the kids to get good math scores, start them early. Livescience.com reports on a new Duke University study indicating that an infant’s sense of numbers at six months is a reliable predictor of how proficient that child will be at math by the time he or she reaches age three. The study initially focused on a group of four dozen six-month olds with emphasis on their “primitive number sense,” or how well they could differentiate between groups of different numbers of items. Researchers followed up with the same kids when they were 31/2. The results: Those kids with a stronger number sense as babies performed far better on math tests later. “It may explain some of the differences in how easy children find it to learn,” said Duke psychology and neuroscience professor Elizabeth Brannon.

G’DAY, GAMERS

In the not-too-distant future, Australia will be known as the land of kangaroos, koalas and video gamers. As reported by gamespot.com, video games are a rapidly growing presence in Australian households. Recent research from the consumer group Digital Report Australia concentrated on 1,220 households comprising 3,398 males and females of varying ages. The study revealed that seven in 10 Australians regularly play console video games, with the age of the average gamer being 32. Report author Dr. Jeff Brand of Queensland’s Bond University said the profile of the Aussie gamer was “nearly synonymous with the profile of the typical Australian.”

THOUGHT DU JOUR

A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn’t know.

H. L. Mencken, writer (1880-1956)

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