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An umbrella shelters vintage infantry and assault rifles at the Ruetlischiessen annual shooting competition in central Switzerland. (ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS)
An umbrella shelters vintage infantry and assault rifles at the Ruetlischiessen annual shooting competition in central Switzerland. (ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS)

TALKING POINTS BY ANDREW RYAN

Talking points: Mom’s social network, beware of ‘Godzilla’ and growing your brain Add to ...

MOM’S SOCIAL NETWORK

If you’re wondering how social media just keep growing, give the credit to moms with young kids. Mashable reports on a study that found mothers with children under five are driving social media these days. The report from Experian says new mothers are twice as likely to post social-media comments compared with the rest of the public, and that in most instances they’re doing it on Facebook. The same group were also more likely to shop online using mobile devices, particularly the iPad.

BEWARE OF ‘GODZILLA’

Be amazed or be grateful that we never crossed paths with the “Godzilla” platypus. The Telegraph reports scientists have uncovered the fossil of a large and apparently aggressive platypus that roamed northern Australia between five million and 15 million years ago. Recently discovered by a team from the University of New South Wales, Obdurodon tharalkooschild was three feet long and blessed with powerful teeth to chomp through its daily diet of crayfish, frogs and small turtles. Scientists have concluded the Obdurodon is only distantly related to the more placid

present-day version, the duck-billed platypus. “It looks like a modern platypus on steroids,” said Professor Mike Archer. “We’ll have to call it platypus Godzilla. It definitely had good teeth and was a very robust animal with a big brutish-looking snout.”

GROWING YOUR BRAIN

Want to make your brain bigger? Get thee to the nearest joystick. As reported on Buzzfeed, a new study makes the oft-repeated argument that regularly playing video games can make your brain more powerful. Conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, the study required a group of volunteers to play the Nintendo video game Mario 64 for at least 30 minutes daily for two months. Subsequent testing revealed the participants grew significant amounts of fresh grey matter in the areas associated with spatial navigation, strategic planning, working memory and motor performance. A second control group, which played no video games, showed no growth whatsoever. Said study leader Simone Kuhn: “This proves that specific brain regions can be trained by means of video games.”

THOUGHT DU JOUR

The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die.

Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader (1929-1968)

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