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Balloons are released into the air in front of the Eiffel Tower in support of four French journalists being held hostage in Syria. (JACKY NAEGELEN/Reuters)
Balloons are released into the air in front of the Eiffel Tower in support of four French journalists being held hostage in Syria. (JACKY NAEGELEN/Reuters)

Talking Points: shark moms, meal ticket and mad women Add to ...

SHARK MOMS

The BBC reports on a new study providing the first direct evidence that female sharks return home to breed. Researchers from the Field Museum of Natural History focused efforts on lemon sharks near the Bimini Islands in the Bahamas. Over a 17-year period, the team deployed nets to tag, measure and take genetic samples from every lemon shark captured. Researchers found that at least six of the females returned to give birth when they were between the ages of 14 and 17 years old, which averages out to a return rate of 74 per cent in the control area. Researchers can’t explain the maternal mechanism that caused the lemon sharks to return, but believe it could be present in other shark species.

MEAL TICKET

If you’re planning to eat healthy in the new year, get ready to pay for it. As reported by CBS News, new research shows that adopting a healthier eating regimen will likely cost the average person $1.50 a day more than a junk-food diet. A team from the Harvard School of Public Health recently discovered that in most of the world’s high-income countries (Canada included) diets rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts cost significantly more than unhealthy diets. Why? Unhealthy food is cheaper because the emphasis is on producing a high volume of product at minimal cost.

MAD WOMEN

The old ad industry maxim “sex sells” doesn’t necessarily work on female consumers. The Independent recaps a study that indicates the use of sexually explicit imagery actually discourages women from buying certain products, save for high-end items. Researchers at the University of Minnesota enlisted a group of men and women to watch TV ads for women’s watches. The ads alternated between showing a sexually suggestive image or a mountain range and the prices for the watch varied between $10 and $1,250. While men reacted similarly to both versions, the women found the sexual imagery distasteful when it was used to sell the cheap watch, but less so with the expensive watch.

THOUGHT DU JOUR

The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it.

Thomas Babington Macaulay, British historian and politician (1800-1859)

 

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