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Students from Scotland’s St. Andrews University work up a lather as they participate in the school’s annual Raisin Weekend event. (RUSSELL CHEYNE/REUTERS)
Students from Scotland’s St. Andrews University work up a lather as they participate in the school’s annual Raisin Weekend event. (RUSSELL CHEYNE/REUTERS)

Talking points: sky pilots, name that tune and walk this way Add to ...

SKY PILOTS

What’s that up in the sky? It could a drone. Digital Journal reports that the rise of drone technology has created an upward spike in people filing UFO reports all over the world. For the past half-century, a large percentage of UFO sightings were revealed to be weather balloons, cloud formations, satellites or other easily explainable activity. Drones are used for military purposes, consumer advertising and trickery. Adding to the confusion is the fact many of the drones are designed to resemble a UFO: Most recently a Canadian tech company built a “flying saucer” drone to fool the crowd at a baseball game.

NAME THAT TUNE

It seems we’re never too young to appreciate a catchy melody. As reported in The Daily Mail, a study from the University of Helsinki found that babies who are played music while still in the womb remember the songs after they join the outside world. Researchers supplied 12 pregnant women with a music CD and instructions to play it loudly five times a week during the final three months of pregnancy. Shortly after birth, the babies were played Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, which was featured three times on the CD, while scientists measured their brainwaves (a second control group were not exposed to the song). The brainwaves of the musical babies lit up each time they heard the lullaby, and the effect lasted for four months. “These results show babies are capable of learning at a very young age,” said the study.

WALK THIS WAY

Never underestimate the health benefits of a brisk walk. CBC News recaps a new study suggesting that walking at least one hour daily can lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. The study by the American Cancer Society focused on 73,615 postmenopausal women over a 17-year period. Results indicated those who walked at the leisurely pace of 4.8 kilometres an hour each day for an hour reduced their breast-cancer risk by 14 per cent; those who walked at 7.2 kph for an hour daily reduced their risk by 25 per cent. “Women who engage in at least seven hours of walking over the course of a week may reap a modest benefit, even in the absence of more vigorous exercise,” said epidemiologist Alpa Patel.

THOUGHT DU JOUR

Very often it happens that a discovery is made whilst working upon quite another problem.

Thomas Alva Edison, inventor (1847-1931)

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