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Participants warm up for Hong Kong’s annual Santa Claus Winter Games. (TYRONE SIU/REUTERS)
Participants warm up for Hong Kong’s annual Santa Claus Winter Games. (TYRONE SIU/REUTERS)

Talking points: tags are a drag, a time to lie, and carrots and fertility Add to ...

TAGS ARE A DRAG

The tagging of small fish and other underwater creatures may appear harmless and helpful, but it’s raising havoc with their natural behaviour. The Vancouver Sun reports on a recent study from the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Hawaii that revealed most satellite tags employed by marine biologists increase drag by more than 100 per cent on smaller or juvenile marine creatures. Even more worryingly, the tagging makes the creatures less able to fend off predators. “If the drag costs from carrying tags disrupts their natural behaviour, they may miss out on breeding and foraging seasons, be unable to catch enough food or even end up becoming someone else’s meal,” said study author T. Todd Jones.

A TIME TO LIE

If you’re trying to get the truth out of someone, don’t do it in the afternoon. The Telegraph reports on a new Harvard University study that revealed people were far more likely to lie or cheat during the afternoon hours when their self-control was at its lowest ebb. Researchers showed volunteers patterns of dots on a computer screen and asked them to determine whether there were more dots on the left or right side. Participants were paid based on which side they chose and received 10 times as much for choosing the right side. The results: Those subjects who were tested after midday were “significantly more likely” to select the right side, even in those instances when there were obviously more dots on the left. “Our findings suggest that mere time of day can lead to a systematic failure of good people to act morally,” noted study author Maryam Kouchaki.

WHAT’S UP, DOC?

Carrots aren’t only good for your vision; they’re terrific for male fertility. According to the Daily Mail, a recent study investigating the effects of fruit and vegetables on sperm health indicates carrots produce the best results. Researchers at Harvard University recently put 200 young men on special diets and found that yellow and orange vegetables, especially carrots, had the greatest effect on “motility” – the ability of sperm to swim toward an egg. The swimmer boost was attributed to pigments called carotenoids, which the male human body converts into health-boosting antioxidants. A previous Harvard study revealed men who ate a lot of saturated fats had the poorest quality of sperm.

THOUGHT DU JOUR

The vision of a world community based on justice, not power, is the necessity of our age.

Henry Kissinger, political scientist (1923- )

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