That third-date urge
"Welcome to the third date," Hannah Seligson writes for The Daily Beast, "that moment on the courtship trajectory when the truth comes out about STDs, personal hygiene habits, secret significant others, family backgrounds and, yes, their real age. Anecdotally, the third-date confession has become so legendary that some people have come to fear the third date for what they'll learn about the up-to-now wonderful person smiling at them from across the table. … The tone, tempo and type of information revealed in a burgeoning relationship can get complicated. Is there ever really a right time to tell someone you are dating you never finished high school, that your father is a Satan worshipper, or that that sex tape of yours is still making the virtual rounds? 'I generally advise people to hold off on revealing information until things have become exclusive and serious,' says Dr. Diana Kirschner, a New York-based psychologist and author of Love in 90 Days … Psychologically, Kirschner says, the third date is a moment when you are just starting to relax. And comfort can quickly morph into the impulse to reveal embarrassing or scary information. 'It's an unconscious wish to be accepted,' she says."
Why are we alone?
"If we compress all of human evolution into a single year, we have been alone only since the last hour on Dec. 31, so the situation we find ourselves in today - we are alone [among human species]- is unusual," says Darren Curnoe, an anthropologist at the University of New South Wales. "We need to explain why this is the case. Was it climate, or are we responsible for the demise of all our close relatives, including recently the Neanderthals and the Hobbit ( Homo floresiensis)?"
Source: Discovery Channel
That old trick
Male antelopes deceive females when they feel their interest is beginning to wane, The Daily Telegraph reports. "Scientists studying topi bucks observed them snorting and looking intently ahead when an available female begins to stray from their territory. The behaviour suggests there is a dangerous predator ahead, such as a lion or cheetah. But the male topi's signals were false ones designed to fool the female into staying close by. Keeping the frightened female secure in his territory increases the male's chances of mating. Deliberate deception of a sexual partner has not been documented before in animals. The scientists studied the topi antelopes for four years in Kenya's Masai Mara reserve."
The biggest loser?
"Anyone who wants to claim the title of biggest loser will have to deal first with the legacy of businessman Terrance Watanabe," Richard Paddock writes for Aolnews.com. "In a lawsuit filed last year against Harrah's Entertainment, Watanabe's lawyers acknowledged that the Omaha, Neb., philanthropist had lost the astounding sum of $127-million [U.S.] But now that his attorneys have examined casino records handed over in discovery, they say he lost far more: a staggering $204-million in a single year at two Harrah's casinos, the Rio and Caesars Palace. 'Nobody's ever lost that much in a commercial casino before,' University of Nevada, Las Vegas, professor William Thompson told AOL News. 'Nobody ever gambles that much and loses.' "
"Some people flunk their driving tests because they can't parallel park. Others flunk for not entering traffic safely. And an unlucky few flunk for fear of flunking itself. In response, the Netherlands has launched a special driving exam for people who suffer from acute test anxiety," Associated Press reports. "Examiners try to put test-takers at ease. The exam pace is leisurely, and drivers are allowed to take a 'time out' if the pressure becomes too much for them." Test anxiety, a licensing-bureau spokeswoman said, is not linked to poor performance in real life.
Julian Baggini, the author of Should You Judge This Book by Its Cover? 100 Fresh Takes on Familiar Sayings and Quotations, tells National Public Radio: "The whole point of the book was that, like so many phrases and proverbs, we trot out these things, we say them as though they were just established truths, we all know what they mean, and so on. [But]there's a kind of law which is 'Every proverb has an equal and opposite proverb.' For example:
- "He who hesitates is lost." versus "Everything comes to him who waits."
- "No pain, no gain." versus "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
- "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," versus "Out of sight, out of mind."
See, taste the animals
"Visitors to Beijing Zoo are warned not to feed the animals, but they are encouraged to eat them at a restaurant that offers crocodile and scorpion on its exotic menu," Jonathan Watts reports for The Guardian. "After watching the beasts in their cages, diners at the zoo restaurant can gnaw on the webbed toes of a hippopotamus, chew a kangaroo's tail, nibble a deer's penis or slurp down a bowl of ant soup. The sale of the dishes has caused outrage since it was reported by the Legal Daily newspaper [last]week, with conservationists condemning the practice."
Thought du jour
"What you risk reveals what you value."
- Jeanette Winterson