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Feeling uninspired? Change how you fix breakfast

Have a creative breakfast

"Want to boost your creativity? Tomorrow morning, pour some milk into an empty bowl, and then add the cereal," says "That may sound, well, flaky. But according to a newly published study, preparing a common meal in reverse order may stimulate innovative thinking. Avoiding conventional behaviour at the breakfast table 'can help people break their cognitive patterns, and thus lead them to think more flexibly and creatively,' according to a research team led by psychologist Simone Ritter of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. She and her colleagues … argue that 'active involvement in an unusual event' can trigger higher levels of creativity. They note this activity can take many forms, from studying abroad for a semester to coping with the unexpected death of a loved one."

Why not play throughout life?

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"Humans and other animals were designed to learn important skills during childhood playtime," Robin Hanson writes at, "which helps explain our start-of-life play. (Most mammals only play when young.) Our habit of deferring so much play into the end of life, however, is a bit more puzzling. … While encouraged by laws and regulations, the idea also just seems to appeal to many. But why, for example, doesn't the idea of spreading a decade of play from 65 to 75 across the four decades from age 25 to 65 appeal more? Why not want a week off every month, or two years off out of every eight?"

Will we become hobbits?

"It's been long known that the Earth's rising surface temperatures portend mass extinction, prolonged droughts, extreme weather and rising seas," says The Christian Science Monitor. "Now we can add a new worry: Humanity could be transformed into a race of hobbits. New research reveals the extent to which global temperatures can influence the evolution of the size of mammals. Hot weather tends to make them smaller, and cold weather tends to make them grow. … So what is the likelihood that our species will transform into pint-sized hairy-footed halflings who, say, favour a quiet bucolic lifestyle yet are nonetheless capable of acts of great courage? Probably not that great: As anyone who has walked into a door frame built by our forebears can attest, humans have been getting taller lately."

Cosmetic leg-lengthening

"At five foot, six inches, Apotheosis [a pseudonym]was shorter than the average American male and very unhappy about it," reports ABC News. "So he did something other men who feel short might consider unthinkable: he opted for costly, painful surgeries to make himself 'grow' a total of six inches." The 37-year-old New Yorker "is one of a 'growing' number of men pursing limb-lengthening procedures for cosmetic reasons. Dr. Dror Paley, a renowned orthopedic surgeon at the Paley Institute at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., performed 650 leg-lengthening surgeries last year. Most of Dr. Paley's patients have severe deformities or dwarfism, but he also sees cosmetic patients."

Tall, skinny models

Fashion models are extraordinarily tall, "averaging five feet 10, taller than 99 per cent of American women," Dr. Will Lassek writes for Psychology Today. "The reason they are so tall is that it makes them appear to be even skinnier."

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A large shoplifter

"A Minnesota man was charged for allegedly trying to leave a store with a 19-inch TV in his pants, police said," United Press International reports. "[The 21-year-old]was charged with misdemeanour shoplifting and fifth-degree felony possession of a controlled substance … After [the man] was handcuffed, the [arresting]officer noticed a large rectangular object in [his]pants, which turned out to be a 19-inch flat screen television. The officer also found other items, including a remote control, power cords and a bottle of brake fluid, on [him]"

Thought du jour

"Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality."

Arthur Koestler (1905-83)

Hungarian-British writer

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