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How dolphins call out the names of their friends

Where are you, Flipper?

"Bottlenose dolphins call out the specific names of loved ones when they become separated, a study finds," reports "Other than humans, the dolphins are the only animals known to do this, according to the study, published in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The big difference … is that these communications consist of whistles, not words. Earlier research found that bottlenose dolphins name themselves, with dolphins having a 'signature whistle' that encodes other information. It would be somewhat like a human shouting, 'Hey everybody! I'm an adult healthy male named George, and I mean you no harm!' The new finding is that bottlenose dolphins also say the names of certain other dolphins."

Post office goes chic

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"The U.S. Postal Service, known more for its stalwart reputation – and financial woes – than its vanguard fashion sense, announced Tuesday it is launching a fashion line as part of an effort to generate revenue and build brand reputation," says The Christian Science Monitor. "The surprise move has retail analysts impressed – and doubtful." The apparel line, Rain Heat & Snow, will include jackets, headgear, footwear and clothing that incorporates smart technology. "We're talking all-weather, all-seasonal attire," says postal service spokesman Roy Betts. "A man's jacket which could be wired for you to click in your iPod and listen to music, control the volume and make selections, all from the sleeve of your jacket."

Printed ears on the way?

"An ear, unsurprisingly, is difficult to make from scratch," says U.S. National Public Radio. "Ear cartilage is uniquely flexible and strong and has been impossible for scientists to reproduce with synthetic prostheses. If a child is born without one, doctors typically carve a replacement ear out of rib cartilage, but it lacks the wonderfully firm yet springy qualities of the original ear. And it often doesn't look so good. So why not print one? Print-out ears may be one step closer to reality, now that scientists are figuring out how to tweak 3-D printers to craft customized ear cartilage out of living cells. Though the printable ear hasn't been used in humans, the goal is to make these ears reliable enough to be used for children born with deformed ears, and adults who lose them from injuries."

Surfing on skis

A California man has invented a new extreme sport, surfing on waves up to nine metres high – on a pair of water skis, reports Orange Co. U.K. "Chuck Patterson, 43, has combined his talents as a professional skier and surfer to become the world's first 'wave skier.' In contrast to water skiers, who are always towed by a speedboat, wave skiing involves being released at the peak of a wave to ski 'freestyle.' After letting go of the rope from the jet ski, Patterson reaches speeds of around [50 kilometres an hour] as he drops off the huge waves."

Lured back to the stairs

Rolf Majcen "is an enthusiast of one of the world's toughest sports: stair running," reports The Wall Street Journal. "The 46-year-old Austrian lawyer belongs to an elite group of about two dozen stair runners, most of them based in Europe and the United States, who travel far to conquer the world's tallest buildings. Running up a skyscraper, he says, can be as thrilling as scaling the snowy peaks near his childhood home of Graz. … For three years, he had been telling his long-time girlfriend and their two young children that he was ready to quit. 'So many new races and great races came up in Asia, I could not stop,' he says. A building boom across Asia in the past few years has rewritten the list of the world's tallest buildings. Asia is now home to seven of the world's 10 tallest buildings."

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Thought du jour

Successful investing is anticipating the anticipation of others.

John Maynard Keynes, British economist (1883-1946)

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