She enjoyed her funeral
A Chinese student staged her own funeral so she was able to "enjoy it," says Orange Co. U.K. "Zeng Jia, 22, spent a fortune on a full-blown service complete with mourners, flowers and photographers. And to make her 'body' look even more convincing, she hired a team of cosmetic artists who specialize in making the dead look more lifelike. 'It struck me that people spend all that time and effort on someone when they are gone and they cannot appreciate it,' explained Zeng, from Wuhan in Hubei province. … After lying in state for an hour – complete with a Hello Kitty doll on her chest and origami doves hanging above her coffin – Zeng got up to join her own wake. 'Experiencing death has made me appreciate life more keenly,' she said."
A healthy cup of tea
"In the latte-obsessed United States, tea is gaining ground as scientists and the public learn more about its benefits," says The Washington Post. "A growing body of research suggests that the world's second-most-consumed beverage – only water is more popular – helps prevent cardiovascular disease, burn calories and ward off some types of cancer. 'We don't clearly understand why tea is so beneficial, but we know it is,' said Thomas Sherman, an associate professor in the department of pharmacology and physiology at Georgetown University. 'There are lots of epidemiological studies, and so of course people see these studies and want to drink tea and gain these benefits.' "
Stressful monastic life
"Health officials in the tiny Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan are making condoms available at all monastic schools in a bid to stem the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV among young monks who are supposed to be celibate," reports the
Religion News Service. "Psychiatrists suggest the spread of disease could be a result of mental stress. It is not uncommon for monks and nuns, mostly between the ages of 15 and 25, to visit psychiatrists. Even senior monks show symptoms of severe stress, especially when they are undergoing long periods of meditation, Dr. Damber Kumar Nirola told
the Kuensei daily. 'About 70 to 80 per cent of (senior) monks are obese, hypertensive and also suffer from backache because of their sitting posture and sedentary lifestyle,' urologist Lotay Tshering told the paper."
True fame is lasting
Researchers have discovered that true fame is enduring, and people who become truly famous stay famous for decades, Psych Central reports. McGill University's Eran Shor and Arnout van de Rijt of Stony Brook University in New York studied the names mentioned in English-language newspapers over a period of several decades. "They discovered that lasting fame holds true for individuals who gained renown in sports, politics and other domains. This is even true of entertainment, where it might appear that fame is likely to be most ephemeral. …The finding that true fame isn't fleeting goes against most of the scholarly research until now."
Money can be soothing
"Why are people so obsessed with money?" asks The Boston Globe. "Researchers believe the reason might be darker than you think: Money is a way to stave off anxiety about death. In one experiment, people who were made to think about death subsequently gave larger estimates for the size of currency notes and coins. In other experiments, people who were made to think about death – and particularly those who held symbolic (compared to utilitarian) attitudes about money – gave larger estimates of how much one needs to earn to be 'rich' and were less willing to wait to receive money. Also, people who handled and counted money – whether it was real or play money – reported a lower fear of death."
Thought du jour
"Character is that which can do without success." – Ralph Waldo Emerson American author (1803-82)