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Taxis drive through Times Square Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006 in New York.


Graduates driving cabs

A new U.S. study finds that about half of all workers with a college degree are overqualified for their current jobs, reports The Christian Science Monitor. "Today, 15 per cent of U.S. taxi drivers have a college degree, up from fewer than 1 per cent in 1970."

Hunger helps memory?

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"Feeling a little bit hungry? Don't worry, it might improve your memory, according to a research group at Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science," says the Daily Yomiuri. "Based on an experiment conducted on flies, hunger activates a protein inside the brain that enhances memory performance, and the scientists believe it is possible that the same process occurs in humans. … 'Feeling hungry might improve our memory performance, too, as humans also have the CRTC protein,' said Yukinori Hirano, one of the researchers. 'But there are various factors that could affect human memory performance. We would not suggest relying solely on studying with an empty stomach.'"

Hidden for 30 years

"A tortoise has been found alive in Brazil after more than 30 years locked away in a storeroom," says Orange Co. U.K. "Manuela vanished from her home in Rio de Janeiro in 1982 and was given up as lost forever despite a lengthy search. Her owners assumed she had crawled away after builders working on the house left the front door open. It was only after Leonel Almieda died earlier this month that his children began clearing out a second-floor room he had filled with broken electrical items and always kept locked. Son Leandro was astonished to find Manuela shuffling around in a cardboard box containing an old record player. … Local vet Jeferson Pires said Manuela may have survived by nibbling termites from the wooden floor and licking condensation off smooth surfaces."

Dancing through a fire alarm

"The club is crowded. Folks are drinking, listening to music, having a good time. Then the fire alarm goes off," writes Steve Almasy of "Most people will probably ignore it, but know this: If there really is a fire, you don't have very long to get out. 'In most nightclub fires you only have a few minutes to find a way out,' Glenn Corbett, an associate professor of fire sciences at John Jay College, said Sunday. … Every second really does matter in a crisis, said a division manager for building and fire safety codes with the National Fire Protection Association. 'An extra 10 seconds is a lot of time,' Robert Solomon said. 'Your first thought should be to leave.' "

The cost of clutter

"One-quarter of Americans can't park even one car in their two-car garages because there's too much clutter, according to the U.S. Department of Energy," The Denver Post reports. "The marketing research firm Harris Interactive found that 23 per cent of adults incur late-payment fees because they lose bills." Americans have accumulated so much stuff that demand for self-storage units has skyrocketed. "'It's quite a problem in this country,' says Denver entrepreneur Jennifer Hanzlick, who founded her Clutter Trucker business in 2008. … 'We cleared out one client who kept two huge storage units for 14 years, and didn't once open either of them. And that's about $75 to $150 a month – per storage unit. That's a lot of money. I didn't want to tell her how much she could have made if she'd invested that $300 a month, plus interest. But this is so common.' "

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Thought du jour

"The truth of the matter is, we always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it."

Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. army general (1934-2012)

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