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The Globe and Mail

Rich and poor deal with shortage of resources the same says new study

My name is special

"If you have a common name like Kevin or Kate, can you still think of yourself as having a special name?" writes Kevin Lewis in The Boston Globe. "Apparently you can – and you will, darn it. A psychology professor at Plymouth State University found that students judged their own name to be more unusual than their peers judged it. This was true for both men and women, common and rare names, and names with alternative spellings, and was especially pronounced for those named after an entertainer. Perceiving ones name as unique also correlated with liking it."

Final care for the ex

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There's "an emerging club of former wives taking care of a former partner stricken with a terminal illness or chronic disease," reports Kate Legge in The Australian. "U.S. academic Teresa Cooney has been studying the phenomenon since she first heard of women making this sacrifice for the former husbands they had booted out of the marital home for myriad reasons. Or who had dumped them for another. Hospices and palliative care centres around Australia are witnessing the same trend as the baby boomer generation that experienced record rates of divorce begins to age. Mostly it is former wives who come to the aid of a former husband they once perhaps wanted to kill with their bare hands. They do it for the children they share in common, because the heartache has healed, and sometimes there is no one else to step into the breach."

Thinking like the poor

"Poor people are often criticized for self-defeating behaviours, from taking out high-interest payday loans as a way of getting through the week, to not putting money aside for the future," says The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "But a new study published [Nov. 2] in Science magazine suggests that most of us are likely to behave that way when we are faced with a shortage of resources. Experiments put college students in 'rich' and 'poor' groups as they played a series of games. Students in the 'poor' groups were given less time or fewer chances to win at the games than those in the 'rich' groups. The result? 'Poor' students focused much more intensely on the immediate task at hand, and they were more likely to take out 'loans' of time or chances to keep playing a game, even though it depleted their resources for future rounds."

Hairy situations

"Nad's Nose Wax for Men & Women, recently launched in Australia and available in the U.S. online, is designed to be used once a month," says the Los Angeles Times, "unlike hair trimmers, which often must be employed more frequently. That's convenient. But waxing inside the nose? Ouch!"

On Saturday, Rapunzel's Lice Boutique opened its fourth Michigan location with free head checks, Associated Press reports. Owner Sarah Casello-Rees said she was inspired to start the business after she got lice from her five-year-old son.

Taliban are jerks?

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"A German who volunteered to fight for the Taliban quit after becoming disheartened by the violence and annoyed with the group's macho and drug-taking world," reports The Daily Telegraph. "The former fighter also complained of the unhygienic conditions in the war-torn lands of Pakistan's Waziristan province and Afghanistan that left him infected with hepatitis, and which were, in his opinion, 'incompatible with the teachings of the Koran.' The unflattering portrayal of life in the Taliban came in a statement made by Thomas U. during his trial in Berlin for involvement with a foreign terrorist group. The 27-year-old had travelled to Waziristan with his wife in the autumn of 2009 with the intention of freeing the area from the 'infidel occupiers' after the couple had converted to Islam." In 2010 the couple fled Pakistan and were arrested in Turkey.

Thought du jour

"Gossip is the opiate of the oppressed."

Erica Jong

American author (1942-)

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