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Talking points: Texting and sleep, yeti facts and rhino protection program

Two sharks swim above the glass of an enclosed walkway at the newly opened Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

TO SLEEP IS TO TEXT

The more young people text, the less they sleep. CBC News reports on a new study that focused on a group of college students in order to measure the impact of texting habits on their health and well-being. The study, documenting the daily routine of 83 first-year undergrads, concluded that a high volume of daily texting was directly attributable to erratic sleep patterns and increased emotional stress. "The line is blurring between wakefulness and sleep," said Michael Gelb from New York University's college of dentistry. Gelb recommends turning off the phone's alert sounds when going to bed or leaving the device in another room in the house at bedtime.

THE BEAR FACTS

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Apologies to UFO-watchers and conspiracy theorists, but the legendary Himalayan yeti was very likely a plain old bear. As reported by BBC, a British scientist recently compared hairs believed to have come from the mythical yeti with the DNA of an ancient polar bear and came up with a solid match. Oxford genetics professor Bryan Sykes conducted DNA tests on hairs taken from two unidentified animals, one from Ladakh in northern India, on the west side of the Himalayas, and the other from Bhutan, roughly 1,200 kilometres east. Genome testing revealed the samples were a 100 per cent match with a sample taken from an ancient polar bear jawbone discovered in Norway and dated to 40,000 to 120,000 years ago – right about the time when the polar bear and the closely-related brown bear were separating into different species.

RHINO PROTECTION PROGRAM

Conservationists will attempt to preserve the rhinoceros population of Kenya by keeping closer tabs on them. The Telegraph reports on a plan to place microchips in the horn of every rhinoceros in Kenya to deter the ongoing scourge of poaching. The ambitious effort is being undertaken by the World Wildlife Fund, which has already donated the microchips and five scanners at a cost of roughly $15,000. Currently, there are estimated to be slightly more than 1,000 rhinos in Kenya. Illegal trafficking of wildlife has become a billion-dollar underground industry in Africa. "Poachers are getting more sophisticated in their approach, so it is vital that conservation efforts also follow and embrace the use of more sophisticated technology," said Paul Udoto of the Kenya Wildlife Service.

THOUGHT DU JOUR

All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution.

Havelock Ellis, physician/author (1859-1939)

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