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THE NEXT BOBBY FISCHER? Nine-year-old Carissa Yip is the youngest person to reach the rank of expert since the U.S. Chess Federation began keeping electronic records in 1991, the Associated Press and the Lowell Sun report. Carissa’s ranking – achieved only three years after learning the game – puts her in the top 7 per cent of the chess federation’s more than 51,000 registered players, and the top 2 per cent of female players.

Julia Malakie/ASSOCIATED PRESS/THE SUN OF LOWELL

Welcome to Talking Points, a daily roundup of digital miscellany

THUMBS DOWN

We use smartphones for so many things these days – talking, texting, tweeting, gaming – and so frequently that it is wreaking havoc on our thumbs. A survey conducted by the British mobile-phone provider O2 found that more than 50 per cent of respondents said they had experienced thumb fatigue when using their smartphones and more than 40 per cent said they had to take thumb breaks, the Telegraph reports. As well, two-thirds of respondents said they wished their thumbs were faster. Nicola Goldsmith, a hand therapist, told the Telegraph that thumb injuries are likely to increase considering the demands put on them because of smartphone use. "The thumb is being used more than ever for rapid, fine movements. We are seeing gadget-related injuries increasing and it's time we gave our digits a helping hand," she said.

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CHARM HIGH, BUY LOW

The next time you go shopping, considering bringing your charm along with your chequebook. In a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers found that people who are selling items they are attached to set higher prices for them – higher than they would be willing to pay to buy the same product – because they feel threatened by the impending loss. The researchers dubbed this the "endowment effect." It can be counteracted with compliments and flattery, according to researchers. Kind words can make a seller feel less threatened about the impending loss of an item, they said. "Next time you are buying a second-hand car, for example, you may want to start the negotiation by telling the car owner what a wonderful family she has," the authors said in a release.

QUOTED

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"

Pope Francis

The leader of the Catholic Church said Monday that he would not judge priests for their sexual orientation.

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