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The Globe and Mail

When it comes to aging, we're just like monkeys

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The deadly competition

"When it comes to getting older, humans aren't so special after all," Associated Press reports. "It turns out their pattern of aging isn't too different from most other primates, such as chimpanzees, monkeys and baboons, new research shows. A team led by Anne Bronikowski of Iowa State University studied data on primate aging collected over decades around the world and compared it with statistics on modern Americans. … The basic pattern they found is a relatively high risk of dying in infancy, a low risk of death during the juvenile years and then an increased risk of dying as aging progressed. Also, they found that in most cases males don't live as long as females. … The lone exception to the general pattern was the muriqui monkey in Brazil; males and females have similar life spans. Unlike other primates, muriqui males do not compete with each other for access to females."

Lines to turn you green

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"A Chicago singles group is suggesting specialized St. Patty's Day pickup lines including: 'I may not have four leaves, but if you kiss me I'll bring you luck,' " United Press International reports. "Social One, a social-life planning service for Chicago singles, released a list of 'the best St. Patrick's Day themed pickup lines that are sure to win over the guy or girl you are drooling over during the bar crawl.' 'Why don't you come catch a leprechaun with me, maybe together we'll be lucky,' one of the pickup lines reads."

Guide dog for a guide dog

"A Suffolk man was devastated when his faithful guide dog lost his sight – so he got a new dog to act as eyes for both of them," reports. "Edward had given Graham Waspe, 60, six years of loyal service until he had to have both eyes removed after developing inoperable cataracts. Mr. Waspe, from Stowmarket [England] couldn't bear to be parted from his canine companion – so he got a new guide dog to look after them both. Now two-year-old Opal acts as the eyes for both Graham and Edward, who is now living out a well-deserved retirement."

Don't steal if you smoke

"Police say a car theft suspect was found in a western Pennsylvania office building's crawl space after his cigarette smoke gave away his hiding place," Associated Press reports. "South Greensburg police Chief Scott Fanchalsky says officers searched for [the]30-year-old … for hours Wednesday afternoon before two employees smelled smoke coming from above the ceiling on the fourth floor. Officers crawled in after Block and he surrendered peacefully. … Fanchalsky says officers tried to take him into custody but he escaped and ran into the office building, prompting a lockdown."

Betting spoils your fun

"It's that time of year when many co-workers get worked up about March Madness and place bets in the office pool on who will win the national college basketball championship," reports. "However, a word of caution – you might not enjoy the games very much if you bet, according to a researcher at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. … [Stephen Nowlis]said the results were counterintuitive, given the popularity of office pools, spoiler message boards and online betting sites. But in a series of four experiments, Nowlis found that consumers who make predictions about uncertain events experience significantly less enjoyment while observing the events than those who don't make predictions."

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Word watch

– Excess quality: A problem that faces TV networks, which pour money into quality television only to have viewers watch unscripted reality shows, says.

– Weisure. "Mobility, connectedness and competitiveness have long been blurring the boundaries between activities performed in the workplace and everywhere else," The Futurist says. "Now, a term has been coined to define these omni-tasking hours: weisure (work and leisure). Attributed to Dalton Conley's book Elsewhere, U.S.A. … the term was soon popularized by CNN in a story entitled 'Welcome to the 'weisure' lifestyle.' "

Thought du jour

"[In a meeting]Say as little as possible while appearing to be awake."

– William P. Rogers (1913-2001), U.S. Secretary of State

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