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The Globe and Mail

Winners tend to stomp on losers, study suggests

Aggressive winners

"We attempt to teach our children to be gracious winners and good losers," says Psych Central. "A new study suggests that may be harder than we think, as winners tend to be aggressive toward the people they beat. 'It seems that people have a tendency to stomp down on those they have defeated to really rub it in,' said Brad Bushman, PhD, an Ohio State University professor and a co-author of the study. 'Losers, on the other hand, don't really act any more aggressively than normal against those who defeated them.' "

The real gold card

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"We all know economic times have been tough," says Bloomberg. "But if you happen to have an extra $25-million that you are willing to let JPMorgan Chase manage for you, there is at least one perk you can expect to receive that you won't find anywhere else: the J.P. Morgan Palladium Card. The card has been around for three years – although us hoi polloi wouldn't know it – and a couple of thousand have been issued. The card itself is actually made with palladium and 23-karat gold – reportedly putting its cost in materials alone at about $1,000 – giving it real heft when you hold it in your hand."

Comics' secret? They're nice

"A detailed survey of 31 standup comics, conducted by a research team led by University of New Mexico anthropologist Gil Greengross, found they are far more likely to engage in self-enhancing or 'affiliative' humour (that is, joking with friends or using laughs as an antidote for stress or depression) than the aggressive or self-defeating variety (mocking others or joking about their own weaknesses or faults) in their everyday lives," says " 'This is a striking difference from their onstage use of humour, which is often hostile and aggressive,' the researchers write. 'This discrepancy in humour styles epitomizes the difference between comedians' apparent onstage personas (aggressive, extroverted) and their private personas (generally nice and surprisingly introverted).' "

Cleaning up is rewarded

A British teenager "who reluctantly tidied his bedroom after being nagged by his mother was celebrating [last week]after finding a £53,000 [$83,000] lottery ticket," The Telegraph reports. "Ryan Kitching, 19, found 12 old tickets in a drawer in his room. When he took them to a supermarket, he was told that one of them had five correct numbers and the bonus number from the Feb. 8 draw. The supermarket worker from Penicuik, Midlothian, said: 'It was the happiest day of my life, easily. My mum had been nagging me for weeks to tidy my room, so I started cleaning up and found a pile of old tickets. I was about to bin them but at the last minute I got this strange feeling that I should get them checked. Next time she nags me to tidy my room I won't need telling twice.' "

Grumpy old golfers

"Authorities in Florida said they arrested two 71-year-old men accused of beating a 15-year-old with metal golf retrievers," reports United Press International. "The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said [the two men]were golfing [Feb. 25]at the Shalimar Pointe Country Club when a group of teenagers blew an air horn at them when they were teeing off at the ninth hole. … The teenagers fled when the men tried to approach them, but one 15-year-old soon returned because he had left his jacket. Deputies said [the men]used the metal golf ball retrievers to repeatedly strike the teenager and prevent him from picking up his jacket. The teenager, who was not seriously injured, was able to obtain video of the incident and the manager of the country club recognized the attackers. [The men]were arrested and charged with child abuse."

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Switching to a better phone?

"Last month I threw away the tiny, ugly, complicated cordless phone that had occupied my desk for nearly a decade," William Pannapacker writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education. "My fingers were too big for the buttons, and the phone seemed too small for my head; I couldn't rest it on my shoulder, and I couldn't figure out most of its functions. It made me feel like a stupid, lazy giant. It took some searching, but I replaced it with the kind of basic black desk phone that was common 30 years ago. The new 'old' phone looks great, and it's easy to use: 12 single-function buttons (no codes to memorize), the handset rests nicely on my shoulder, the bell is pleasing (not a piercing shriek), and it works when the power goes out."

Thought du jour

"The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keep out the joy."

- Jim Rohn (1930-2009), U.S. entrepreneur and motivational speaker

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