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Zoo workers are gorilla moms

"Some zoo workers in Cincinnati are going ape over a baby gorilla," says Associated Press. "They are wearing all-black outfits, grunting affectionately and generally imitating mother gorillas to help the month-old baby adjust to a new home and get ready for a surrogate mother. Later, they will don hairy vests and carry baby Gladys on their backs, put on knee pads and gloves to move around like a gorilla, and they may knuckle-walk and climb a tree with baby on board. Even though some of Gladys's mamas have beards and mustaches, they are trying to give her a mother's love as much like a gorilla as they are able. They cuddle her, let her hang on them or squirm in their laps, lie down next to her and talk to her with different guttural sounds."

Least productive company

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Workers at a United Arab Emirates company have submitted four new workplace activities to Guinness World Records, reports United Press International. Employees of the manufacturing firm MSSL Mideast in Sharjah attempted records for most people wearing paper hats, largest barefoot race, longest high-five chain and largest hopping race, UPI said. "The company's workers already hold four Guinness World Records: most people polishing shoes, most people opening bottles simultaneously, longest balloon train and longest conga dance line."

Experts on the wane?

"Data-driven decisions are poised to augment or overrule human judgment," predict Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier in Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think. "The subject-area expert, the substantive specialist, will lose some of his or her lustre compared with the statistician and data analyst, who are unfettered by the old ways of doing things and let the data speak. This new cadre will rely on correlations without prejudgments and prejudice. To be sure, subject-area experts won't die out, but their supremacy will ebb. From now on, they must share the podium with the big-data geeks, just as princely causation must share the limelight with humble correlation."

Chimps love puzzles

"Chimpanzees love to solve puzzles in the same way as

human crossword addicts,"

The Sunday Telegraph reports.

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"A study published by the Zoological Society of London shows that six chimpanzees who were given a game which involved moving red dice or brazil nuts through a maze of pipes enjoyed solving the puzzle whether they got a reward or not. The researchers claim this suggests they got the same kind of psychological reward as humans when solving problems."

Laughed into bed

A recent study "finds wittier people are an attractive choice for a short-term fling," says Pacific Standard magazine. "Researchers Mary Cowan and Anthony Little recorded 40 subjects as they explained to a video camera which two items they'd take to a desert island and why. While participants were not told the study was about humour, 19 of them were oh-so-hilarious in their responses. When other people watched the videos later, the funnier folks were judged to be more attractive for both long- and (especially) short-term relationships. Researchers believe male wit 'nurtures an impression of not being serious or willing to invest in a mate' while female wit is seen by men as an impression that they will be 'receptive to his advances.' This may come as a relief to those on the prowl who've spent more time watching Saturday Night Live than going to the gym."

Thought du jour

It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes. It takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.- Jessamyn West, American writer (1902-84)

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