No escaping e-mails?
"A new generation of contact lenses that project images in front of the eyes is a step closer after successful animal trials, say scientists. The technology could allow wearers to read floating texts and e-mails or augment their sight with computer-generated images, Terminator-style," BBC News reports. "Early tests show the device is safe and feasible, says the University of Washington in Seattle. But there are still wrinkles to iron out, like finding a good power source."
Guess I feel this way
"Some students were asked two questions: 'How happy are you?' and 'How many dates did you go on last month?' " writes Daniel Kahneman, professor emeritus of psychology at Princeton University and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, excerpted in The Independent. "If you ask the questions in that order, the answers are completely uncorrelated. But if you reverse the order, the correlation is very high. When you ask people how many dates they had last month, they have an emotional reaction: If they went on dates, then they're happier than if they went on none. So if you then ask them how happy they are, that emotional reaction is going on already, and they use it as a substitute for the answer to the question."
Nice one? No problem
"It is considered one of the basics of politeness, but saying 'thank you' may be dying out, according to new research," The Telegraph reports. "Rather than failing to show gratitude, however, we are simply using other words. In fact, one in three people said they usually use another word to express gratitude. Among the most popular phrases were the less formal 'ta' and 'cool' as well as the French word 'merci.' Although the average Briton still says 'thank you' up to 5,000 times a year, the results indicate an increasingly casual way of speaking, with 40 per cent believing they use 'thank you' less than previous generations. The poll by television channel Food Network U.K. to coincide with the launch of Thank You Day also showed that one in 20 said 'nice one' instead."
How to be grateful
"Psychologists who have studied gratitude give the following tips for giving thanks in a way that improves your emotional well-being," says Associated Press:
– "Keep a gratitude journal. Regularly write down at night the good things that happened to you that day or that week. … If it gets to be too routine, vary your schedule and do it only a few times a week."
– "Put the 'you' in 'thank you.' … When thanking someone, emphasize the person instead of the action."
– "Think about how you would be without the people close to you and remember that when you are thankful."
– "Don't minimize the power of 'you're welcome.' It is important to acknowledge someone thanking you and not slough it off by saying it's nothing. It is something – that's why someone thanked you."
Losing your sibling
"There is no official term for someone who has outlived both their parents and siblings," Melinda Beck writes for The Wall Street Journal. "I've been looking for one ever since my brother died last year at age 58. Our parents are deceased as well, and I'm feeling a weird jumble of emotions this Thanksgiving – miffed at being abandoned, guilty for having survived and obliged to do more to preserve the Beck family legacy. Mostly, I'm still in shock – like Macaulay Culkin when he first realized he was home alone. … Losing a sibling can hit people even harder [than losing a parent] some experts say. 'You are actually losing part of yourself,' says T. Byram Kurasu, chairman of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Although siblings may argue growing up, much of their identity is formed in relation to each other. People often feel 'totally unanchored' when a sibling dies, even if they haven't been close for years, he says."
Thought du jour
"Give me golf clubs, fresh air and a beautiful partner, and you can keep the clubs and fresh air."
- Jack Benny (1894-1974), American comedian