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Don't think too much, don't live too high, cellphone menace

Don't think too much

Cognitive psychologist Dr. Tracy Alloway of Britain's University of Stirling says some people have a tendency to brood too much, which leads to a risk of depression, BBC News reports. "More than 1,000 people took part in a nationwide study linking one type of memory - called working memory - to mental health. … Those with poorer working memory, the 10 to 15 per cent of people who could only remember about two things, were more likely to mull over things and brood too much."

Don't talk too much

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"A common refrain in conflicts is to 'talk it out,' " Kevin Lewis writes for The Boston Globe. "While this may be effective in certain situations, some forms of talk may make the problem worse. A psychologist at Princeton University conducted an experiment in war-torn eastern Congo with a radio broadcast soap opera designed to reduce ethnic hostility. In some broadcast areas, the soap opera was followed by a 15-minute talk show. After a year of the broadcast, researchers interviewed a large sample of Congolese in the listening area. Although the talk show had the intended effect of increasing discussion among listeners, it also had the unintended effect of increasing intolerance. Apparently, the talk show provoked more contentious discussion and made people even more aware of ethnic grievances."

Don't live too high

"Provocative new research suggests high altitude is in some way related to suicide risk," Psych Central News reports. "… Dr. Perry Renshaw, professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah school of medicine, and colleagues report that the risk for suicide increases by nearly one-third at an altitude of 2,000 metres, or approximately 6,500 feet above sea level. … After analyzing data from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database … Renshaw and his colleagues concluded that altitude is an independent risk factor for suicide, and that 'this association may have arisen from the effects of metabolic stress associated with mild hypoxia (inadequate oxygen intake)' in people with mood disorders. In other words, people with problems such as depression might be at greater risk for suicide if they live at higher altitudes."

Divine tattoos?

A 14-year-old schoolgirl in North Carolina has been suspended from school because her nose piercing violates the school system's dress code, Associated Press reports. "[Ariana]Iacono and her mother, Nikki, belong to the Church of Body Modification, a small group unfamiliar to rural North Carolina, but one with a clergy, a statement of beliefs and a formal process for accepting new members." Their minister, Richard Ivey, described the church as a non-theistic faith that draws people who see tattoos, piercings and other physical alterations as ways of experiencing the divine.

Cellphone menace

"One in 10 people [in Britain]have been injured as a result of tripping, falling, colliding with a solid object or failing to notice a car while using a mobile phone, a study has found," The Independent reports. "Dr. Joanna Lumsden, from Aston University in Birmingham, said that in London, two teenage pedestrians a day were killed or injured because they were distracted by their phones."

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Do you qualify?

Some unusual U.S. college scholarships, compiled by

- Tall Clubs International Scholarship: for a male 6-foot-2 or taller or a female 5-foot-10 or taller. Must write an essay on "What being tall means to me."

- The Billy Barty Foundation: Awarded to students who are under 4-foot-10 and have proof of dwarfism.

- Alice McArver Ratchford Scholarship: for single female undergraduates in financial need who live on campus, don't have a car and have no other scholarships.

- Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship: For students attending Juniata College in Pennsylvania. To qualify, they must be left-handed, have financial need and a good GPA.

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- Zolp Scholarship: for students at Loyola University who are Catholic and have the surname Zolp.

Fleeing bolts

Even if you take refuge from lightning in a house, stay away from the windows, advises Tim Samaras, an engineer and lightning expert for Discovery Channel's show Storm Chasers. "Glass is a pretty darn good insulator, but air is as well. If Mother Nature creates a lightning strike through several thousand feet of air, it's not going to stop though a quarter-inch window pane."

Thought du jour

"Those who receive with most pains and difficulty remember best; every one thing they learn being, as it were, burnt and branded on their minds."

- Plutarch

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