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Monkeys enjoy TV, earlier puberty, the doctor will see you

Monkeys enjoy TV

Japanese scientists have published a new study that they say proves monkeys like watching television, Orange News U.K. reports. "A three-year-old male rhesus macaque enjoyed a video of a circus elephant, giraffe and tiger performing, according to scientists. … [They]used a technique called near-infrared spectroscopy to examine various aspects of the blood flow to the brain of the monkey while it was watching the television images." Their study, published in the online journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, found that when the monkey was witnessing the circus animals on a TV screen, the frontal lobe area of its brain became vigorously active. "The activity in such an area was significant in reflecting the monkey's pleasure, as the human equivalent is a neurological area associated with triggering delight in a baby when it sees the smile of its mother."

Ocean and lakes

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- "Like rising waters from a flood, the evidence for past water on Mars - and large amounts of it - keep mounting," Nancy Atkinson writes for Universe Today. "The latest study, which combined the analysis of water-related features, including scores of delta deposits and thousands of river valleys, with a look at the possibility of a global hydrosphere on early Mars, found that a vast ocean likely covered one-third of the surface of Mars some 3.5 billion years ago." The volume of the ancient Mars ocean would have been about one-10th that of the current volume of Earth's oceans. Mars is slightly more than half the size of Earth.

- Scientists have found the moon's minerals may have at least 100 times more water than previously indicated, The (Calcutta, India) Statesman reports. "In March, 2010, a NASA radar experiment aboard Chandrayaan-1, India's first lunar spacecraft … found thick deposits of water-ice near the moon's north pole. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory in Washington now estimate that the volume of water molecules locked inside minerals in the moon's interior could exceed the amount of water in the Great Lakes."

Earlier puberty

"The latest generation of girls are reaching puberty before the age of 10, a new study suggests, raising fears they may also begin sexual activity earlier," The Daily Telegraph reports. "Scientists have found that the average age that breast development begins is now nine years and 10 months - almost a year earlier than a previous study in 1991. They have yet to discover the reason behind the phenomenon but believe it could be linked to unhealthy lifestyles or exposure to chemicals in food. The study was carried out in Denmark in 2006, the latest year for which figures were available. … Data from America also point to the earlier onset of puberty."

Not his bag

"Matador Christian Hernandez, bedecked in traditional livery and bearing a customary red cape, narrowed his eyes as the bull lowered its head," The Guardian reports. "What happened next was slightly less orthodox, as the 22-year-old turned on his heels and fled the onrushing bovid, explaining later 'this is not my thing.' After reaching, and vaulting, the perimeter wall at Sunday's botched bullfight at the Plaza Mexico in Mexico City - to cries of derision from the crowd - Hernandez was arrested for breach of contract, local media reported. … He was later released after paying a fine." In a television interview, the ex-matador said: "I didn't have the ability, I didn't have the balls, this is not my thing."

High school, again

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"We've received e-mails from a handful of readers in recent weeks who also have profiles on the popular dating site," Chris Morran writes for "They had been sent messages by the matchmakers informing them of the good news that they were among the site's more attractive users. Which meant they now have the privilege of seeing other hotties that are apparently being held back from the slack-jawed masses. Quoth the e-mail from OKCupid to its sexier users: 'We are very pleased to report that you are in the top half of OKCupid's most attractive users. The scales recently tipped in your favour, and we thought you'd like to know. Your new elite status comes with one important privilege: You will now see more attractive people in your match results. … Also! You'll be shown to more attractive people in their match results.' "

The doctor will see you

"An out-of-work Michigan woman shot herself in the hope she'd receive medical treatment for a shoulder injury," Associated Press reports. "Kathy Myers says she injured the shoulder a month ago while playing with her dogs. The 41-year-old Niles resident said she's been unable to see a specialist because she can't afford health insurance. So Myers shot herself [last week] She was released from the hospital a few hours later." In a television interview, Ms. Myers said her life isn't great "right now, but I want to live." She added she wouldn't shoot herself again and now is searching for a specialist who will accept a payment plan she can afford.

Thought du jour

"One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them."

- Virginia Woolf

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