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Talking points: loving from afar, jumping the gun and attractive edge

Justin Bieber plays basketball with young survivors of typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, central Philippines

AP

LOVING FROM AFAR

Do long-distance relationships ever work? Yes, according to research reported on Salon.com. The Queen's University study examined two distinct groups: one contained 474 females and 243 males in long-distance relationships; the other had 314 females and 111 males who lived near their significant others. Participants filled out questionnaires detailing intimacy, commitment, communication, sexual satisfaction and psychological distress. While both groups were found to be doing equally well overall, the long-distance couples scored higher for satisfaction, intimacy and communication.

JUMPING THE GUN

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Is there really such a thing as harmless lung cancer? CBC News reports on new research concluding that one in five lung tumours detected on CT scans are likely so slow-growing that they will never cause serious health problems. The study from the U.S. National Cancer Institute focused on more than 50,000 people considered at high risk for lung cancer over a six-year period. Half of them underwent annual low-dose CT scans and half had conventional chest X-rays. Roughly 1,000 lung cancers were diagnosed in the CT scan patients and slightly fewer in the X-ray group. Researchers concluded that for every 10 lives saved by lung cancer screening, an estimated 14 people were being diagnosed with a lung cancer that would never have caused them harm.

ATTRACTIVE EDGE

Here's yet another reason to hate the good-looking. Time reports on a new study that suggests people rated as more attractive were likely to receive higher grades and land better-paying jobs. The University of Illinois study tracked the life paths of 9,000 people from their late teens to early 30s. On average, women deemed as attractive enjoyed an 8-per-cent wage advantage over regular people, while women with below-average looks paid a 4-per-cent penalty. Good-looking men had a 4-per-cent salary edge over their nondescript co-workers, while less-attractive men took a 13-per-cent penalty.

THOUGHT DU JOUR

Perhaps the worst thing about suffering is that it finally hardens the hearts of those around it.

Gloria Steinem, feminist and journalist (1934- )

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