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Talking points: Well-connected Einstein, candy-flavoured tobacco and massive water channels discovered

The artist known as JR pastes photos on the sidewalk as part of a public-access art installation at Somerset House in London.



Why is Albert Einstein still considered mankind's greatest mind nearly six decades after his death? Possibly because his brain hemispheres were well-connected. tells of a new study crediting the physicist's brilliance to the fact that his corpus callosum, the bundle of fibres that links the brain's two hemispheres, enjoyed a remarkably high level of cranial connectivity. The study was conducted by Chinese researcher Men Weiwei, who analyzed photographs of Einstein's brain published last year. Men compared them with the brains of both older and younger control groups and concluded that Einstein's grey matter had more extensive connections between certain parts of the cerebral hemisphere. Einstein's brain was preserved after his death in 1955, though the preservation was kept secret by his family until 1986.


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More than half of high-school-aged smokers surveyed in Canada say they have tried candy-flavoured tobacco. As reported by CBC, the Youth Smoking Survey found that 52 per cent of Canadian high-schoolers admitted they had used flavoured tobacco products in the previous 30 days. It also revealed that 32 per cent had tried menthol cigarettes. Flavoured tobacco products come in a wide range of flavours including chocolate, strawberry, watermelon and cherry. Most brands of the flavoured cigarillos and cigars are exempt from federal tobacco regulations and come packaged in bright colours to entice young smokers. "They look like Halloween candy or lip gloss," warned Canadian Cancer Society spokeswoman Donna Pasiechnik.


Massive channels of water, some nearly the height of the Eiffel Tower, have been found flowing beneath the Antarctic ice shelf. The Telegraph reports that the newly discovered streams measure nearly 250 metres in height and stretch for hundreds of kilometres, possibly accelerating the melting process. British scientists recently employed satellite images and radar data to measure changes in the height of the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf in West Antarctica. In the process, the team was surprised to find large rivers of melt water beneath the massive floating ice shelf that had not been previously identified.


The great deceivers of the world begin by deceiving themselves. They have to, or they wouldn't be so good at it.

Molière, French playwright (1622-73)

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