Lose interest in food?
"While it seems absurd, a new study suggests eating dessert first may help an individual better follow their diet," reports Psych Central. "Researchers say a key aspect of dieting involves an individual paying close attention to the amount of unhealthy foods they eat. 'Although self-control is typically viewed as a battle between willpower and desire, consumers can't rely entirely on willpower to control their eating. They also need to create situations that will make them lose interest in food,'" write authors Joseph Redden and Kelly Haws. The study is published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
Call them lower class
"The kids aren't feeling all right," says The Huffington Post. "Nearly 40 per cent of Americans aged 18 to 29 self-identify as lower class, a 14-percentage-point boost since 2008, according to a new Pew survey. According to that self-definition, young adults became lower class at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the country over the past four years. … But the tendency to self-identify as poor isn't limited to young adults; one-third of Americans now identify as lower class compared to about 25 per cent four years ago."
Don't call me Bashar
"When Bashar al-Assad became president," writes Mike Giglio of The Daily Beast, "Syrian boys were named after him as a matter of pride, but now many men carrying the reviled strongman's first name are ashamed of it – and some are dropping it altogether. … In Arabic, the name Bashar means messenger who brings good news. It has long been popular in the region even without any political help, notes Adel Iskandar, a professor of Arabic studies at Georgetown University. … Now the name Bashar, as al-Assad is often called, is commonly heard alongside words such as 'dog' and 'thief.' "
Sharks learn from peers
"Sharks might be able to learn new skills just by watching their friends' behaviour," says LiveScience.com. "In experiments at the Bimini Biological Field Station in the Bahamas, researchers corralled 18 juvenile lemon sharks in a large holding pen and trained some to complete a reward-based task." In the next phase, "some untrained sharks were paired with those that had learned how to get the reward, while another, naïve set was paired with sharks that had not learned the task." The sharks paired with trained peers completed the task more quickly and successfully than those with inexperienced partners.
Car wash rewards program
"Police in Malaysia have clamped down on a promotion in which car wash customers were offered free sex after their ninth visit," reports Orange Co. UK "The unusual reward program was born out of a partnership between a car wash and a massage parlour, police told the Malay Mail. Officers discovered the hookup when they raided the massage parlour, in Kuala Lumpur, and found several customers had reward cards for the car wash."
Help for fat cats and dogs
An obesity clinic geared especially for our furry companions has opened its doors in Grafton, Mass., reports BusinessNewsDaily. The Tufts' Veterinary Obesity Clinic was created by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. "Obesity can be a complicated topic for pet owners, the Cummings School says. Although dogs and cats are not prone to coronary artery disease – a leading killer of humans and a common side effect of human obesity – being overweight can lead to compli-cations such as diabetes, orth-opedic problems and respiratory complications as well as reduced quality of life and life expectancy."
Thought du jour
Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.
Bertrand Russell, British philosopher (1872-1970)