The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking
"According to a great deal of research, positive fantasies may lessen your chances of succeeding. In one experiment, students were asked to rate the extent to which they “experienced positive thoughts, images, or fantasies on the subject of transition into work life, graduating from university, looking for and finding a job.” Two years later, they approached the same students and asked about their post-college job experiences. Those who harbored positive fantasies put in fewer job applications, received fewer job offers, and ultimately earned lower salaries. The same was true in other contexts. Students who fantasized were less likely to ask their romantic crushes on a date and more likely to struggle academically. Hip-surgery patients also recovered more slowly when they dwelled on positive fantasies of walking without pain. (...) Imagining a positive outcome conveys the sense that you’re approaching your goals, which takes the edge off the need to achieve."
There are too many camels in the Bible
Camels probably had little or no role in the lives of such early Jewish patriarchs as Abraham, Jacob and Joseph, who lived in the first half of the second millennium B.C., and yet stories about them mention these domesticated pack animals more than 20 times.
These anachronisms are telling evidence that the Bible was written or edited long after the events it narrates and is not always reliable as verifiable history.
Dr. Mizrahi likened the practice to a historical account of medieval events that veers off to a description of “how people in the Middle Ages used semitrailers in order to transport goods from one European kingdom to another.”
The archaeologists, Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen, used radiocarbon dating to pinpoint the earliest known domesticated camels in Israel to the last third of the 10th century B.C. — centuries after the patriarchs lived and decades after the kingdom of David, according to the Bible.
Squirrel tries to hide his nut in the fur of a Bernese Mountain dog
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Confessions of an ex-TSA agent
"It was a job that had me patting down the crotches of children, the elderly and even infants as part of the post-9/11 airport security show. I confiscated jars of homemade apple butter on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security. I was even required to confiscate nail clippers from airline pilots—the implied logic being that pilots could use the nail clippers to hijack the very planes they were flying.
People holding passports from the selectee countries were automatically pulled aside for full-body pat-downs and had their luggage examined with a fine-toothed comb. The selectee list was purely political, of course, with diplomacy playing its role as always: There was no Saudi Arabia or Pakistan on a list of states historically known to harbor, aid and abet terrorists."
The Sloth’s Busy Inner Life
"The sloth is not so much an animal as a walking ecosystem. This tightly fitting assemblage consists of a) the sloth, b) a species of moth that lives nowhere but in the sloth’s fleece and c) a dedicated species of algae that grows in special channels in the sloth’s grooved hairs. Groom a three-toed sloth and more than a hundred moths may fly out.
Every week or so, the sloth descends from its favorite tree to defecate. It digs a hole, covers the dung with leaves and, if it’s lucky, climbs back up its tree. The sloth is highly vulnerable on the ground (...)
Why then does the sloth take such a risk every week? The descent to the sloth’s midden affords the pregnant moths in its fleece a chance to lay eggs.
The moths’ caterpillars are coprophagous, grow to maturity in the sloth’s dung pellets and, on hatching, flutter up to the trees to find a sloth host. Burrowing into its fur, they mostly shed their wings and live there happily for the rest of their days, mating and dying in a safe, protected environment. After they die, their bodies are decomposed by the host of fungi and bacteria in the sloth’s fur. The metabolic products of this decay, especially nitrogen, are the feedstock for the specialist algae that grow in the sloth’s hair shafts. The researchers guessed that the sloths might be eating the algae from their own fur, and that this could be the purpose of the whole system."
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