November 2, 2005

Blogging Muzak


While we all twiddle our thumbs waiting for me to find time to write a humungous piece about some stuff, please keep yourselves entertained with the following small interludes.

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Japanese wives are being advised to attend therapy and spend as much time as possible away from their husbands, as retired husbands in Japan create a new health problem – they’re making their wives sick.

Anthony Faiola can tell you more.

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Meanwhile, University of California is surprised to find that chimpanzees are a selfish lot. When given the option of pulling a rope that delivered food to themselves, or pulling a rope that delivered the same amount of food to themselves plus a treat to their neighbor, only 50% of the chimps took the sharing and caring option.

I’m thinking the researchers are not only orphans, but have also led very sheltered lives (presumably chimp research leaves little time for anything). I’m thinking this for the simple reason that the researchers were surprised at the results on the grounds that:

the chimps had been living together for 15 years and were considered a close-knit group”.

The researchers are clearly not aware of what really goes on in “close knit groups”, whether families, or work groups, or a share household, or whatever, and they’ve obviously never been present to witness who gets the last piece of cake at dinner, or the last drop of milk for coffee in the morning, or the window seat, or the best bedroom, or the hand-me-down-shoes, , or when the first, second, third summons are served after a relative dies, or when bloody murders are committed (literally - it's not for strangers to kill each other), and so on and so forth. All the normal stuff that happens in "close knit groups" seem to have escaped these researchers.

A fifty percent sharing and caring rate? I think those chimps are amazingly kind, generous and friendly and put us humans to shame. They’ll make excellent neighbors next time I move.

Please feel free to fill in your own list of 2356 selfish actsthose that come readily to mind – by relatives, close friends, house mates, lovers, work colleagues - in other words, all those people who a researcher would consider to be part of your friendly and unselfish “close knit group”.

More can be found about Chimps fall short on friendship; at on nature.com, but only if you've paid a subscription fee. If not, you can keep yourself amused for hours, reading the abstracts and teasers and trying to guess what happens next.

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Ever wonder how many supermarket trolleys are out on the streets; how many are running wild and homeless; how many have gone seriously feral? Where they are and how we can help them? And milk crates?

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1 comment:

  1. Ditto! Give me some monkeys as neighbours and relatives anyday! (if you saw me a few years ago, you would be saying that I was already related to the monkeys :)

    Don't forget those rogue loner bread crates that slink under trees on various occasions as well :)

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