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Brief Notices VIII

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin -- Madison have completed what is being called an "elegant" experiment to identify a particular part of the brain that seems to synthesize learning during sleep. The discovery shows that sleep is valuable for consolidating new information and is not a simple 'standby' mode.

Regarding sleep of a more permanent kind, the Guardian recently reported on the 6th Great Obituary Writers' International Conference . During ther opening event it was announced that Ronald Reagan had died. To quieten the resultant hubbub, the presented grabbed the microphobne and shouted these immortal words:

"Reagan's dead and he'll be deader. Let's go on with the show."
One way to be dead, of course, is to stand in the streets of Bogota, Colombia. A new study shows that if the drug dealers' bullets don't get you, the city's aggressive car drivers will!

Perhaps wishing they were dead, a recent survey suggests that British women are "suffering a lifestyle crisis of unfulfilling sex, drudgery, frustration, money worries and pressure to look young and slim."

In Mongolia, however, there are different concerns -- like choosing a new surname.

"After seizing power in the early 1920s, the Mongolian Communists destroyed all family names in a campaign to eliminate the clan system, the hereditary aristocracy and the class structure. Within a few decades, most Mongolians had forgotten their ancestral names."
Now that Mongolians are obliged to have surnames again -- for ID cards, of course -- the hunt is on for a good name.

June 18, 2004 in Brief Notices | Permalink

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