The Daily: Chimps
Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Daily: January 15

Written by Camilla Hayselden-Ashby
What does your handbag say about you?
We're not talking about what designer you're touting but how you're carrying it. Fashion website Refinery29 has come up with a list of ways of carrying your bag and what they say about you. Shy ladies go for the 'Twofer' where the bag is gripped with both hands as if to shield yourself. The 'Arm-crook-hook' with your bag over your elbow is favoured by celebs everywhere and shows power – you carry your bag "as a badge of honour". Going 'hands free' indicates a practical lady; your outfit is obscured by the bag slung across your body but you are able to get on with your day as it is out of the way. And then there are those ladies who have too many things for one bag to be enough. For 'the schlepper' how the bag is carried isn't important, anything that allows all of them to be juggled will suffice.

Sharing is Caring: Chimp study reveals the origins of human fair play
Researchers at Emory University in the US have discovered that chimpanzees share the human tendency to share, using the ultimatum game to test the primate's inclination towards fair behaviour. In the game one participant is given an amount of money and asked to offer the second part of it. If it is accepted the money is divided accordingly, if rejected both players receive nothing. The tendency is to make relatively equal 'fair' offers and to refuse unequal ones. The chimps they were given two tokens; a white one meant that a food reward would be divided equally, where as a blue one meant that the first chimp would get more. Fascinatingly, the chimps showed a tendency to offer the white 'fair' token. This suggests that sharing is a natural tendency in us that has developed during evolution rather than one that is taught by our parents.

Scrabble: Should the letter values change?
Anyone who plays Scrabble knows the high scoring tiles are Q and Z, worth 10 points a piece. Picking them out of the bag can be a blessing - if you have letters enabling you to play them. However, one American researcher says that Z only deserves 6 points. This is because the dictionary of word that can be played in the game has changed since letter values were assigned in the 1930s. ""Among the notable additions are all of these short words which make it easier to play Z, Q and X" says Joshua Lewis, who devised a program to assign new tile value. It works by looking at the frequency that letters occur in the English language, frequency by word length and how easy it is to play with other letters. Part of the curse with Q is that there are few words you can make using it without a U.

Easy listening overtakes R&B in record sales
2012 was a great year for pop music, British artists such as Emili Sandé, Adele and Ed Sheeren were at the top of the charts and the genre accounted for over a third of all albums sold. However the shocker was that sales of easy listening albums such as Michael Bublé's have overtaken R&B with nearly 10 percent of the market. Over recent years easy listening artists have grown in popularity, becoming household names that are stocked everywhere from supermarkets to specialist retailers. While the joke about this genre is that it is music to be heard and not listened that is not the case today. Jeff Smith, head of music for BBC Radio 2 and 6 says that to identify a song you should think "is it a piece of music that will still sound fresh in a few years?"

Blueberries and strawberries could cut heart attack risk in women
It seems that every week there is a new story about something that has been found to be particularly health giving but when the health food is as yummy as this why argue? New research has shown that eating strawberries or blueberries three or more times a week could reduce the risk of heart attack in women by a third. The fruits are high in plant compounds called dietary flavonoids. These may help prevent heart disease by helping to dilate blood vessels and countering the build-up of plaque that can cause blockages in coronary arteries and eventually heart attacks. Other food rich in flavonoids are dark chocolate, grapes, red wine and yoghurt. So next time you fancy a few chocolate dipped strawberries or glass of red wine you can feel virtuous and claim it's for your heart!

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