The Daily: Goldfish
Monday, 02 September 2013

The Daily: September 2

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Harriet Newton
Goldfish are able to differentiate between 2 different classical composers, when trained, and to show preferences. This research confirms that goldfish have a strong sense of hearing, but also confirms their intelligence is alas limited. Japanese Scientists working at Keio University trained the goldfish to bite a red bead on hearing Bach and to just swim when Stravinsky played. The training was slow and it took the fish over 100 training sessions to get the results.

Even then the fish were wrong a quarter of the time. However the fish did show some differentiation in taste, some fish avoided the Bach and others the Stravinsky, while others did not react to either. Professor Watanabe put this down to the fish finding reinforcing properties in the music, because the fish use sound for survival. Goldfish rely on the lateral line and bones they possess to help them sense change in vibrations and pressure. They use this to detect tight spaces, predators and shoal sizes of fish.

Royal Baby
Lord Freddie Windsor and his wife actress, Sophie Winklemen, welcomed their first child, Maud Elizabeth Daphne Marina Windsor, born on August 15th in Los Angeles. The new arrival is 42nd in line to the British throne. Ms Winkleman, said Freddie was present at the birth and ' was very brave, because it wasn't delicate or pretty and I was horrid to him. He read me a crossword clue in the middle of it and I just wanted to throw a saucepan at his head.'

Lord Freddie is a financial analyst, and has built a life on the East Coast of America with his wife. His grandmother is the sister of the Duke of Edinburgh, and the baby is named Marina after her paternal grandmother and Daphne after her maternal grandmother. Princess Michael of Kent was very close to Princess Diana when Princes William and Harry were children. Some years ago Princess Michael recalled the joyful letters the Princess of Wales had sent her about this time.

While Prince George of Cambridge grows up in his English nursery, his second cousin Maud will be basking in the Californian sun.

Insomniacs are using their waking mind differently to those who sleep more peacefully. This indicates that the treatment of insomnia can focus on these different patterns of brain activity. MRI scans of 25 patients indicated that while undergoing memory task activities, their brains were over active, in regions of the mind that were not required. Professor Sean Drummond, an associate psychiatry professor, at the University of California, is studying the links between the affected daytime and night time brain patterns.

Short term insomnia is often caused by none organic causes, of external stress or worry. A good nights sleep can be encouraged with regular exercise, a pre sleep routine, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and warm milk before bed. Such activities are seen as good ways to slow the mind to differentiate to the body between day and night activities.

Taller Men
Better more varied and nutritious food, between 1870 and 1980, means European men have grown 11 inches in height. This may be most noticeable when people have to stoop to pass through old doors in historic properties.
The growth of European men has been led by the Dutch, who have increased most by 1.41cm per decade between 1871 and 1980, with Germany (1.25cm), Denmark (1.24cm) and Spain (1.19cm) next in the list. Better food and changing health, education and social conditions has seen some countries still lag a little. Ireland has a smaller change of (0.80cm), followed by France (0.91cm), Great Britain (0.93cm) and Norway (also 0.93cm). The British men are still lagging behind a little. While cycling, skating, and skiing are keeping the Dutch fit, it is notable that American, Australian and Canadian men, who are third generation European immigrants, are taller still.

The European statistics were taken from military conscription for the earlier periods, across 15 countries and complied by a Professor of Economics at the University of Essex, Professor Timothy Hatton. The taller men also mirrored the decrease in infant mortality.

Success that outshone sadness
The unexpected and sudden death of Sir David Frost this week caused a touching response from many of the leading British politicians. His many achievements and the hard work of a life time were notable, as was the high esteem he was regarded with.

Sir David Frost was the son of a Methodist Preacher, and grew up in Kent. He recalled his mother's work ethic was still strong when she was 77 - she was still making teas for the over 60s, despite being a decade older than some of those she supported. While his many achievements in interviewing many of the leading politicians of the era have been mentioned, many have come forward to say perhaps the ultimate compliment, that Sir David Frost was an extremely nice man.

He noted that being the son of a preacher helped him in the religious centre of the United States. Lady Annabel Goldsmith recalled how he would not visit the Spanish home of the Goldsmith family if her husband's mistress was in residence, a gentle and polite support to her.
Sir David Frost's life was not without trials and tribulations, from a divorce to being jilted twice, but these were overcome and Sir David Frost was married to Lady Carina Fitzalana Howard for 22 years. Each year they threw a high society garden party, and he was a friend to both the Prince of Wales and Princess of Wales. The Princess of Wales was godmother of one of his three sons.

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