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Monday, 24 February 2014

The Daily: February 24

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Hannah Wilkinson
Hilary Mantel portrait on display at the British Library
A portrait of Hilary Mantel has gone on display to the public at the British Library today, making her the first living author to be showcased there. The author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies is also the first female author to have won two Man Booker Prizes. The portrait was painted by Nick Lord, a 25 year old artist who was commissioned to produce the work after winning the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year Award, and has been hung next to the Manuscripts Reading Room.

The world's oldest known Holocaust survivor dies before Oscar results revealed
Alice Herz Sommer, the world's oldest known Holocaust survivor died peacefully on Sunday morning, a week before the Academy Award ceremony in which a short film about her life may win an Oscar. "The Lady in Number 6" includes interviews conducted last year with Mrs Herz Sommer, archive footage and photographs of her family, and showcases her positive philosophy about life. The 110-year-old was a renowned pianist who took part in concerts while a prisoner in the Theresienstad concentration camp, and the film has been nominated for Best Short Documentary.

Despite complicated strategies, workers can't drag themselves out of bed in time for work
1 in 3 workers find it so difficult to get out of bed in the morning that they have to put their alarms on the opposite side of their room to rouse them, according to a survey by cereal company Fuel Your 10K Hours. But despite their best efforts, almost 1 in 10 have been penalised for tardiness after sleeping in too late. The average Briton snoozes their alarm for 14 minutes after it first goes off, and almost a third of those surveyed needed 5 alarms to get them out of bed. Part of the explanation seems to be that the average respondent admitted to getting significantly less than the 8 hours of sleep recommended every night.

Dog lovers may well be right about their pets' ability to understand human emotions
Dog lovers who think their pets can tell when they are feeling sad may have been proved right by researchers from the Hungarian Academy of Science's Eotvos Lorand University. The scientists found that dogs' brains respond in the same way as humans' do to human voices and emotional noises like crying and laughter, which could go part of the way to explaining why humans and dogs can share such a close bond. The eleven dogs used in the study were especially trained to lie still in an MRI scanner, and their brains were compared to those of human participants in the study. Emotional noises caused the primary auditory cortex to light up in humans and dogs.

Swedish Princess leaves hospital with baby girl
Princess Madeline of Sweden has been discharged from hospital in New York at the weekend following the birth of her daughter on Thursday. The baby, whose name is yet to be announced, is fifth in line to the Swedish throne, and the Swedish royal family celebrated the occasion with a 21 gun salute at the weekend. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia travelled to the US to visit their daughter and granddaughter over the weekend, while the Princess' husband Christopher O'Neill showed a press conference an ink print of the baby's foot on Friday. The couple were married in Sweden in June of last year, and live in New York, where Princess Madeline works for The World Childhood Foundation.

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