Curious views on astrology

Usually what we see in the news are stories about how local communities are riddled with superstitions and oppose efforts to combat popular form of it. Hence I was intrigued by this story about the opposition to a woman who wanted to teach a course on astrology in the town of Canyonville, Oregon. It turns out that there is a local ordinance dating back to 1982 that “prohibits fortunetelling, astrology, phrenology, palmistry, clairvoyance, mesmerism and spiritualism”.
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How dogs watch TV

This article says that what dogs see when they watch TV is different from humans.

This research indicates that dogs have a preference towards watching other canines – but our studies have also discovered that sound often initially attracts dogs towards television and other devices. Favoured sounds include dogs barking and whining, people giving dog-friendly commands and praise, and the noise of toys squeaking.

How dogs watch TV is very different to the way humans do, however. Instead of sitting still, dogs will often approach the screen to get a closer look, and walk repeatedly between their owner and the television. They are essentially fidgety, interactive viewers.
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Don’t be a slowpoke in the left lane

I have been doing a lot of long-distance driving recently and once again encountered an issue that I have ranted about in the past and that is those drivers who camp out in the left lane permanently. And the people doing this cross all ages and both genders. So I was glad to see NPR doing a story on it with the title Don’t Be A Slowpoke: Why Left Lane Driving Causes Traffic.
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The myths about hydration

I grew up in Sri Lanka, a tropical country where the days were hot and one perspired a lot. And yet, there was little fear of dehydration. We drank water with meals and the occasional cup of tea but no one carried around bottles of water. Even when my friends and I played cricket all day, we drank when we were thirsty but that was about it. The idea that dehydration was a danger lurking that had to be staved off constantly was foreign to us.
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Rules for elevator behavior

It is interesting how conventions quickly develop for situations where people are put in close proximity, such as in elevators. There is even a name for the study of how people relate to others in public spaces: proxemics. This post looks at what we know about elevator behavior, such as how people arrange themselves as they enter, that people look at the numbers, possibly as a way to avoid eye contact with others, and that “Men leave more space between themselves and other men than women do with other women”.
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Resurgence of polio

We have come really close to eradicating the deadly disease of polio and so any setbacks have to be viewed with concern. NPR’s Jason Beaubien, who has been doing some excellent reporting on health issues in Africa, says that the recent discovery of two new cases in the northeast of Nigeria (near the border with Chad) has health experts worried because that country had gone for two years without any cases and was on track to be next country to be declared polio-free.
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