Rand Paul, Rick Santorum….
Find this one rather amusing as when my first little one was small, she bought her a little cassette tape player with tapes of a number of Children’s songs. Having 2 cats in the household at the time, not surprisingly her favorite was a Raffi Song – “The Cat Came Back”. If you have had a toddler, then you know that have this sometimes irritating ability to listen to the same song, or watch the same movie time and time again. She played that song over and over – and even would sing it to the rather put upon but tolerant cats.
For police, it may have been better than winning Powerball.
The beloved “SWAT Cat,” the unofficial mascot of the Boston Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team, arrived back at the agency’s Roxbury base Thursday. The cat had been missing since sometime in late November.
The unexpected return — many feared the cat had been killed or lost forever — marked a homecoming for officers who have become fond of the feline, and even called it a good luck charm.
In December, police had hung fliers and posted notices online in search of the orange, black, and white calico that often lounged and slept atop the officers’ Bearcat — a large armored vehicle parked at the station.
Suesan Williams, who does tailoring work for many of the department’s officers, and helped police care for the cat, said the furry stray was emaciated and looked hungry when it reappeared. She said she suspects the cat may have been trapped somewhere without access to food.
“The minute she got out, for some reason, she went to where she knows her home is,” Williams said.
An officer sent Williams a photo of the cat Thursday morning announcing its triumphant return. She said police are excited that SWAT Cat popped up again, since the animal has become a mainstay at their headquarters.
“It’s a great day,” Williams said. “They love that cat, and take care of her, and she takes care of them. She takes care of the rat and mice population at the base.”
If you have ever been on a car trip with your wife/significant other, and gotten lost or try to find someplace and she thinks you are a complete dingbat at finding places…And she is screaming for you to go in what you know is the wrong direction, or to stop and ask someone for directions when you know perfectly well where you are going…
Hand her this! I suggest keeping a (multiple) copy in the glove box.
The idea that men have a better sense of direction than women is one of the oldest gender cliches. But new research suggests that men really might employ better navigational strategies than women.
Previous studies — including many decades-old experiments on rats in mazes — have shown that men tend to outperform women on tasks requiring spatial awareness and way-finding. Now, the new findings offer a glimpse into why this is the case.
In a new study currently under review, neuroscientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, asked 18 male and 18 female participants to use 3D goggles and a joystick for one hour to orient themselves in a virtual maze game. Then, they were given 30 seconds for each of 45 various navigational tasks (for instance, finding a yellow car from different starting points). Meanwhile, the researchers measured their brain activity using fMRI.
“Men’s sense of direction was more effective,” Carl Pintzka, a Ph.D candidate in neuroscience at the university and the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “They quite simply got to their destination faster.”
The researchers found that men used cardinal directions more in their navigation. That means that men tended to use a “world-centered strategy,” going in the general direction of where something was located.
“World-centered strategy means the use of a cognitive map and cardinal directions to find your way,” Pintzka told The Huffington Post in an email. “Women on the other hand used a more egocentric strategy (self-centered), which means they relied more on a route of landmarks to get to the target.”
The world-centered strategy, which the men used, is more flexible since having a sense of direction is less dependent on the starting point. It’s likely that this is why the men ended up completing 50 percent more of the tasks than the women did.
The fMRI scans revealed a number of brain activity differences between the sexes. In men, the hippocampus — a brain region that helps us make sense of cardinal directions — was used more, and a larger hippocampus was associated with better navigational skills. Women relied more on the pre- and orbitofrontal cortex of the brain, which is involved in decision-making. Additionally, men had increased connectivity and synchronicity between important areas for navigation compared to women.
In a second study, which will be published on Feb. 1 in the journal Behavioral Brain Research, 21 women who were given testosterone and 21 women who were not given any hormones underwent the same navigational tasks. The results showed that the women who took testosterone didn’t perform any better, but they did use the hippocampus more when navigating, just like the men in the first experiment.
What does it all mean? Well, the gender differences have more to do with behavior and brain differences than hormones.
“Our results demonstrate that testosterone had an enhancing effect on certain aspects of spatial cognition in healthy women, but that complex behaviors such as navigation, relying more on learned strategies, are not altered despite increased neuronal activity in relevant brain regions,” Pintzka told HuffPost. “These findings suggest that the male navigation advantage mainly reflects sex differences inbehavioral strategy.”
The researchers simply chalk up these differences to our evolutionary past.
“In ancient times, men were hunters and women were gatherers. Therefore, our brains probably evolved differently,” Pintzka said. “In simple terms, women are faster at finding things in the house, and men are faster at finding the house.”
With the amount of fodder being presented on a daily basis by one or more of the Republican Dwarfs…
This could well turn into a regular feature.
Of course, in last night’s “debate” – there was a lot of competition for “Dumbest thing ever said by a Republican candidate”. The competition was close last night between Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Michelle Bachmann. I think “Mindblown Mikki” gets the nod…
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) criticized President Obama’s foreign policy during Tuesday night’s CNN debate, saying, “Now with the president, he put us in Libya. He is now putting us in Africa. We already were stretched too thin, and he put our special operations forces in Africa,” she said.
Libya, it should be noted, is on the African Continent, and as such is in Africa.
All of us guys have heard it from our significant others… “You’re Lost!”
Finally someone has put a price on that male “I know where I’m going” thing…$3,000!
Good reason to get a GPS. You KNOW you are going to hear about this from you significant other – front seat copilot!
Men waste more than $3,000 in fuel costs because they refuse to ask for directions when lost, according to a British study released as motorists across the U.S. prepare to load up their cars for the long Labor Day weekend.
The research, commissioned by British insurance company Sheila’s Wheels, revealed that male drivers travel 276 unnecessary miles each year because they stubbornly reject help when lost.
In what might not be shocking news for female passengers, the survey found that more than a quarter of men polled said they would wait at least half an hour before asking for directions when lost.
One in 10 male drivers refuses to ask a stranger for help at all, the survey found.
The survey suggested that “lost drive time could cost as much as 2,000 pounds [just over $3,000 at current exchange rates]” in gas in a driver’s lifetime.
The survey results also found that three-quarters of women polled had no problem with asking for directions.
“Men aren’t quite as confident behind the wheel as they make out when it comes to navigation,” said Jacky Brown, a Sheila’s Wheels representative. In the U.S., the American Automobile Association has predicted 34.4 million vacationing travelers will take to the road this long weekend — almost 10 percent more than for the same holiday in 2009.
On Labor Day weekend in the U.S., 91 percent of travelers, or 31.4 million people, will reach their destination by car, according to AAA. AAA predicts gas prices will average $2.65 to $2.75 a gallon over the weekend, “barring any major tropical storm activity in the Gulf Coast region.” Average driving distance on the 2010 Labor Day weekend, based on AAA’s survey of traveler intentions, is expected to be 635 miles. The auto association said median spending over the weekend was forecast at $697 — nearly $50 more than last year, indicating a slight improvement in the economy. While that’s good news for a rebounding national travel industry, AAA predicted Gulf Coast tourism would be affected by some travelers avoiding the region because of the recent BP oil spill.
The most popular reason for traveling over the Labor Day weekend? To “visit with friends/relatives,” according to AAA.
There were no figures for drivers expecting to get lost.