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Cooking May Have Made Us Human 253

SpaceGhost writes "Anthropologist Richard Wrangham, author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human believes that the discovery of cooked food led to evolutionary changes resulting in a smaller and different digestive system based on a higher-quality diet, mainly relying on cooked meat. In an interview on NPR's Science Friday (text and audio), Professor Wrangham explores concepts such as the digestive costs of food, the benefits (or lack thereof) of raw diets, and a distinct preference in Great Apes for cooked food over raw."

Cursive Writing Is a Fading Skill — Does It Matter? 857

antdude sends along an AP piece on the decline of the teaching of cursive writing in schools — ramifications of which we've discussed a few times before. "The decline of cursive is happening as students are doing more and more work on computers, including writing. In 2011, the writing test of the National Assessment of Educational Progress will require 8th and 11th graders to compose on computers, with 4th graders following in 2019. ... Handwriting is increasingly something people do only when they need to make a note to themselves rather than communicate with others, [an educator] said. Students accustomed to using computers to write at home have a hard time seeing the relevance of hours of practicing cursive handwriting. 'I am not sure students have a sense of any reason why they should vest their time and effort in writing a message out manually when it can be sent electronically in seconds.'"

Paro the Therapeutic Robot Baby Seal Screenshot-sm 52

Mike writes "Paro is a therapeutic baby seal robot that is exploring new dimensions in animal therapy. Created to act as a companion for hospital patients and the elderly, the adorable baby harp seal bot aims to increase relaxation and decrease stress. Paro can sense and respond to its immediate environment through five integrated sensors that detect touch, light, sound, temperature, and posture, and it is even capable of learning and responding to a name."

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle