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Archive for Saturday, January 3, 2004

Briefs

January 3, 2004

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You skipped a page!

According to a poll by Parenting.com, 37 percent of parents sometimes skip pages while reading to their children, and 17 percent skip whenever they can get away with it.

Do kids notice? Thirty-six percent of parents say their children never notice when they skip a page, but 35 percent said they figured it out every time.

Rethink five-second rule

If you have children, you're probably familiar with the five-second rule: If a piece of food that falls on the floor is picked up within five seconds, it's probably OK to eat -- right?

Maybe not, according to Kansas State University food scientist Karen Blakeslee.

Blakeslee cites recent research at the University of Illinois that put the "rule" to the test. Researchers sterilized 2-inch tiles, inoculated them with E. coli bacteria and then placed fudge-striped cookies and gummy bears on the tiles.

Results showed that the foods -- chosen after a survey showed that people were more apt to pick up sweets -- were infected with E. coli within five seconds.

Celtic names top charts

For the first time in more than a decade, the most popular name of the year for boys is not a traditional biblical name.

According to parents who visit BabyNames.com, Aidan, Jayden and Caden are the three most popular boys' names for 2003. For girls, the mermaid-inspired Madison still holds steady at No. 1.

Officials for the site say Celtic and English names are becoming popular, marking a break from biblical names such as Michael and Jacob.

Sleep on it

Proving yet again the value of sleep, researchers at the University of Chicago have found that brain activity during sleep encourages higher types of learning.

Three groups of college students were tested to see if they could understand words generated by a voice synthesizer. Students who trained on the synthesizer in the evening and tested in the morning after a good night's sleep delivered the best results.

Researchers say sleep consolidates memories, protecting them against interference or decay.

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