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Study: Daydreams Natural
A group of researchers led by a psychologist at Harvard Medical School has made a series of brain scans of volunteers at various times during the day. Those scans show the part of the brain that is active in between tasks. The scientists found that the brain moved effortlessly from topic to topic, sometimes at lightning speeds, but did not "go blank." It's not a daydream; rather, it's your brain going on autopilot.

Students Like 'Mystery Fat'
A fat substitute being used in at least one school district in Pennsylvania is a big hit with students. It's called Z Trim, and it's a plant-based "mystery fat" that is being used in ranch dressing at schools in the Plum Borough District, in suburban Pittsburgh. Students find it delicious.

Heat Shortens Ice Chess
Seems the Sun came out once too often at the Russian Winter Festival in London recently, dramatically speeding up the amount of time that the massive ice chess pieces were available for gaming. A group of dedicated ice enthusiasts carved life-size chess pieces out of ice and plunked them down on a makeshift chess board that was nearly 700 square feet in area. The warm weather made for a quick game of chess, as players acted to finish before their pieces turned into pools of water.

Cheerleaders to Cheer Girls Sporting Events, Too
A recent court ruling requires American schools to provide cheerleaders for girls basketball, volleyball, and other sports that traditionally have not had cheerleaders—or much attendance, for that matter. The focal point of this new amount of attention to a sometimes ignored law is a lawsuit brought by a New York mother, who thought her daughter and her basketball teammates were being treated as "second-class citizens" because they weren't being cheered on by cheerleaders, as the boys basketball and football teams were.

Man Returns Library Book 47 Years Late, Pays Fine
A Michigan man recently returned a library book that he had checked out when he was in 9th Grade. That was in 1960. Robert Nuranen didn't even live in the town anymore and had to make a special trip to return the book and pay the fine, which came to $171.32.

Animals in Germany Eat Used Christmas Trees
Animals in various zoos in Germany got to eat used Christmas trees as part of a New Year's effort to eliminate waste. Trees by the thousands are set aside or dumped by people who no longer want them. The zoos, however, feed the trees to some of their animals.

Graphics courtesy of ClipArt.com

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