Top news of the week: People, plants and animals


Hard to bee-lieve, but it's true,our humble bumblebee has proved he's smart enough learn how to pull strings to get food by scientists who say the bugs have shown high levels of intelligence despite their tiny brains. Scientists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) said the experiments, often used to test the intelligence of apes and birds, showed for the first time that some insects are up to the task, and can also pass skills on through several generations. Further good news show that findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting the ability to learn and pass on knowledge and skills may not be exclusive to humans, but may also be in most animals, including insects.


The Chinese believe in the idea of Ying and Yang, and they believe that the number nine is Yang. So the ninth day of the ninth month, being a Double Yang day, is auspicious. The number nine is also used to refer to longevity in the Chinese culture. So, being a double nine day, the drinking of chrysanthemum wine has become a ritual, not just for its disease repelling qualities, but for encouraging long lives.


The record for the world's oldest person is 122 and the odds of beating that are low, according to an analysis published the journal Nature. Researchers found that while there were strides in reducing deaths among certain groups - children, women during childbirth and the elderly. The rate of improvement was slower for those over 100 years of age. Researchers said the odds of someone reaching 125 years in a given year are less than 1 in 10,000. They think the human life span would more likely max out at 115 years.


In a move to rival the likes of Gumtree and eBay, Facebook has launched, Marketplace, its own buying and selling feature on Facebook. The icon for the Marketplace feature will appear at the bottom of the screen on the Facebook mobile app. But it won't be like eBay and organise payment. Word is that it will be with us shortly.


A post 60-year-old woman admitted going against traditional thinking by keeping her hair long and grey. She refuted claims that you should have short hair over a 'certain age' and short hair makes you look younger. Instead, this rebellious older woman, believes long, grey hair references creativity and an avante-garde lifestyle. She also called it fashionable and aspirational for older women.

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