• ## Smart chimp solves memory puzzle at unbelievable speed

Ayumu the chimp is called "the world's greatest animal mind." The primate can solve a complex memory test faster than you can blink, really.

In just 60 milliseconds, the 11-year-old can remember the location and order of a set of numbers.

Watch the chimp below:

"In this case, that information is the position of Arabic numerals on a touch-sensitive screen. Ayumu is shown the numbers 1—9 on the computer screen, and given just a fraction of a second to commit their randomized location to memory. Once that fraction of a second is up, the numbers are covered with white squares, at which point Ayumu must select them in numerical order."

How does he do it? There are two theories.

The first theory says that Ayumu is able to commit a complete picture of an intricate scale or pattern to memory, something called "eidetic imagery."

The second theory suggests the chimp is subitizing, which means he can "look at a small number of items and automatically know how many of each

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• ## Man in Futurama’s Bender helmet proposes in binary code

It's a geeky proposal sure to melt Futurama fans' hearts.

A man in a Bender helmet proposed to his girlfriend entirely in binary code. She said yes—after 30 minutes of decoding.

"My boyfriend told me I had to close my laptop for a couple minutes, then when I logged back on this was posted to my Facebook wall. He sat across the room as I transcribed and then decoded it. After about a half hour I found out it says, 'Rachel, you are awesome. Will you marry me?' I said yes, of course."

Warning: You probably won't understand the video below, unless you're fluent in binary.

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• ## Donate to a college, name a bathroom stall

It's a "cheeky" way to donate to your alma mater. And it seems to be taking off.

At Dixie State College of Utah, a donor could name a bathroom stall in the theatre building for \$2,000. Despite the innovative fundraising idea, the St. George Musical Theater went out of business, in part due to a shortage of "lavatory sponsorships."

That doesn't mean that bathroom-stall donations aren't alive and well in the college-fundraising scene. If anything, the Dixie State College story made us aware of bathrooms everywhere.

Elsewhere in Utah, at Utah Valley University, Ron and Terri Lindorf paid \$20,000 to name two bathrooms—a men's and a women' —in a new science building.

"The idea made me laugh," Lindorf wrote to the Daily Harold, saying he first heard of bathroom-naming rights in Forbes.

"I thought I would [name a bathroom] some day if I had money to give."

And thanks to a donor funding a bathroom renovation at the University of Pennsylvania's campus library, plaques on the walls read: "The

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• ## 12-year-old boy saves his grandmother’s house from foreclosure

A 12-year-old Wisconsin boy intervened when he learned that his grandmother's home was scheduled for auction.

Noah Lamaide raised \$10,500 in one month to save his grandmother's century-old home from the chopping block.

"I wasn't even sure I was going to make it," Noah told ABC News.

"I called our local representative, the governor, the president, not asking for money but asking them to help me find a program and they couldn't do it," Sparhawk told Fox News. "But this 12-year-old could. He saved this house."

Noah's grandmother, Janice Sparhawk, fell behind on her mortgage payments after taking out money to replace the roof of the home built by her grandfather.

With complications from asthma and eye surgery, the 72-year-old woman who fostered hundreds of Wisconsin children over the years found it difficult to make up the missed payments.

Noah, a budding philanthropist, took on his grandma's house as his annual community service project.

On his 9th birthday, Noah was

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• ## Penguin named Roast Beef charms nursing-home residents

Roast Beef, a 13-year-old African penguin, is accustomed to community-event appearances, often entertaining school groups. But last Wednesday, the cute, five-pound bird left his home at the New England Aquarium for his first-ever visit to a nursing home.

Roast Beef visited residents at the Hannah Duston Rehabilitation Center in Haverhill, Massachusetts, after one of its residents, Sandra Ramsey-Sterling, sent the New England Aquarium a letter and artwork depicting her favourite birds.

Zoo personnel had a "eureka" moment upon receiving the letter:

"Everybody loves penguins — it doesn't matter how old you are!" said Tony LaCasse, spokesperson for New England Aquarium.

The zoo then planned a special visit for Roast Beef to the rehabilitation centre.

"He was fabulous. Everybody's been thanking me. It really made their day," said Ramsey-Sterling.

"For the duration of his outings, Roast Beef stays inside a special, air-conditioned cubicle with toys inside to keep him occupied. Handlers don't

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• ## Former CEO declines \$100M severance pay

Nabors Industries' CEO Eugene Isenberg was replaced in October. He'll resign as chairman at the end of his current term in June, after which he'll become chairman emeritus.

As per his contract, negotiated in 2009, his termination would mean that Nabors would pay him a whopping \$100 million in severance, with another \$7 million in deferred bonus payments.

It was set to be "one of the largest termination payments in U.S. corporate history," the Wall Street Journal reported.

Isenberg, 82, has turned down the money — acknowledging shareholders' discomfort with the deal — hoping that Nabors will donate a large chunk to charity instead.

"I am fortunate to have been very successful in my career, and it has always been my intention to donate this money to charity," Isenberg, now 82, explained in a statement, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"I ultimately concluded that everyone's interests, including the company's and our shareholders', were best served by this new arrangement. It is my hope

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• ## Laid-off father of three wins \$270,000 in poker championship

At the Choctaw Main Event this January, a new champion on the 2012 World Series of Poker Circuit emerged: 44-year-old Abraham Araya.

The currently laid-off father of three — Araya is an airline flight mechanic who lost his job when his company, which worked on NBA teams' airplanes, filed for bankruptcy — took home a victorious \$270,380. Combined with the \$83,659 he won in October's T.J. Cloutier Poker Challenge, his past few wins add up to roughly "four or five years' salary for an airline flight mechanic," WSOP reports.

"Right now I can't believe it. It didn't sink in yet," Araya, who lives in Texas, said moments after his victory. "I can't tell you how amazing this feeling is."

Araya moved to the United States 21 years ago to escape the war in East Africa. Now a husband and father to three children, Sabrina, Nathan and Thoman, the newly minted poker champion is living the American dream.

"But in order to achieve his dream, he had to work his way through a field like few Circuit

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• ## Austrian skydiver plans record-breaking jump from space

If you're scared of heights, this isn't good news — it is insane news.

Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian adventurer, is planning a jump from the edge of space — from a balloon 36.5 km above the ground — to break the record for the highest skydive ever.

Newser offers a height comparison:

"That's 120,000 feet; for comparison's sake, consider that the average passenger plane flies at just 35,000 feet."

He'll don a pressurized suit that will both protect him — a rip in the tougher-than-a-spacesuit could cause a rapid loss of consciousness and "could cause Baumgartner's tissues to swell and the moisture in his eyes and mouth to boil" — and provide him with oxygen.

The BBC reports that the skydiver will "fall so fast that he becomes the first person to go faster than the speed of sound unaided by a machine."

Baumgartner says that his last test has been successful:

"It means I can deliver, I can perform. The equipment will function."

The National Post reports that Baumgartner's dive is set to

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• ## News junkies get good news on the health front

Regular Yahoo readers, this study's for you:

"When used for information, TV, newspapers, and the Internet may have a positive impact on one's health."

Italian researchers collected data from 1,132 adult subjects, and analyzed their medical, health and lifestyle information while also tracking their mass-media consumption.

"In our study we paid attention to the capacity of people to get informed by using mass media, including the Internet and newspapers or magazines. We sought to see whether most informed people had better eating habits than those less exposed to information," said Marialaura Bonaccio, first author of the study.

The study's findings hardly came to the "TV is bad for you" conclusions we're used to reading about. Instead, the researchers discovered that "exposure to mass media information is significantly associated with greater adherence to both Mediterranean diet and Mediterranean-like eating pattern, an association that public health strategies should take into

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• ## Brain tumour survivor paints the sunrise every day – for seven years

Debbie Wagner has been painting the sunrise every day for seven years.

After having two pear-sized tumours removed from her brain, the Kansas mother of three decided to celebrate life in what quickly became a daily ritual.

"When I look at a sunrise, it represents a new beginning. I'm just so happy to be here another day and see my kids do different things and go to dinner with my husband. I suppose that's the addiction of it — it puts me in a state of mind focused on gratitude," Wagner said.

"As a brain-tumour survivor, I lost so many of the loves I had, like reading and writing and mathematics," Wagner, 56, told MSNBC. "My visual journal became essential to my attitude for the day."

Wagner didn't pick up a paintbrush until the surgeries robbed her of her ability to "multitask, follow recipes or novel plots, balance a checkbook, or even sleep soundly through the night." While she lost many of the things she loved, she gained "an increased visual awareness" that drew her to painting.

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