Brief asides


POSTED: Friday, November 13, 2009


Second police officer also deserves credit

A week after the shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, the military has not released a full accounting of exactly what happened. But it is clear that a second, unheralded civilian police officer shares credit for ending the carnage, along with Sgt. Kimberly D. Munley, who has been hailed since the day of the attack. Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, 42, at left, confirmed to The New York Times that he fired the shots that brought down the gunman, after Munley was wounded, and a witness corroborated the account. Both Munley and Todd acted decisively in a chaotic situation, and it took both of them to end the deadly ordeal.


Take it easy, brah, and be happy

Happy in Hawaii? That's the message from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

Researchers found wealth produces happiness, which doesn't explain why Hawaii ranks just behind No. 1 Utah. One explanation given by University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener, who was not involved in the index: Hawaii's ranking could be due to its relaxed culture.


This could be your lucky day — or maybe not

Yes, oh superstitious ones, today is Friday the 13th.

On top of that, the true believers — or fearers — will already know that this is the third month in 2009 that the dreaded Friday the 13th is occurring, the most times it can happen in one year (the others were in February and March).

Something about the number 13 freaks many people out — the 13th floor, anyone? — and there's even a name for the fear of 13: “;triskaidekaphobia.”; Indeed, there's even a name for “;Friday the 13th”; fear: “;paraskavedekatriaphobia,”; coined by North Carolina behavioral scientist and author Donald Dossey.

For most, though, it's just another day. Knock on wood.