What really separates the kids from apes?

first_imgBy Lauran Neergaard THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON – Toddlers may act up like little apes, but researchers who compared the species concluded a 2-year-old child still has the more sophisticated social learning skills. In one test, preschoolers who wanted a toy hidden in a trick tube intently copied a scientist’s movements to retrieve the prize. Chimps watched the lesson but then mostly tried to smash or bite open the tube. When it came to simple math, however, the apes seemed to know more than the youngsters, apparently “adding” how many tasty raisins researchers had hidden. In a novel study, scientists lured 106 chimpanzees, 32 orangutans and 105 toddlers to sit through five hours of testing over several days. Researchers were trying to tell which innate abilities are distinctly human. “Human children are not overall more intelligent than other primates, but instead have specialized skills of social cognition,” concluded the lead researcher, Esther Herrmann of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. “They learn in a way that chimpanzees don’t learn.” But the findings, published in today’s edition of the journal Science, conflict with other research that suggests the great apes, humans’ closest relatives, are quite good at social learning, too. In fact, a second study in the same journal suggests chimps and monkeys have some capacity to infer someone’s intentions by their actions. That is pretty complex, human-like thinking. In that work, the animals sought out food containers that a researcher had grasped purposefully, not just tapped, or a container that he had touched with his elbow when his hands were full, but not one elbowed when his hands were empty. The chimps and monkeys expected someone to behave rationally and adjusted their own actions accordingly, according to the lead researcher, Justin Wood of Harvard University. “That shows quite a subtle social understanding going on in these animals,” said Dr. Frans de Waal of Emory University. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Oops … she did it!

first_imgSomewhere, Kevin Federline is laughing. An out-of-shape, out-of-touch Britney Spears delivered what was destined to be the most talked-about performance of the MTV Video Music Awards – but for all the wrong reasons. Kicking off the show Sunday night in Las Vegas with her new single, “Gimme More,” Spears looked bleary and unprepared – much like her recent tabloid exploits on the streets of Los Angeles. She lazily walked through her dance moves with little enthusiasm. It appeared she had forgotten the entire art of lip-synching; and, perhaps most unforgivable given her once taut frame, she looked embarrassingly out of shape. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Even the celebrity-studded audience seemed bewildered. 50 Cent looked at Spears with a confused expression; Diddy, her new best friend, was expressionless. Some comeback.last_img read more

2 Valley restaurants in Zagat’s top 5

first_imgTwo San Fernando Valley restaurants have zoomed into the top-five best places for food in the prestigious Zagat Survey, which is being released today. Studio City’s Asanebo, famous for its kappo ryori- small Japanese dishes served with beer, wine or hot sake – was rated third overall, up from 25th last year. The cooking at Brandywine in Woodland Hills placed fifth, up from 24th last year. The restaurant also topped Zagat’s Continenal cuisine list. This is the 22 annual Zagat Survey of Southern California restaurants. “Zagat is a peer-to-peer survey, rated by diners themselves,” said Margret McWilliams, co-owner of Brandywine, which has been in business 18 years. “For customers, the survey is like a recommendation from a friend. Our menu hasn’t changed, but we always see new patrons coming in, and now we expect even more.” Zagat rated M?lisse in Santa Monica as No. 1 in town for food, followed by Nobu Malibu. Spago in Beverly Hills ranked the most popular for the first time, followed by A.O.C. in Los Angeles and Caf? Bizou in Sherman Oaks. Nancy Silverton, who was featured in an LA.COM cover story last Wednesday, and Mario Batali took top newcomer honors with their Hollywood spot Pizzeria Mozza. Canel? in Atwater Village was rated second on that same list, and the Oinkster in Eagle Rock came in seventh. Meanwhile, Saddle Peak in Calabasas ranked third on the list for new American cuisine, and Dr. Hogly Wogly’s in Van Nuys scored second place in barbecue. Brent’s in Northridge topped the deli list. Tuscany in Westlake Village and Leila’s in Oak Park were among those being worth a trip. Hotel Bel-Air won both top decor and service for the second consecutive year. The 2008 guide covers 2,187 restaurants and is based on the experiences of 8,859 locals who eat out or take out more than half their meals. “Few cities offer more variety than Los Angeles’ dining scene,” said Tim Zagat, co-founder of the Zagat Survey. “The people of Paris can only dream of having as many top-quality Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Mexican and Cal-Med-style restaurants.” The results also revealed that 68 percent of Angelenos spend more on dining now than they did two years ago. However, while the average cost of a local meal rose 4.3 pecent since last year to $33.29, that’s still a dime below the national average of $33.39. Local diners tipped an average of 18.4 percent, a bit below the national average of 18.9 percent. natalie.haughton@dailynews.com (818) 713-3692160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Exclusive – West Ham star admits players are yet to meet new boss Slaven Bilic

first_imgWest Ham United midfielder Matt Jarvis has revealed he and his team-mates are yet to meet new boss Slaven Bilic, despite the fact their first game of the new season is next Thursday.The Croatian boss takes over from Sam Allardyce, who left the Hammers at the end of the last campaign, and will manage his first game in eight days time against Andorran outfit FC Lusitans.But Jarvis, who is in Ireland with the squad as they prepare for the start of their Europa League campaign, insists the players aren’t worried and are just getting on with their task as they attempt to hone their fitness after a few weeks off.“I haven’t met [Slaven Bilic] yet,” Jarvis told Drivetime. “He’s coming out [to Ireland] on Friday.“It’ll be good to meet him and see what his way of doing things is.“We’ve come back and gone straight into pre-season where you work at your fitness and when it all working towards the game he’ll be here and show us how he wants us to play. We’ll have to get on with it.”last_img read more

Newcastle midfielder joins Championship club on loan

first_img1 Sammy Ameobi has joined Championship side Cardiff on a season-long loan deal after signing a new two-year contract at St James’ Park, Newcastle have confirmed.The 23-year-old, who was out of contract at the end of June, put pen to paper on a two-year deal before heading for South Wales.Ameobi, the younger brother of former Magpies striker Shola, has made 67 senior appearances for the club but is yet to hold down a regular first-team place on Tyneside.A club statement said: “Sammy Ameobi has joined Cardiff City on a season-long loan deal, after signing a new contract with Newcastle United.“The 23-year-old winger has put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal at St. James’ Park, and will now spend the 2015/16 campaign in South Wales, turning out for the Bluebirds in the Championship.”The former England Under-21 international had a spell on loan at Championship outfit Middlesbrough during the 2012/13 campaign, making nine appearances and scoring one goal. Newcastle midfielder Sammy Ameobi last_img read more

‘Another marquee signing’ for Chelsea? News leaves Blues fans pleading for transfer business as Costa fears grow

first_img1 Chelsea fans react to Diego Costa’s hamstring injury Diego Costa’s hamstring is giving Chelsea fans more cause for concern.The striker missed a number of games last season as a result of his hamstring and he could miss the Community Shield match against Arsenal.WATCH: HAZARD’S GREAT GOAL FOR CHELSEA AGAINST BARCELONANow, though, some fans have raised their concerns on Twitter, with some really hoping Radamel Falcao shows his form of old and others wondering if manager Jose Mourinho should spend money on a replacement.last_img read more