The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Friday, December 9, 2011

Teens and Rats Maligned by Popular Opinion

Two news stories caught my attention this week. In the first, it has been discovered that the issue of teen "sexting" is far overblown. The actual number of teens involved in this unwise behavior is less than one tenth of one percent. Most teens can feel vindicated by this. Sure we all know a few who drive us nuts, like the neighbor kid who gets into an F-you match with a "friend" at midnight outside his house, but by and large teens are good people. Remember, behavior that makes the news is news because it is uncommon!

Rats apparently have gotten an unfair reputation as well. The reporter began the story by stating that when we call someone a "rat," we mean someone who would abandon all others to save their own skin. Lab experiments have now discovered this supposed truth to be absolutely false. Seems a rat will help a friend in distress every single time. In an experiment, one rat is removed from a cage, leaving his cage-mate behind. A few minutes later, the cage-mate is placed in another cage to discover his companion trapped in a plastic tube (yes, it has air holes--this isn't a Star Trek Khan moment) and clearly unhappy. The free cage-mate will do everything in his power to free his buddy, working until finally triggering a button that frees his unhappy fellow rat. Apparently, the free rat will even do this when a favorite treat is "trapped" in another tube (the treat is chocolate chips ... looks like we have something else in common with rats), often before liberating the treat and therefore needing to share said treat with his buddy.

So, it looks like our view of teens and rats needs adjusted. I wonder where this will lead?

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