Believe it or not

Short Man Syndrome does exist

Oxford University academics have found that Short Man Syndrome really does exist.

The Telegraph reports that scientists used virtual reality technology to reduce the height of volunteers travelling on a computer-simulated Tube train by ten inches.

The study showed the experience of being shorter increased reports of negative feelings, such as being incompetent, dislikeable or inferior. It also heightened levels of mistrust, fear and paranoia.

Height-reduced participants were more likely to think someone else in the virtual train carriage was deliberately staring, thinking badly about them, or trying to cause distress.

Daniel Freeman, who led the study, said: “Being tall is associated with greater career and relationship success.

“Height is taken to convey authority, and we feel taller when we feel more powerful. It is little wonder then that men and women tend to over-report their height.

“In this study we reduced people’s height, which led to a striking consequence: people felt inferior and this caused them to feel overly mistrustful. This all happened in a virtual reality simulation, but we know that people behave in VR as they do in real life.

“It provides a key insight into paranoia, showing that people’s excessive mistrust of others directly builds upon their own negative feelings about themselves.

“The important treatment implication for severe paranoia that we can take from this study is that if we help people to feel more self-confident then they will be less mistrustful.”

Cycling safety video ‘socially irresponsible’

A TV advert promoting safe cycling has been banned for showing a woman not wearing a helmet.

The video by Cycling Scotland encourages drivers to think of cyclists as horses and to give them appropriate space when overtaking.

The slightly odd strapline “See Cyclist, Think Horse” appears on the screen at the end, next to a woman pedalling along a road in a dress and no helmet.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have ruled the ad should not be shown and deemed it “socially irresponsible”. Five complaints were received.

Cycling Scotland say wearing a helmet was not a legal requirement.

Villagers adopt lonely Porrick the pig

A lonely pig abandoned in a Kent field for months has been enjoying some regular home comforts after local residents took pity on her.

Villagers at Shorncliffe, near Folkestone, built a makeshift shelter for the female swine, who they have named Porrick, and donate copious food so she can eat like a pig.

“She’s a real local attraction,” said Trevor Boxell, whose son owns the land on which Porrick grazes.

The pig had been left alone for four months after the previous owners moved, taking her herd with them, Boxell explained.

The owners had 40-odd pigs in the field but when they left to go elsewhere, they left this poor little porker behind.

Boxell said Porrick was now enjoying a healthy diet of potatoes, sprouts, swede and vegetable peelings from locals and appears very much at home.

“People round here started to take an interest in her and built her a pigsty using tin, wood and tarpaulin. They come in their droves to see her and feed her,” he said.

“I’ve left the gate open for her several times but she never wants to leave. I would like to find her somewhere permanent to stay but she seems quite happy, wagging her tail in the field.”

Ice hockey goalie was ‘drunk’ during match

A video of an apparently drunk hockey goalkeeper struggling to keep his balance on the ice is going viral online.

The clip, of Roman Kaspar, 24, from Klasterce nad Ohri, in the Czech Republic, has notched up more than a million hits on YouTube.

Local media said the keeper for the second division team HC Klasterce had admitted he had drunk eight shots of rum and two pints of beer.

But despite the alcoholic excess, Kaspar managed to save enough goals to see his team HC Klasterce beat rival team Karlovy Vary 8-5.

He said: “I remember drinking, and feeling pretty happy about the match, which we won I hasten to add, the next thing I knew we were doing the after the match photos.

“Whatever happened in between is a blur, but I can’t have been that bad because I saved a few goals.”

He said the drink had probably loosened him up and helped his game, but watchers said it was more a question of being lucky enough to be standing in the right place at the right time.

Post published in: World News

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