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TODAY'S NEWS

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Biden Picks Shepherd as Vice Presidential Pooch

· Everybody knows that President-elect Barack Obama promised his two daughters they could get a puppy after they move into the White House.

But the vice president-elect, Joe Biden, got a new dog first!

Biden purchased a 3-month-old male German shepherd puppy from a breeder in Pennsylvania and promised his granddaughters they could name the pooch.

The breeder, Linda Brown of East Coventry Township, said Biden "hugged and kissed all of the shepherds" she had and was very kind. She said her shepherds are all good with children.

The new Biden dog is about to begin a six-week training course and will be delivered to the family in January.

President-elect and Mrs. Obama promised 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha that they could get a dog in late winter or early spring.

Be Happy; It's Catchy!

· Have you noticed that a friend who is in a good mood can make you feel better if you are sad?

There may be a scientific reason.

A study done by researchers at Harvard University and the University of California at San Diego showed that happiness is contagious, meaning that it can spread from person to person.

One key to happiness, the study showed, was being close to happy friends.

A person is 42 percent more likely to be happy, the study said, if a friend who lives less than half a mile away becomes happy. The percentage decreases the farther away the happy friend lives, it said.

"We are connected, and so is our joy," said James H. Fowler, a professor at the school in California who was one of the study's authors.

The study involved 5,000 people along with more than 50,000 other people with whom they were connected. They were all asked questions about their lives over a 20-year period.

The authors said that unhappiness can also spread -- but not nearly as much or as often as happiness.

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