Of Human Interest: News lite

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International  |  Dec. 24, 2002 at 4:30 AM
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Abusive supervisors -- yelling, threatening, intimidating -- might get workers to meet deadlines but could be costly in the long run.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina and University of Kentucky say employees might seek revenge by not taking the initiative in projects that could help the company.

A study of 373 Air National Guard members and their supervisors, which appears in December's Journal of Applied Psychology, finds nasty bosses had employees who took little initiative to help co-workers, not complain about trivial problems and speak well about the organization.

The findings also suggest, however, some abused subordinates continue to perform such discretionary actions because they believe it is a job requirement -- regardless of whether their boss is a jerk.


The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. says the hottest trading cards are not Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh for kids but micro-organism cards for aspiring medical professionals.

It took years of planning but medical Professor Mark Peppler, of the University of Alberta, has come up with a new way to teach students about micro-organisms.

MicrobeCards feature detailed pictures of more than 100 different bacteria, viruses, fungi and other sickening bugs, the CBC says.

"I'd had the idea 14 years ago when my son started collecting hockey cards here in Edmonton," Peppler told the CBC. "It just brought back that whole idea of putting bugs on the cards, like you would a hockey player."


Enron exec Jeff Skilling made statements like "I did not lie to Congress or anyone else," "I never duped Ken Lay," and "Mr. Lay doesn't deserve prison rape," earning him the 2002 Bimbo of the Year Award.

The criterion for nomination is that the speaker causes the listener to believe exactly the opposite of what is said.

The award was created by Merrie Spaeth, former director of media relations for President Ronald Reagan and president of Dallas-based Spaeth Communications. Feedback from the 3,800 subscribers to a monthly Bimbo newsletter determines the winner.

The 2001 Bimbo Award was granted to Gary Condit. Other past winners include boxer Mike Tyson, who said: "You wrote that I was a recluse rapist. I'm not a recluse."


Your personal data assistant -- PDA -- could be the buddy you need to help you quit smoking.

University of Kansas researchers are developing software that can be used in handheld PDAs to help people kick the habit by placing them on a smoking schedule.

Scheduled smoking routines are successful because they disrupt old habits and force smokers to develop coping skills.

If you typically smoke with coffee, you might be scheduled to have a cigarette but no coffee, forcing you to cope with the situation, researchers say.

If you don't want a cigarette when your PDA notifies you to have one, the study notes, it might be an effective way to help you quit.

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