BRITAIN’S RELIGIOUS CONVERSIONS
Britons are swapping religions at a faster rate than ever, with about 1,000 converting every week, reports The Sunday Telegraph. Anglicans are becoming Roman Catholics, and vice versa, Jews are becoming Buddhists, Muslims are becoming Anglicans and Roman Catholics Jews.” Islam, Buddhism, New Age Movements, and paganism are gaining the most converts. Dr. Ahmed Andrews of England’s Derby University, himself a convert, says: “There are between 5,000 and 10,000 white Muslim converts in this country, and most of the ones I know are former Catholics.” Jews make up 10 to 30 percent of converts to Buddhism. Anglican conversions to Catholicism peaked after the Church of England decided to ordain women. According to Rabbi Jonathan Romain, “people feel a spiritual vacuum so they look outside their own religious backgrounds.”
 LIFE-STYLE AND CANCER
Cancer is overwhelmingly caused by where you are, what you do, and what happens to you in life, rather than by what you are, a study of almost 90,000 twins has shown,” reports London’s newspaper The Guardian. Dr. Paul Lichtenstein of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute led the research team for his study. He says: “Environmental factors are more important than gene factors.” Scientists believe that smoking causes about 35 percent of cancers, while another 30 percent appears to be related to diet. Genetic factors play a part in prostate, colorectal, and breast cancer, but Dr. Tim Key of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in Oxford, England, advises: “Even if you have….. a family history [of cancer] what you do with your life is much more important. You should not smoke, you should care of your diet. Those things do make a difference.
 USE YOUR BRAIN
The brain’s vitality can remain intact throughout our lives, as long as we keep exercising it,” states the Vancouver Sun newspaper. “Read, read, read,” says Dr. Amir Soas of Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Ohio, U.S.A. To retain brainpower as you age, choose mentally challenging hobbies, study a new language, learn to play a musical instrument, or engage in stimulating conversations. “Anything that stimulates the brain to think,” says Dr. Soas. He also encourages cutting back TV. “When you watch television, your brain goes into neutral,” he says. The Sun adds that a healthy brain also needs oxygen pumped through healthy arteries. Thus, exercise and proper diet, the same things that help to prevent heart disease and diabetes, also help the brain.
 ELEPHANTS “DON’T FORGET THEIR FRIENDS”
“Elephants never forget –or at least, they don’t forget their friends,” reports New Scientist magazine. Dr. Karen McComb of the University of Sussex, England, recorded the low-pitched “contact calls” of female African elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, noting which elephants would meet together frequently and which were strangers. She then played back their calls to 27 elephant families to study their responses. If the animals knew the caller well, they immediately called back. If they knew the caller only slightly, they listened but did not respond, and an unfamiliar call made them agitated and defensive. “They could recognize members of at least 14 other families from their calls, which suggests that each elephant can remember around 100 other adults,” the article stated. Elephants may remember humans too. John Partridge, head of mammals at England’s Bristol Zoo, says that an Asian elephant he worked with for 18 years recognized him after a three-year break.
 HIGH-TECH DRUG SMUGGLERS
In the past, Colombian drug smugglers have concealed their wares in passengers’ planes and ships. Recently, however, authorities were amazed to find that smugglers were building a high-tech, double-hulled submarine, measuring more than three meters in diameter, which was capable of holding about 200 tons of cocaine. Suspicious residents nearby led police to “a warehouse outside Bogota, [2,300 meters] up in the Andes and [30-meter] vessel could have crossed an ocean, surfaced off Miami or other coastal cities and surreptitiously unloaded its drug cargo.” Though no one was at the site or was arrested, Russian and American criminals are thought to be involved, including a skilled submarine engineer. Semitrailers could have transported the submarine to the coast in three sections, officials said. They marveled at the lengths to which the drug traffickers would go to export their products.