Five Lessons Learnt This Week

Five Lessons Learnt is our weekly round-up of all the crazy, strange and funny news of the week. Perfect for a bit of Friday afternoon entertainment and a light-hearted look at what’s been going on away from the charts!

This week in our funny news round-up, lightning strikes in the same place twice, self-driving cars get in a spot of bother, we find out why willpower is an indicator of intelligence and emojis get one step closer to making it into the dictionary…

1. Even self-driving cars can get pulled over by the police

PoliceCarsA prototype of Google’s self-driving car was pulled over in Mountain View, California this week – because it was going too slow. The vehicle was tootling along at 24mph in a 35mph zone and causing a backlog of traffic, so officers approached the car, only to realise there was no driver.

Google’s autonomous cars currently have a set maximum speed of 25mph for safety reasons, so that they will feel “friendly and approachable”.

The self-driving cars might have got in a spot of bother this week, but a spokesperson from Google confirmed that they’re perfectly law-abiding vehicles. In 1.2 million miles of autonomous driving (the human equivalent of 90 years of continuous driving) none of their vehicles have had a ticket yet.

Don’t be adding a self-driving car to your Trader Toy wish list just yet – they won’t be available to the public until 2020 (and would you really want to drive at 20mph anyway?) – instead, check out the Top 5 Trader Toys We Wish We Owned… 

2. Why willpower is a sign of intelligence

If resisting a chocolate fix (or whatever you vice may be) is not your forte, it’s bad news when it comes to academics. A study revealed this week found a link between self-control, brainpower and success after presenting a group of children with a raisin – and telling them not to eat it. The majority of children caved, but those who had enough self-discipline to wait also showed higher IQs five years later and were shown to be more likely to be successful in their future careers.

The worse children scored on the raisin test, the more likely they were to have poor attention skills and low academic achievement.

If you want to try this test on your colleagues or mates, you should probably switch out the raisin for a glass of wine or bottle of beer and see who caves first. The one who resists longest is probably the one destined to become a billionaire – you heard it here first…

Bit of a psychology lesson there for you – and if you want to read more on Trader Psychology, make sure you check out FX Analyst Nathan’s new weekly psychology features here

3. What’s keeping us awake at night

sleepingIf you struggle to get enough shuteye, you’re not alone. It seems sleep deprivation in 2015 is pretty common, and #IWouldSleepMoreBut has been trending on Twitter this week as people explain what stops them from sleeping at night.

Top of the list were Netflix (“#IWouldSleepMoreBut Netflix isn’t gonna watch itself” – @skpurewal20), the Internet (“#IWouldSleepMoreBut the Internet is a time-sucking void I haven’t figured out to escape from yet” – @LostLifeLondon) and smartphones (“#IWouldSleepMoreBut ‘I’m going to bed’ = ‘I’m going to lay in my bed and play on my phone for about an hour”).

So what do you reckon – does your smartphone keep you awake at night?

Joking aside, getting enough sleep is an essential part of staying healthy – check out our 6 Ways To Make Your Trading Day Healthier for more tips. 

4. Lightning does strike in the same place twice

And even three times, if you’re really lucky. A woman from Massachusetts hit the news this week after winning her THIRD big scratch card prize – and her second jackpot. Constance Carpentino won $1,000,000 this week, and also back in 1996. And as if that wasn’t enough, she also previously won $20,000, also from a scratch card.

All three lucky tickets came from the same shop – her local Stop & Shop supermarket in Stoneham. Mrs Carpentino buys $20 in lottery tickets every week and plans to continue buying them in the hope of a fourth win (that would just be greedy…). She’s going to spend her winnings this time around on Christmas gifts for her family – so someone’s in for an extra-special Christmas day.

If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, do not fear! Our LFX guide to quick, easy and totally painless gift buying will be up next week. Arm yourself with your credit card and an extra-large coffee and escape the crowded shops… 

5. What the word of 2015 is

emojiThe Oxford Dictionary revealed its “word of the year” this week – have a guess what you think it is. Although “fleek” (as in “on fleek”, as the youngsters are saying) and “ad blocker” were both in the running, they were pipped to the post by, well, an emoji.

Not the word emoji, but one emoji in particular, to be precise. Yep, that’s right, the best word of 2015 will go down in history as the crying with laughter emoji. Because apparently we couldn’t come up with one actual word good enough to earn the title.

President of the Oxford Dictionary said the decision reflects how the English language is becoming increasingly visually focused to keep up with our demands for rapid-fire communication methods. But although the emoji was “crowned” word of the year, there are no plans to put emojis in the dictionary – yet, anyway. 

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