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Did they mean to do that? Accident and intent in an octopuses’; garden

Did they mean to do that? Accident and intent in an octopuses’ garden

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


University of Wollongong and University of Sydney provide funding as members of The Conversation AU.

The Conversation UK receives funding from these organisations

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We recently published a scientific report of octopuses living together in unusual numbers at a site on the south coast of New South Wales.

Then things got a little out of hand.

Mind & Body Articles & More

In 2009, archeologists unearthed a flute carved from bone and ivory that was over 35,000 years old. This proved that even during the hunting/gathering stage of human evolution, music was present and important to society. Why else take time away from survival tasks to create a musical instrument?

We know that music is pleasurable, and it seems to play a role in our wellbeing. But many researchers also believe that music plays a significant role in strengthening social bonds.

In a 2013 review of the research on music, Stefan Koelsch, music psychologist at the Freie University Berlin, described several mechanisms through which music impacts our ability to connect with one another—by impacting brain circuits involved in empathy, trust, and cooperation—perhaps explaining how it has survived in every culture of the world.

Although music can certainly be played and listened to alone, in the shower or on your iPod, it is also a powerful social magnet. After all, a music concert is one of the few times when we will gather together with thousands of other people to engage in a shared activity. There is something about listening to music, or playing it with other people, that brings its own social buzz, making you feel connected to those around you.

Here are some ways scientists believe that music strengthens social bonds.

1. Music increases contact, coordination, and cooperation with others

For much of human history, the only way to experience music was live—there were no recordings allowing us to share music outside of performance. Since music had to involve contact with others (e.g. coming together for a concert), it provided a net of physical and psychological safety that may have helped our early ancestors—and may still help us—to survive.

Performing music involves coordinating of our efforts, too…at least if we want to produce a pleasing sound. According to researchers, when we try to synch with others musically—keeping the beat or harmonizing, for example—we tend to feel positive social feelings towards those with whom we’re synchronizing, even if that person is not visible to us or not in the same room. Though it’s unclear exactly why that happens, coordinating movement with another person is linked to the release of pleasure chemicals (endorphins) in the brain, which may explain why we get those positive, warm feelings when we make music together.

Playing music in a band or singing in a choir certainly involves cooperation as well—whether in preparation for the performance or during the performance. Arguably, cooperation increases trust between individuals and increases one’s chances of future cooperation—important factors in human evolutionary success and societal stability.

2. Music gives us an oxytocin boost

More on Music & the Arts

Jill Suttie explains why we love music

Throughout our history, humans have felt compelled to make art. Ellen Dissanayake explains why.

Discover how playing music together can help kids develop empathy.

Oxytocin is a neuropeptide affiliated with breast-feeding and sexual contact, and is known to play an important role in increasing bonding and trust between people. Now researchers are discovering that music may affect oxytocin levels in the body.

In one experiment involving a breed of “singing” mice, mice that had their oxytocin receptor sites artificially knocked out by researchers engaged in fewer vocalizations and showed marked social deficits when compared to normal mice, suggesting a link between singing, oxytocin, and socialization. In a study with humans, singing for 30 minutes was shown to significantly raise oxytocin levels in both amateur and professional singers, regardless of how happy or unhappy the experience made them. Perhaps this explains why new mothers often sing lullabies to their newborn babies: it may help encourage bonding through oxytocin release.

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Researchers have also found that listening to music releases oxytocin. In one study, patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery were asked to listen to experimenter-selected ‘soothing’ music for 30 minutes one day after surgery. When tested later, those who’d listened to music had higher levels of serum oxytocin compared to those who were assigned to bed-rest alone. Though the study was more focused on the relaxation properties of music than on oxytocin specifically, it still suggests that music directly impacts oxytocin levels, which, in turn, affect our ability to trust and act generously toward others—factors that increase our social connection.

3. Music strengthens our ”theory of mind” and empathy

Music has been shown to activate many areas of the brain, including the circuit that helps us to understand what others are thinking and feeling, and to predict how they might behave—a social skill scientists call “theory of mind,” which is linked to empathy.

In one study, Koelsch and a colleague hooked up participants to an fMRI machine and had them listen to a piece of music that they were told was either composed by a human or by a computer (even though it was actually the same piece of music). When participants listened to music they believed was composed by a human, their “theory of mind” cortical network lit up, while it didn’t under the computer condition. This suggests that our brain doesn’t just process sound when we hear music, but instead tries to understand the intent of the musician and what’s being communicated.

In a more recent study, a group of primary-school-aged children were exposed to musical games with other children for one hour a week over the course of an academic year, while two control groups of same-aged children received either no games or games with the same purpose, but involving drama or storytelling instead of music. All of the children were given various empathy measures at the beginning and end of the year; but only the music group significantly increased their empathy scores, suggesting that music may have played a pivotal role in their empathy development.

4. Music increases cultural cohesion

© Damian King

Think of a favorite lullaby or children’s song passed down through the generations, or of crowds listening to the national anthem at a baseball game. Music is one way of communicating belonging, which may increase your sense of safety and obligation toward your group.

When we discover that someone likes a piece of music that we like, we tend to think better of them—as if musical preference had a deeper meaning than just entertainment. In fact, studies have shown that people affiliate musical taste with holding certain values, and that this assumed connection between music and values influences how much we think we’ll like someone based on their musical tastes.

Music also influences how we think others will get along. In one recent study, participants listened to music or to silence while they watched videotapes in which three people were seen walking either in step or out of step with one another. When asked to rate levels of rapport and sense of unity among the three walkers in both conditions, the participants who listened to music perceived a greater rapport and unity among the walkers than those participants who didn’t listen to music. This suggests that music somehow strengthens our perception of social cohesion among people, perhaps through mistaking our own feelings for those of the people we observe.

Studies find that social cohesion is higher within families and among peer groups when young people listen to music with their family members or peers, respectively. This effect is true even in cultures where interdependence is less valued, pointing to music’s potential to act as “social glue” that binds people together.

Of course, sometimes these effects can backfire. For example, some have argued that music—specifically the music of Wagner in early 20th Century Germany—played a role in Hitler’s propaganda machine, uniting people emotionally for a hideous political agenda. This reveals the degree to which human bonding can sometimes result in exclusion or even aggression toward out-groups—a tendency that we must continually guard against.

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In fact, music works a lot like language does—except instead of words and ideas, emotions and intent are communicated. In this way, music, like language, can be passed on from generation to generation, creating a sense of continuity and loyalty to one’s tribe.

Nowadays, music has the potential to make us feel connected to all of humanity. The more we use music to bring us together—literally and figuratively—the more potential for increased empathy, social connection, and cooperation. I, for one, feel more connected to my human ancestors just knowing that someone took the time to carve that flute, succumbing to the primal urge to make music. It’s an urge I share. Perhaps we all do.

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The 18th time thieves tried to steal meat mogul Evan Wexler’s exotic sports cars, he ran naked from his bed with a loaded semi-automatic rifle to fire warning shots from his porch.

The gunfire worked and the thief fled.

But Wexler, 56, has bared his frustration with police he claimed were more concerned with his vigilantism than catching the callous car bandits who have targeted his Ferrari, Lamborghini and Hummer collection for the past two years.

As recently as Sunday night, CCTV footage shows, thieves broke into his Mercedes G-Wagon parked in his Fort Lee, New Jersey, driveway, looking for keys to his more exotic rides. It was the same M.O. thieves used last August to steal his rare Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Coupe worth more than half a million dollars, Wexler said.

The Lamborghini, which at the time was one of 10 in America, was found a week later with $80,000 worth of damage at an abandoned Newark house.

Evan Wexler photographed with his Lamborghini Evan Wexler photographed with his Lamborghini. Stefan Jeremiah Evan Wexler photographed with his Lamborghini Wexler said police have only caught the bandits once since he’s called them. Stefan Jeremiah

The second-generation butcher-turned-high-end hamburger and steak supermarket wholesaler, who goes by “the sophisticated gentleman” on Instagram, lives in a mansion in the exclusive Bluff section of Fort Lee overlooking the Hudson River.

Wexler claims to have called police 25 times during attempted heists since August 2019 but Fort Lee police have only caught the thieves once, earlier this year.

The colorful businessman found himself in police cross hairs after he discharged his AR-15 rifle during an attempted theft in the early hours of March 25, 2020.

Evan Wexler is the owner of E+S Meats.

Evan Wexler is a meats wholesaler when he’s not trying to get would-be thieves away from his cars.

Cops originally charged Wexler with aggravated assault and possession of weapons for unlawful purposes, but he grudgingly pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of possession of a deadly weapon to make the case go away. That weapon was a different gun police found on his property, which was illegal because the magazine held too many bullets.

“I’m a guy who’s terrorized living in Fort Lee,” Wexler said.

“An incident happens where a guy gets my car started, I came out of the house with a rifle, the guy puts the car into drive, drives forward, and my gun discharges.

“At that point, Fort Lee police show up, there’s no victim of a shooting, but they come and turn the tables on me.”

Dramatic CCTV footage showed the moment the thief caught sight of Wexler and his gun, parked the car, bailed out and sprinted in the opposite direction.

Wexler carried a semi-automatic rifle to his porch.

Wexler carried a semi-automatic rifle to his porch. Evan Wexler

After the incident, Wexler copped to a possession of a deadly weapon charge.

After the incident, Wexler copped to a possession of a deadly weapon charge. Evan Wexler

In an arrest report tendered to the Fort Lee Municipal Court, police officer Jonathan Kim acknowledged there was an “extensive history of reports with the Fort Lee Police regarding suspects attempting to steal [Wexler’s] vehicles.”

After pre-trial intervention, Wexler was forced to sell his guns and was slapped with probation for two years, which requires him to seek permission from the courts every time he wants to travel.

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Wannabe car bandits still sneak onto Wexler’s property in the dead of night every two weeks, on average, he says, but he feels powerless to stop them.

Police originally hit Wexler with aggravated assault and possession of weapons for unlawful purposes charges.

Police originally hit Wexler with aggravated assault and possession of weapons for unlawful purposes charges. Evan Wexler

Wexler said he

Wexler said he’s called police at least 25 times because of the potential thefts. Evan Wexler

“I’m tired and anxious,” he said.

“I have had too many sleepless nights because I’m helpless.

“At least when I had guns in the house, I knew if they came into my house I had some protection, but now all I have is a dog.”

In response to questions about what they are doing to catch the thieves in the act, Fort Lee police claimed they have increased patrols in “the affected areas” and have been on a social media blitz reminding residents to lock their cars.

The thief saw Wexler with the weapon and bolted away. The thief saw Wexler with the weapon and bolted. Evan Wexler Evan Wexler with his Mercedes G Wagon outside his New Jersey home. Evan Wexler with his Mercedes G Wagon outside his New Jersey home. Stefan Jeremiah

“The department has assigned increased patrols and manpower in the affected areas,” Fort Lee Police Department Capt. Edward Young told The Post.

“The department has assigned officers and detectives who have walked neighborhoods affected to educate residents to please lock your door and take your fobs.”

Wexler conceded he occasionally leaves his daily drive unlocked, but only on rare occasions, and his collectible cars are fortified behind the best security gates money can buy.

“I sometimes forget to lock the car, but most times the car’s locked,” he said.

Because of the incidents, Wexler said he Because of the incidents, Wexler said he’s felt “helpless.” Evan Wexler Evan Wexler According to Wexler, police have been more concerned about his own actions rather than the perps’. Facebook

“The cops tell me to lock my doors and I show them videos of people coming into my property trying to open my locked cars.”

Wexler’s security measures include retractable posts, a magnetized security gate and motion-sensing hidden cameras.

“The motion sensor is a blessing and a curse, because now I see how often these guys are coming to my house, all nights of the week,” he said.

Wexler said he Wexler said he’s shown authorities the videos he has. Evan Wexler Evan Wexler Evan Wexler lives in a part of Fort Lee that overlooks the Hudson River. Evan Wexler For extra security, Wexler’s added motion-sensing hidden cameras. Stefan Jeremiah

“I keep calling the police and showing them videos to prove I’m not crying wolf.

“I’m begging them to deter these guys, but they’re not doing s–t.

“The cops show up too late or go on high-speed chases but they never catch anyone.”

The anxious car enthusiast now habitually drives around the neighborhood checking for thieves before feeling safe enough to park in his driveway and lies awake at night waiting for criminals to show up.

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Выбор наполнителя для дивана

Если заменить тканевый верх, оставив старый наполнитель, диван запросто останется деформированным. Работа по перетяжке подразумевает новый амортизирующий слой, а также защитные прослойки, которые будут препятствовать его истиранию из-за контакта с пружинами. Тем, кто решает, как перетянуть диван в домашних условиях, рекомендуем отказаться от дешевого поролона. Качественный мебельный поролон выпускается с учетом всех требований к эксплуатации мебели, причем не только за рубежом – отечественные производители предлагают достойные и демократичные по цене образцы. Самый оптимальный вариант – ППУ:

  • способствует естественной воздухопроницаемости;
  • хорошо держит исходную форму, даже если спальное место использует человек с большой массой тела;
  • не пахнет, безопасен и гипоаллергенный;
  • если мебель намокнет, то специальные пропитки воспрепятствуют развитию плесени.

Качественная обивка дивана позволит получить обновленный элемент интерьера и восстановить все необходимые характеристики. Самостоятельный процесс перетяжки, осуществляемый впервые, может потребовать немного больше сноровки. Если есть возможность, заручитесь поддержкой помощника.

  1. 1 Five speeding tickets issued in one hour in busy road near Norwich
  2. 2 Cars set alight in arson attack at Norwich dealership
  3. 3 143-bed city centre HMO condemned by neighbours
  1. 4 Christmas market with gifts from around the world coming to Norwich
  2. 5 Engelbert Humperdinck cancels Norwich show due to illness
  3. 6 Heartbroken girl's desperate bid to keep alley cat
  4. 7 CCTV images released after robbery in Prince of Wales Road
  5. 8 Lampard to be new City boss — reports
  6. 9 Woman carried CS gas canister to protect herself while dealing drugs
  7. 10 City folk fear stabbings could spell ongoing spike in crime
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In 2018, the attraction received over 12 million mentions on social media.

Last year, safety measures were put in place and people were asked to walk on the left hand side to ensure social distancing could be observed.

Join our What’s On in Norfolk Facebook group for more information about the biggest and best events coming to the county.

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  1. 1 'An incredible shock': Norfolk pub named best in Britain
  2. 2 Lampard drops out of City race — reports
  3. 3 'Apologise': Bishop tells ‘authoritarian-style’ vicar to change her ways
  1. 4 'They were in tears' — Frustration as care homes lose unvaccinated staff
  2. 5 Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville spotted in village pub
  3. 6 Norfolk boxer charged with drugs offences
  4. 7 Handyman told to repay mystery £110,000 bank deposit
  5. 8 Major changes for Dereham Road in £6.2m shake-up
  6. 9 'It's been horrendous': Anti-social drivers cause misery near retail park
  7. 10 Smith in New York and Lampard in Dubai as wait goes on for City fans

«I would have voted to suspend Mr Paterson, because the report was damning, but there are obvious flaws in the system which MPs are judged upon.

«I was naive not to recognise that conflating the two issues would lead to people being rightly upset and for that I am sorry.»

Mr Baker said he had received correspondence from constituents who were angry about the issue.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, who has admitted it will be a "challenge" to get Theresa May's dea

Stephen Barclay MP. — Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

He did not attend Monday’s follow-up debate, where Stephen Barclay MP said, while there were concerns with the way allegations of wrongdoing by MPs are probed, it had been an error for ministers to proceed in the way they did.

Mr Baker said he had not attended as he was speaking to environment secretary George Eustice ahead of the environment bill.

The issue has put the second jobs held by MPs in the spotlight. Mr Baker said: «I fully accept people’s concerns about other employment.

«There should be some exceptions where MPs can make contributions to charitable and medical sectors, but from my point of view I concentrate 200pc on the job of serving constituents day to day.»

Jerome Mayhew

Jerome Mayhew, Broadland MP. — Credit: UK Parliament

Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew, said: «I think the government made a couple of mistakes and we should own up to them.

«The first one is there have been concerns on the disciplinary process and how it works and whether it is fair or not for a number of years, but the government has never taken the steps to fix it.»

Mr Mayhew said the second mistake was in conflating the Owen Paterson issue into that.

He said: «Politically it was cloth-eared, so I am glad that the government has now separated the two issues and will be reviewing improvements of the system on a cross party basis.»

He said he watched the follow-up debate, but did not take part in it.

Chloe Smith

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith. — Credit: Neil Didsbury

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith said: «I am always prepared to justify my votes in Parliament and to be accountable to constituents for those. That is fundamental in this job. In this case, I recognise I got it wrong.

«I voted for the Leadsom amendment to the motion because I believe it contained some sensible points.

«It was designed to improve our standards system. I don’t think anyone thinks the current system is perfect, and there are some serious questions which need to be discussed.

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«For example, under the present disciplinary system, the accused party has no right of appeal and few rights when it comes to presenting witnesses or other supporting evidence.

«However, reforms to the process should not be tied to a vote on a single case. Or, indeed, applied retrospectively. MPs should hold themselves to the highest standards in public life and must accept a rule book.

«The government recognises this too, and that they made a mistake.»

Despite the whip, 13 Conservatives voted against the motion and no vote was recorded by 98 others — including Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney.

MP Peter Aldous at the Save All Hallows Trust public meeting at Ditchingham Village Hall. PICTURE: J

Waveney MP Peter Aldous. — Credit: Archant

Mr Aldous said he had not voted because he felt the two issues should have been considered separately and not be conflated.

He said: «I was not especially surprised by the subsequent reaction to the vote, since I realised the government had created the impression that it was conflating the case of Owen Paterson with any review of the standards system.

«This meant that people viewed the move as an attempt to change the rules in order to save a culpable colleague.

«It was clearly a big mistake to conflate the concerns about the investigations system with the particular case of Mr Paterson, and the government did not cover itself in glory last week.»

Mr Aldous said there was still a need for Parliament to decide how best to review the standards system.

He said: «It is important that this proceeds on a cross party basis, it may well be appropriate for it to be much wider in remit and for it to be overseen by an independent party.»

Mr Aldous did not take part in the follow up debate as he had made his views clear previously.

Mr Aldous said he did not believe there should be a blanket ban on MPs having second jobs, but that it was «essential that policymakers do not abuse their positions to benefit clients and a system is in place which prevents this from happening and carries public confidence».

Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman is unwell with Covid, so said he was not able to respond to our questions, while the office of South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said she could not respond as she was in Asia on ministerial business in her role as foreign secretary.

James Wild, North West Norfolk MP, Brandon Lewis, Great Yarmouth MP, and Richard Bacon, South Norfolk MP did not respond.

Following last week’s row, Mr Paterson announced he was quitting as MP for North Shropshire after 24 years, blaming the «cruel world of politics».

Parliament’s committee on standards had proposed he should be banned from sitting in the House of Commons for 30 days.

He had hoped to challenge the finding through a new appeals system.


Opposition parties have made political capital out of the mess the Conservatives found themselves in following last week’s vote.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused prime minister Boris Johnson of damaging democracy.

And Mr Johnson’s failure to attend the follow-up debate on Monday was also seized upon, while national papers now shining the spotlight on the issue of second jobs and lobbying.

But, perhaps just as harmful to Mr Johnson is the anger within his own party at how they were whipped to vote for the Andrea Leadsom standards report amendment.

Three of Norfolk’s MPs, to their credit, have admitted they — and the government — got it wrong in conflating the need for standards reform with Mr Paterson’s case.

Recent polls, one of which showed Mr Johnson’s approval ratings at a record low and another which showed the Tories’ lead over Labour in general election voting intention had dropped to just one percentage point, demonstrates the public’s anger.

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This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

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