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at work wearing a little black dress and a red wig and declaring that he had begun hormone therapy and wanted to be called Dawn Ennis. As co-workers accommodated his wishes (which did not seem so unusual in contemporary professional society), Ennis began to have second thoughts, and by July had blamed his conversion on “transient global amnesia,” brought on by marital difficulties, and had returned to work as Don. Apparently the primary lingering effect is that he must still deal with Dawn’s hormone-induced breasts.

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT ; Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a mirror that makes a person appear happy even when not. A built-in camera tracks facial features in real time, then tweaks the image to turn up the corners of the mouth and to create the beginnings of a smile in the eyes. Of what practical use would such a mirror be? Other Japanese researchers, according

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to a Slate.com report in August, believe that happy-face mirrors in retail stores would improve shoppers’ dispositions and lead to more sales.

PERSPECTIVE ; The Costa Rican government announced recently that it would close all its zoos, effective March 2014, and free animals either to the wild or to safe “retirement” shelters. Since the country is known for its expansive biodiversity (500,000 unique organisms, despite occupying barely more than 1/100th of 1 percent of Earth’s area), it is time, the environment minister said, to allow the organisms to interact instead of imprisoning them. Costa Rica is also one of only four countries to ban the exploitation of dolphins.

LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS ; In July, following sustained criticism, Thomson Reuters business information company suspended an advance-release

V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m

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