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For better or worse, there are now civility awards. “The nation’s first ever award for civility” has been bestowed upon syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks, who manage to argue on PBS without insult during the weekly “Newshour.”

The public broadcaster was proud, and ironically, a little uncivil in its own response.

“Their civil and informative discussion of politics stands in stark contrast to the partisan and often prickly environment that dominates the political landscape today,” executive producer Linda Winslow says.

The academic world was more succinct.

“They demonstrate that civility does not require one to be tepid,” observes James Mullen Jr., president of Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.


Cellphones have brought us into the era of being right-eared or left-eared. More than 70 percent of the blabbing population listen to their phones on the same ear as their dominant hand, regardless of how well they hear in either ear, says research released Sunday from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. In the study of 700 respondents, 90 percent were right-handed, 9 percent were left-handed and 1 percent ambidextrous.

Among the righties, 68 percent held the phone to their right ear, while 25 percent used the left ear and 7 percent used either ears. Among lefties, 72 percent used their left ear, while 23 percent used their right ear and 5 percent had no preference

Dr. Michael Seidman, lead researcher and the hospital’s director of otologic surgery, says the revelaton about the correlation between “cerebral dominance and sidedness of cell phone use” might help in tricky speech and language diagnoses. He also says the study may offer evidence that cellphone use and brain tumors are not linked.

If there were a “strong connection,” Dr. Seidman suggests there would be a far more people diagnosed with cancer on the right side of their brain, head and neck — the dominate side for cellphone use.


• 51 percent of Americans say President Obama is “too liberal”; 17 percent of Democrats and 89 percent of Republicans agree.

• 35 percent overall says his political views are “about right”; 69 percent of Democrats and 6 percent of Republicans agree.

• 10 percent of Americans say Mr. Obama is “too conservative”; 11 percent of Democrats and 3 percent of Republicans agree.

• 22 percent of Americans say Mitt Romney is “too liberal”; 19 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of Republicans agree.

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