It's been a good week for ...


The modern, striving family doesn't just want the best for their children, they want the best for their pets as well, and the way to achieve both is through a good breakfast.

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Tests have already shown that children do better in cognitive exercises when they have eaten breakfast, but now the same has been shown for dogs.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky wanted to test how good canines were at finding hidden food. Half the animals tested were given breakfast, and the other half were given nothing.

What the researchers discovered is that the dogs who had been given breakfast found the food more accurately than those who had eaten nothing.

What it means, say the researchers, is that a single small meal can have a significant effect on problem-solving. It does not mean you should start feeding your children doggie treats.

It's been a bad week for ... birds

Specifically, Big Bird. The huge yellow bird who lives on Sesame Street can roller-skate, sing and count, but what he can't do is get involved in politics. So the makers of the children's show are upset that the character has appeared in an ad campaign for Barack Obama in the presidential elections.

Obama's campaign team used the bird after his rival Mitt Romney said that if he became president, he would cut funding to PBS, the organisation that makes Sesame Street. Over pictures of Romney and Big Bird, the ad said: "Big. Yellow. A menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about. It's Sesame Street."

In response, PBS said it was a non-partisan organisation and had asked for the ads to be discontinued. "We do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns," the company insisted. Romney's team said they found it troubling that the President's focus was on Big Bird.

Big Bird himself has so far made no comment. The Cookie Monster said he would vote for whoever gave the most cookies. And Count von Count said he just liked counting the candidates. "One. Two. Ha, ha, ha, ha."