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A geriatric semi-captive rhino died in Kenya recently. “Sudan”, a 45-year-old northern white rhino was put to sleep as vets decided, after months of ill health, that his condition had deteriorated to the point where the levels of pain and quality of life were unacceptable.

From a conservation perspective, this does not sound like a big deal. Sudan was one old rhino. He was well past breeding age. So why did his death make headlines?

Mindfulness is big business, worth in excess of US$1.0 billion in the US alone and linked – somewhat paradoxically – to an expanding range of must have products. These include downloadable apps (1300 at the last count), books to read or color in, and online courses. Mindfulness practice and training is now part of a global wellness industry worth trillions of dollars.

Claims of secret meetings and manipulation of the policy agenda. A split in government ranks, and threats to withdraw from a national review. It’s all just part and parcel of the latest round in the development of Australian animal welfare standards and guidelines, in this case proposed new standards for the poultry and egg industries.

In graduate school, I earned beer money by modeling for life drawing classes in various art departments. (Don’t judge, grad school doesn’t pay well and beer isn’t free.) In the long hours standing around, I would survey the room and count how many of the aspiring artists were left-handed. Later in my career, I did the same thing — counting lefties, not standing around naked — in the biology classes I taught.

Funny thing, in any given class, around 10 per cent of the students were lefties. It turns out this is true for all human populations, not only middle-America university classes. Globally, about 90 per cent of people are righties. But why?

Just as many people are trying to eat less processed food to improve their health, some dog owners are turning away from conventional pet food. Instead they’re trying to get back to what they see as a more traditional “butcher’s dog” diet of raw meat, albeit with pre-prepared products that can be served easily and frozen for convenience.

A recent study has raised concerns about the health risks of these raw meat based diet products as possible sources of some bacterial and parasitic diseases. But just how big a problem is this, and who is really at risk?

The Chinese government’s ongoing attempts to create a social credit system aimed at rating the trustworthiness of people and companies have generated equal measures of fascination and anxiety around the world. Social credit is depicted as something uniquely Chinese – a nefarious and perverse digital innovation that could only be conceived of and carried out by a regime like the Chinese Communist Party.