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The FREAKest Links: The Furry Reaper Edition

Via In the current New England Journal of Medicine, Brown University assistant medical professor David Dosa profiles Oscar, a cat in a Rhode Island nursing home who has demonstrated an ability to predict when patients will die. His means of communicating an approaching demise is uniquely feline: he curls up and naps next to those close to death. (Hat tip to Greg Preston, who pointed out the tragic possibility that Dosa might be getting it backwards, and the cat could in fact be causing deaths.)

ScienceDaily reports on a study by Stanford medical school researcher David Spiegel showing that, contrary to the results of his previous study, participating in group therapy does not lengthen the lives of women with breast cancer — though it does improve their quality of life. On the downside, spending all that time together may wind up making everyone in the group fat.

Slate introduces its aggregate guide to the political markets, with the goal described as follows: “If a single prediction market is wiser than the pundits and the polls, imagine how wise all the prediction markets are together.”