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Jeanette Sophia (deWit) Mavity passed away at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings on April 13, 2014, due to complications of pneumonia. Born Feb. 22, 1939, in Den Helder, the Netherlands, Netty (Dutch version of her name) was the daughter of Ben and Betty (Rink) deWit. She had an older brother, Ben Jr.

Netty had a tumultuous childhood. The bombing of Den Helder during WWII sent the family to Amsterdam, where they lived until 1949. She went to grade school in Amsterdam until their father’s work brought the family to Jakarta, Indonesia. There, she finished grade school and attended a private high school, C.A.S., until ’55 and, after moving back to Holland, she finished her high schooling in Hilversum. In February ’57, Netty (now Jeanette), and her folks immigrated to the U.S. under the auspices of the United World Church Organization, locally sponsored by Stuart and Jackie North.

On March 1, Jeanette went to work at what is now KULR—TV. She retired from there as comptroller and, altogether, spent 28 years in the broadcasting business. On Oct. 17, 1959, Jeanette married Bill Mavity. They had two children: Alex and Yvette.

Jeanette was a member of the 1983 Greater Billings Management Task Force and a member of the City-County Consolidation Task Force. In 1989, she worked for Latigo during the Montana Centennial Cattle Drive.

In 1990, Jeanette started a new career in the travel industry as a travel agent and later as a cruise sales specialist. She and Bill enjoyed many trips abroad, as well as several cruises.

On Feb. 14, 1989, one of two life-changing events occurred for Jeanette when their only son, Alex, was shot and killed in the line of duty. This was a devastating blow to the family, as well as to his widow (and Jeanette’s daughter-in-law), Joyce, and 6-month-old daughter, Alexis. The second one was in April of 2000, when Jeanette suffered a massive stroke, from which she never fully recovered. This left a once-vibrant, independent woman to live out the rest of her life, relying on her husband to be her caregiver, driving her to therapy three times a week, never able to drive again or to live without the need of help in her everyday life.

Surviving Jeanette are her husband, Bill; daughter Yvette (Dick) McClintock; brother Ben and sister-in-law Hilde; niece Cherise, of Rochester, Minn.; granddaughter Alexis (Pat) Kenney; and her beloved Pete, the family Boston terrier.

Preceding her in death are her parents, nephew Michael deWit and son Alex.

The family would like to thank the third-floor staff at St. V’s, especially Carmen, RN, and Kathy H., CNA, who was so compassionate and wonderful with Jeanette during her final days, and thanks to Dr. Jeff Johnson and Rolo for the great care they provided Jeanette for some years.

Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Visitation/viewing will be from 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at Michelotti-Sawyers, 1001 Alderson Ave. The service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at Michelotti-Sawyers, with interment following in Mountview Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Al Bedoo Shrine Transportation Fund or the charity of choice.

Remembrances may be shared with the family by visiting

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AMSTERDAM, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

Responsibilities will include widening the brand’s global reach and continuing CPhI Worldwide event expansion

CPhI Worldwide, part of UBM Live, has announced the appointment of Rutger Oudejans to the role of Brand Director of the UBM Pharma Portfolio. Central to the role is responsibility for the strategic development of UBM’s Pharmaceutical brands (CPhI, ICSE, Inno-Pack and P-MEC), communities (CPhI Online), content (CPhI annual report), products and services.

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Rutger will primarily be responsible for the flagship CPhI Worldwide event taking place in Paris this year. He has tasked himself with expanding the brand’s exposure within the established Western markets, whilst also cementing attendance from an increasing number of emerging markets.

Oudejans will also continue to grow CPhI Worldwide’s Pre-Connect conference platform and the well-respected CPhI Pharma Awards, which recognise industry’s biggest innovations. He is a creative, strategic and highly experienced leader, who brings hands-on pharmaceutical industry knowledge to the position, having undertaken previous roles in Asia focusing on functional excipients and formerly representing UBM’s pharma division for several years.

Commenting on his appointment, Oudejans remarked: “I am delighted to be taking on this position within the Pharma division at UBM Live and I look forward to leading the delivery of CPhIs flagship Worldwide event. This year, we will continue to expand the event with increased exhibitors and attendees from across the globe, as well as launching the second edition of the annual report, alongside the successful custom matchmaking, innovation tours and free seminars.

About CPhI 

CPhI drives growth and innovation at every step of the global pharmaceutical supply chain from drug discovery to finished dosage. Through exhibitions, conferences and online communities, CPhI brings together more than 100,000 pharmaceutical professionals each year to network, identify business opportunities and expand the global market. CPhI hosts events in Europe, China, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, Istanbul, Russia and South America and co-locates with ICSE for contract services, P-MEC for machinery, equipment technology, InnoPack for pharmaceutical packaging and BioPh for biopharma. CPhI provides an online buyer supplier directory at

For more information visit:

The UBM Live annual schedule of Pharmaceutical events also includes CPhI Russia and IPhEB (16-17 April, 2014 at the Lenexpo Exhibition Complex – St Petersburg, Russia); CPhI, P-MEC and Innopack South East Asia (20-22 May, 2014 at the Jakarta International Expo – Jakarta, Indonesia); CPhI Istanbul (4-6 June, 2014, at the Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre – Turkey); CPhI, Hi and Fi, ICSE, P-MEC, BioPh and LabWorld China (26-28 June, 2014 at SNIEC- Shanghai, China); CPhI South America (5-7 August 2014 at Expo Centre Norte, Sao PauloBrazil); CPhI, ICSE Korea (2-3 September, 2014 at the COEX – Seoul, South Korea); CPhI, ICSE, P-MEC and InnoPack Worldwide (7-9 October 2014, Paris Nord Villepinte – France); CPhI and P-MEC India (2-4 December, 2014 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre – Mumbai); CPhI, ICSE, P-MEC, BioPh and Pharmatec Japan (22-24 April, 2015 at the Big Sight Exhibition Centre – Tokyo).

About UBM Live 

UBM Live connects people and creates opportunities for companies across five continents to develop new business, meet customers, launch new products, promote their brands, and expand their market. Through premier brands such as TFMA, Internet World, IFSEC, MDM, CPhI, Cruise Shipping Miami, the Concrete Show, and many others, UBM Live exhibitions, conferences, awards programs, publications, Websites, and training and certification programs are an integral part of the marketing plans of companies across more than 20 industry sectors.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Alex Heeley or Tristan Jervis    
De Facto Communications
T: +44-207-203-6745 / 6740
E: /


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AMSTERDAM, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

- The global meeting place for health and wellness industry innovation 

Europe’s leading nutritional ingredients event, Health ingredients (Hi) Europe Natural ingredients (Ni), will take place in December 2-4 2014 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This is the premier event in Europe offering food beverage manufacturers and producers the opportunity to find new suppliers and source health and natural ingredients.

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Consumers are now seeking beneficial, functional foods that provide solutions to their nutritional challenges, and the health and wellness food beverage industry is going through a period of substantial growth. The Netherlands currently shows significant development and opportunity, with an 18% increase in its health and wellness sales between 2008 and 2013. Furthermore, sales in the Benelux region reached €10 billion in 2013 and are expected to rise by €1 billion by 2018. Sales in products with specific health benefits and those renowned for their health properties are driving the upward trend in health and wellness. With an expected real term growth of 7% by 2017, the global health and wellness industry is on its way to hitting a record high of $1 trillion dollars.

To capture these market trends, Hi Europe will provide a global meeting place and environment for buyers and sellers within the worldwide health wellness ingredients industry, to conduct business. The show will highlight ingredients and solutions for food and drink formulation/reformulation, dietary supplements, nutraceuticals, organics and packaging processing. Registration for the event is now open at and pre-registration saves €110 onsite fees, while registering before June 1st includes a free market report on ‘The Growth of Nutraceuticals’.

Brand Director, Natasha Berrow, is anticipating the best edition to date, commenting: “We are delighted to host Hi Europe here in the Netherlands this year.  This event has proven to be the most successful platform for companies who want to market themselves in the vibrant and ever growing nutrition wellness market. In what is a truly global meeting place for professionals of the health and natural ingredients industry, 8,000 attendees are predicted to attend the show over the 3 days to unearth new business partners, suppliers and the learn about the latest innovations shaping the industry.”

We at UBM Live expect the 2014 edition to be the best to date, with 87% of stand space already booked. Over 500 health and natural ingredients providers will exhibit at Hi Europe, including leading companies such as Naturex, Kerry Group, Nexira, Roquette and Tate Lyle. The show brings four newly focused elements to the portfolio – notably nutritional solutions, contract services, packaging and processing innovations, and formulation / reformulation, offering a complete 360° perspective of the trillion dollar health, natural and nutritional food and beverage industry.

Over 8,000 attendees are expected over the 3 days of Hi Europe, representing a worldwide audience from over 90 countries from a broad spectrum of product categories and industry stakeholders. As 82% of visitors are expected to do business, they will be seeking solutions to further develop products or reformulate their existing ones, keeping up to date on market developments, increasing their networks and taking the opportunity to grow their market share with key global suppliers. Combined with a high-level conference, Hi Europe will also provide the opportunity for visitors to attend seminars and workshops, on industry developments and key market trends.

Hi Europe is presented by the organisers of key event, Food ingredients (Fi) Europe, part of the Fi Global portfolio.

About Food ingredients Global – the trusted route to market since 1986 

Food ingredients was launched in Utrecht, The Netherlands, in 1986. Its portfolio of live events, publications, extensive data, digital solutions and high-level conferences, are now established throughout the world and provide regional and global platforms for all stakeholders, in the food ingredients industry. Over 500,000 people have attended our shows over the years with billions of Euros worth of business created, as a result. With over 25 years of excellence, our events, digital solutions and supporting products, deliver a proven route to market, with a truly global audience. For more information about the Food ingredients Portfolio please visit:

About the Organiser 

UBM Live connects people, and creates opportunities for companies across five continents to develop new business, meet customers, launch new products, promote their brands and expand their markets. Through premiere brands such as Fi, NuW, MDM, CPhI, IFSEC, TFMA, Cruise Shipping Miami, the Concrete Show and many others, UBM Live exhibitions, conferences, awards programs, publications, websites, training and certification programs are an integral part of the marketing plans of companies across more than 20 industry sectors. UBM Live is a division of United Business Media (LSE: UBM.L,, a leading global B2B media provider with 6,500 staff in 40 countries. Incorporated in 1918 as United Newspapers Limited, we live by the motto: “We explore, we exceed, you excel.”

For more information about UBM Live, please visit:


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New Fringe Festival for Cape Town

National Arts Festival
04/16/2014 05:04:39

The National Arts Festival and the City of Cape Town have announced a partnership which will see the launch of a new performing arts festival.

The National Arts Festival and the City of Cape Town today announced a partnership which will see the launch of a new performing arts festival in September, modelled on some of the world’s iconic events.

The new Cape Town Fringe is inspired by the energy and ethos of popular Fringe Festivals in New York, Amsterdam, Adelaide and Edinburgh, and will feature “young, dynamic and cutting edge” work from some of the country’s leading theatremakers, according to Festival CEO Tony Lankester.

“The Fringe model rests on two pillars – firstly the nature of the work on a Fringe is such that it is bold, innovative, exciting and it pushes boundaries for both artists and audiences; secondly a Fringe festival has a business model behind it which encourages independence and sustainability, while costs are shared between performers,” he said.

The Cape Town Fringe aims to present around 40 productions in venues in and around the city centre, as well as in satellite venues in areas such as Langa. “Access is critical to the success of a Fringe and was a big factor in our decision to proceed with this project,” Executive Deputy Mayor, Ian Neilson, acting Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing said. “Ticket pricing, choice of venues as well as the scheduling of performances all contribute to making a Fringe Festival appeal to as many people as possible, both traditional and non-traditional theatergoing audiences,” Neilson continued.

A public call for proposals was made at the launch of the event, with the Festival’s Artistic Director, Ismail Mahomed, saying that organisers were looking for work that is “brash, bold, cheeky, outspoken, confident, socially aware and independent”.

“The Fringe model means that productions will pay a modest registration and venue hire fee, and then take the lion’s share of the box office,” Mahomed explained. “The Fringe itself then manages the bulk of the marketing, ticket sales, venue setup and all the staffing, financial, technical and legal requirements for the event.”

While the Fringe will use as many as 16 venues, Cape Town’s City Hall will form the ‘home base’ for the event, and will boast several performance venues and a Fringe Hub where artists, audiences and the media will gather at the end of each day.

“That kind of hub is critical – it breaks down walls between performers and their audiences, and it creates a sense of Fringe community around the event,” Lankester said.

The choice of Cape Town as a host city came about after the National Arts Festival conducted an extensive analysis of where to stage a new Festival. “We wanted to extend our reach beyond Grahamstown and stage a new Fringe in a City which already puts creativity at the forefront; which has a strong and loyal theatergoing audience; which has the right energy for a free-spirited event such as this; and which has the scale to grow the Fringe over time, without losing the sense of intimacy that is so important,” Lankester said. “On each of those scores Cape Town came out tops – it’s the best possible home for the country’s newest Festival.”

The National Arts Festival is a member of the prestigious World Fringe Alliance – a grouping of nine Fringe Festivals which, collectively, reach an audience of over 3-million people. Alliance membership comprise the Fringe Festivals in Grahamstown, Hollywood, New York, Edinburgh, Brighton, Prague, Amsterdam, Perth and Adelaide.

“We’re building the Cape Town Fringe on this bedrock of global best practice,” Lankester, who was the founding Chair of the Alliance, said. “Through our network we will be able to bring some great international productions to Cape Town, and continue creating opportunities for our artists to travel the world.”

The City have committed to partner on the project for a three-year period, provided the event meets certain attendance and participation targets. “We want this event to not only enrich the lives of residents, but also to create jobs, contribute to the economy and drive tourism,” Neilson said.

“The National Arts Festival team delivers one of the world’s best-known and biggest events each year in Grahamstown. Through this partnership they will weave the same magic in Cape Town and put the City on the world Fringe map.”

The Cape Town Fringe will run from 25 September until 5 October 2014. The call for proposals is currently open and more information can be found at Account:
Fiona Gordon
The Famous Idea Trading Co
011 446 7046
072 298 6831
National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

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April 16 (Reuters) – For other related diaries, please

DIARY – U.S. Federal Reserve

DIARY – European Central Bank

DIARY – Polling Unit Diary

DIARY – Today in Washington

DIARY – Key World Financial Events

DIARY – Political and General news

DIARY – Index of all Diaries

DIARY – Economic data forecast

DIARY – Major Central Bank Events

** This Diary is filed daily **


WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book of Economic
Condition – 1800 GMT.
TOKYO – Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks at the
Japan Trust Banks Association – 0615 GMT.
LJUBLJANA – Slovenia Finance Minister Uros Cufer speaks at a
business conference on the European and Slovenian banking sector
- 0700 GMT.
STONE MOUNTAIN, United States – Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
President Dennis Lockhart gives welcome remarks before the 2014
Financial Markets Conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank
of Atlanta – 1150 GMT.
STONE MOUNTAIN, United States – Federal Reserve Board Governor
Jeremy Stein participates in panel, “Greasing the Skids: Was
Quantitative Easing Needed to Unstick Markets? Or Has It Merely
Sped Us toward the Next Crisis?” before the 2014 Financial
Markets Conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
- 1200 GMT.
OTTAWA – Bank of Canada key policy interest rate announcement
and Monetary Policy Report – 1400 GMT.
STONE MOUNTAIN, United States – Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
President Dennis Lockhart gives closing remarks before the 2014
Financial Markets Conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank
of Atlanta – 1530 GMT.
NEW YORK – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks before the
Economic Club of New York – 1615 GMT.
AUSTIN, United States – Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
President Richard Fisher speaks on the U.S. and regional
economic outlook before the Texas Public Policy Foundation
“Texas at a Turning Point, A Free Market Economics Conference
and Luncheon” in Austin – 1725 GMT.
FRANKFURT – ECB Governing Council meeting.


TIRANA, Albania – ECB Executive Board member Yves Mersch speaks
in Tirana – 1100 GMT.


TORONTO, Canada – Former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve,
Ben Bernanke, will give a speech entitled “Eight Years of Crisis
Management at the Federal Reserve and the Way Forward” – 1545


LONDON – Bank of England will release the Minutes of April
Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting – 0830 GMT.
HELSINKI – Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, Finance
Minister Jutta Urpilainen and The Finns Party leader Timo Soini
participate in a election debate – 1300 GMT.
KYOTO, Japan – Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso
speaks at an International Association of Deposit Insurers’
conference in Kyoto – 0025 GMT.
TALLINN – Estonian Central Bank to hold its Financial Stability
news conference.


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – ECB President Mario Draghi gives a
keynote speech at the conference “De Nederlandsche Bank 200
years: central banking in the next two decades” organized by De
Nederlandsche Bank in Amsterdam – 0900 GMT.
STOCKHOLM – Swedish Riksbank will release the Minutes of April
monetary policy meeting – 0730 GMT.
MADRID – ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio speaks at a
conference on Banking Union organized by Master in Banking and
Financial Regulation/Center for Banking Studies, University of
Navarra in Madrid – 1615 GMT.
SASKATOON, Canada – Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz
speaks to the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership in
Saskatoon – 1845 GMT.
WELLINGTON – Reserve Bank of New Zealand announces Official
Cash Rate (OCR).


BERNE – Swiss National Bank (SNB) Chairman of Governing Board
Thomas Jordan and President Jean Studer speaks at the SNB’s
General Shareholders Meeting in Berne – 0800 GMT.
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Bank for International Settlements
(BIS) General Manager Jaime Caruana, speaks at a conference in
Amsterdam to mark the 200th anniversary of the Dutch central
bank – 1330 GMT.
CALGARY, Canada – Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver delivers
a speech to the Calgary chapter of the Economic Club of Canada -
1400 GMT.


PARIS – Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer holds news
conference on “The stakes for economic and monetary policy – the
situation in France and the euro zone” – 0800 GMT.


WASHINGTON – Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)
Annual 2014 Washington Policy Summit (to May 2). Federal Reserve
Chair Janet Yellen speaks on the third day of the conference -
1230 GMT.


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NOTE: The inclusion of diary items does not necessarily mean
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Yawning is one of the first things we learn to do. “Learn” may not even be quite the right word. Johanna de Vries, a professor of obstetrics at Vrije University Amsterdam, has discovered that the human fetus yawns during its first trimester in the womb. And, unless we succumb to neurodegenerative disease, yawning is something we keep doing throughout our lives. “You don’t decide to yawn,” Robert Provine, a neuroscientist and the author of “Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond,” told me. “You just do it. You’re playing out a biological program.” We yawn unconsciously and we yawn spontaneously. We can’t yawn on command—and we sometimes can’t stop ourselves from letting out a big yawn, even at the most inopportune times. (Case in point: Sasha Obama’s infamous yawn during her father’s 2013 Inaugural Address.) But what, precisely, are we accomplishing with all this yawning? If it’s so evolutionarily old, it must be doing something important to have survived.

In 400 B.C., Hippocrates speculated that yawning was somehow related to fever: we yawned to expel the bad air that had accumulated inside our bodies, making us ill, much like “the large quantities of steam that escape from cauldrons when water boils.” That intuition has proved remarkably resilient. As recently as 2011, the psychologist Gordon Gallup argued that the yawn is a cooling mechanism for the brain and the body. But the evidence for those theories has been decidedly mixed, and, for now, the physiological function of the yawn remains elusive. As Provine puts it, “Yawning may have the dubious distinction of being the least understood, common human behavior.”

A more reliable clue to why we yawn may come from when, precisely, we do so. We usually think of yawning as a signal of sleepiness or boredom—one of the reasons Sasha Obama’s yawn seemed so inappropriate. Indeed, fatigue and boredom do reliably elicit yawns. While yawning isn’t actually related to the amount of sleep we get—how physiologically tired we are—or the time of day we choose to wake up and go to bed, it does seem to grow more intense when we’re feeling subjectively sleepy. In a series of studies conducted in the eighties and nineties, Provine demonstrated that people report yawning more frequently when they are feeling tired. They are especially prone to yawning in the hour immediately after waking and the hour preceding their usual bedtimes. Yawning also increases with boredom. In one experiment, Provine’s subjects yawned far more frequently when looking at static than when watching music videos. We also yawn when we’re getting hungry—a tendency we appear to share with other primates.

Boredom, hunger, fatigue: these are all states in which we may find our attention drifting and our focus becoming more and more difficult to maintain. A yawn, then, may serve as a signal for our bodies to perk up, a way of making sure we stay alert. When the psychologist Ronald Baenninger, a professor emeritus at Temple University, tested this theory in a series of laboratory studies coupled with naturalistic observation (he had subjects wear wristbands that monitored physiology and yawning frequency for two weeks straight), he found that yawning is more frequent when stimulation is lacking. In fact, a yawn is usually followed by increased movement and physiological activity, which suggests that some sort of “waking up” has taken place.

“You yawn when you’re obviously not bored,” Provine points out. “Olympic athletes sometimes yawn before their events; concert violinists may yawn before playing a concerto.” Provine once had a lab member who had been part of the Army Special Forces. As part of his research, he decided to look at soldiers who were preparing to jump from an airplane for the first time. The incidence of yawning went up just before they made their way to the cabin door. A yawn, Provine believes, may simply signal a change of physiological state: a way to help our mind and body transition from one behavioral state to another—“sleep to wakefulness, wakefulness to sleep, anxiety to calm, boredom to alertness.” So, rather than condemn poor Sasha, we may be better off praising her: in yawning, her body may have been making an effort to reëngage itself rather than succumb to fatigue or hunger.

Yet the idea that we yawn when we’re about to change states is unlikely to be the whole story, for one simple reason: we yawn, most reliably of all, when we see or hear others yawning—whether or not we happen to be feeling particularly drowsy or bored or anxious or hungry ourselves. It’s a phenomenon known as contagious yawning. We also yawn when we so much as think about yawning: in one of Provine’s studies, eighty-eight per cent of people who were instructed to think of yawns yawned themselves within thirty minutes. We yawn when we read about it. “One reason my enthusiasm for studying contagion diminished is because everything causes yawning,” Provine says. (Are you yawning yet?)

Why are yawns so contagious? Does the fact that we catch them from one another shed light on their underlying function? One possibility is that contagious yawning serves as a way of showing empathy. While all vertebrate mammals experience spontaneous yawning, only humans and our closest relatives, chimpanzees, seem to experience the contagion effect—a sign that there may be a deeper social meaning to the experience. What’s more, while spontaneous yawning occurs in the womb, contagious yawning develops only later in life, as does empathy. Children younger than five don’t yawn any more often when watching videos of yawns than they would normally.

Proponents of the empathy theory cite evidence from studies of closeness: how close we feel to someone affects how likely we are to yawn when they do. We’re more likely to catch a yawn from a family member versus a friend, a friend versus an acquaintance, and an acquaintance versus a stranger. Recent evidence suggests that the effect extends to race: we catch yawns more easily from members of our own race than from members of different races. Chimpanzees and bonobos share this pattern of favoritism. In one recent study, Frans de Waal and Matthew Campbell had two groups of chimpanzees watch a series of videos. In some videos, they saw familiar chimpanzees either yawning or resting, and in others they saw unfamiliar chimpanzees doing the same thing. Both groups yawned more frequently when watching their own group members yawn. A similar pattern was observed in bonobos, who yawned more frequently the stronger their social bond with the yawner. Some scientists cite further evidence from studies of subjects with schizophrenia and autism: in both cases, contagious yawning is diminished, though spontaneous yawning remains intact.

But yawning a lot doesn’t necessarily make someone particularly empathetic. When Alex Bartholomew and Elizabeth Cirulli observed more than three hundred individuals both in the lab and at home, noting how many times they yawned while watching a three-minute yawning video, they found consistent differences among their subjects. It didn’t matter how empathetic or aloof they tested to be; some were simply more susceptible to the contagion than others. The only factor that proved relevant, in fact, was age: older people were less likely to catch a yawn than their younger counterparts. Unless we also think the older we get the less empathetic we get, the relationship seems highly suspect. A 2010 review of the contagion literature, conducted by the Stanford University psychologists Jennifer Yoon and Claudio Tennie, came to a similar conclusion, finding little evidence that contagion and empathy were in any way causally related.

Rather than empathy, the contagious nature of yawning may be highlighting something very different. “We’re getting insight into the human herd: yawning as a primal form of sociality,” Provine says. Yawning may be, at its root, a mechanism of social signalling. When we yawn, we are communicating with one another. We are sending an external sign of something internal, be it our boredom or our anxiety, our fatigue or our hunger—all moments when we may need a helping hand. In fact, yawning may be the opposite of what we generally think. It’s less likely a signal that you’re tired than a signal that it’s time for everyone around you to act.

At its most fundamental, a yawn is a form of communication—one of the most basic mechanisms we have for making ourselves understood to others without words. “It’s often said that behavior doesn’t leave fossils,” Provine says. “But, with yawning, you are looking at a behavioral fossil. You’re getting an insight into how all of behavior once was.”

Photograph by Chris Steele-Perkins/Magnum.

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King's Day

In 2013, Amsterdam spent an entire year celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the historic Canal Ring, the reign of Queen Beatrix, her abdication and then the inauguration of her son, King Willem-Alexander. Any city would be forgiven for patting themselves on the back, hanging up their dancing shoes and taking it easy for the next 12 months at least. But no one ever accused Amsterdam of being just ‘any city’.

Far from resting on last year’s laurels, Amsterdam’s planning to throw a 2014 party of all parties to celebrate its first ever King’s Day on April 26th. Although King’s Day is generally on April 27th. But since that’s a Sunday, this year it’s on the 26th and it’s really only the name ‘King’s Day’ that’s a first, because there’s been a traditional Queen’s Day in the Netherlands since 1885, normally on the 27th.

Confused? Don’t be. King’s Day is an immense celebration on April 26th 2014 all over the Netherlands, and Amsterdam is partying harder than anywhere – all day and all night – and everyone’s invited.

It’s a Dutch Royal Event so from cake frosting to clothes, pet costumes, hats, houses and faces, orange is the colour of the day – you don’t need to go all out, but even a tiny hint will get you into the King’s Day spirit. If you’re in Amsterdam you won’t see the Royal Family (they’re visiting Amstelveen and Graft-De-Rijp this year), but the city’s not short on action in every other aspect and as always the focus is on fine Dutch traditions like trading, sailing, eating, drinking and intense partying.

VRIJMARKT (King’s Day Citywide Free Market)

12010731335_1550561d8b_bcredit: Hindrik Sijens

Kicking off the King’s Day celebrations at 6am, the annual Vrijmarkt is the mother of all Flea Markets. Almost every inch of Amsterdam is commandeered by traders (basically anyone with something to sell) and the atmosphere is incredible; noisy and colourful with lots of friendly haggling, loud music, excellent street food and some amazing finds. It’s as if the entire city turned out its attic and put the contents up for sale. Vintage clothes, millions of books, home stuff, kitchen stuff, paintings, photographs, you name it and someone is selling it. But if you really want to see where the Dutch reputation for steely determination comes from, visit The Vondelpark on King’s Day. The biggest and most famous park in Amsterdam is given over to children from 9am on April 26th so they can sell their outgrown toys and clothes and make some cash to buy new ones. It’s very endearing no doubt about it, but the smaller citizens of Amsterdam drive a hard-bargain, so don’t be too fooled by the cute.


King's Day boats

If you live in Amsterdam and you aren’t selling your worldly possessions on April 26th, you’re probably sailing instead. This isn’t the day to take a Canal Cruise because every waterway in the city’s packed with barges and houseboats and motor boats and rowing boats and dinghies and anything else that floats. They’re all glammed up for the day and going nowhere fast. But that’s ok, because it’s not the point of being on the water on King’s Day. The point is just to party and because there are just about as many bridges as there are canals in the city you don’t even need a boat to be part of the spectacle. Just leave every shred of inhibition behind, find a vantage point, get dancing and go for it.


478880295_9a73a11421_bcredit: Charles Roffey

The traditional Bredeweg festival in Amsterdam’s Oost District is the city’s busiest and best known street party. It starts on King’s Night and doesn’t stop till King’s Day is done and dusted and there’s nowhere more family-friendly. Performance artists, face painters, story tellers, musicians, bands, theatre, a huge street market, rides, workshops and even a fair, make Bredeweg an event in itself and it’s free. Free, family-friendly and great fun can also be found at NDSM Vrijhaven 2014 in the city’s Noord District, an enormous party with the emphasis on food, drink, art and live music – plus another huge children’s Street Market.


Amsterdam King's Day party

Live music is one of the big King’s Day traditions and there are loads of ticketed parties in Amsterdam with everything from techno and house to hardstyle, jazz and about as many DJ’s as you’d ever want in any one city. But if you can’t get tickets (some parties were sold out months ago) or partying for free is just more satisfying, then you’re in luck. De Pijp’s famous Albert Cuypmarket is closed for King’s Day but open for ‘Arcade King’s Day’, a mammoth music event from midday to 8pm that’s madly busy and totally free. The Noord District’s NDSM Wharf is hosting ‘These Guys King’s Day’ with live electronic acts and dj’s doing their stuff surrounded by shipping containers. And local noise takes centre stage at the free ‘Kingsize Festival’ (added bonus of Kingsize XXL after-party at Club Underground from 11pm).

KONINGSNACHT (King’s Night 25th April)


If you’re looking to spend King’s Day in a pleasantly spacy, sleep-deprived haze, you want to hit King’s Night hard on April 25th. Be prepared for anything, as long as it’s loud, relentless and lasts all night because that’s what over a dozen music marathons city-wide have in store for King’s Night 2014. Not fussed about what or who you listen to and just want to party? Then visit on 25th April and take your chances.


Amsterdam LGBT

No party’s complete without a Mardi-Gras (at least as far as Amsterdam’s concerned). So don’t wait till the city’s Gay Pride carnival in August. Get some of King’s Day’s pink and orange spectacle on April 26th as well. There are LGBT events all over the city, music and dancing are the rule, the atmosphere is full-on party and the places to be are Reguliersdwarsstraat, Westermarkt, Wamoesstraat and Zeedijk. has regularly updated LGBT King’s Day party info.

If I missed someone or something, I’m sorry. But there’s a lot going for King’s Day this year and I am, but one lowly writer. All I can say by way of compensation is; go to Amsterdam for April 26th you’ll love it and all my oversights will be forgotten.

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