It's one of the worst-kept secrets of family life that all parents have a preferred son or daughter, and the rules for acknowledging it are the same everywhere: The favored kids recognize their status and keep quiet about it - the better to preserve the good thing they've got going and to keep their siblings off their back.
The mind and the body are inextricably entwined, and rarely are their inseparability clearer than when we're under some kind of mental pressure. The moment we start trying to learn a new skill, make a decision or otherwise think on our feet, our nervous system reacts - with accelerated pulse rate, increased respiration, even sweating.
Marriage is a lot of things - a source of love, security, the joy of children, but it's also an interpersonal battlefield, and it's not hard to see why: Take two disparate people, toss them together in often-confined quarters, add the stresses of money and kids - now lather, rinse, repeat for the rest of your natural life. What could go wrong?
What people fear most about tragedy is its randomness - a taxi cab jumps the curb and hits a pedestrian, a gun misfires and kills a bystander. Better to have some rational cause and effect between incident and injury. And if cause and effect aren't possible, better that there at least be some reward for all the suffering.
There are a lot of obstacles in the way of our understanding animal intelligence - not the least being that we can't even agree whether nonhuman species are conscious. We accept that chimps and dolphins experience awareness; we like to think dogs and cats do. But what about mice and newts? What about a fly? Is anything going on there at all?