Pets are among life's greatest joys; they can also be our greatest teachers. The study of animal behavior is a cornerstone of experimental psychology, shedding light on complex human emotions. Pets also have a unique therapaeutic hold over humans, especially people who are socially isolated or who are coping with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum.
Expanding your social network beyond your familiar circle of friends can have surprising benefits. It's those weak ties that bring fresh ideas and unexpected opportunities: a job or an apartment or a mate. The Internet is providing new tools for cultivating and capitalizing on those networks; someone you've never met in person could change your life.