Amusing News Aliquots
Jun05

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings of this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber. Chobani claims scientists have nothing to do with their 100-calorie yogurt. That’s a relief since science is, after all, “an adulterant known to dramatically inflate calorie count.” [Popular Science] “Finally, scientific research on kissing!” nerds everywhere cheer. Some result tidbits: Men who kiss their wives before work live 5 years longer, make 20-30% more money and are far less likely to get in a car accident. [Time] Have you ever thought your coworker was behaving like an ape? Then you’ll sympathize with the Spanish zookeeper who mistook a costumed coworker for a gorilla and shot him with a tranquilizer dart. [ShortList] More primate news! Caltech scientists have observed that chimpanzees outperform humans in hide-and-seek. It’s the kind of news that would make humans hide in shame, if they weren’t already so bad at hiding. [ScienceDaily] Evolution not shocked that it still faces an uphill battle. Population that believes God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years: 42% of Americans, 22% of Canadians/Brits, 8% of Norwegians. [Gallup via io9] Beer actually grows on trees in India. College students, start booking your spring-break flights now. [International Business News] A sea snail’s tongue looks like a conveyer belt studded with rows and rows of pointy teeth (and other nifty science close-ups). [Humans Invent] Lemurs love pink flamingos. We hear they’re less keen on Polyester and Hairspray though. [io9]...

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Amusing News Aliquots
May22

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber. A zoo in the Philippines has begun offering its patrons a snake massage, in which four pythons crawl over the bodies of their massage subjects. In related news, a zoo in the Philippines has begun feeding its pythons humans with bad backs. [Metro] Shortly after being born, a baby moose in Ontario made a trip to Tim Hortons.  It’s proof that nature’s food chain really does work. [Sun News] More Canadian animal news! A momma black bear in British Columbia was recently videotaped pulling one of her cubs away from a busy highway. [Toronto Sun] Researchers set up an exercise wheel for wild mice, and it becomes a popular local hangout for the critters. Wow, even mice are trying to get to the gym. [Guardian] Why don’t octopus arms get stuck together? Chemistry, of course. [Seriously, Science?] Stanford researcher makes origami microscope—and you thought all those origami cranes were impressive. [Humans Invent] There’s been a long-time fear of the government tapping our phones, but nah, we don’t mind the recording technology that comes with a “Like” button, a “Feeling Happy” status option, and ridiculously good-looking tagged photos of ourselves. [Valley Wag] In other social media news, perhaps you and your friends’ photos are in NASA’s #GlobalSelfie. [Time] Yelp can help you find a place to have dinner – and can also help epidemiologists track unreported cases of food poisoning. Perhaps individual users should also search for “sick,” “vomit,” “diarrhea,” and “food poisoning” when picking a date spot.  [Washington...

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Amusing News Aliquots
May01

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber. Praying mantises fitted with world’s tiniest 3D glasses. In other news, praying mantises swarm local movie theater hoping to see “Avatar.” [Pop Sci] Attention male researchers: Step away from the mice. Apparently men’s pheromones make mice stressed and more timid, whereas female researchers have no such effect. Time to revisit those experiments. Yes, all of them. [iO9] Taco Bell reveals the ingredients in its “Special Recipe” (which accounts for 12% of the fast food joint’s beef – the other 88% of their beef is beef). Turns out that “Special Recipe” is neither pixie dust nor crystal meth, it’s just a bunch of chemical additives. [Taco Bell] Owners of a Pennsylvania hair salon were surprised this week when a bear cub walked up to their store. Even more surprising, the cub asked for “the Rachel.” [ABC27] Calls to the Scottsdale, Ariz., fire department about meddlesome snakes are on the rise. Also on the rise? The number of annoyed Scottsdale, Ariz., firefighters. [AZFamily.com] Can’t tell whether that Italian soccer player is faking anguish to get the call? Turns out, we’re all pretty bad at discerning between real and feigned emotion. But computers are much better. [New York Times] Speaking of faces, a study shows men’s preference for women with more feminine features depends on the health index of their home country. Harsher conditions might make those buff, manly ladies seem more attractive … [Science] A Los Angeles-based comedy troupe has begun serving hamsters tiny burritos while they sit at dinner tables. It’s proof that no waitstaff job is too degrading when you’re trying to make it in Hollywood. [YouTube] Fox News: They report; you decide. In this case you get to decide which of five wacky ways to open a corked bottle of wine. [Fox News] Not for the faint of heart. The link says it all. [Has the Whale Exploded...

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Amusing News Aliquots
Apr11

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber. When is a squirrel not a squirrel? When it’s eating out of a squirrel feeder shaped like a horse, of course. [Washington Post] Researchers get prairie voles soused and then study their “pairing behavior.” Anyone who’s been to a bar on a Saturday night knows how this study ends. [National Geographic] “Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots – everybody!” Turns out, the teens who most enjoy listening to songs with alcohol-soaked lyrics are also most likely to drink and binge on alcohol. No word on whether training kids to emulate song lyrics can be traced back to Baby Mozart CDs. [NPR] After being asked by a local radio station to name the ingredients in the chicken patty sandwich it serves students, Chicago Public Schools has responded by saying the sandwich consists of a “chicken patty” and “bun.” The evasive response has resulted in irate parents wanting to serve the school system plenty of knuckle sandwiches. [WBEZ] Although Newscripts condones peeing in the ocean, researchers find that peeing in a swimming pool creates toxic byproducts. [Washington Post] Oft overlooked elements get a little attention. Were you feeling taken for granted, Europium? [Mother Nature Network] Have you checked out the Compound Interest blog? It’s pretty nifty. [Daily Mail] Crank up that chemistry set. A $5 chemistry lab is in the making, inspired by wind-up music boxes. [C&EN] According to researchers at the University of Louisville, three-dimensional printing may one day be used to construct a heart. The news is yet another example of the medical community putting the needs of tin woodmen ahead of the needs of scarecrows and cowardly lions. [San Francisco...

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Amusing News Aliquots
Mar20

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber. Scientists have characterized the sea anemone as half animal and half plant. When the sea anemone tries to pick someone up at a bar, however, it likes to say that it’s all animal. [ScienceDaily] A Tibetan mastiff has been purchased in China for almost $2 million. Dog experts say it may be the most someone’s ever paid for the privilege of picking up poop. [NY Daily News] Polar bear cubs at a German zoo used a photo op this week to make their first public appearance with their mother. Surprisingly, a bottle of Coca-Cola was nowhere to be found. [The Guardian] In other zoo news, depressed man gets yet another rejection – from a tiger. [Time] On average, Americans assume that 30% of Congress smokes pot. When asked whether they cared that their representatives get high, many said, “Nah, man, whatever. That’s totally cool, dude.” [Huffington Post] Dr. Freddy on Five Things Synthetic Chemists Hate. The Newscripts gang heartily concurs. [Synthetic Remarks] “Covered with more than 880 gems, the Diamond Armor suit repels both bullets and stains and even has built-in air conditioning.” But what will stop the relentless eyerolls? [Daily Mail] Add this to the list of inventions we’re not sure we want: the Smell-o-phone. [CNN] We journalists were going to write a story about how journalism is dying, but a robot scooped us....

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