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Category → Chemistry in the News

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber.

This squirrel loves to horse around. Credit: Jim Zielinski/ZielinskiPhotography.com

This squirrel loves to horse around.
Credit: Jim Zielinski/ZielinskiPhotography.com

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 Chronicle]

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber.

Drop it like it's hot: Frogs can't reproduce unless they get those pants off. Credit: Buzz Hoot Roar

Drop it like it’s hot: Frogs can’t reproduce unless they get those pants off. Credit: Buzz Hoot Roar

Ever wonder how scientists deciphered the mysteries of reproduction? Did you know frogs in tiny taffeta pants were involved? [Buzz Hoot Roar]

Study finds that couples who yawn together, stay together. It’s just the sort of motivation you needed to sit through another family slide show. [Mother Nature Network]

A dwarf planet has been named after Joe Biden. It marks the first time that the vice president has ever been characterized as having a small presence. [TPM]

“Cuddle Care” dolls let kids play doctor … but is being recalled for sending kids to the real doctor. [NPR

Golfers started the fire. Yes, they did light it. And 200 firefighters tried to fight it. [iO9]

Analytical chemist finds half of an ancient sea turtle bone in a stream in New Jersey. Turns out the other half has been sitting in a museum for nearly 200 years. [LA Times]

University of Pennsylvania scientist claims that sufficient sleep can diminish the likelihood of weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. “But if we start sleeping more, that will cut into precious time that we could spend eating!” said everyone in America. [The Week]

In related news: The city that’s cracking down on sugary soft drinks now has a 24-hour ATM … for cupcakes. [Kitchenette]

Water–you know it as a solid, liquid, or gas. Now meet the water blob. [Fast Co.]

Danish zoo slammed for feeding unneeded giraffe to lions. Their response? Kill the lions. [Washington Post]

 

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber.

The sea anemone: Plant? Animal? Vegimal? Credit: Nature

The sea anemone: Plant? Animal? Vegimal?
Credit: Nature

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. [iO9]

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber.

batmobile

This batmobile looks like it’s got a pretty bad blind spot.
Credit: James Edition/AllStar

What you really need is this street-legal Batmobile. Only $1 million. [Short List]

Secret to living a long life? Good food and good sleep, says world’s oldest woman. Secret to happiness? Sheesh, what more do you want from her? [NBC News]

New app’s technology seeks to dramatically increase people’s reading speeds. No mention on how app plans to prevent people from skipping article entirely and scrolling to the tl;dr section. [33rd Square]

Turns out your taste buds can be tricked by juicy adjectives, familiar memories, and pleasing colors. Maybe we are in the matrix after all. [Popular Science]

Researchers find that caffeine dependence can lead to emotional problems. It’s distressing news, but thankfully the Newscripts gang always keeps a cup of joe at our sides to calm us down during moments like these. [Seattle Pi]

Study finds that a community in California experienced a decline in childhood obesity after it built a casino. The finding is leading many to believe that the casino’s all-you-can-eat buffet must not be that good. [Reuters]

A 13-year-old in England has become the youngest person in the world to ever build a nuclear fusion reactor. So stop holding your kid back, and start letting him play with nuclear technology already! [Daily Mail]

We like to see science tackling tough problems: Researchers develop tricks to get rid of that song that’s been stuck in your head. [Seriously, Science?]

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, lovingly compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber.

Sriracha science. That’s hot! [ACS Reactions/YouTube]

A North Korea zoo welcomes a pack of Yorkshire terriers to its list of attractions. The zoo says to stay tuned for even more exciting additions, including an ant, a pineapple wearing sunglasses, and mold growing on a block of cheese. [Sky]

Scientists don’t need celebrities like Kimye and Brangelina to hook up in order to  to smash a couple of names together. Behold, the newly created particle “Dropleton,” a quantum droplet. [NBCNews]

Tired of making real molecules? Want to finally write that great novel? Well, use the elements in this Periodic Table of Storytelling to create “simple story molecules.” [Design Through Storytelling]

Finally, a genetic reason certain kids (and adults) poo-poo meals with cilantro, brussel sprouts, and kale. Now where’s the gene for not wanting to do the dishes? [iO9]

Female cat in France is being called a hero after saving 11 people from a burning building. The cat may have thwarted a house fire, but she has only stoked the fire in Pepé Le Pew’s heart for French felines even more. [Mother Nature Network]

Turns out the chickens laying the organic eggs are eating pricey imported food. They should probably just start laying golden eggs with those kinds of hoity-toity demands. [NPR]

More cat-fire news! Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have uncovered 500-year-old German manuscripts illustrating how to use a “rocket-cat” to set an enemy’s castle ablaze. Pentagon officials call it the purrrrr-fect way to launch a drone strike in the 16th century. [Philly.com]

They say, “one of the few pieces of art that can expand your mind and give you type 2 diabetes at the same time.” We say, “Sweet!” [Wired]

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber.

PB&J

PB&J: Usually carnivorous, these jellyfish were fed only peanut butter. Credit: Zelda Montoya and Barrett Christie / Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, Dallas via NBC

Dallas aquarium creates peanut butter and jellyfish by feeding jellyfish a steady diet of peanut butter. Rhesus monkeys eagerly await a diet of peanut butter cups. [NBC]

Governor of Colorado renames state’s tallest mountains in honor of all 53 players on the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl roster. The gesture provides the NFL with yet another opportunity to not discipline players for getting high before a game. [Denver Post

Because we need more online distractions, now you can build with Legos on your computer. [Chrome]

It turns out there are snakes in the air. “Yeah,” say nonplussed travelers. “They’re called price-gouging airline executives.” [Discovery]

The latest in army technology? Chewing gum for better dental health. Take note, Violet Beauregarde. [Army Times/USA Today]

Snowy owl gets lost in Washington, D.C., hit by bus, rushed to zoo for care. Witch at Hogwarts still awaiting her mail. [NPR

Research shows that sit-down restaurants often serve meals with higher fat and calorie content than fast-food restaurants. So stop complaining the next time your boyfriend takes you to Taco Bell instead of a four-star restaurant, ladies. [Yahoo]

In allergy study, 88% of kids allergic to peanuts could tolerate eating the equivalent of five peanuts after treatment regimen. So, what about the 12%? [Popular Science]

Flatulent German cows start fire. Cows blame a long night of drinking heifer weizen. [Reuters]

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber.

Credit: Photo by Lary Reeves

Credit: Lary Reeves

Spiders are capable of building statues of themselves. Which is cool, but let’s all admit that it’s a little narcissistic as well. [Wired]

Scientists show that people can detect levels of fat in food just by smell. Everyone who has ever smelled a juicy hamburger agrees. [Science Daily]

Remember those strawberry-scented fireworks that lit up London on New Year’s? Here’s a profile of their creators. [Wired]

Study finds that more than 50% of singles have difficulty discerning whether they’re on a date or not. So the next time you see a couple hanging out, think to yourself, “There’s a good chance one of those two people has no idea what’s going on.” [Time]

MIT students learn about heavy metal. And no, we’re not talking about the elements. We’re talking about the music. Lesson #1: “Always end with an explosion.” [Slice of MIT]

Japan’s space agency, JAXA, plans to trawl for space debris with a huge electrodynamic net. George Clooney fans cry that it’s too little too late.  [New Scientist]

Mystery of sloths’ tri-weekly poop pilgrimage may be more symbiotic than once thought. [National Geographic]

And when the sloths do come down to poop, someone may be combing their fur for drugs. [PLoS One]

Pot cultivator says classical music helps his crop grow better. Given that the cultivator managed a $500,000-a-year operation, the claim is certainly nothing to … Bach at. Wait, where are you going? Come back! [Fairfax New Zealand]

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber.

PridePrejudice

The purrr-fect book. Credit: prideandprejudiceandkitties.com

Finally, a book that explores the proper etiquette for spitting up a hair ball in public: “Pride and Prejudice and Kitties.” [Mother Nature Network]

More feline news: Looks like U.S. prisons are too posh. After all, cats looking for a comfortable home are now breaking into them. [Glens Falls Post-Star]

Think your graduate work was tough? At least you didn’t have to attach a camera to an alligator’s back. [Seriously, Science?]

Study suggests MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” might be driving down teen pregnancies. Next up, “Teens Who Don’t Do Their Homework”? [USA Today]

While the Newscripts gang was bundled up and hiding from the polar vortex, this Canadian fellow created a colored ice fort. [BoingBoing]

Did we all just assume that the flying V formation gave birds an aerodynamics push? Turns out it was just scientifically shown for the first time. [NPR]

Police arrest man for insobriety after his parrot tells police that he is drunk. It’s hard not to feel sorry for the man. He thought he had a parrot for a pet, but it turns out his pet was really a rat. [United Press International]

In the real-life Japanese version of “Good Will Hunting,” the university janitor creates a gorgeous, unsolvable maze in his spare time. [Viralnova]

Skip the plug-in night-lights, now you can buy bioluminescent house plants for all your nighttime low-light needs. [Popular Science]

When those pesky moral dilemma tests are presented in virtual reality–complete with carnage and screams–turns out people get more emotionally riled, but also more utilitarian. Sorry, best friend. [Time]