Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber.
Combine your favorite pastimes of gardening and shooting with Flowershell---a 12-gauge shotgun shell loaded with seeds. Lest you think this is a new invention from the Swedes, a Missouri man patented the idea in 1976. [Improbable Research]
Study finds that a region's birth rates may be directly proportional to the success of local sports teams. Further proof that there's nothing more romantic than watching a man receive a Gatorade bath. [ScienceDaily]
What were the baddies of J.R.R. Tolkein’s “The Hobbit” really missing? Vitamin D, obviously. [AFP]
Ni hao, kitty. New evidence suggests cats were domesticated in China 5,000 years ago. [USA Today]
Researchers find that moderate drinking may improve immune system responsiveness. So step up your game, you minimal drinkers! [Mother Jones]
Worried that you might turn into your worrywart mother? Turns out it’s epigenetic. [The Atlantic]
Great, just what we need---worms engineered to live five times longer than normal. Can probably still squish them though … [iO9]
Some people are self-conscious about their cankles. This Chinese man had his hand surgically attached to his ankle---and it wasn’t just for kicks ... okay, okay. No more puns. We promise. [Huffington Post]
Policeman rescues dog after it eats a pot brownie. Might we suggest a name for the dog? Bud-dy. Wait! Where are you going!? Come back! [Oregon Live]
Jeff Huber is an associate editor at C&EN. He enjoys finding peculiar news stories that make him laugh and/or tilt his head in a thoughtful manner. This hobby has served him well as a contributor to the Newscripts blog.