Amusing News Aliquots

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

Modern Farmer magazine makes playlist for cows. Cows say the gesture really mooooooooves them. Credit: Keith Weller/USDA/Wikimedia Commons

Cows make more milk when listening to R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts.” We thought they’d be more into the band’s hit “Stand.” [Grist] The cold of this year's winter has killed off more stink bugs than usual, which is unfortunate because we now all have one less animal to blame our farts on this spring. [Washington Post] Foiling Generation Y’s plan to replace actual human emotion with emoticons, study shows that our brains don’t process emoticons the same way we process human faces. [NBC] That said, dogs and humans share similar neural processing of voices and emotions, leading parents to wonder if they have more in common with their pets than with their texting tweens.  [Wired] The next time you’re tempted to go to bed early at a scientific meeting rather than stay out drinking with your fellow conferees, remember that’s how Peter Higgs lost out on his first opportunity to win the Nobel Prize. [BBC] This remote-control Nerf-firing robot could be fun at the next office party. [Gizmodo] Most e-cigarettes let people smoke indoors, but the Supersmoker Bluetooth now lets people answer their phones between puffs. [Gizmodo] Pet octopuses demand constant attention, expensive food, and tremendous amounts of upkeep. But those aren't the only reasons to get one! [Mother Nature Network] Study suggests that cats are more likely to bite depressed people. So the next time a cat bites you, don't blame it, blame your ineffective antidepressants instead. [Popular Science]

Author: Jeff Huber

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.

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