Farewell, Newscripts blog!
Jun23

Farewell, Newscripts blog!

Dear Readers, The time has come for the Newscripts gang to bid readers of this blog adieu. We’d like to thank everyone who has visited this humble site over the years. Whether you were looking for silly samplings of science news, a bonus to our popular print column, a chemistry-themed holiday gift, or an in-depth look on what happens when you pee in the ocean, we’ve been happy to have your attention. Thanks also to everyone who has braved our commenting system to offer your thoughts on the content (a special shout-out goes to frequent commenter qvxb). We have had a blast. Although this blog will be going dark at the end of the month, you can still find the occasional silly sampling of science news plus other 140 character or less thoughts of wisdom by following us on twitter: @sophialcai, @beth_halford, @healthyrut, and @laurenkwolf. Here’s the final installment of Amusing News Aliquots: A stray cat has been added to the lynx exhibit at a Russian zoo. And in future news, a stray cat has been eaten by lynx at a Russian zoo. [Gawker] A video the Newscripts gang likes to think of as “Love in the MRI,” which accompanies the British Medical Journal’s most popular paper (by a large margin), hits three million views. [Annals of Improbable Research] Add this to the list of labs we’d like to work in: An experimental warehouse with different climate controlled cells for studying how to make the best bourbon. [The Whiskey Reviewer] Paul returns from his blogging hiatus with a hilarious tale of teaching, Facebook, and his wife’s naughty sense of humor. [ChemBark] A study finds that talking on a cell phone during meals is a dating no-no. The study was sponsored by the Association of Has It Really Come To This? [Daily Mail] Why wheels of moving cars sometimes appear to be spinning backwards is easily explained when on TV, but why we see this phenomenon in real life is still debated. [iO9] In other optical illusion news, this disappearing pastel picture has been making the Internet rounds. See it for yourself, before it disappears. [Sploid] A group wants to use cloning to bring back extinct birds known for their ability to cheaply disseminate messages. And no, that group isn’t the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service. [International Business Times] The World Cup is a fierce battle and a matter of national pride. Who will be crowned Team Oracle is also a fierce battle and a matter of species pride. [FP]  ...

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Amusing News Aliquots
May29

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber. Photographer is the lone bidder on a Russian space flight suit, giving rise to the poignant and funny “Everyday Astronaut” series. [BuzzFeed] Doctors are beginning Sci-Fi-esque human trials of cooling trauma victims to a state of “suspended animation” to buy more time to fix wounds. [The Atlantic] Is beer taking up too much space in  your fridge? Time to get one of these nifty underground beer coolers. [ShortList] A Michigan zoo is selling “loads” of its animals’ manure for $25 a pop. Sounds like you’re sitting on a gold mine, cat and dog owners. [Washington Post] With Paul the Octopus dearly departed, Europeans turn to Stephen Hawkings to analyze England’s chance of winning the World Cup. Bad news, mates: “As we say in science, England couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo.” [Time] Need proof that Canadians are the toughest around? Their bears enjoy taking naps atop power lines. [Sun News] WarkaWater towers look like some wacky art installation, but they’re actually capable of harvesting enough drinking water for a family of seven. [NPR] From the it’s-so-bizarre-it-just-might-work files: Artificial sweeteners as potential tracers of municipal landfill leachate. [Seriously, Science?] “Look, Mom, no hands!” screams a 16-year-old freshly licensed driver. Google’s new car doesn’t have a steering wheel … or gas or brakes, for that matter. [Jalopnik] According to a study, cynicism can increase the likelihood of developing dementia. Yeah, like the Newscripts gang buys that. [ScienceDaily]   ...

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Amusing News Aliquots
May09

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai, Bethany Halford, and Jeff Huber. Because having Siri read you walking directions wasn’t futuristic enough, you can now get haptic footwear that while gently guide you in the direction you should walk. [Springwise] Shampoos and bodywashes may contain a carcinogen. It’s bad news for those who showered today, and good news for those looking for excuse not to. [SFGate] Four lion cubs passed a swim test this week at the National Zoo. The accomplishment means the cubs are now one step closer to posing for their own swimsuit calendar. [io9]  The CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo says he is trying to turn a visit to his park into “more of a safari-like experience.” Hard to imagine anything going wrong with that idea. [New York Post] Hard to imagine? Well, we’ve got a scenario: Petting zoo brings a baby bear for college students to snuggle to ease stress of finals week. Bear bites multiple students. Bear and students tested for rabies. Students have worse things to stress about than finals. [Time] Got a decommissioned tank just rusting away in your backyard? Do what this Czech town did: Add a slide and splash of colorful paint and conquer the playground! [Inventor Spot] In other military news, keep an eye on your bananas. China has an army of trained monkeys.  [Washington Post]...

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Amusing News Aliquots
Apr17

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Sophia Cai and Bethany Halford. Veggie view: MRI of broccoli. Credit: Inside Insides via OffBeat Finally, the all-important medical techniques being used to create awesome Internet posts. Observe: MRIs of fruits and vegetables. [OffBeat] How chemists help Cadbury create those crazy crème eggs and other Easter goodies. [Guardian] Bad news, nappers. Not only are you missing out on life while snoozing, you’re also going to die young. [Gawker] In a risky experiment involving voodoo dolls, snack deprivation, and couples therapy, researchers show that “hanger” (hunger-induced anger) exists. [NPR] One way to avoid hangry prom dates? KFC corsages, of course. [NBC News] Not really science news, but this Nebraska toddler who found his way into one of those claw machine things is some sort of genius, right? [Huffington Post] Macro lens meets photogenic molluscs. These snail pictures almost make us want to invite these guys into our gardens. [Bored Panda] When seeking treatment for rare genetic disorder, researchers go through the trouble of cloning goats. Why? “It is cheaper to feed goats than to feed cell lines,” they say. [Digital...

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Chemists Save King’s College Choir

The Newscripts gang had to carefully navigate the interwebs this week to find Amusing News Aliquots. That’s because plenty in the science and tech crowd posted April Fools’ stories–including one about a study that found scientists need to use more esoteric jargon when communicating with the public and another about how Google Fiber can also deliver you coffee via its network. You know, just like those dry, humorless scientists do every year. But the clip below comes from King’s College, Cambridge, where Chaplain Richard Lloyd Morgan explains how his school’s world-famous choir is maintaining high male voices, thanks to the college’s chemists. The whole story and video was an April Fools’ prank, and the Choir of King’s College YouTube channel later added that acknowledgment in the video title, lest people get too outraged in the Comments section. And King’s College did trick quite a few people. Most impressive, the chaplain’s seriousness and the choir boys’ straight faces give nothing away. “The complexity of the regulations involved mean that it really is no longer practical to have young boys singing in the choir,” Morgan deadpans. And yet another solution was nixed: “After a lengthy consultation process, during which we learned that the surgical solution was surprisingly unpopular,” he says, “someone in the chemistry department came up with a very simple solution.” Here it...

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