"Remember the periodic table from chemistry class in school? Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have presented fresh evidence that confirms the existence of a previously unknown chemical element. The new, super-heavy element has yet to be named."
We didn't learn that much from the massive "Economic Impacts of Tax Expenditures" study that gets a big spread in the Times today, except: if you want them to be rich, have your children in Seattle, Salt Lake City or New York City, and don't have them in Atlanta, Miami or Memphis. But we already knew that.
"Another theory posits that dogs eat grass simply because they want to."
Our leading scientists and magicians have discovered a new weapon in our endless war against the noble pus and the creeping gangrene! Now the warlocks and alchemists have convened and returned with a dictum from the royal societies: in our sickholes, hermitages and sanitariums, medics and surgeons are told to "wash their hands" between treating patients. This revolution in the treatment of the humors is being broadcast today as an urgent message on the front page of the New York Times and other outlets often consumed by learned people and practitioners of the arts of health. What magicks will our modern society invent next? Such wonders! The doctors credit [...]
"Human astrocytes certainly inspired the mice. Their neurons did indeed build stronger synapses. (Perhaps this was because human astrocytes signal three times faster than mouse astrocytes do.) Mouse learning sharpened, too. On the first try, for instance, altered mice perceived the connection between a noise and an electric shock (a standard learning test in mouse research). Normal mice need a few repetitions to get the idea. Memories of the doctored mice were better too: they remembered mazes, object locations, and the shock lessons longer." —Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center implanted human brain cells into the brains of baby mice and the mice turned out smarter [...]
More young Canadian kids smoke pot than any young kids from any other country, according to a recent Unicef study. This will not surprise anyone who remembers Len.
"Obesity has its obvious manifestations; it's a disease that is difficult to conceal. And now, doctors say they can even smell it on your breath."
Hey, guess what, you're not an introvert, you're just a self-obsessed jerk. I mean, I personally am still an introvert, but I'm a little more sensitive to the crushing intensities of life than most of us, including you, are.
"Water vapor is not the only thing in that sopping summer air. It also contains aerosols — both solid and liquid. They may have condensed from the gases that emerge from your tailpipe or from a factory chimney, or they may have risen into the air from the ground: tiny particles of silicon, organic matter, threads, starch, spores, bacterial cells, tire rubber. One of the most common aerosols in New York City air, thanks in part to the booming restaurant scene, is fat. The aerosols and the water vapor together make summer soup. A halo of water condenses upon each bit of stuff, and this spicy mixture sloshes against your [...]
You know those days where you wake up and before your feet hit the floor your head is already heavy with dread, the walk to the bathroom is like swimming through warm, flavorless jello and brushing your teeth is a massive undertaking during which your mind is a place full of painful memories and pointed reminders that you're not likely to do any better in the future? Those mornings where you avoid looking at other people on your way to work because you can't bear to see or be seen? When you're forced to expend what little mental acuity you have left keeping your thoughts away from the things that [...]
"It is known as the happiness chemical, but could serotonin also influence sexual preference? It certainly seems to in mice."
Over the last year or two I began to develop what I initially thought was a severe case of dandruff in the area around my temples. The duration of this crisis was blessedly brief, because it turned out what I was seeing was actually the first foray into my sideheads by a colonizing force of gray hairs. (Technically it would be more accurate to describe them as silver, but given historical precedent it seems unlikely that anything on my body would somehow retain any kind of elegance or class, so I expect them to lose what little luster they have imminently.) My vanity is of the variety that so [...]
I can't wait til I can just think "Okay, rats, bedtime!" and my team of rat slaves will follow my wordless commands to take off my clothes, put on my pajamas, pull down my blankets and tuck me in for a good night's sleep.
I tend to vacillate between a) pretending that nothing really matters because our existence, no matter how highly evolved we like to tell ourselves we are, is essentially a meaningless and arbitrary journey through a course fraught with obstacles both external and self-made in which we think we are choosing our own direction when in reality we are being pushed along by a collection of chemicals whose only goal is to spread their own ingredients regardless of the damage it does to their current host and b) cowering in the corner when confronted by the certainty that there's no actual need to pretend, because it's all true. In those bleak [...]
"A high-octane debate has broken out among the world’s physicists about what would happen if you jumped into a black hole, a fearsome gravitational monster that can swallow matter, energy and even light. You would die, of course, but how? Crushed smaller than a dust mote by monstrous gravity, as astronomers and science fiction writers have been telling us for decades? Or flash-fried by a firewall of energy, as an alarming new calculation seems to indicate?" —[...]
Déjà vu is very confusing because it makes you feel like you can see the future but only after you have experienced the future in the present. Scientist Anne Cleary is also confused by déjà vu and sorted through her various déjà vu theories with The Sims: Using the life simulation game The Sims, Cleary and her team built two scenes, different in their features but identical in their layout. The first was a courtyard setting featuring a potted tree in the center, encircled by various plants, and hanging plant baskets on the walls. The second was a museum setting that swapped the tree for a large statue, the [...]
"Most people assume that, at the very least, excess vitamins can’t do any harm. It turns out, however, that scientists have known for years that large quantities of supplemental vitamins can be quite harmful indeed."
"Scientists have finally succeeded in using cloning to create human embryonic stem cells, a step toward developing replacement tissue to treat diseases but one that might also hasten the day when it will be possible to create cloned babies." —Who are we going to clone first? Einstein? Mandela? Nicki Minaj? It's wide open!
"What would happen to the Earth if the moon was destroyed?" Apart from the MASSIVE REJOICING and WAVE OF GOOD FEELINGS BROUGHT FORTH UPON THE LAND, pretty much nothing. Things would get a little wobbly, but it seems like a fair trade-off. NOW can we destroy the moon? Please?
"A scientist has 'remixed' his version of the sound of the big bang in light of detailed new data gathered by a multi-million pound space probe. Information beamed back from the European Space Agency's £515m Planck space telescope has already seen physicists revise their estimates of the age of the universe. Now one professor has used the Planck data to create an updated, 'high fidelity' rendition of the sound of the early development of the universe more than 13 billion years ago."