It might seem silly to investigate whether people are happier on the weekend, but behind such truisms are revelations about our brains, our behavior and our environment. Here we round up the year's most outwardly obvious scientific studies
Sometimes it takes long, hard study to pin down what we thought we knew all along—and to reveal surprising findings beneath the surface of common sense. People drive poorly when talking on their cellphone? The elderly prefer happy memories over sad ones? Shocking!
Thus, with great pleasure, we round up ten of the past year's best hard science studies that answer some of the world's least pressing questions.
A new public health study released just in time for Global Handwashing Day (today!) offers not one but two gems of Science-Confirms-the-Obvious wisdom. Firstly: the gee-whizzer that men have poorer personal hygiene than women. Secondly, that people are more likely to wash their hands when others are watching.
Who Would Have Thought? Ducks Like Water!: Tom Nick Cocotos
Sometimes it takes long, hard study to pin down what we thought we knew all along—and to reveal surprising findings beneath the surface of common sense. Ducks like water? Gamblers don't learn from their mistakes? Shocking!
Overeating makes you overweight. I'll pause for a moment to let this mind-blowing scientific finding sink in.
In the annals of Science Confirms the Obvious, there's rarely a zinger like this one. And it's no surprise that the media's had a field day, churning out Onion-esque headlines like, well, the one above.
Investigators at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research have unequivocally demonstrated that our parents often get on our nerves -- and we on theirs. "The parent-child relationship is one of the longest-lasting social ties human beings establish," said Kira Birditt, the study's lead. "This tie is often highly positive and supportive but it also commonly includes feelings of irritation, tension and ambivalence."
At the first-ever Ironman triathlon in 1978, the 15 competitors read these instructions in the race guidelines: "Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!" Well, sure -- unless you die trying. A study presented Saturday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology shows that the grueling triad of events is indeed particularly strenuous, with a risk of sudden death twice that of marathons.
Think back to your college years. Did you spend more time at the lab bench than at the bar? Was getting a date harder than organic chem? If you carried protection was it for your pocket? We thought so.
Trouble with instructions? You’re not alone. Researchers at the University of Michigan have confirmed that difficult-to-read instructions dissuade people from embarking on tasks, and impart a suspicion in their readers that the task at hand will be difficult. As far as I’m concerned, this is major vindication.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.