Sex for a female Lake Eyre dragon lizard is sometimes like going to bed with a man and a roaring chainsaw. The male lizard bites her neck before mounting her. If he sinks his teeth in with too much vigor, he can chomp her spinal cord and kill her.
So it's no wonder the lady lizards are choosy about sex.
While the streets of Mexico City once again host the packed crowds, dense traffic, and general activity familiar to capitolinos before the outbreak of swine flu, other cities have now moved to stop the spread of the disease.
Here in New York City, a school assistant principal who contracted the flu died from complications related to the disease. However, even though Mitchell Wiener had an existing condition that contributed significantly to his death, 11 New York City schools remain closed.
What makes us happy? There's no simple answer (sorry), though this 70-year-long longitudinal study on well-being offers some fascinating insight. Humility helps, so do our reactions to life's woes, and "the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people."
Also in today's links: customer-unfriendly shopping innovations, it pays to be tall, and more.
Look out, Ashton, there's a new Twitter sensation: the can. That's right, the toilet, the head, the commode. Shardy, a hacker over at Aculei has modded his toilet to tweet with every flush. And frankly, it's awesome.
You can follow the porcelain recliner's Twitter feed here, and I've got to admit, some of the tweets are kinda funny. Not "ha-ha" funny, but at least "bring a smile to the face" funny.
Claims of murder. Accusations of lying. Anthropology. This one's got it all. In April, Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel, found himself the target of a defamation lawsuit brought by two Handa tribesmen from Papua New Guinea. The suit alleges that Diamond erred when he wrote a New Yorker article claiming that the tribesmen* committed revenge-motivated murder.
The suit also names the New Yorker, and was instigated in part by Rhonda Shearer, the widow of famed paleontologist Stephen Gould.
The findings of a recent mice study suggest that smoking reduces allergic reactions by inhibiting mast cell activity. This, of course, begs the question, Was tobacco giant Altria in on this?
Also in today's links: thoughts of money, and "you Neanderthal" is no longer a putdown.
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.
On Tuesday, a Hubble astronaut posted on the micro-blogging site from the great beyond. Stay tuned -- @Astro_Mike likes to update. Coming soon, we hope, @PopSci goes to space.
Also in today's links: robots ask for help and make art, spacing out is good for you, and more.
By Brian AshcraftPosted 05.14.2009 at 10:13 am 2 Comments
No, it's not a robot uprising. This is the Tokyo Fire Department's Rescue Robot, also known as RoboCue, taking a mock patient to safety as part of a training exercise for dirty-bomb containment and casualty rescue, held late last year in Tokyo.
Invention: Vascular Pathways
Inventor: Amir Belson
Time: 6 years
Is It Ready Yet? 1 2 3 4 5
When Amir Belson flew from Israel for a pediatric fellowship at Stanford University in 1998, he carried a list of 64 ideas for medical inventions. Many of the concepts were influenced by the years he served as a flight surgeon in the Israeli air force, while others came from time spent in a neonatal intensive-care unit. One of them was an idea for a better intravenous catheter, one that wouldn't damage veins or kink inside of them. By 2005, he had made his first prototype.