- A friend of mine who is now happily married used to insist that men only wed when tricked or forced into that union. Of the many things sketchy about that theory, apparently he was right about one thing -- the decision to marry is not one made logically. That, according to one author, is due to the orbitofrontal cortex. (The article's a bit light on supporting data, but it's an interesting idea.)
- The latest robot news from Japan: a child robot with "soft silicon skin" and creepy black eyes that trace movement. The researchers' goal is to get the creature to mimic the behavior of a human infant, responding to a "mother's" facial expressions.
- Last week, the head of Italy's Civil Protection Agency denounced a seismologist who predicted a big quake, stating "Everyone knows that you can't predict earthquakes." And according to the U.S. Geological Survey, that statement is true. But the Italian seismologist was not completely wrong.
- Building a car is an intricate process. So is breaking down an automobile factory when it closes. The process takes months or years, including such steps as 50 workers spending four months "desludging" a paint shop.