The Sounds of Science

Eavesdropping on frogs and on co-workers

White Noise
Omegatron (GNU Free Documentation License)

Behold Huia cavitympanum: the only frog species that can communicate through ultrasonic calls too high-pitched for humans to hear. Two scientists made the discovery by camping out with recording devices in the frog's native island of Borneo. Bonus points go to the guy who was "bitten by leeches and woke up several mornings soaked in blood."

Also in today's links: a reason to switch up your music, what to do with too many chicken feathers, and more.

  • Speaking of listening in on calls, have you eavesdropped on your co-workers today? If not, you may want to while you still can. Engineers are working on a way to mask conversations with white noise.
  • In today's "duh" news, a cardiologist has found that music is a de-stressor and good for your heart. Not a surprise, but now we know how it works -- blood vessels open up and release chemicals that protect the heart. Also, hearing the same song over and over apparently diminishes its positive effects on your body.
  • A four-foot jellyfish made a big splash when it washed ashore, puzzling nearby Brits and herons. Check out the photo.
  • Chicken may be yummy, but what do we do with all the feathers? So far we've been dumping them -- an annual 11 billion pounds! -- in landfills, or feeding them to other livestock, but now a better option is in the works. Researchers want to turn feathers into wool-like fiber to make clothes.

M. Farbman is on vacation.