Aug 7, 2009
1 – iPods get heavier with more music
The difference between a empty iPod and a full one is only a 0.4 gram say the team from Blackpool University. Tests showed that a empty 16GB iPhone weighed 133.2 grams compared to 133.6 for the same model filled with 3,500 songs. Professor Roger Banks said: “This is the first time the weight of computer data has been measured. We all know it is made out of ones and zeros, but the ratio of ones to zeros seems to make a difference.” Source
2 – The Effect of Country Music on Suicide
3 – Why spaghetti does not break in half
So try a little experiment: take a dry spaghetti, and bend it until it cracks. How many pieces do you think you’ll get? Two? Wrong. An uncooked spaghetti can break into three, seven or even ten pieces, but rarely two. It’s even rumored that Nobel laureate and physicist Professor Richard Feynman has used lots of pasta to solve this mystery.
4 – The brains of London taxi drivers are more developed than those of their fellow citizens
Taxi drivers given brain scans by scientists at University College London had a larger hippocampus compared with other people. This is a part of the brain associated with navigation in birds and animals.
The scientists also found part of the hippocampus grew larger as the taxi drivers spent more time in the job.
“There seems to be a definite relationship between the navigating they do as a taxi driver and the brain changes,” said Dr Eleanor Maguire, who led the research team.
5 – Does Semen Have Antidepressant Properties?
If there was ever research guaranteed to make women suspicious of male researcher’s motivations it’s this one.
This study tests a hypothesis put forward by Ney (1986) suggesting that prostaglandins, a component of semen, may actually be useful in treating depression.
Inspired by this, Gallup, Burch and Platek (2002) decided to look for a correlation between condom use and levels of depression in undergraduate women. Their headline results were as follows:
* Women having sex without condoms (often using alternative methods of contraception) were less depressed than those using condoms.
* Numbers of reported suicide attempts were proportional to consistency of condom use (less consistent use was associated with fewer suicide attempts).
* For those not using condoms, depression scores increased with the time since they last had sex.
The authors are the first to admit that their data are preliminary, correlational and raise more questions than they answer.Source
6 – Is talking to a dog like talking to a baby?
Are these people talking to their babies or their dogs: “Coochie-coochie-coooo!” , “Who’s a clever little boy?” , “Oh my God, the living room carpet is ruined!”
Difficult to tell right? So Robert W. Mitchell, thought, which is why he decided to compare how people talk to infants with how they talk to dogs. He found both similarities and differences:
Similarities: high-pitched voice, repetitive use of grammatically acceptable words, present-tense verbs.
Differences: Dog-talk involved shorter sentences and more orders while baby-talk included more questions.Source
7 – Do we think dogs understand us?
Pongracz, Miklosi and Csanyi gave Hungarian dog-owners a questionnaire. It asked them to rate the types of utterances they thought their dogs could understand. Top of the list came questions, followed by permissions and information giving. It seems these dogs are regular little Lassies.
But what proof is there that they really understand? Well, we can only tell by how the dog responds. So, next the authors asked dog-owners how often their dogs demonstrated understanding by obeying a command. Our hardy Hungarian dog-owners reckoned:
* Dogs obeyed 31% of the time under all circumstances.
* Dogs obeyed 53% of the time when the context was right
Seems pretty high . Or perhaps Hungarian dogs are very smart.Source
8 – Are We Programmed to Laugh When Tickled?
Do we learn to laugh when tickled or is it an innate response? That is the question psychologist Professor Clarence Leuba set himself to examine using his own children, no less, as experimental subjects.
In 1933 he decided that he would not laugh in the presence of his first child while tickling him (Leuba, 1941). Everyday life in the Leuba household, therefore, was devoid of tickling except for one special experimental period. During this period he would cover his own face with a mask while tickling his son so his facial expression was hidden.
Even the tickling was experimentally controlled. First he would tickle lightly, then more vigorously. First under the armpit, then the ribs, followed by chin, neck, knees and feet.
9 – The Relationship Among Height, Penile Length, and Foot Size