Let’s quickly review the facts. Just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 red-winged blackbirds and starlings fell from the sky within a one-mile area over the town of Beebe, Arkansas. The last few days have also seen a mass fish kill, in which an estimated 100,000 drum fish washed up on a twenty-mile stretch near the town of Ozark, Arkansas, which is about 125 miles away from Beebe.
And then, around 500 red-winged blackbirds, starlings, and grackles fell to their deaths over a quarter-mile stretch of highway near Labarre, Louisiana, which is 360 miles from Beebe and 450 from Ozark. And then last night, hundreds of what were most likely jackdaws fell to the ground all over Falköping, Sweden.
So, now that we’ve got all the facts, what on earth is causing all these animals to die?
The fact that we cry when we’re feeling sad, overjoyed, or otherwise emotional is thought to be a uniquely human trait. But biologists long suspected tears have some other function, and now we might know: they reduce men’s sexual arousal.
We know that there are actual chemical differences between the tears that we cry when we’re emotional and the saline tears our eyes produce strictly to protect themselves from debris. In other species like mice, tears are known to have chemical signals that send “messages” to other mice that smell them. Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science decided to find out whether our tears send their own chemical messages, and the results were pretty extraordinary.
Crime still pays, just not in cash. As credit and debt cards replace greenbacks, the odds of a petty thief leaving a job empty-handed are higher than ever. The prospect of a cashless economy—which some predict could arrive within the next decade—could drive street crime to all-time lows.
7. Weird News of the Week: Spanish woman fakes kidnapping to test husband
Spanish police have detained a woman who faked her own kidnapping to test whether her husband would pay ranson, sending him a photograph of herself with bound hands and feet, police said Monday.
The man received the photo on his mobile phone from someone claiming to be one of the kidnappers along with a text message demanding a ransom of 20,000 euros (26,000 dollars) for her release, they said in a statement.
The ransom request was repeated in later text messages as well as warnings that the man not go to police, which he ignored.
According to new research from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, posture plays an important role in determining whether people act as though they are really in charge. The research finds that “posture expansiveness,” or positioning oneself in a way that opens up the body and takes up space, activates a sense of power that produces behavioral changes in a person independent of their actual rank or hierarchical role in an organization.
Gaspare Tagliacozzi, professor of surgery at the University of Bologna in Italy, published a book titled De Curtorum Chirurgia Per Insitionem (The Surgery of Defects by Implantations) in 1597. It describes procedures used to repair faces damaged by war-in other words, plastic surgery.
12. Image of the Week: Your beautiful eyes
14. Feeding time at the Koi pond
15. Infographic of the Week: Bad Science In Movies
16. Einstein’s God
What did Einstein mean by “God” playing dice, or “us believing physicists”? Was he speaking literally or metaphorically? Did he mean belief in the models of theoretical physics that make no distinction between past, present, and future? Did he mean belief in some impersonal force that exists above such time constraints? Was he just being polite and consoling to Besso’s family? Such is the enigma of the most well-known scientist in history whose fame was such that nearly everything he wrote or said was scrutinized for its meaning and import; thus, it is easy to yank such quotes out of context and spin them in any direction one desires.
18. Bear vs. Cat
mericans watched more television than ever in 2010, according to the Nielsen Company. Total viewing of broadcast networks and basic cable channels rose about 1 percent for the year, to an average of 34 hours per person per week. The generation-long shift to cable from broadcast continued, but subtly, as the smallest of the big four broadcast networks, NBC, still retained more than twice as many viewers as the largest basic cable channel, USA.
22. HistoricalLOL of the Week
Doctors who are interested in measuring life expectancy may now have a simple way to do it — researchers have discovered that walking speed can be a useful predictor of how long older adults live.
Those who walked 1 meter per second (about 2.25 mph) or faster consistently lived longer than others of their age and sex who walked more slowly, the study showed.
Surveys indicate that what most pet owners mainly want is companionship, unconditional love and a play pal. In recent years, however, we have also begun to regard pets as furry physicians and four-legged psychotherapists.
The idea that domestic animals are beneficial to human health and happiness has been fueled by books like “The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Amazing Ability of Pets to Make and Keep People Happy and Healthy,” by the veterinarian Marty Becker, and by news reports claiming that having a dog helps you live longer or that swimming with dolphins can cure autism, bad backs, attention deficit disorder and even cancer. But is there any truth to these claims?
27. Better Book Titles of the Week – Politically Correct Edition
28. How-To of the Week: How to Get Rid of Black Circles Under Your Eyes
You soon may able to help the environment by eating more bacon. On a low-key, bio-secure farm in Canada, scientists are breeding pigs that could be among the first genetically modified farm animal to be approved for human consumption. Each of these Enviropigs look and act like ordinary pigs but contain genes from mice and E.coli bacteria.
30. Fact of the Week: Farm Animals Get 80 Percent of Antibiotics Sold in U.S.
Never mind a crisp shirt or a firm handshake. If you want to impress a potential employer, put on a pair of spectacles.
Job hunters are more likely to be hired if they wear glasses to their interview, according to a study.
A third of adults think spectacle-wearers look more professional, while 43 per cent think they appear more intelligent.
33. Why the Other Line Moves Faster