Findings — From the September 2012 issue

Findings

Poor Americans die five years younger than the rich and are likelier to say that parents should stay together for the sake of the children. Black Americans, unlike white Americans, do not live longer if they marry rather than cohabit. Black women are, unlike white women and black men, expected to be assertive in the workplace; are as likely as white men to be ticketed during traffic stops; and tend toward obesity if they have been abused as children. Sons who have been abused by their fathers and daughters who have been abused by their mothers are especially prone to cancer. Fatherhood reduces gay men’s HIV risk. Children exposed to HIV in the womb are more likely to become deaf. Mother goats remember, for over a year after weaning, the voices of their kids. The death of a child increases a mother’s immediate risk of death by 133 percent. Women who have difficulty conceiving children are more likely to experience psychiatric hospitalization. California scientists disagreed with Danish scientists’ assertion that occasional binge drinking during pregnancy may be safe. Bullies peak in seventh grade. Cities polluted by leaded gasoline turn children violent. Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage. Head injuries, undereducation, and farming make Americans punch and kick in their sleep. Ambient bullying makes employees want to quit. A landscape architect designed an edible playground for autistic children.

Foot-and-mouth disease broke out among Uganda’s cows, and hand-foot-and-mouth disease infected 35,000 Hunanese. Potomac horse fever sickened an Indiana horse. Virginia scientists found that meat allergies may be caused by Lone Star ticks. African swine fever broke out near Moscow. Japanese encephalitis and Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever killed, respectively, twenty-two and two Indians. Panama disease ravaged Philippine bananas, a pox ravaged Japanese plums and one Arizona hummingbird, fire blight ravaged pome-fruit trees in the Swiss canton of Thurgau, German wind turbines were killing Polish bats, Spanish stealth slugs invaded Britain, and California’s black widows were being displaced by brown widows. A striped dolphin was found dead in Cornwall with a broken beak. Seventy-three sea turtles died mysteriously in Australia’s Upstart Bay, as did 512 Magellanic penguins in southern Brazil and twenty-eight gray seals on the border of Zeeland. Israel’s government worried lest its citizens become rabid. Seventy-six monks in Thailand were hospitalized after an attack by temple bees. An outbreak of swimmer’s itch shut down Nebraska’s Mormon Island Recreation Area.

It remained unclear whether slow sharks swallow sleeping seals. The male mourning cuttlefish, if faced on one side with a male rival, will transform the stripes on that half of its body to imitate feminine mottling. Female wandering albatrosses stray from their mates to avoid inbreeding, estrogen-mimicking pollutants were found to make fish court fish of other species, and female buckelli grigs in the Rocky Mountains were eating the wings of monstrosa species while mating with them. In Scotland, marine biologists tagged the basking sharks of Coll, Hyskeir, and Tiree, two 3,000-year-old bog mummies were found to be composed of six people, and most adults said it was acceptable for a man to marry his widow’s sister. Solomon Islanders were laundering blue birds of paradise, chattering lories, and yellow-crested cockatoos. In Germany, an ostrich named Joschka died after he crashed into a nandu named Henry. The Milky Way was still ringing from a collision 100 million years ago, and physicists appeared to have discovered the Higgs boson. “It’s very nice,” said Peter Higgs, “to be right sometimes.”

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