Findings — From the May 2013 issue

Findings

A study of cuttlefish, deer mice, horses, humans, laboratory mice, meadow voles, pine voles, prairie voles, rats, rhesus macaques, and talas tucu-tucus suggested that males’ superior spatial and navigational skills may be a side effect of testosterone and not an adaptive trait, as there would be no disadvantage if females were better navigators. Female chimpanzees are more aggressive and less apologetic in their communication with other female chimps. “To speak anthropomorphically,” said the researcher who authored the study, “I can certainly see some parallels in my own life.” Scientists proposed that male lions’ skill at ambushing prey in dense vegetation was previously unknown because of scientists’ fear of being ambushed by male lions in dense vegetation. Daisy, frankincense, mint, and myrtle, and possibly lime, were used to mummify Richard the Lionheart’s heart. Richard III was not a psychopath. A newly translated Coptic text alleged Judas’ kiss to have been necessitated by Jesus’ ability to shape-shift. Rome’s Catholic University of the Sacred Heart found that subjects with HIV poorly perceive fearfulness in others. Large horns cost rhinoceros beetles little.

Scientists who installed electrodes in petunias found that flowers (which have innate negative polarity) discharge their potential upon visitation by positively charged bumblebees, thereby informing subsequent bee visitors of the “honest status of their precious nectar and pollen reserves.” Sociable bees will leave warning pheromones for their conspecifics on flowers where scientists have attacked them with pincers. The reduced pheromonal signature of inbred male moths disinclines female moths to mate with them unless the females’ antennae are first coated with nail polish, in which case color-coded fluorescent dust left by the males’ genitals will reveal the females to have mated equally with inbred and outbred males. Stingrays fed regularly by humans more frequently impregnate one another. Ship noise stresses crabs. Guinea pigs reduce whining among autistic children. Partner-Oriented Self-Regulation (POSR) in a grieving parent was found to increase the grief of both that parent and the other parent in the Netherlands. African Americans, the widowed, and those who wake to smoke in the night were found likelier to relight cigarettes. New brain cells appear during puberty to help with the complexities of adulthood.

The classical theory of crystal formation was salvaged, and it was determined that diamond-coated petri dishes are best for sperm and that the distribution of stars in young globular clusters defies gravity. NASA’s Curiosity rover switched to safe mode after its files were corrupted, possibly by cosmic rays. A middle-aged couple was sought to take a trip to Mars. A smartphone in heliosynchronous orbit was issuing human screams. At the edge of the Atacama Desert, vampire bats were feeding on Humboldt penguin chicks. The diarrhea of young pigs was being treated with genetically modified goat milk, and British otters’ penis bones were becoming less massive. Fewer than half as many humans as last year volunteered to help the common toad cross Gorley Road. Ergonomicists suggested improvements to drone pilots’ workstations in order to reduce the loss of aircraft and humans to operator error. A plan to divert all drug-war resources toward curbing the overprescription of antibiotics was proposed by the philosopher Jonny Anomaly. Dr. Adriaan Dokter of the University of Amsterdam observed the regular crepuscular ascent of common swifts to a height of 2.5 kilometers.

Single Page
Share

More from Rafil Kroll-Zaidi:

Findings From the January 2015 issue

Findings

Findings From the December 2014 issue

Findings

Findings From the November 2014 issue

Findings

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2015

Come With Us if You Want to Live

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Body Politic

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Problem of Pain Management

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Game On

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Love Crimes

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content