Findings — From the November 2013 issue
- Current Issue
SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
Attentive fathers tend to have smaller testicles, pornography makes disagreeable Danish men more sexist, 61 percent of Papua New Guinean men are rapists, and 92 percent of Mexicans are relaxed by a pleasant-smelling bedroom. Swedish food officials confirmed that beavers’ anal secretions may be used in place of vanilla. The authors of “Isolated Ano-vaginal Fistulae Without Associated Vesicovaginal Fistulae Following Prolonged Labor: A Rare Entity” found that “[s]uch fistula is very bothersome to the patient because of the fecal discharge per vagina,” while the authors of “An Unusual Urethral Foreign Body” found that their “case warrants discussion given the great management challenge faced by the oddity and infrequency with which a fork is encountered in the penile urethra.” A Texas man suffering from autobrewery syndrome was reported to have made himself dangerously drunk by eating carbohydrate-rich meals. Israeli teenagers drive worse while listening to music they selected themselves, and middle-aged people are better than the elderly at tuning out their spouses’ voices. Those who hate some things tend to hate many things. The Laboratory of Neurophenomics described a possible blood test for suicide. “Suicide,” said the laboratory’s director, “is a big problem in psychiatry.”
Depressed people perceive time more accurately than happy people; in order to avert death by predation, small animals perceive time to pass more slowly than do humans. The wrongfully accused are less stressed than the correctly accused and so are prone to slip up and confess. Researchers determined that schizo-OCD patients can be distinguished from regular OCD patients by their schizophrenic behavior. Psychologists proposed that an evolved aversion to poisonous animals may be responsible for some people’s dread of aerated chocolate and lotus flowers. Graduate students violated the expectation of eight-month-olds that a novel, self-propelled object covered in beaver fur will possess internal organs. Antibrain antibodies were identified in one in ten mothers with autistic children. Growing up with siblings reduces an American’s risk of divorce by 2 percent per sibling, and young white Americans feel more empathy for beaten puppies than for identically beaten adults. The television show EastEnders was blamed for changing Glaswegians’ “th”s to “f”s. Bone stem cells are better than heart stem cells at healing the heart.
Researchers in Kansas, Slovakia, and South Korea suppressed sexual desire in red flour beetles, silk moths, and fruit flies, respectively. Peaceful fungus-farming ants are sometimes protected against nomadic raider ants by sedentary invader ants. Mosquitoes are able to smell human odorants better at night. Wild-derived female house mice (Mus musculus musculus) who engage in noncoerced multi-male mating do so to preempt the highly infanticidal tendencies of newly nonvirgin male mice. Female barn swallows whose breasts are darkened with magic marker exhibit lower levels of oxidative damage. Zoologists investigated the surprising frugivory of crocodilians as a vector for saurochory. Male orangutans announce their travel plans in advance. French birds are aware of automobile speed limits. One species of weakly electric bluntnose knifefish was found to be AC; another, DC. Bisexual British teenagers drink and smoke less than their gay and lesbian peers but more than their straight ones. Research sponsored by the Caledonian Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club, Dandiedinmontinterrieri DDT Ry, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breed Council, the Dandie Dinmont Trust, Dansk Terrier Klub, the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, and the Stichting Dandie Dinmont Trust identified a chromosomal locus for glaucoma in the Dandie Dinmont terrier. The British Ministry of Defence killed a Belgian shepherd and a German shepherd from the protection detail of the Duke of Cambridge. A barn owl in Wiltshire failed to deliver two wedding rings and instead fell asleep in church. Shy male tits have fewer, but closer, friends.
More from Rafil Kroll-Zaidi: