Findings — From the June 2014 issue
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Among non–color-blind Americans, green corporate logos are the likeliest to evoke the qualities “family-oriented,” “rugged,” “small-town,” “western,” and “wholesome,” whereas purple is felt to be the most “real,” “smooth,” and “upper-class.” Cognitive researchers compiled a facial-expression map of the compound emotions happily surprised, sadly surprised, angrily surprised, fearfully surprised, disgustedly surprised, happily disgusted, sadly disgusted, angrily disgusted, fearfully disgusted, sadly angry, fearfully angry, sadly fearful, appalled, hateful, and awed. Waste-management scientists divided Lancastrian dog-walkers into the categories Proud to Pick Up, It Is the Right Thing to Do, I Have Done My Job, Only If I Have To, and Disengaged. New Caledonian crows demonstrated an understanding of volumetric displacement. British ornithologists found that a warmer climate may benefit long-tailed tits, noting that autumn “weeds out weaker birds before the real winter hits.” A tawny owl survived a 300-mile train journey from Mossend to Crick. “It’s a miracle, really,” said sanctuary owner Geoff Grewcock. North Carolina doctors reported normal levels of sexual function in women implanted with customized, lab-grown vaginas. Eurasian jays were discovered to be the first known species other than humans in which males can recognize the gustatory desires of female partners. An Irish geep was being raised as a lamb.
Records remained unclear as to how many Australians had climbed inside whale carcasses to cure themselves of rheumatism. The prehistoric clam gardens of the Pacific Northwest, as compared with regular clam beaches, were found to quadruple the production of butter clams, and the West Indian fighting conch (Strombus pugilis), which was 66 percent meatier in 5000 B.C. than it is today, was found to have been driven to smallness by humans. A neurobiology graduate student reported that the most painful place to be stung by a bee is the nostril (9/10), followed by the upper lip (8.7/10), followed by the dorsal aspect of the body of the penis (7.3/10). A Chinese apiarist bearded himself with 460,000 bees. Evolutionary biologists proposed that men in the West had reached “peak beard.” Portland, Oregon, emptied its 38-million-gallon reservoir after a teenager urinated in it. Chemists warned that peeing in the pool creates trichloramine and cyanogen chloride. Pollutants were feminizing the thick-lipped gray mullet of Guernica, and a cod in the Barents Sea was found to have swallowed an orange rabbit-style vibrator missing its batteries. Mazda recalled 42,000 cars whose fuel systems were at risk of invasion by yellow sac spiders.
Female German cockroaches reproduce faster when stroked slowly in short bursts by a long, barbed, motorized duck feather. Human babies share with their parents the specific feeling of pleasure induced by the stroke of a paintbrush at medium velocity. Blood-flow measurements of the brains of newborns revealed a preference for sonorous syllables, such as blif, fros, and pras, over nonsonorous syllables, such as lbif, lvug, and rvem. Babies who wake to breast-feed at night may do so in order to thwart the conception of a sibling. Children between five and seven who have been lied to about the presence of candy in an adjacent room are likelier to look at, and to lie about having looked at, a forbidden toy playing Beethoven’s “Für Elise.” The gazes of characters on boxes of children’s cereal tilt downward by an average of 9.6° to meet the sight lines of children, who were found to place greater trust in the Trix Rabbit when he makes eye contact. White college students who play violent video games as black characters rather than white ones will afterward force imaginary partners who dislike spicy food to eat 115 percent more hot sauce. Swedish law students are likelier to believe the testimony of children who sob. A tenth of sixteen-year-old Swedish girls wish they watched more pornography, which 72 percent said is “good for masturbating.” Asian-American males attending high school and college are the least likely, and Latinos the most likely, to be coerced into sex by girls. In space, the hearts of astronauts become rounder.
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