Findings — From the August 2016 issue

Findings

Men and women perceive female faces with makeup as more attractive than those without, but men see such faces as more “prestigious” and women see them as more “dominant.” Singers who employ vocal fry seem more expressive if they are female and less expressive if they are male. Straight men evaluating the pain of another man will rate it lower if he has an attractive female partner. Australian teenage boys whose empathy is one standard deviation above average have nearly twice as many female friends as boys whose empathy is one standard deviation below, and a study of ninth graders found that opposite-gender friends are unlikely to date. Researchers found that young, educated, neurotic women are particularly likely to report aversion to the word “moist.” However, “moist”-averse subjects are no likelier than other subjects to condemn consensual incest, and all study participants rate “moist” more negatively when it follows “fuck” and “pussy” or “paradise” and “heaven,” and more positively when it follows “cake” and “delicious” or “nigger” and “retarded.” Psychologists described the case of a brain-damaged Italian man who compulsively speaks bad French and bakes excessive amounts of bread.

Breast milk thwarts infant diarrhea. Babies who lead their own weaning are likeliest to choke on apples, raw vegetables, and dried fruit, whereas spoon-fed babies are likeliest to choke on corn, crackers, meat, and rusks. Chinese children, as they mature, more closely associate facial attractiveness with trustworthiness. Experienced mother pandas spend more time grooming and nursing their cubs, who also whine less. Bears exhibit lower self-esteem, higher BMI, and riskier sexual behavior than other gay men. A Homo rhodesiensis femur was found to have been gnawed by a hyena. A study of 954 mammal species established that penis bones evolved at least nine times and disappeared at least ten. An analysis of Kinsey data collected between 1938 and 1961 found that boys rated their first postpubertal same-sex experience just as positively regardless of whether it was with another adolescent or with an adult man. Adults with Williams syndrome are at risk of immediately seeking to meet new online “friends” in person. At the Mayo Clinic between 1995 and 2015, hypersexuality, nose-picking, dementia, and eating the cotton from one’s Depends were noted among coprophagists. Herpes may cause constipation.

Perch larvae exposed to high concentrations of polystyrene come to prefer eating plastic. Invasive aquatic hydrilla weed dumped from home aquariums into Florida waterways is being eaten by large invasive apple snails, who are then eaten by snail kites, who go insane. Electric eels will, as Alexander von Humboldt reported, leap from the water to administer shocks. An expert tree climber with a measuring tape climbed to the top of a yellow meranti that is now the tallest known tree in the tropics and texted, “I don’t have time to take photos using a good camera because there’s an eagle around that keeps trying to attack me and also lots of bees.” Fat air passengers are treated most kindly by female African-American flight attendants. French doctors proposed that anorexia nervosa is less about the fear of getting fat than about the pleasure of getting thin. In Germany, certain psychopaths are beneficial for the workplace. Crowd-sourcing brain-wave data may make it possible to predict seizures in dogs. Psychologists unveiled the Mind Excessively Wandering Scale.

French River, a painting by Kim Dorland. Courtesy the artist and Angell Gallery, Toronto. Dorland’s work is on view this month at Mier Gallery, in Los Angeles.

French River, a painting by Kim Dorland. Courtesy the artist and Angell Gallery, Toronto. Dorland’s work is on view this month at Mier Gallery, in Los Angeles.

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