The collapse of the Qing Dynasty was driven by the quadrupling of its population and consequent rural impoverishment, an overabundance of qualified applicants for elite academic degrees, rising costs and trade deficits, and falling productivity, which were variously associated with internal unrest, opium imports, and the depletion of silver reserves.
Men can rate the facial attractiveness of women without paying attention, but women cannot do the same for men; gay men find the faces of purportedly fertile women and men more attractive; adolescents and adults both rate the faces of children younger than 4.6 years old as more appealing than those of older children; and body odors associated with fear quicken the visual processing of others’ facial expressions of fear.
A psycholinguistic analysis of posts on Twitter and Weibo during COVID-19 lockdowns found that residents of Lombardy grew increasingly focused on leisure and residents of Wuhan grew increasingly focused on religion.
Gerontologists cautioned that it would be difficult to predict individual Holocaust survivors’ trauma or resilience in response to the pandemic, which was expected to strengthen the market for laboratory mouse-suffocation chambers.
Rising population density, poor hygiene, and cold, moist weather led to a spike in ear infections in the Levant around 4000 bc, and postwar atmospheric nuclear testing led to increased cloud thickness and rainfall in the Shetland Islands.
Ostrich-shell beads indicating the onset of the Initial Upper Paleolithic were found to have reached Shuidonggou by 39000 bc, and strontium isotope levels revealed the social exchange of ostrich-shell beads during the Late Quaternary in the Karoo Supergroup.
Interviews with reptile poachers in southwestern Balochistan indicated that the Caspian cobra, the desert monitor, the Iranian mastigure, Maynard’s longnose sand snake, the Persian spider gecko, and the Tartar sand boa were being captured for use by snake charmers.
Terrestrial bacteria can grow on extraterrestrial nutrients; the black hole nearest Earth was discovered in the constellation Telescopium; and X-ray experiments conducted at the European Synchrotron indicated that moisture is destroying The Scream.
Falling levels of tourist trash during pandemic lockdowns was found to have caused rat infighting, and macaques were reported to have attacked a lab assistant in Delhi and stolen vials of COVID-19-infected blood, which at least one monkey then tried to eat.
The formation of pre–Silk Road Eurasian empires was driven partly by the spread of northern Chinese broomcorn millet; nanodiamonds and meltglass at Abu Hureyra point to a cosmic impact at the onset of the Younger Dryas; the collapse of Harappan society coincided with the loss of the Ghaggar River’s perenniality and the onset of the Meghalayan Stage; the breakdown of Easter Island society and the cessation of megalithic statue-building postdated European contact; and epigraphic evidence suggested a descent into total war during the Terminal Classic era of Mayan civilization.
Astronomers recorded, in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster, the largest known post–Big Bang explosion, which lasted several hundred million years and created a void of fifteen galactic widths in the plasma around the cluster’s central black hole. “People were skeptical because of the size of the outburst,” said one of the scientists. “We don’t know why it’s so big.”
Mount Vesuvius turned a Herculaneum man’s brain to glass, according to archaeologists, who also revived the voice of a priest from the reign of Ramesses XI and determined that a mummy in the Ulster Museum had been stabbed in the back.
Veterinarians developed an ultrasound schedule for pregnant dolphins, and marine biologists discovered four new species of walking sharks and found that gray seals clap at each other to communicate underwater.
Automation of the labor force may lead humans to overcome their differences, and researchers seeking to use personal voice-assistance to detect dementia among their users were awarded a $12 million grant.
A review of 250,000 pieces of erotica published between 2000 and 2016 found no significant increase in “transgressive” content, Saudi Arabians do not linger on porn websites, and neuroscientists reported that forceful, prosaic self-squeezing of the penile shaft more closely evokes the neurological signature of erotic touch than does gentle, prosaic self-squeezing of the glans.