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Researchers announced that a pedestrian visiting Las Vegas is one thirtieth as likely to be killed by a car as is a homeless person living in Las Vegas, that rhesus macaques exhibit a belief in winning streaks, and that naloxegol can counter the constipating effect of opioids. fMRI imaging revealed the activation of emotional connectedness when dependent marijuana users were allowed to handle a pot pipe. Among U.S. cigar smokers, whites are more than five times as likely as blacks to smoke premium cigars, and gays and lesbians are more than twice as likely as heterosexuals to smoke little filtered cigars. White Americans, following early childhood, fall behind black and Hispanic Americans in fruit consumption. A Pittsburgh mathematician conclusively proved Johannes Kepler’s 403-year-old fruit-stacking conjecture, and Stanford professor Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman to win the Fields Medal. American wives who are more educated than their husbands are no longer at increased risk of divorce. A Notre Dame sociologist concluded that attractive and successful Americans tend to marry one another and that trophy wives are very rare. The share prices of U.S. companies that use the same lead underwriter for equity offerings tend to rise and fall together. The feather lice specific to different populations of Galapagos hawk are passed down directly from mothers to chicks as the parasites evolve with their hosts.

In California, marine biologists reported the continuous fifty-three-month brood of a deep-sea octopus whose identity they verified over time by checking scars in the pit between arms R1 and R2; and a researcher reported continuing losses among his captive Pacific striped octopuses, which mate beak-to-beak and sucker-to-sucker. The reappearance of beavers on the River Otter, in Ottery St. Mary, may be due to beaver bombers. Police sought a gullible person believed to have drained a fish-farm lake on the River Arrow, freeing countless fry, in search of a Harley-Davidson in the depths. Ambient environmental concentrations of oxazepam were found to lessen mortality in both adult Eurasian perch and their fry. Dips in the population of Scandinavian signal crayfish were attributed to females’ eroded swimmeret syndrome. The genetic similarity of a nation’s populace to that of Denmark was directly correlated with its level of happiness. Norwegian soldiers quartered in unisex barracks are less likely to rape one another.

Female Caenorhabditis worms who mate with other species in the genus tend to become sterile and die as foreign sperm break through the distal spermathecal valve, invade the ovaries, vitiate the eggs, and move on to destroy other parts of the body. Riskier sex does not result from adult circumcision in Kenyan men. Obese women may have a food-specific learning deficit, according to a study led by neuroscientist Ifat Levy. A Turkish family that walks on all fours was determined not to represent devolution. Geneticists proposed the first unified theory to explain domestication syndrome, which results in floppy ears, white patches, small jaws, and tameness in animals as diverse as dogs, pigs, and fish. British children as young as three recognize both human and animal cuteness. Aboard the Hodoyoshi-3 satellite, a Hello Kitty looked down on Earth. Zoologists noted four new species of Bolivian tuco-tuco. Murmurations of starlings in flight optimize marginal opacity. Biologists studying African penguins distinguished between the begging peep of nesting chicks and the begging moan of unweaned juveniles. Ugandan children suffering from nodding syndrome reported between five and twenty nods per minute on average, though 31 percent of those afflicted could not say how often they nod. Fist bumps are more hygienic than handshakes. The kangaroo’s tail is a fifth leg.

“Burn No. 74” and “Burn No. 53,” photographs by Jane Fulton Alt, from The Burn, published last year by Kehrer Verlag. Courtesy the artist; Corden Potts Gallery, San Francisco; and Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York City

“Burn No. 74” and “Burn No. 53,” photographs by Jane Fulton Alt, from The Burn, published last year by Kehrer Verlag. Courtesy the artist; Corden Potts Gallery, San Francisco; and Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York City


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October 2014