An Orange County, California, man accused a dolphin of punching his daughter, and scientists dismissed fears that the pacu fish, recently sighted in New Jersey, has a taste for testicles. The climbing perch, which can live out of water for six days and hibernate on land for six months, was approaching Australia, where rising temperatures were turning bearded dragons female, chestnut-crowned babblers exhibited protolanguage, red-necked wallabies favored their left hands for fine manipulation, middle managers were found to be highly disengaged, and a University of Sydney biologist advised that cane toads should be killed by “moving them to the freezer beside the ice cream.” White Americans who watch videos of other white Americans smiling and gazing at black Americans exhibit less racism. When Tibetans dream of death, their dreamlands are white, grayish-white, and red. Rats dream of inaccessible treats. The placebo effect persists even when patients know that they are taking placebos. Half of eye-cancer patients who have undergone enucleation experience a phantom eye; one fifth of these patients experience pleasurable sensations in the phantom eye. Psychologists monitored the “aesthetic chills” induced by films and music, as measured by goosebumps captured with a Goosecam. Companies with anthropomorphic mascots are perceived to be unfair when they raise their prices. Monkeys whose brains are linked with electrodes are better at moving a robotic arm with their thoughts. Austrian researchers unveiled a method of calculating the precise time of death of a pig.
Lovebirds were found to rotate their heads 2,700 degrees per second. Oral sex among Canadian adolescents is accelerated by texting. Poor working memory makes adolescents likelier to engage in impulsive sex; good working memory makes children better liars. Gay men exhibit less gender homophily than straight men. A man named Rod was struck by lightning for the second time. Fifty-one percent of amateur erotic fiction written by eunuchs and aspiring eunuchs involves forced castration. Prenatal cocaine exposure more than doubles a child’s odds of having sex by age fifteen, as does lead exposure during preschool. Turkish university students who are shown titillating videos of designer jeans and Enrique Iglesias are worse at recalling German words. A woman’s conscientiousness correlates with the length of her fellatio. Easily disgusted women become more easily disgusted when aroused, whereas disgust-resistant women become less so. Among American university students, 3.7 percent say that it is “definitely sex” to masturbate while on the phone, while 0.7 percent say that it is “definitely not sex” to engage in penile-vaginal intercourse in which both partners achieve orgasm. The leg muscles of space mice atrophy, but their cheek muscles do not.
Scientists shaved Saharan silver ants and exposed them to a xenon lamp and a cold plate to imitate the sun and the sky. Zoologists trained heroin-sniffing honeybees. Genetic monitoring of bee populations is more efficient when the tested bees are first turned into soup. Myrmecologists described six new species of cryptic subterranean Dracula ants. Vampires are afraid of coming out to their doctors. The Bodélé Depression has been fertilizing the Amazon rainforest with transatlantic dust only since Lake Mega-Chad dried rapidly a thousand years ago. Pandanus candelabrum plants indicate the presence of diamonds in West Africa’s Man Shield. Freshwater consumption has crossed the planetary boundary. Simply asking is not sufficient to diagnose depression in dying Portuguese. Suicide may be an inflammatory response. School shootings are contagious. Oncologists described how to induce cells of breast cancer, esophageal cancer, and colorectal cancer to levitate. German scientists published a proposal to cure a white elephant of autism using acoustic smiles, after which he will become human, take on the name Szilamandee, and lead humanity with “the deepest voice of history.” Peer-review standards in scientific journals were found to vary widely.