Findings — From the December 2015 issue


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A jaguar named Salman was sent away from the Delhi zoo for being too fat to mate, and a former meerkat expert at the London Zoo was ordered to pay £800 in restitution for breaking a glass against a monkey keeper’s face during a fight over the affections of a llama keeper. Tuscan primatologists noted that Malagasy lemurs yawn more following an episode of anxiety, the eruption of Cotopaxi threatened to kill off the Quito rocket frog, and climate change was shortening the tongues of bumblebees. Raindrops bounce ants into pitcher plants. South African helmeted turtles were observed grooming the insects off a warthog. Mad cow disease has caused the Galician wolf to eat more wild ponies. The accident-prone ponies of Dartmoor were to be painted reflective blue. American drivers at crosswalks are less likely to yield for black pedestrians.

Officials at Yosemite National Park hoped that designated selfie zones might prevent millennials from falling into rivers and drowning. Restricting access to suicide hot spots reduces deaths by 90 percent. A blood test in combination with a questionnaire can predict suicidal thoughts in bipolar patients with 98 percent accuracy. Austerity increases suicides in male European adolescents. Having a reason to live reduces suicide among the transgendered. Participants in Becoming a Man, a program that seeks to reduce “automatic behavior” among Chicago boys, were 44 percent less likely to be arrested for a violent crime. Mystical experiences are not ineffable. By downregulating posterior-medial-frontal-cortex activity via transcranial magnetic stimulation, an interdisciplinary team reduced subjects’ belief in God. A newly discovered microsnail can easily pass through the eye of a needle, camel’s milk was declared beneficial for autistic children by scientists at India’s National Research Centre on Camel, and the richest 1 percent of humanity was found to possess half the world’s wealth. The tweets of the rich express more anger and fear than the tweets of the poor, which express more disgust, sadness, and surprise; joy does not vary.

Science finally described the blue bastard, a species of sweetlips. Curacaoan teenage girls who grow up without fathers employ a greater range of nonverbal seduction techniques, such as the conspicuous display of a BlackBerry or iPhone, visible fragrance powder on the breast, synthetic clothing, eating sweets, allowing men to eat sweets out of their mouths, volumized wavy hairstyles, a “lollipop” worn in the hair, allowing men to remove lollipops from their hair, bright lipstick, fake nails, high heels, and laughing. A study of U.S. undergraduate students found that “has anger issues or is abusive” ranks as No. 1 among the top ten deal-breakers for long-term relationships; No. 10 is “smells.” Girls whose first sexual experience involves alcohol have a worse time. Law & Order increases a viewer’s intention to seek sexual consent, whereas CSI reduces it. Researchers described the extreme dissociation of senior investment bankers as “Teflonic identity maneuvering.” Psychologists unveiled the Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale. A British advocacy group sought to increase the number of intellectually disabled mystery shoppers. Marketing professors concluded that British singles are the “abject other.” Among heterosexual men recruited via Facebook, dating websites, and the Croatian edition of Cosmopolitan, the most popular type of pornography is “amateur” and the least popular is “gay.” Italian women condemn the use of pornography by other women but view it as “naturally connected to the essence of being a man.” Disapproving Greek-Cypriot mothers-in-law-to-be are more easily won over than disapproving fathers-in-law-to-be. The stretched flaccid length of the human penis leads observers to underestimate its erect length and girth by 21.4 percent and 19.5 percent respectively. Animal mascots shame humans with disappointment. Frustrated magnets produce skyrmions. Caramel apples stored at room temperature should not be penetrated with sticks until they are about to be consumed.

“Camouflage,” a photographic pentaptych by Anna Bella Geiger, whose work is on view this month at Michael Hoppen Gallery, in London. © The artist. Courtesy Galería Aural, Alicante, Spain

“Camouflage,” a photographic pentaptych by Anna Bella Geiger, whose work is on view this month at Michael Hoppen Gallery, in London. © The artist. Courtesy Galería Aural, Alicante, Spain

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