Findings — From the February 2016 issue

Findings

Researchers debuted the Geek Culture Engagement Scale, which quantifies participation in such activities as Renaissance faires, screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and B.D.S.M. Female U.S. college students with more than three tattoos reported higher self-esteem and more suicide attempts. U.S. consumers expressed a preference for surgeons without tribal neck tattoos. The greater the competition for the attention of an attractive man, the more a straight woman will trust a gay man rather than another straight woman to tell her she has spinach dip stuck in her teeth. Men at an all-you-can-eat buffet were observed to consume twice as much pizza in the company of women as in the company of men. Gynephilia was exhibited by the genitals of many women who self-reported as exclusively heterosexual. Orgasms may provide pain relief during childbirth. Male lebinthine crickets imitate bats in order to startle females into vibrating. Sublingual testosterone improves women’s sense of direction. The less interested a young man is in babies, the more his testosterone will rise in response to porn. A cleft palate increases a child’s risk of abuse, as does spina bifida, but Down syndrome does not. Children given stimulants for A.D.H.D. are twice as likely to be bullied, possibly because bullies want stimulants.

The antonym pairs dull–radiant, transparent–chalky, and dead–vivid evoke little chromatic association; acid–treacly evokes red and magenta. Participants in the Vietnam Head Injury Study whose superior temporal cortices were damaged by penetrating trauma exhibit increased mysticism. Among Europeans, Christians are relatively immune to the stressful and depressing effects of Christmas. Experimental models suggested that honor cultures disappear when social institutions become reliable. There was a 45 percent increase in U.S. law-enforcement killings of civilians between 1999 and 2013. Bud Light is universally popular among U.S. underage drinkers, but only black and Hispanic youth prefer Cîroc vodka and 1800 tequila. Sorting money instead of buttons makes Polish children worse at helping tasks. In reporting a coin flip, 3.4 percent of Britons were dishonest, compared with 70 percent of Chinese. Subjects are disgusted when their real, hidden hand is stroked at the same time as a fake rubber hand on which fake feces are then placed. Handedness does not influence the human bias to present the left cheek in selfies. The happiest human activity is sex and the second-unhappiest is Facebook. Text messages seem less sincere when they end with a period. Beyond five levels of intentionality, jokes become less funny. Scientists overestimate the negative impact of admitting they were wrong.

Bioengineers created a malaria-resistant mosquito, an infertile mosquito, and a fruit fly whose heart beats in time with the pulse of a blue laser. Blueness independently evolved eight times in tarantulas. Human sperm carry information about a man’s weight and crane their heads rightward to balance the counterclockwise rotation of their tails. The KLF4 protein was implicated in cerebral cavernous malformation, the SCN8A gene in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, and the MAPRE2 and TUBB genes in circumferential skin creases Kunze type. Lekking strategies among male ruffs are genetic. Myxozoan parasites are actually microscopic jellyfish that evolved from macroscopic multicellular cnidarians. Survey ships firing marine air guns were advised to install guards to prevent towed hydrophones from entangling acoustically traumatized turtles. Zebra fish exhibit emotional fever. Phobos is slowly being crushed into a ring. Scotland reported falling corncrake counts. The Hunterian Museum will exhibit the skull of Winnie-the-Pooh.

“Night, Qaarsut,” a photograph by Tiina Itkonen, from Avanaa, published by Kehrer Verlag. Courtesy the artist

“Night, Qaarsut,” a photograph by Tiina Itkonen, from Avanaa, published by Kehrer Verlag. Courtesy the artist

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