Findings — From the May 2016 issue

Findings

Researchers found that birthrates in the United States are positively correlated with Google searches for “before you get married,” “pregnancy workout,” “baby diarrhea,” and “baby car seat”; and are negatively correlated with searches for “dry cat food,” “cat not eating,” “cat food recall,” “bong slide,” and “older cats.” Infant mortality is positively correlated with searches for “loans for bad credit,” “vh1.com,” “genital warts pictures,” “white males,” and “cheap bedroom furniture”; and is negatively correlated with searches for “radish salad,” “subaru forester 2009,” “red cabbage salad,” “make frosting,” and “gluten?” Americans view buying “ethical” foods as virtuous, unless the people who buy them are on welfare. Pro–eating disorder Instagram users responded to the service’s ban on the hashtag #thighgap by devising 107 variants. Burn-care surgeons warned that young African-American men are particularly prone to setting themselves on fire for YouTube videos. Asian-American adolescents fear that Asian-American doctors are likelier to breach confidentiality about the adolescents’ sexual histories. Fewer than half of U.S. endocrinologists consider themselves competent to treat transgender patients, and only 21 percent of their clinic staff are trained in the use of pronouns. A Potawatomi botanist continued to press for a more respectful pronoun for animals and plants than “it.” Entomologists published an illustrated key to forty-one ambiguous species of grass-boring snout moths, who can be told apart only by their genitals. Scientists surveyed the extant literature on the benefits of children reading to dogs.

Ravens understand that a peephole allows a pilferer to spy on them, and male red-backed fairy-wrens who swiftly and loudly join their mates in duets are less likely to be cuckolded. Urologists described “spousal revenge” syndrome, wherein guilt-ridden men experience pelvic pain after cheating on their partners. Male nursery-web spiders are less likely to be eaten by females whom they tie up before sex. A Texas commission voted to ban the courtroom use of forensic odontology. NASA attempted to explain a newly discovered bite mark on Pluto. Sea-level rises on Earth have slowed because the land has soaked up an extra 3.2 trillion tons of water. Seafloor mapping near Australia’s Twelve Apostles revealed five Drowned Apostles. Chesapeake watermen lately gained $21.3 million from the removal of derelict crab pots. A small sea snail was found to swim like a bee.

Epidemiologists described an aborted attack by the Venetians on the Ottomans that was to use the liquefied spleens and buboes of plague victims. Merovingian and Carolingian wax seals were presumed to contain the hairs of Childebert III, Chilperic II, Pippin the Short, Charlemagne, Carloman, and Pippin of Aquitaine. Six needles, some of them rusty and covered in vegetation, were recovered from a fourteen-year-old Japanese girl’s heart. Doctors analyzed the ictal coprolalia of an epileptic fifteen-year-old Texas boy who presented with chapeau de gendarme and the compulsive joking of a fifty-seven-year-old California man who presented with a tendency to hoard coffee grinders and Hawaiian shirts and to defragment his co-workers’ hard drives without their permission. Highly schizotypal French students are better at blindfolded self-tickling. Americans who live near streetlights are likelier to wake confused in the night. Rats at home prefer heroin, whereas rats abroad prefer cocaine. Short dogs act more defensively than tall dogs when confronted with humans dressed as ghosts. Old dogs are slower to learn new tricks. Chimpanzees in West Africa habitually accumulate stones by throwing them into hollow trees, perhaps because they enjoy the sound.

No. 43, Crocus Striped Beauty, Bicolor Trompetnarcis Queen of Bicolors, and No. 49, Rhododendron Hybridum Schubert, acrylic paint and ink on vintage lithographs, by Sebastiaan Bremer. Courtesy the artist and Hales, London and New York City

No. 43, Crocus Striped Beauty, Bicolor Trompetnarcis Queen of Bicolors, and No. 49, Rhododendron Hybridum Schubert, acrylic paint and ink on vintage lithographs, by Sebastiaan Bremer. Courtesy the artist and Hales, London and New York City

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