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Storybooks for Chinese children emphasize purpose, while American storybooks emphasize happiness. Monolingual children who hear multiple accents at home have a greater capacity for enjoying nonsense words. New pregnancies in Christian countries spike around Christmas. Republican presidential candidates have an 82 percent chance of winning neighborhoods with more pickup trucks than sedans; Democratic candidates have an 88 percent chance when the majority is reversed. African-American women with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia have higher odds of uterine fibroids, and African-American children are twice as likely as children of other races to be misdiagnosed as disruptive before they are diagnosed as autistic. Female nurses who work night shifts are three fifths more likely than other women to get breast cancer. Psychosis is nearly eight times as prevalent in Paris and southeast London as in parts of rural Spain. Plants respond to anesthetics. Callous emotionlessness manifests in teen boys but not girls. Male virgins can contract HPV. Honest and humble adolescents have less sex.

The world’s oldest funerary fishhooks were found decorating the face of a woman buried on Alor Island 12,000 years ago. A new species of orangutan was found to have been created by the eruption of a volcano 75,000 years ago. Male woolly mammoths were twice as likely as females to fall into a trap and die. Meteorites are responsible for all the iron in artifacts from the Bronze Age. The world’s oldest wine-making site was found in Georgia. English wineglasses have grown sevenfold over the past 300 years. Vole couples get along better if both drink alcohol or neither drinks than if only the male drinks. Mutant female mice who mutilate the genitals of male mice stop doing so when given gene therapy. The Mouse Biology Program at the University of California, Davis, created mice with chronic bad breath. Entomologists created a three-eyed wingless mosquito. A study found that, for pigeons, procrastination is more rewarding than precrastination. Rats will work harder for the same amount of mashed potatoes when it is flattened rather than balled. Chimpanzees hesitate before eating food presented to them atop fake feces. Cats do miss you.

Female Japanese macaques have been observed sexually mounting sika deer; the macaques also bite the deer, pull their antlers, and fight over them. Vets removed a six-pound tongue from a young Burmese moon bear who had been dragging it on the ground, a Vietnamese bile bear whose paws were amputated to make wine had learned to walk again, and the last dancing bears of Nepal were rescued. A gibbon couple who escaped from captivity had a wild baby. An Amur leopard cub whose mother had a history of cannibalizing her children was given to a golden retriever foster mother. The Indonesian Navy rescued 101 smuggled pangolins. The US Coast Guard rescued a sea turtle from floating cocaine bales. After blood came out of her blowhole, a Korean bottlenose dolphin died. The heaviest bony fish ever caught is a Mola alexandrini, not a Mola mola. A new snailfish was found living five miles underwater. Sharks can be monitored from their DNA drifting in seawater. One plastic bag can turn into 1.75 million shreds when eaten by marine organisms. Scientists discovered how the midshipman fish can hum for so long, and that the humming sound Earth makes comes from the bottom of the ocean.

Photograms by Wendy Small from the Ship series. Courtesy the artist and Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York City

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June 2024

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