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A  Norwegian dendrochronologist found that smoke used to hide a Nazi battleship caused pine trees to stop forming rings. Hans Asperger helped the Third Reich kill disabled children. Holocaust survivors were reported to exhibit an aversion to doctors with German surnames. Loneliness has a less pronounced effect on German women than on German men in encouraging the use of internet porn, which generally has become less aggressive in its depictions of women. American women were becoming more promiscuous; men, less. Of college women who identify as heterosexual but engage in same-sex relations, 12 percent are following a script of performative public bisexual hookups. When one member of a straight couple is a psychopath and the other is not, the woman’s experience of the relationship suffers. Male overinvestment in sexual reproductive success predicted extinction among the ostracods. Eighty percent of those displaced by climate change have been women, whose voices have been getting deeper. The least offensive taboo words are those that are derogatory toward men.

People who resist the temptation to cheat on their romantic partners exhibit sour grapes, guilt makes women but not men underreport their carnivorousness, and hand cleansing—whether actual, imagined, or vicarious—encourages the consumption of virtuous foods and discourages the consumption of vicious foods. Religiousness makes people spend less on groceries and is only partly responsible for conservatives’ lower intelligence. For mental health, fruits and vegetables are better raw than cooked. Most people don’t know what a lowercase g looks like. Positive experiences tend to produce happiness; negative ones, meaning. Wisdom, but not intelligence, makes people happier. Some news about fake news may be fake news.

Rising oceanic CO2 levels will increase the number of baby fish led astray by white noise. Thirty-three researchers considered whether octopuses—of which a vast, highly stressed nursery of brooding females was found off Costa Rica—came from space. Nine thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight radiated tortoises were rescued from a house in Madagascar. A man recently bitten by a shark, a snake, and a bear was found to have lost against odds of 1 in 893 quadrillion. The Oxford Dodo was found to be killed by a gunshot to the back of the head. A mutation affecting breast milk production led to the development of shovel-shaped incisors in Native Americans following the Beringian Standstill. Men in sub-Saharan Africa are discovering they have bleeding disorders when they undergo elective circumcision. African immigrant women in the West, despite nostalgia for the cultures in which they were raised, are skeptical of passing the custom of female genital mutilation on to their daughters. Researchers noted that spirometers still offer a correction accounting for a 10 to 15 percent underperformance by the lungs of black people even though the underperformance may be a myth originating in Thomas Jefferson’s observation of a pulmonary deficiency among slaves. Scientists succeeded in making an electron that is neither bound nor free.

“Rainbows” and “Lightnings,” photographs by Anastasia Samoylova, whose work was on view in March at Alfa Gallery, in Miami. Courtesy the artist and Alfa Gallery, Miami

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October 2023

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