Findings — From the January 2019 issue

Findings

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Instant soups were scalding up to ten thousand US children a year, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned that soft furniture causes far more falling injuries to small children than do stairs, Orthodox Jewish children in New York City were suffering outbreaks of measles, and researchers said that there was no evidence for the safety of Finnish cardboard baby boxes. Selfish people have fewer children and earn less money. Men’s stoical downplaying of medical problems is a mating strategy. Babies, like apes, laugh while inhaling. A study of thirty-four West Texans who watched the first Clinton–Trump debate found that audience laughter did not inspire the study participants to like a candidate. Tyrannicide among chimpanzees is motivated by moral principles. Mass shootings trigger outpourings of blood donations. States with fewer left-handed people are more Republican. Crashing waves may have spurred the evolution of spines.

Dolphins were adopting simpler whistles to be heard in noisier seas. Researchers found that tossing 600,000 pounds of dead sockeye salmon onto a stream bank over twenty years encouraged the growth of white spruce. The brown tree snake has been hitchhiking on planes. New Caledonian crows are able to use tools that must be assembled from up to four component parts. Orangutans spontaneously create hooked tools. Slow-learning pheasants live longer in the wild. Wild small mammals in Paraguay do not naturally engage in wheel running. Trained dogs can accurately determine which socks belong to malarial children in the Gambia. Giant pandas that bleat at each other, but not those that bark or roar, are likelier to have sex afterward. The tears of baby mice cause their mothers to reject males’ sexual advances. An Irish swan grieving the death of his mate was stopping cars to rest his head on their hoods. US Army cadets accidentally injured the Air Force’s gyrfalcon.

Americans overwhelmingly share the stereotype that “environmentalists” are affluent and white. On the Müritz-Elde-Wasserstraße, a beaver felled a tree onto a yacht. Winter ticks thriving in warmer winters are largely responsible for the 70 percent mortality rate among moose calves. Mammals cannot out-evolve the current mass extinction. A warming climate may dissuade Danes from growing maize. The European Social Survey found that people are more worried about the cost of energy than about global warming, though most accept that the climate is changing. A study in Nature concluded that a lack of change in human diet will drive Earth “beyond the planetary boundaries that define a safe operating space for humanity.” The use of cryptocurrencies alone will contribute enough carbon dioxide to raise atmospheric temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius by 2034. Lawsuits related to climate change tend to lose if they are attempting to cut emissions at coal-­powered plants, and tend to win if they are attempting to support renewables and greater energy efficiency. Oceans have absorbed 60 percent more heat than previously thought, which is causing more fur seals to suffer from hookworm. Sea snails’ shells are being dissolved by increasingly acidic seas. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change determined that, in the best-case warming scenario, many humans are going to die. Australian astronomers, in greater detail than ever before, observed the death of a nearby galaxy.

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