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“Ernie and Leela,” and “Ernie Under My Desk,” photographs by Tony Mendoza from his book Ernie: A Photographer’s Memoir, published by Chronicle Books. Courtesy the artist and Lee Marks Fine Art, Shelbyville, Indiana

“Ernie and Leela,” and “Ernie Under My Desk,” photographs by Tony Mendoza from his book Ernie: A Photographer’s Memoir, published by Chronicle Books. Courtesy the artist and Lee Marks Fine Art, Shelbyville, Indiana

Neuropsychologists developed a shorter IQ test for children with shorter attention spans. The depression-prone are less attracted to the political right. The nocturnal heart rate of young men can be predicted by their female partners’ daytime feelings of intimacy or annoyance. Men who pose for photos with cats are seen as less datable. Men can rate the facial attractiveness of women without paying attention, but women cannot do the same for men; gay men find the faces of purportedly fertile women and men more attractive; adolescents and adults both rate the faces of children younger than 4.6 years old as more appealing than those of older children; and body odors associated with fear quicken the visual processing of others’ facial expressions of fear. Beak covering and nape-feather ruffling indicate calmness in sulfur-crested cockatoos. Repetitive negative thinking was associated with an increased risk of dementia, and self-harm in female adolescents may prevent suicide. Psychopaths recommend harsher punishments for homicides, whether accidental or motivated by profit, but exhibit relatively low concern about killing in general. Online murder-for-hire advertisements seek to convey professionalism yet tend not to provide references up front.

Convalescent plasma helps Syrian hamsters fight SARS-CoV-2. Plastic surgeons suggested that Botox could reduce the expression of negative emotions by masked faces. The presence of a professional sports team increases a city’s seasonal flu deaths. A psycholinguistic analysis of posts on Twitter and Weibo during COVID-19 lockdowns found that residents of Lombardy grew increasingly focused on leisure and residents of Wuhan grew increasingly focused on religion. Recent toilet-paper hoarding was more prevalent among Americans than Europeans and more prevalent among the old than the young. Gerontologists cautioned that it would be difficult to predict individual Holocaust survivors’ trauma or resilience in response to the pandemic, which was expected to strengthen the market for laboratory mouse-suffocation chambers. Researchers proposed replacing the paradigm of extinction with that of evanescence. Climate change was expected to drive American lobsters to seek deeper waters, beavers to colonize new parts of Canada, and wolf spiders in the high Arctic to produce a second annual brood. Humboldt penguins who nest in the open have more pollutant metabolites in their blood than do penguins who nest in guano-rich burrows. The tiger snakes of Perth have heavy metals in their livers. Satellite imagery captured ecosystem damage from fog loss, and aerial photography confirmed the existence of Roman military camps revealed by the 2018 Welsh drought. A young woman in a Vilnius plague pit was found to have been coinfected with yaws. A man buried at Newgrange passage tomb was found to be the product of first-degree incest, indicating that he was a member of the elite.

Scientists trained subjects to exercise control over a single neuron, linked the hippocampus to regret, and concluded that humans smell in stereo. Straight Slovakians assume that a woman in high heels will inspire more intense mate-guarding. Women who receive continuous rather than interrupted sutures for perineal repair after vaginal delivery report higher sexual levels of arousal and orgasmic function. Pinkness predicts aggression in flamingos. Chimpanzees have a bone in their hearts.

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January 2024

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