[Findings] Findings, By Rafil Kroll-Zaidi | Harper's Magazine

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Three Versions Play, The Throughs, and Turf Tiff, mixed-media artworks by Annie Lapin. Courtesy the artist; Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles; and Miles McEnery Gallery, New York City

Three Versions Play, The Throughs, and Turf Tiff, mixed-media artworks by Annie Lapin. Courtesy the artist; Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles; and Miles McEnery Gallery, New York City

Data from 162 countries indicated that people with higher incomes are prouder and less fearful; wealth inequality among pre-Columbian Mesoamerican societies, as measured by house size, was highest when governance was concentrated among the smallest number of people; a study of Florentines from 1427 to 2011 found low intergenerational socioeconomic mobility; and spinal degeneration was found to be markedly worse among lower-class late-medieval skeletons buried at the monastery of San Pietro at Villa Magna. The graves of warriors at Valsgärde were found to contain bedding made with feathers from crows, ducks, geese, grouse, sparrows, and waders, along with a beheaded owl. Ethiopian doctors reported that they had successfully delivered locked twins without having to decapitate either one, while in the United States, car-seat laws were found to have a contraceptive effect and to be responsible since 1980 for a deficit of 145,000 U.S. births. Two percent of teens eat enough vegetables, and alcohol-poisoning incidents involving supersize alcopops disproportionately involve underage drinkers. Western individualism contributes to parental burnout. Building on previous studies that have shown the wise to be less lonely and the lonely to be less wise, psychiatrists determined that the feces of the wise and unlonely exhibit a more diverse intestinal microbiome. Conservatives are increasingly unwilling to participate in research trials.

Researchers attempted to map monkey consciousness, planted and then removed detailed false memories in college students with the connivance of the students’ parents, predicted dyslexia by observing subjects’ difficulty with nonsense words, assembled the EmoPro data set to rate the emotional prototypicality of various Spanish words, and created tear-duct organoids and then made them cry. DNA can be sampled from the air of a room in which naked mole rats have been dwelling. Researchers identified the gene that causes sauteur d’Alfort rabbits to walk upright on their front legs. Growing up in proximity to siblings selects against cannibalistic traits in pantry moths. Two species of photosynthetic sacoglossan sea slugs can sever their own heads and then regenerate their bodies, though ecologists remain uncertain what prompts the decision to do so. Urogenital carcinoma, present in a quarter of sea lions necropsied in California, is definitively caused by a herpesvirus. The imperial cone lures the fireworm by exciting it sexually. A man attending a cockfight died after he was stabbed in the groin by his own rooster.

Penguin hemoglobin is optimized for deep diving, gentoo and chinstrap penguins failed to demonstrate a high degree of dietary competition, and a 2013 seabird wreck in which three million shearwaters died may have resulted from the birds’ eating floating pumice. By-the-wind sailor jellies are likelier to strand en masse after warm winters. Fossilized twigs and leaves under the Greenland ice sheet indicate that it melted completely within the past million years. Over 99 percent of Mars’s once-substantial surface water has been incorporated into minerals in the Martian crust. Worlds with underground oceans may generally be more hospitable to life, Enceladus’s global ocean may be churning, and the planet GJ 1132 b was presumed to have acquired a second atmosphere, owing to volcanism, after the original was lost to unknown forces. For the first time, X-rays were observed coming from Uranus. Kyoto reported its earliest cherry blossom peak since records began in 812 ad. The universe may be explicable without dark energy.


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