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Zenith (V), a cyanotype by Ala Ebtekar, whose work was on view last month at Haines Gallery, in San Francisco. Courtesy the artist and Haines Gallery, San Francisco

Researchers identified an outbreak of social-media induced illness wherein young people appropriated the functional Tourette’s syndrome of a German YouTuber, found that atmospheric lead exposure in childhood made adults in thirty-eight countries more neurotic and less agreeable and conscientious, defined seven major feline personality traits by polling the owners of four thousand cats, and described a new form of uncanniness in faces that are lifelike and identical. Testicular volume was determined to be the prime predictor of successful sperm retrieval in puberty-suppressed transfeminine adolescents, and a four-decade literature review found that incels consistently report feeling as if they have missed important milestones in life. Medical students and practitioners in Dar es Salaam feared that masturbation shrinks the penis, while German men were finding greater enjoyment in masturbation during the pandemic. Pyraclostrobin causes tilapia to engage in water jacking, tummy turning, and cartwheeling, and early jacking among supermale Atlantic salmon is attributable more to the dam than to the sire. Female octopuses throw shells at males who harass them, and octopuses also throw shells, out of frustration, at nothing in particular.

Cuttlefish remember their most recent meal. Deadwood-eating insects were found to release 3.1 gigatons of carbon annually; LED streetlights were cutting caterpillar populations in half; birds have been evolving larger beaks in response to rising temperatures; and giant anteaters are roaming farther afield in search of cool forests. The higher the social standing of a Eurasian jay, the angrier it gets when its preferred snack is surreptitiously swapped out for an inferior one. Male acorn woodpeckers who share mates with their brothers live longer, and friendly male chimps have more children. Zoologists reported the birth of the first known wild albino chimpanzee, who was killed days later by the group’s alpha male. The dental plaque found on the teeth of Swedish brown bears between 1951 and 1970 revealed a doubling in the genetic antibiotic resistance of bacteria. The aerosols of the Salton Sea trigger unique pulmonary problems in the lungs of mice. An examination of three gorillas at the Detroit Zoo revealed that they preferred artificial noises to natural ones, though one gorilla displayed a strong preference for silence.

Arachnologists created a daddy shortlegs. A four-legged whale, Phiomicetus anubis, was discovered in the Western Desert. The Croatoan tribe, which may have absorbed Roanoke’s missing colonists in the late sixteenth century, was itself partly composed of earlier Sephardic and Croatian settlers. Three quarters of the world’s medicinal-plant knowledge may exist in no more than one language. The cultural artifact that most closely tracks genetics is grammar. The Great Unconformity may have developed slowly. Fool’s gold sometimes contains gold. An old recording of a talking duck emerged. “You bloody fool,” said the duck.

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August 2023

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