Findings, by Rafil Kroll-Zaidi

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Left and right: Big Bang and Untitled (24" Gong), by Milford Graves. Center: Love Inspiration, by Lois Graves. The works (acrylic on wind gongs) were on view last summer at Fridman Gallery, in New York City. Courtesy the artists and Fridman Gallery

Left and right: Big Bang and Untitled (24″ Gong), by Milford Graves. Center: Love Inspiration, by Lois Graves. The works (acrylic on wind gongs) were on view last summer at Fridman Gallery, in New York City. Courtesy the artists and Fridman Gallery

The Justinianic Plague may have had a more profound impact on Byzantine society than recent research has posited, as evidenced by the devaluation of currency and attempts to impose wage and price controls amid labor shortages and what the emperor described as the “encircling presence of death.” Liangzhu culture was destroyed by climate change, volcanic eruptions made Chinese dynasties of the past two thousand years likelier to collapse, and the end-Permian mass extinction may have been caused by southern Chinese volcanism in addition to the eruptions of the Siberian Traps, which lowered global temperatures by several degrees. Japonic, Koreanic, Mongolic, Tungusic, and Turkic languages were traced to Neolithic millet farmers who lived near the West Liao River. Archaeologists announced the discovery, at the Armenian archaeological site of Artashat-Artaxata, of the easternmost Roman aqueduct. Astronomers reported the presence of a planet in the Hercules constellation with a year that lasts sixteen hours and the surface temperature of a small star. Interplanetary dust may have provided the phosphorus necessary for life on Earth. Researchers summarized heavy-metal poisonings in Missouri and Rhode Island caused by luster dust. “Not all glitters,” they warned, “are created equal.”

Dutch and Japanese speakers can tell whether someone is laughing in Dutch or Japanese. Half of children can appreciate humor by the time they are two months old, and half can produce humor by eleven months. Faces can be identified as those of adults from noses and eyebrows, and as those of children from eyes and jawlines. Mandatory masking improves performance on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test. Neck musculature predicts fighting success among men, and was found to be the most significant sexually dimorphic characteristic. DC superheroes exhibit the upper-body proportions of champion male bodybuilders, whereas Marvel superheroes exceed them, and both DC and Marvel superheroines have smaller waist-to-hip ratios than popular pornographic actresses. Women are likelier than men to seek out aggression in pornography, greater pornography consumption among straight people predicts support for gay marriage, arranged marriages may counter natural selection, and the psychological profiles of Flemish divorcées’ new husbands suggest that the former learned from their mistakes and suffered from decreased value in the marriage market. A study of posts on a relationship forum indicated that breakups cause more emotional pain to men than women. Men are better than women at tuning into their hearts, but no differences were observed for gastric self-perception.

Americans are less distressed by the certainty of death than by the possibility of toothache. The personality trait most closely associated with a belief in astrology is narcissism. Researchers presented a framework for understanding malevolent creativity. Agreeable individuals are likelier to comply with social distancing and to contract COVID-19. Rare cases of in utero COVID-19 infection may occur if the fetus swallows amniotic fluid. Singing male adults produce high quantities of respiratory aerosols. Zoologists concluded that a single species of frog has true teeth in its lower jaw, and that it is probably extinct. “These traits,” said the lead author, “don’t exist anywhere else in the frog tree of life.” Forest fires were lowering human birth weights, zoo chimpanzees in Kyoto enjoy virtual forests, and the chimpanzees of the Bossou community are formal in their greetings but unceremonious in their leave-taking.

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