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<em>Sparkling City with Egg Monuments #2,</em> by Lari Pittman © The artist. Courtesy Lehmann Maupin

Sparkling City with Egg Monuments #2, by Lari Pittman © The artist. Courtesy Lehmann Maupin

In 2023, the hottest year on record, the number of unprovoked shark attacks remained level, and researchers warned that, as temperatures rise, humans should prepare for more diarrhea. The diurnal asymmetric warming of the earth has reversed course since 1991, with daytime temperatures rising faster than nighttime ones. The warming of low-elevation tropical forests is driving lianas to strangle trees. The skeletons of Caribbean sea sponges may suggest that the planet surpassed 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming more than a decade ago. Depression in humans is correlated with higher body temperature, and cold-water swimming mitigates menopause symptoms. H5N1 was suspected or confirmed in the deaths of such birds as black-browed albatross, brown skuas, giant petrels, kelp gulls, and Antarctic terns found at locations including Bird Island, Penguin River, Right Whale Bay, and Sea Lion Island. Anatomists examining rosy-faced lovebirds found that parrots’ ability to swing by their beaks constitutes a unique form of locomotion whose long pendular periods are similar to that of gibbon brachiation. The long calls of wild flanged male orangutans feature rhythmically isochronous call sequences nested within further isochronous call sequences. Clown fish can count the number of vertical bars on other fish. The disruptive sound in a Tampa neighborhood that was previously blamed on aliens, the military, and party boats might actually be the sound of the black drum mating.

Astrophysicists determined that at least half the volume of the Saturnian moon Mimas consists of an ocean beneath its icy crust. Martian ice deposits under the Medusae Fossae Formation are up to two miles thick, and young thrust faults on the moon may imperil human and robot explorers. Swedes were presented with a series of moral dilemmas to determine when they would prefer self-driving cars kill pedestrians rather than passengers. Oxford scientists created hedgehog crash test dummies to help teach robot lawn mowers to avoid the animals. Scientists unveiled new tools that help robots recognize fruits easily and pick them delicately. The average radius of curvature in week-old halved carrots was found to decrease from 1.61 to 1.1 meters. A soundscape of 80 decibels played over five days to Trichoderma harzianum fungi—and soundscapes of 70 decibels and 90 decibels played over fourteen days to green tea bags and rooibos tea bags—significantly accelerated their decomposition. Genomic analysis indicated that psychedelic mushrooms emerged around the time of the Mesozoic–Cenozoic mass extinction.

The semen microbiome may influence sperm motility. The playing speed of a metal guitarist directly correlates with his intrasexual competitiveness but not his mating success. Americans and Canadians with a history of sugar dating perceive sugar babies as having more power than their sugar daddies, mamas, and non-binary benefactors. Scientists at UC San Diego and L’Oréal identified a positive correlation between skin microbiome diversity and the extent of crow’s-feet. Dementia appears to have been exceedingly rare in classical antiquity, as in the present-day Tsimane tribe, leading researchers to hypothesize that its modern prevalence may be linked to air pollution. Twenty-three percent of witchcraft accusations against Scots between 1563 and 1736 involved fairies and elves. A teenage boy whose body the police recovered from a Bellaghy bog was determined to have died between 2,000 and 2,500 years ago. “The kidney,” said a detective, “was malleable to the touch.” Forty-two percent of Gen Z consumers commit charge-back fraud, and 61 percent of health-care workers said they have concealed having an infectious disease. Violence was found to be contagious in the Mafia.


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May 2024

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