The scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee are smart people, unfortunately, they also have southern accents. Guess how things went when the lab offered classes to change that?
Our guess is that it’s pretty easy being a human resources person at a federally funded national laboratory. That means that putting on classes to improve worker abilities must be challenging. Helping people get rid of their southern accents must have seemed like a good plan, after all, regardless of how smart you are, your accent doesn’t get the best press. HR people probably got tired of hearing people say “nucular.”
As you may have guessed, staff at the lab complained, and the accent reduction class was cancelled, y’all.
Japan’s population is shrinking. It’s one of the few countries that can say this. While they are doing their part to avoid overpopulating the world, it’s also a bad thing, because someone needs to take care of all the old people.
So Japanese researchers came up with a very Japanese way to solve the problem: more robots. They said in a white paper that robots could even be applied to agriculture and construction jobs, because everyone wants robots in charge or your food or making cat calls at you when you walk by.
But it’s not all bad news. They say the discovery could one day lead to drugs that can block the effect of alcohol withdrawal (hangovers). It could even one day keep people from getting drunk at all, which sounds like hell.
Some guys brag about having a third leg in their pants. According to a new study, they’re not that far off.
Researchers say that the first known instance of male sexual organs on an animal with a backbone began as an extra set of legs. Millions of years ago, these weird, fish-like things called placoderms ruled the seas, they are the oldest vertebrates known to science, and according to a recent study of fossils, the extra appendage on male placoderms was used to fertilize the females internally.
Researchers placed rats in a contraption that allowed them to travel in one direction through a looping hallway connected to food chambers. Some chambers had food that the rats liked, like bananas or chocolate, while others had foods they liked considerably less. Rats that chose rooms with Kibble or whatever you feed rats when you break up with them looked backward towards rooms with better options. And brain scans indicate that they felt regret on not choosing the correct room.
So what did the rats do? They ate up the less desirable food and spit it out. For what is a rat, what has he got? If not himself then he has naught. To squeak the things he truly feels and not the words of one who runs on wheels. The brain scans show they took the blows and did it … like members of the Rat Pack.
If there was one surprise about the first 15 years of the year 2000, it’s been that science is now more politicized in general than it was during the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. Which is really surprising when we can finally agree that cigarettes do cause cancer and that tobacco companies and their handful of hired scientists lied to us while the vast consensus of the scientific community agreed that inhaling fire is super bad for you.
However, now there’s an entire political party dedicated to pushing back against science when it comes to climate, human reproduction and the exact age of the Earth. And for their efforts to undermine the scientific progress of the 20th Century, we have rightfully named the Republican Party the “stupid party.” And the worst part is that they’ve taken these positions based on donations from energy companies and megachurches.
But, aren’t pastors and oil and coal magnates considered experts in their respective fields? How is an elected official supposed to know that guys selling purity rings maybe don’t have a sound medical understanding of what the birth control pill does? Or that, when your only tool is a coal-fired pneumatic hammer, then all your problems are solar-resistant nails?
Maybe it’s because, for the myriad of ways that science has shaped and defined the 21st century, we don’t really understand any of it. Oh, sure, we talk a big game based on our high school biology class and the occasional Wikipedia timesink, but can we really blame Republicans being the only ones who fall for faulty — and sometimes fraudulent — pseudoscience?
After all, you can hear both conservatives and liberals (but mostly liberals) complain about the following … Continue reading →
If we told you that Hurricane Betsy was coming your way, would you flee? What about Hurricane Michael? Some scientists say you aren’t afraid of storms with female names.
It turns out that storms with female names tend to kill more people. Researchers don’t think it’s because they’re any nastier or moodier (at least not while they’re in earshot), but that people tend to take hurricanes with male names more seriously. They suggest that any given hurricane would kill three times as many people if it has a woman’s name.
The good news for women out there is that hurricanes are punishing the sexists.