Drinking makes you feel good, science claims

Everyone, stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath and collect yourself. The next sentence is so earth-shattering you will likely never view life the same way again. Beer makes you happy.

Researchers in Germany (of course) have found that a compound in beer called Hordenine activate the dopamine receptors in your brain. Meaning, your brain basically treats the compound as if it were dopamine. Scientists said Hordenine is found in beer because large amounts of it exist in malted barley, a key ingredient in beer.

Ready for some even better news? Barley is also used to make a lot of whiskies, so it seems likely to us that the same compound will be found in the brown stuff, too.

It’s Friday, go out and make yourself happy.

Pigeons, not robots, will take over your job

They can also get to work faster than you.

Pigeons: Scourge of statues and friend to weird loners in the park everywhere, may be better at doing your job than you. It’s science.

According to a recent study, pigeons perform just as well, if not better, in switching between tasks quickly. Their high-order cognitive processing is just as good as ours. Scientists say this could lead to jobs once thought to need the intelligence of a human to instead be performed by a pigeon. Simply put: the birds are better at multitasking than you are, and they’re coming for your job.

Such a shift would no doubt delight business owners everywhere. There’s no law that says you have to pay animals for their work. You don’t really have to provide them health care coverage, either. And bird seed costs less than keeping the lights, water and heat running in an office setting. Think of the savings.

Now we have a huge new rat to worry about

Rats are just about the worst thing on the planet. They are big, ugly things that get into everything and can’t really be stopped. Plus, they carry diseases, like that time they killed a third of Europe with the plague. So good luck, everyone, we have new species of rat, and it’s huge.

Researchers have discovered a rat four times the size of the ones you’re used to seeing. It’s got teeth so big it can crack coconuts. The only good news here is that it’s confined to the Solomon Islands, which means there’s a chance we can keep this nasty species isolated.

Then again, rats are so common around the world because they snuck onto ships centuries ago. So we’re probably doomed.

Someone bought Hitler’s underwear for some reason

Hitler’s underwear went on the auction block last week and you missed out on it–unless of course you’re the highest bidder.

An auction house in Maryland sold a pair of Adolf Hitler’s underwear, fetching $6,737. The monogrammed white boxers were said to have been left at an Austrian hotel after the Nazi leader stayed there in 1938. The hotel owner’s grandson sold the weird item.

Some readers may recall that Eva Braun’s panties were auctioned off just last year. Turns out both pairs of Nazi underwear were sold at the same auction house, Alexander Historical Auctions.

So if you’ve got some creepy OG Nazi stuff you want to unload (and alt right rallies show the market is hot right now), apparently Maryland is open for business.

The McBournie Minute: We don’t actually care about the National Anthem

This column was originally published on Sept. 26, 2016, and because of the comments of the president, it’s very relevant almost a year to the day. I am heartened to see the protests against police brutality on minorities rising to such a prominent level in the American debate. Now let’s remember how silly it is that people get upset when people take a knee to a song about a fort being bombarded.

Another week of the NFL is coming to a close, which means we have another round of reports and hot takes on the National Anthem, and who did and didn’t kneel in protest. On one side are supporters, who argue that 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick is right to use his stage to speak out against the injustice of police officers shooting unarmed black people, on the other are the people who say to not stand for the National Anthem is an insult against the troops/all cops everywhere/America/insert broad apolitical group used for political gain here.

Kaepernick’s protests have inspired others to join him, even in other sports. They have also brought down a lot of heat from talking heads on TV and police unions alike. Which lead to the Seattle Seahawks doing a “protest” so careful not to offend either side it had no purpose. The issue is far from resolved, and it seems like every week another controversial shooting makes headlines.

But whatever happens, Kaepernick has exposed one thing about America: no one really cares about the National Anthem. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: We don’t actually care about the National Anthem

Goldfish invade Australia

Australia is a downright terrifying place to outsiders. Pretty much every animal native to the continent looks like it’s a xenomorph, can kill you in a matter of seconds, or is a koala. That’s why it’s hilarious when our cute pets go over there and wreak havoc on their ecosystems. The latest threat: goldfish.

It looks like Western Australia is under siege by the cute little fish you win at the fair. Wildlife authorities are asking people not to flush their goldfish (assuming here that they mean living goldfish) because they are growing big and taking over waterways. Normally, goldfish live in freshwater, but they are somehow finding a way to survive in saltier bodies of water and threaten native plants and wildlife. The worry is that these salt-resistant goldfish are going to expand into other waterways and become a real problem.

So perhaps we shouldn’t be as scared of Australian wildlife as we are. Or maybe we need to be more afraid of stupid, puffy goldfish.

You Missed It: Alien invasion edition

Hey guys, how’s it going? Hopefully your house is still standing, and wasn’t flooded, blown to smithereens, or burned. We’re really checking all the boxes for natural disasters this month. This weekly feature has been missing largely because I’ve had family stuff to attend to. But here we all are. Let’s get reacquainted. If you were busy ending your marriage with Fergie this week, odds are you missed it.

Is this not a test?
TV viewers in California were shocked when emergency alerts flashed on their screens with incoherent messages. One message was a panicked voice talking about the government working with extraterrestrials, and the other proclaimed that violent times were ahead. It turned out that both were recordings of crazy people calling in to radio shows years earlier. Man, I hate sweeps week gimmicks.

From Russia with likes
This week, it was uncovered that Russian-funded ads on Facebook spreading pro-Trump propaganda and even organized Trump rallies while appearing to be grassroots movements. President Donald Trump responded in his typical, even-keeled way, saying that the Facebook ad controversy was fake news. So the news about the fake news on the site plagued continually by fake news is fake news. Get it straight.

The gateway spice
Experts say that pumpkin spice can really be addictive. They say while the flavors can trigger feelings of holidays and family, if you consume them enough, your body will soon crave it. Researchers warn the demographic most at risk to get hooked on pumpkin spice are “basic bitches.”

Some exciting research about slee … *snoooooore*

Another example of why science needs to study “obvious” things: peeing on jellyfish stings is a terrible idea.

One of the more interesting aspects about the scientific process is that it cannot be based on commonly held or assumed wisdom. This leads to criticism of experiments and, by extension, the entire field of science when researchers test something we all assume we know. For example: calling fruit fly research a waste of government funding because we all know what fruit flies are, dontchaknow?

Which is why it seems strange to research sleep. You know, that thing we all hate when we’re young and elusively seek as we age. But, what’s sleep for, other than to chase bunnies or be Vikings?

The prevailing theory is that animals need sleep to basically recharge the brain. But, then that would mean that brainless animals, like jellyfish, wouldn’t need sleep. Except it turns out that they totally do, you guys.

In what could easily be the plot of an already-cancelled Real Genius TV series (you’re welcome, Netflix), three Caltech students snuck into the jellyfish lab after hours to settle a bet: whether jellyfish sleep. They observed sleep-like behavior in the jellyfish:

1.  They didn’t move much at a set time of night.
2. They were slow to react to stimulus in this state.
3. After being kept up all night by squirt torture (welcome to SeriouslyGuys, disappointed porn Googlers), they were clearly out of sorts and needed a deeper sleep the next night.

So, it turns out you don’t need a brain to need sleep. Which means that, while we still don’t know why we sleep, this does explain why certain relatives will be passed out on your couch this Thanksgiving.

39% of people have been drunk, naked in public

You can’t consider yourself an experienced drinker unless you know someone who has gotten naked in public, according to a new survey.

Some 39% of Americans said they have disrobed in public while drunk. That’s a little over one in three people. If that sounds high to you, just know that it is completely accurate for The Guys. (We’ll let you fantasize about which one it is.) The survey asked if people had ever gotten publicly naked, not if they often do, so one time counts. And those who said they had stripped said they had been drinking beer when it happened, so your whitty T-shirt sayings about tequila are false.

Also, only 9% had been arrested while drunk (The Guys are higher), 6% had set fires (way higher) and 3% had gotten a tattoo (accurate).

How does your group of friends match up?

Amazon says you’re pregnant, creates registry for you

You may not think you’re pregnant, but Amazon knows better. So don’t be surprised when you start getting gifts.

Earlier this week, people reported getting emails from Amazon letting them know that someone had bought something on their baby registry. The only problem was that they didn’t have a baby on the way, nor did they have a registry. The company claims it was a glitch, and that it doesn’t actually know anything that the women themselves don’t.

Glitch or no glitch, it might be a good idea to buy some pregnancy tests on Amazon. You never know what Alexa has been telling that site.