Science: Rodent relationships end if they don’t drink the same

A couple is happy until one starts drinking too much, and before long, the relationship is over. It’s a well-known tale — at least in prairie vole circles.

According to a new study, prairie voles (picture morbidly obese field mice) don’t end up staying together if they don’t drink about the same amount of alcohol. Voles have life-long monogamous relationships, but alcohol can get in the way. The more alcohol a male vole drinks, the more likely he is to go find another female to mate with, while the more of a lush the female vole, the more likely she is to stay with her original mate.

Researchers determined this by monitoring voles’ alcohol intake, and listening to them drunkenly ramble on about how their wives just don’t understand them.

Christmas music makes you crazy, experts say

As we noted recently, it’s Christmas season, whether we like it or not. But a word of caution: don’t get too into the holiday spirit, it’s for your own good.

Experts say that constant exposure to Christmas music and scents can negatively affect your mental health. Studies show that holiday-related stress is a fairly common affliction. Psychologists warn that being unable to escape reminders of the holiday season can increase the pressure that we put on ourselves by not allowing a mental escape. By bombarding ourselves with Christmas music and scents the associate with the holidays, we put our mental health at risk.

So turn off the holiday jams, put out that pine-scented candle and thow out your maple pecan gingerbread coffee drink. You’re driving yourself crazy.

Study links marijuana use, doin’ it

A new study has linked marijuana use to sexual activity–as if you needed another reason to stay away from the gateway drug.

Researchers examined data from a federal survey and found a clear connection between smoking marijuana and frequency of sexual activity. Meaning, those who get high generally have more sex. The results were the same for men and women: those who said they had used marijuana in the past year reported having sex an average of seven times in the past month, while those who hadn’t smoked up in the past year only had sex an average of six times the previous month.

So let that be a lesson to all the kids out there: don’t do drugs. Smoking pot isn’t cool, and it is statistically linked to having more sex.

Drinking helps you slur in foreign languages

You plan a big trip to somewhere that your native language isn’t widely spoken, so you learn some important phrases. Then when you get there decide to just go with hand gestures. If only you’d had a couple drinks first.

Researchers in Europe have found that if you have a couple snorts in you, you’re more fluent in a foreign language. This seems counterintuitive, because alcohol makes us worse at talking in our native tongues. But a study found that native German speakers who have learned a working knowledge Dutch and had a buzz going were more fluent than their sober counterparts. The thinking is that alcohol gives you a little courage to speak a different language.

The down side is that you’re probably more likely to ramble in a different language, too.

Researchers give fish marijuana, because why not?

Fish always look like they’re stressed out. They’re constantly moving. They never blink. And they seem to be perpetually in a panic. Naturally, some fish scientists wondered if they could mellow out some fish — by giving them marijuana.

Researchers recently dosed some tilapia with weed to see if it could help lower their stress levels. Farmed fish in overcrowded tanks tend to get more aggressive, which can kill fish, and that’s bad for the bottom line. So they gave the fish some THC-laden edibles. They didn’t seem to do any better than the fish that were fed regular food.

Perhaps the fish are really good at hiding that they’re high. It makes sense, since they basically live in Visine.

Cry about it: Scientists can produce energy from tears

This week really isn’t off to a good start. Between Las Vegas and Tom Petty, there seems to be a lot to be sad about. But if there is any bright spot to be made, it’s that we have finally found a truly limitless source of energy.

Researchers in Ireland say they have found a way to harvest energy from human tears. Lysozyme crystals can be found in your tears and your saliva, and scientists have found that these crystals have an electric current if they are pressurized. That means that if we cry and drool enough, we can be our own sources of renewable energy.

Lysozyme crystals can also be found in the whites of birds’ eggs and in the milk of mammals. So if you’re sitting down to a mouthwatering breakfast that includes eggs and milk, and you’re crying about the mistakes you made the night before, we’re going to say your carbon footprint doesn’t exist.

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.

Science can make drinks out o’ thin air

Livin’ the dream.

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day, ye swabs! By now ye should know about this high holiday, and if ye don’t, ye can figure out how to celebrate. Let us talk about a new way to make booze while cleanin’ up the air.

Scientists agree that climate change is real, and fer we pirates, that means fewer islands to pillage because of rising sea levels, and stronger hurricanes that could sink us. But now we might be able to take carbon emissions out o’ the air and put them to good use: getting us drunk. Ph.D student Ming Ma has devised a way to take carbon emissions captured from smokestacks and turn them into a variety of chemicals, especially ethanol. Ye may know ethanol as a fancy word fer grog.

We can make alcohol from the air. What a glorious time to be a pirate.

Science: Don’t move in with your partner

So you and your significant other are really happy and you’ve decided to move in together. Congratulations! Hope you’re not planning on having sex anymore.

According to a recent study, cohabitation with a partner leads to decreased sexual interest in that person, regardless of gender. The study did find that women were more likely to lose interest in sex than men (tell us about it), but both genders were affected. Researchers believe this is because the longer a relationship lasts, the more likely it is to turn from passion to compassion.

The guys have a simpler theory: You share a bathroom with someone for a while and eventually you stop finding them sexy.

Your head would be bigger if your ancestors didn’t eat cheese

Thousands of years ago, people decided to stop roaming around and killing stuff and set up farms. And somehow our heads stopped growing because we invented cheese.

According to researchers, humans began to have smaller heads and sleeker jaws around the time that we started relying on dairy foods, like milk and cheese, and farmed plants, for sustenance. The argument is that humans started eating softer foods, rather than crunching and grinding away on whatever we could rustle up in the forest. This meant that we didn’t need huge, powerful jaws anymore.

But it’s important to keep in mind that the whole reason we started farming was to make beer. Society as we know it today was founded on beer and cheese.