science

  • No image toolkit is currently enabled. Without one the image module will not be able to resize your images. You can select one from the image toolkit settings page.
  • No image toolkit is currently enabled. Without one the image module will not be able to resize your images. You can select one from the image toolkit settings page.
  • No image toolkit is currently enabled. Without one the image module will not be able to resize your images. You can select one from the image toolkit settings page.
  • No image toolkit is currently enabled. Without one the image module will not be able to resize your images. You can select one from the image toolkit settings page.
  • No image toolkit is currently enabled. Without one the image module will not be able to resize your images. You can select one from the image toolkit settings page.
  • No image toolkit is currently enabled. Without one the image module will not be able to resize your images. You can select one from the image toolkit settings page.
  • No image toolkit is currently enabled. Without one the image module will not be able to resize your images. You can select one from the image toolkit settings page.

Do cows have regional accents?

Last month, a cow-related story swept the media-waves. It was reported that not only are the formerly-regarded human traits of lesbianism and grudge-holding potentially rife in our bovine friends, but moreover they also have regional accents.

Lloyd Green, a Glastonbury farmer, came to the fore saying "I spend a lot of time with my ones and they definitely moo with a Somerset drawl.". The mind boggles. In his view it is all down to that special relationship between owner and future hamburger - "The closer a farmer's bond is with his animals, the easier it is for them to pick up his accent.". But all is not necessarily as it seems.

Drug danger ratings

Following on from the surprisingly hard-hitting "Drug classification: making a hash of it?" report, it came to light that Government advisors had indeed had a vaguely sensible go at working out which drugs were more dangerous than others, politics aside(ish).

Unsurprisingly, it turned out that the level of danger of the drug did in no way reflect either whether it was illegal in the UK, or how illegal it was. The report had apparently been deemed too "controversial" and hence ignored.

Housework or death?

Life is full of hard choices. One such being whether doing hours of housework is preferable to dying. Whilst this is often taken merely as a verbal threat from one's nearest and dearest, new research suggests that it may actually be true. Ironically, given most people's thoughts on the excitement of doing housework, this has been termed by the media as "literally dying through boredom".

Men are at increased risk of this fatal blow, mainly because even in these days of supposed equality, rather than doing the housework or looking after the kids they tend to faff around doing not very much in their non-career time.

Ooh, I could make a raisin

Grape: day 1The Poorhouse suddenly had an urge to eat raisins. As this urge is not frequently found, it was thwarted at the first step of locating such a beast. However, a raisin is merely a dried-out grape so "they" say. With that in mind, here begins a myth-busters style investigation into whether that is indeed true in a practical sense, or mere legend.

Luckily it has entered what could be termed sunny season here in the UK, surely a perfect time for raisin manufacture. Rather than doing any mere third-party research into the feasibility a delicious and nutritious grape was located and hung out to dry. Hypothesis: within a certain (unknown) amount of time, either the grape will be gone and in its place a lovely new raisin shall be found - or it will go mouldy and hairy.

Invisibility cloaks at a shop near you

Recognise him?Recognise him?Yes, it's true, a few years from now you too might be able to buy a slightly more scientific version of Harry Potter's invisibility cloak. The journal "Science" has just published two papers that give the mathematical proof that making such a thing is indeed possible, and moreover some instructions on how to go about doing so.

Of course it's all megacomplicated stuff with plenty of competing theories, and sadly there is no working invisibility cloak as yet, but the bending-light idea makes sense. One easyish way of thinking about it is to imagine a free-flowing stream of water, with a rock in it. The rock gets in the way of the water and splits the stream as it flows around it. However, downstream from the rock the water automatically merges back into one stream. Anyone looking at this converged stream would not know that there was a rock blocking the stream at all.

How to make new friends

Feeling a bit friendless? Want to take a social relationship to a whole new level? Jennifer Bosson and a team of scientists have discovered a quick way to get more, better friends: Gossip. And make sure your gossip is especially evil.

It is fairly commonsensical to imagine that you are more likely to be friends with people whose views you share. However, as detailed in a a paper in the Personal Relationships journal (and attached below), using a series of three experiments the researchers found that, at least retrospectively, the significance of sharing bad opinions about other people outweighed the results of sharing nice clean good attitudes towards other members of humanity. Whilst hardly easy to definitively measure, this was found to be the case both in the initial formative stages of friendship and for a person's current set of friends.

Toxic Smarties

Smarties: suicide pills?Smarties: suicide pills?Only Smarties have the answer...to why you suffer serious nerve damage, poor mental health, hyperactivity, skin rashes and cancer that is. No, it's nothing about the shocking radical overhaul from the beautiful classic 68-year-old Smarties tube to the new Hexatube, which in itself defeats object two of Smarties; collecting the caps. Rather the nutritional - for want of a better word - content of the sweet pills themselves.

Following claims from health campaigners that the crazy coloured additives in Smarties do all sorts of harm to children, Nestle are preparing to make them without the artificial colourings, to improve their "nutritional quality". The Poorhouse is not sure if that is a legitimate term to apply to pellets of chocolate and sugar, but assumes taking some of the poison out is nonetheless a good step.

Slight inconsistency in drug laws found

A legal drug: but why?A legal drug: but why?Well, it had to happen sometime, the only surprise it wasn't weeks ago. No, not the arrest of George Bush Jr for war crimes - yet - but rather an article about illegal drugs appearing on this website.

Whilst reading the Guardian last week, imagine the shock suffered by the Poorhouse upon discovering that the UK drug laws are apparently "riddled with anomalies". Yes, not only are the prohibitionist sides of the laws counter-productive and harmful, but even within the illogical and dangerous framework they exist in they make no sense.

Unconscious racism?

How well do you know your own mind? Admittedly we all do silly things now and then but many people probably reckon they know their inner belief system fairly well. But perhaps you have unconscious mental associations that not only are you not aware of, but also might have a genuine effect in your day-to-day interactions and behaviour.

Imagine the following task: You are given a piece of paper with people's names on. You have to go down the list as quickly as possible and assign each name to one of two categories; male or female. Simple huh?

Moving on: repeat the test. This time the words are either to do with having a career (e.g. "salary", "employer") or having a family ("baby", "marriage"). Again, you must quickly assign them as being either a career related word, or a family related word.

Full flavour behaviour

Next in the line of ridiculously faddy-sounding diets is the Flavour Diet. Devised by Mr and Mrs Katz (or more accurately Dr and Dr Katz) it is no doubt available at a bookshop near you. The deal behind this particular food-limiting fest is as follows: forget (mostly) about all those boring and hard to understand points, calories and so forth and instead be sure to only eat foods that are the same flavour as each other on any particular day. And yes, one day is chocolate day. Yum!

As an example of what you might be letting yourself in for, ABC News carries some recipes for apple day, and of course some chocolate brownies for that special day.

Syndicate content