When I was a kid, my oral fixation was gum. Grape or blueberry Hubba Bubba. I used to take my ABC gum and hide it in my dollhouse, under my bedside table, behind my book shelf for “later.” And then I would go on a “treasure hunt” for my gum and when I would “find it,” I would start chewing it again. I was so deep into gum that I slept with it in my mouth. It usually ended up in my hair in the morning which did not make my mother happy. While I thought my experimentation with chewing gum was totally normal, I made a point of making fun of Alex, the kid in my second grade class who picked his nose and ate it. I made up a song that I sang about his nasty habit to my friends:
Everybody knows, Alex picks his nose, his nose
Wipes it on his shirt and eats it for dessert
Eat it, Alex!
I wish you could hear me sing it because the melody is really bluesy and soulful. Anyhow, as it turns out, Alex was doing it right. University of Saskatchewan biochemistry professor Scott Napper is convinced that there are major health benefits to picking your nose and eating it. He is doing some major snot research to back his claim up. Keep reading »
Searching for something to do with your old poop? Does flushing it down the toilet just seem sad? Perhaps you should consider a fecal transplant — give the gift of your poo to someone else. This sign was photographed at the University of Adelaide in Australia and sent to us by a reader. “Donors wanted: Our research needs your poo,” it says. “We are conducting research into faecal [sic] transplantation as a potential treatment for ulcerative colitis and we need healthy volunteer donations.” Either this is the ickiest research study ever done Down Under (yuk, yuk) or someone is pranking Dr. Sam Costello and Dr. Jane Andrews bad. [Thanks, LR52185, for the pic!]
Hagfish are jawless, spineless creatures that live at the bottom of the ocean and eat dead whales. When they are attacked or threatened, they spray predators with a slimy substance, and someday in the not-too-distant future, your clothing might be made out of that lovely slime. Here’s the deal: as of now, most synthetic fabrics such as nylon and spandex are made from oil. As we all know painfully well, oil is not a renewable resource, and at some point we’ll need to find a new way to make our hoodies and slutty yoga pants. Keep reading »
Yvonne Brill, 88, died last week in New Jersey. According to her New York Times obituary, which ran on Saturday, her standout accomplishments were the eight years she took off from work to raise her three children, the way she followed her husband from job to job, and her “mean beef stroganoff” recipe.
Oh, yeah, and she was also a pioneering rocket scientist for NASA who invented the jet propulsion system that keeps satellites orbiting properly. In 2011, Brill received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama. You know, no biggie. Keep reading »
Science, always out there doing things like landing car-sized robots on the moon and then making twitter accounts for them, or discovering the particle responsible for matter having mass and then shutting down for “upgrades.” What has it ever done for you, personally these days?
It’s good to see some scientists tackling the important issues, like how to get rid of a song that’s been stuck in your head.
Unsurprisingly, researchers have found that the most effective way to get a song out of your head is to perform a mental task like solving a puzzle. Specifically, they used anagrams and Sudoku. You’ve got to hit something of a sweet spot, though. Read more…