I’m a big fan of Slate’s “Explainer” column, which enlists experts to answer those questions that boggle the mind. Oh, how this appeals to my inner science geek. Like when they explained why the rich and famous sunbathe topless. The answer: Because they can. Ha! OK, back to the question that caught my attention: How did humans figure out that sex makes babies? Ooh, good one! An abridged version of the answer after the jump. Keep reading »
Last week, NASA scientists predicted that they would discover Earth’s universal twin within a year. Well, they made good on that promise and way early. Wednesday, the Kepler telescope found KOI, short for Kepler Object Interest, a very promising candidate for Earth twindom. Not the name I would have chosen, but I’m not complaining. We have a twin!
There are some minor differences between Earth and KOI. (It’s more of a fraternal twin than an identical one.) While it has a sun that it orbits, far away enough to be fit for human life, it’s about 50 percent larger than Earth and circles its sun in about 242 days instead of 365. Yikes, that means you would age faster. Keep reading »
If money were no object, I would probably be covered in gold, Midas-style. Actually, much less like Midas and way more like this Indian man who had a shirt made for himself using $230,888 worth of solid gold. To attract a wife. As you do. I guess I’m not that materialistic, but I do like nice stuff, and what’s nicer than gold, am I right?
Soon, people who like gold as much as I do will be able to put it somewhere it’s never been before (sorry, gold-plated dildos have been a thing for a while): in their hair! And not even like just an accessory; it will actually go in the hair itself. And not only will it be a testament to how filthy rich you are, it will also turn your white hair dark brown, for good, or at least until it grows out. That’s what science says! Keep reading »
If you’re planning to party like a rock star this New Year’s Eve, you might want to take a break from pounding Jagerbombs to pounding a plate of sauteed asparagus. According to a study in the Journal of Food Science, certain amino acids and minerals found in asparagus have the power to flush out “cellular toxicities.” As the lead researcher explains, ”These results provide evidence of how the biological functions of asparagus can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells.” This study doesn’t guarantee that asparagus will cure your hangover, but hey, weird-smelling pee is a small price to pay for the possibility of a headache-free morning on the first day of 2013. Now that we’re on the topic of hangovers, do you have any of your own hangover remedies you’d like to share? Have you ever tried the asparagus cure? Did it work? [Pop Sci]
Dieting is probably my foremost hobby. It might even take precedence over my two other main interests, which are 1) lying on the sofa complaining of feeling faint like a Victorian anemic and 2) staring at myself in the mirror. Of course, dieting for me just means eating healthily, because my idea of eating whatever I want includes sandwiches composed of whole baguettes with an entire pig’s worth of prosciutto, several slices of pepperoni pizza, and entire pints of ice cream in one sitting. The world in which I can eat as I please is a world in which raw kale does not exist. (Baked kale chips can stay.)
So it only makes sense that, however unpleasant it may be, I force myself to eat in a reasonable, controlled manner, which means cutting out some of my favorite foods altogether. Once I get them in front of me, I cannot resist, and then I’m eating all of it, because food is my drug. Which leads me to this: much like the gravitational pull of your favorite flavors can put you induce a drug-like euphoria, being forced (by a self-imposed or otherwise mandatory diet) to stop eating high-fat and high-sugar foods can cause withdrawal symptoms and depression. It’s science! Keep reading »