Archive for July, 2010

NCBI ROFL: Science proves women who wax have better sex.

By ncbi rofl | July 30, 2010 7:00 pm

barbiesPubic Hair Removal among Women in the United States: Prevalence, Methods, and Characteristics

“Introduction. Although women’s total removal of their pubic hair has been described as a “new norm,” little is known about the pubic hair removal patterns of sexually active women in the United States. Aims. The purpose of this study was to assess pubic hair removal behavior among women in the United States and to examine the extent to which pubic hair removal methods are related to demographic, relational, and sexual characteristics, including female sexual function. Read More

Weekly Weird News Roundup: Feeding Coyote Skulls, Cow-Dung Toothpaste, and More

By Allison Bond | July 30, 2010 4:15 pm

roundup-pic-web• Coyotes are what they eat: Feeding pups soft food changes their bones and muscle structures, making it more difficult for them to chomp on harder stuff later in life. That bites.

• About one-quarter of the food in the U.S. is wasted each year–and 16 percent of our energy goes toward food production. The result? We waste more energy in the food we throw out than is available via offshore drilling.

• If you get bored this weekend (and have $8,000 to spare), fret not. You can always build and launch your very own satellite.

• Run DMC: Listening to music in which the tempo matches a runner’s stride increases athletes’ endurance by about 15 percent.

• Cow-dung toothpaste, a deer penis, and guinea pigs: just a few of the bizarre items travelers have been caught attempting to smuggle through JFK International Airport. No wonder it takes so long to go through customs.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Blog Roundup

Today's Demonstration: How to Hack an ATM—With Video!

By Allison Bond | July 30, 2010 3:56 pm

ATMAlthough money may not grow on trees, it can spew from an ATM–at least if you’re computer security expert Barnaby Jack. He demonstrated recently at a security conference in Las Vegas how to get an ATM to spit money for minutes on end. Jack purchased the ATMs online, and says the tools required to hack them cost less than $100, according to Technology Review:

“After studying four different companies’ models, he said, “every ATM I’ve looked at, I’ve found a ‘game over’ vulnerability that allowed me to get cash from the machine.” He’s even identified an Internet-based attack that requires no physical access.”

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MORE ABOUT: ATM, crime, hackers

Are Eyes From Flies the Future of Solar Technology?

By Allison Bond | July 29, 2010 8:52 pm

eyesScientists are eyeing the future of solar technology–specifically, fly eyes. Turns out those bubbly-looking spectators might be just the ticket to more-efficient solar cells, researchers from Penn State University say.

Blowflies have peepers that would help solar panels collect light more efficiently, and creating these fly-eye molds was a feat in itself, according to Discovery News. After plucking the corneas from blowflies,

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MORE ABOUT: flies, solar, technology

NCBI ROFL: Oral malodor and related factors in Japanese senior high school students.

By ncbi rofl | July 29, 2010 7:00 pm

2788759213_089d57b892_b“Oral malodor (halitosis or bad breath) might be an important motivation tool for improving oral health in adolescents. There are few studies that report the epidemiology of oral malodor in high school students and the relationships with lifestyle and oral health status. This research was conducted to obtain underlying data for introducing an oral health education program which targeted prevention of oral malodor as a motivation tool for changing oral health behavior in high school students. METHODS: A questionnaire, school oral examination, and oral malodor measurement were conducted on senior high school students in a Tokyo metropolitan school in 2007. A total of 474 students (male: 219, female: 255) were used for the analysis. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: NCBI ROFL, rated G

Isolated in the Farallons, Biologists Have Bizarre "Island Invasion Dreams"

By Allison Bond | July 29, 2010 2:08 pm

sealScientists stationed on Farallon Islands, which has one of the world’s most delicate ecosystems, don’t just keep tabs on native species such as sea lions and puffins–they’ve also have been recording their dreams for the past two decades. The findings? Dreams that are “eerily similar,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Whether scientists are on the island for a few weeks or… stationed there on and off for a decade, their dreams are filled with marauding kids, terrified shorebirds, forest fires, shark attacks and a healthy dose of the absurd.”

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MORE ABOUT: dreams, islands, weird

NCBI ROFL: Belligerent berating builds bigger baby brains!

By ncbi rofl | July 28, 2010 7:00 pm

homer_choke_bartExposure to parental verbal abuse is associated with increased gray matter volume in superior temporal gyrus.

“OBJECTIVE: Exposure to parental verbal aggression (PVA) during childhood increases risk for the development of psychopathology, particularly mood and anxiety disorders. Other forms of childhood abuse have been found to be associated with alterations in brain structure. The aim of this study was to ascertain whether exposure to PVA was associated with discernible effects on brain morphology… Read More

You Think You (And Your Parents) Are Hot

By Allison Bond | July 28, 2010 5:53 pm

mirrorIs the taboo against incest really just a psychological device to keep us from people we subconsciously find attractive? Could be, since apparently, these hotties are our parents, and even ourselves, according to research published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Studies have shown that people are more turned on by photographs of faces morphed with their own or a parent’s. More recently, when subjects were subliminally primed with a photos of a parent, they found the subsequent photos of faces more attractive than photos when they weren’t primed. Subjects also found photos morphed with their own faces more attractive than others. But if they were told that a morphed face contained their own image, they ranked that one as less attractive than others. (Wouldn’t want to look narcissistic, would they?)

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MORE ABOUT: Freud, incest, taboo

Video: San Francisco's Buses as the Pulse of the City

By Allison Bond | July 28, 2010 4:22 pm

Sure, public transportation is cheaper, better for the environment, and conducive to livable cities. But today we’ll celebrate another of its fabulous features: It can be visually awesome. Case in point: A visualization of the movement of the San Francisco Municipal Railway, also known as Muni. The video is based on June 2010 data harvested from Nextbus, which uses GPS and software to predict and follow vehicles such as shuttles and buses.

Via sfist:

Related content:
Discoblog: Video: A Hairy Carpet of Daddy Longlegs Fends off Predators
Discoblog: Video: Belly-Flopping Frogs Evolved Big Jumps Before Smooth Landings

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

Wacky Theory: Bed Springs Reflect Radio Waves and Prevent Some Cancers

By Allison Bond | July 28, 2010 12:50 pm

bedUpdate, 9pm, July 29: Thanks to a tip from a commenter, we learned there was a crucial factual error in this post, so the text and headline have been altered to fix the problem.

In the West, breast cancer occurs 10 percent more often in the left breast than in the right, and skin cancer also pops up more on the left side. Oddly enough, this disparity is nonexistent in Japan. Why the discrepancies between left/right and West/East? Swedish scientists think they have the answer to the riddle—and it’s kind of weird.

The researchers lay out their case in a recent study in Pathophysiology, and the title (“Sleep on the right side—Get cancer on the left?”) gives a hint of where it’s going: The discrepancy is due to a difference in the types of beds commonly used in Japan and the West, and how radio and television waves interact with this furniture.

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