Findings — From the May 2015 issue

Findings

Psychologists warned against treating autism with antifungals, antivirals, bleach enemas, camel’s milk, chelation, chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, dolphins, extended breast-feeding, Floortime, gluten- and casein-free diets, horses, hyperbaric oxygen, hypnotherapy, magnetic shoe inserts, marijuana, megavitamins, neurofeedback, nicotine patches, orthodox psychoanalysis, Pepcid, probiotics, rebirthing, secretin, sensory–motor integration, sheep stem cells, Son-Rise, testosterone, testosterone reducers, trampolines, vision therapy, and weighted vests. The brains of all infants respond negatively to painful vaccine injections. Yale researchers noted higher levels of hyperactivity in middle schoolers who consume sugary energy drinks. A Columbia study found sleep deprivation rising among teenagers, and 10 percent of teenagers referred to an Ohio sleep lab for narcolepsy received a diagnosis of marijuana. Naps in children older than two are pointless. Some children are made psychotic by brain antibodies. One third of adults who hear voices also think voices.

French astrophysicists use more emoticons when they type in English. Single Americans prefer the winky face. Online daters who don’t understand social norms turn to Reddit. Oxytocin makes men eat less, encourages normal social behavior in autistic mice, and shortens the time drunk rats spend sitting alone. People look more attractive when they’ve had one drink. Men whose index and ring fingers are similar in length tend to be nicer to women. People unconsciously sniff their hands after handshakes. Polite flirts are the hardest to read. Thailand’s health ministry scolded teenagers for buying inappropriately large condoms, and Iowa urologists reported that only a minor portion of locker-room teasing arises from “the presence of excess foreskin”; most teasing targets small penises. The first successful penis transplant was achieved in South Africa, where many adult men need penis transplants. “Psychologically,” said surgeon André van der Merwe, “we knew it would have a massive effect on the ego.” It was reported that Steve Jobs rejected Tim Cook’s liver. In China, a piglet with a penis on its head was rejected by its mother. White leghorn hens injected with irradiated viper venom lay eggs with antivenin-containing yolks. A six-and-a-half-foot python was found in a box of cornflakes. In Brazil, a herpetologist reported seeing a male black-and-white tegu copulate with a dead female. “I felt a sense of wonder,” he said. In Rasoolabad, India, a bride called off her wedding when her groom said that 15 + 6 = 17. In the Netherlands, Rabobank donated umbrellas to residents of a town under attack by a “terror owl” who targeted a home for the developmentally disabled and was later captured by a falconer. In the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, leatherbacks orient themselves south-southeast.

Great whites hide in the sun before attacking, dolphin hearts beat arrhythmically during deep dives, and electrofishing on the Irrawaddy River deters dolphins from their habit of assisting fishermen. In London, a least weasel was observed riding a European green woodpecker. In Idaho, 2,000 snow geese fell dead from the sky. Atlanta was causing thunderstorms. Corals on the Great Barrier Reef were eating plastic. The CDC inaugurated World Birth Defects Day and observed Ground Water Awareness Week. Nepal’s mountaineering association declared the feces of Everest unmanageable. Ants prefer to defecate in the corner. Chameleons don’t change color. Male Darwin’s bark spiders provide oral sex only to older females, who can threaten them with cannibalism. Wind-tunnel experiments established that for African wild dogs, American badgers, Amur hedgehogs, Baird’s tapirs, black-tailed jackrabbits, camels, chimpanzees, cougars, elephant shrews, giant pandas, giraffes, Gobi argalis, jaguarundis, nine-banded armadillos, northern tamanduas, porcupines, red-fronted lemurs, red kangaroos, red pandas, snow leopards, Virginia opossums, and wild boars, the optimal length of an eyelash is one third the width of the eye. Big data confirmed the Pollyanna Hypothesis.

“On Reflection, Material: After J Brueghel the Elder,” a photographic triptych by Ori Gersht, whose work was on view in March at CRG Gallery, in New York City. Courtesy the artist and CRG Gallery, New York City

“On Reflection, Material: After J Brueghel the Elder,” a photographic triptych by Ori Gersht, whose work was on view in March at CRG Gallery, in New York City. Courtesy the artist and CRG Gallery, New York City

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