society


Century-Old Message in a Bottle Returned to Sender

Century-Old Message in a Bottle Returned to Sender

If you're ever marooned on a desert island, don't count on a message in a bottle to save you. That's because it can take over a hundred years for these objects to wash ashore, as a German woman recently discovered. Marianne Winkler found an old bottle on a beach on Amrum Island, Germany earli

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L.A. Drop 96 Million ‘Shade Balls’ Into Its Water

L.A. Drop 96 Million ‘Shade Balls’ Into Its Water

Los Angeles has turned its main reservoir into a giant ball pit. City officials hope millions of “shade balls” released into the Los Angeles Reservoir will save water in the midst of the worst drought in California history.On Monday Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supervised the latest

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Stress 'stops empathy for strangers'

Stress ‘stops empathy for strangers’

Stress is the reason why we find it hard to empathise with someone we do not know, researchers suggest. In separate tests in mice and people, empathy towards strangers increased when stress hormones were blocked by a drug. Playing a fun video game with a stranger was found to have a similar effe

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Yes, Animals Have Feelings

Yes, Animals Have Feelings

On Saturday mornings I drive 15 miles to a sanctuary in rural Maryland where I join a small team of volunteers tending to farm animals rescued from neglect or abuse. Some of these animals will never fully trust a human. Others want to interact. As a biologist with a special interest in animal hap

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Humans and birds share the same singing genes

Humans and birds share the same singing genes

It's not just great minds that think alike. Dozens of the genes involved in the vocal learning that underpins human speech are also active in some songbirds. And knowing this suggests that birds could become a standard model for investigating the genetics of speech production – and speech disorder

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Raccoon helps another raccoon escape a trash can

Raccoon helps another raccoon escape a trash can

A lion might be the king of the jungle, but in the urban jungle, it’s all about the raccoon. Raccoons that live in cities or suburbs seem to be more resourceful than their rural kin, according to preliminary research by Suzanne MacDonald, a psychology professor at York University near Toront

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To Stay Alive, Ants Dump Their Dead

To Stay Alive, Ants Dump Their Dead

Housekeeping can be a matter of life and death—at least for social animals like ants, a new paper suggests. According to a study published Tuesday in the journal Biology Letters, common red ants (Myrmica rubra) that were prevented from removing their nestmates' corpses died more frequent

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Multitasker MAN or WOMAN

Multitasker MAN or WOMAN

BBC Online says Women 'better at multitasking' than men  : It's not a myth - women really are better than men at multitasking, at least in certain cases, a study says. Men were slower and less organised than women when switching rapidly between tasks in tests by UK psychologists. Both sexes

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Cave Art Reveals Ancient View of Cosmos

Cave Art Reveals Ancient View of Cosmos

Some of the oldest art in the United States maps humanity's place in the cosmos, as aligned with an ancient religion. A team of scientists has uncovered a series of engravings and drawings strategically placed in open air and within caves by prehistoric groups of Native American settlers that dep

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Doctors would tax sugary drinks to combat obesity

Doctors would tax sugary drinks to combat obesity

If you want to stem rising obesity levels, sugary drinks should be taxed like cigarettes. So urges the UK Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which is calling for pilots of taxes that hike prices by 20 per cent. The idea is to lower consumption by making sugary drinks dearer, a strategy known to cut

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