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People Who Binge Drink Are More Popular, Science Says

A room of very, very cool people, apparently. (Wikipedia)

Go grab the nearest alcohol vaporizer, because it’s been proven that binge drinkers are cooler than all their friends.

Men and women who frequently participate in heavy drinking tend to have higher social standings within their friend groups, the Daily Beast reports. The study, called Drinking to Reach the Top (guess we’ll have to rename our autobiography), is scheduled to appear in the October issue of Addictive Behaviors. Read More

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Biologists Name New Water Mite Species After Jennifer Lopez

J.Lo the human (not the water mite). (Wikipedia)

It’s cool to win a Grammy or go platinum or get a dumb guest role on an episode of Glee, but nowadays the true mark of musical achievement is having a gross-looking bug named after you.

Jennifer Lopez has become the namesake of a new species of water mite found near Puerto Rico, the AP reports. Biologists named the mite Litarachna lopezae not just because Ms. Lopez has Puerto Rican heritage, but also because they rocked out (as biologists do) to her music as they wrote about their discovery. Read More

Science Rules

Newly Discovered 4-Winged Dinosaur Was Like ‘a Big Turkey with a Really Long Tail’

It was basically a dinosaur version of this. (Wikimedia Commons)

If you thought cockroaches were bad, thank god you didn’t live in the days when four-winged flying reptiles roamed the Earth.

Scientists have discovered fossils in China belonging to a terrifying-looking four-winged dinosaur, the Guardian reports. Measuring 1.3 metres, or a little over four feet, the Changyuraptor yangi is the largest four-winged dinosaur ever found, and is 60 percent larger than the four-winged dino in second place (suck it loser). Read More

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Terrifying New Wasp Species Named After Harry Potter Creature

The Ampulex dementor. (Ohl et al.)

After a round of public voting, a newly-discovered Thai wasp species has officially been named Ampulex dementor, inspired by the soul-sucking dementors in Harry Potter.

Dementors — for those who don’t live and breathe fictional wizardry — are hooded, flying creatures that suck victims’ souls out through their mouths, leaving them cold, lifeless shells of their former selves. Read More

personal science

Seth Roberts’ Final Column: Butter Makes Me Smarter

(Wikimedia Commons)

Note: Seth Roberts submitted this column to Betabeat before his untimely death. We publish it now with a heavy heart and per his request will be making a donation to Amnesty International.

A few weeks ago my sister sent me a link to an article (“Butter is Back”) by Mark Bittman, the New York Times food writer. I told her I’d clicked on a link to the article but had forgotten to read it. She was incredulous. How could you not want to say “I told you so”? Read More

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Kids Become Psychos When They Bite Chunks Out of Food, Science Says

Kids being k-k-kraaaazy (Wikimedia Commons)

Sometimes, when there’s nothing on TV and all its friends are busy, Science gets really bored and comes up with experiments like this: do kids act more aggressively when they bite chunks out of their food with their front teeth, or when their food is cut up?

Apparently, kids who use their teeth to tear off bites of food tend to behave twice as aggressively as those who eat food cut up with a knife and fork, the Daily Mail reports. Read More

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Food Inventor Creates Viagra Ice Cream

Dig in. (Wikimedia Commons)

If you thought chocolate covered strawberries and oysters were aphrodisiacs, wait until you’ve tried Viagra ice cream.

After bringing us roast beef, horseradish and glow-in-the-dark jellyfish ice cream, food inventor Charlie Harry Francis of the Lick Me I’m Delicious blog decided to take the gelato game to the next level, the Latin Times reported.

On his blog, Mr. Francis describes creating a champagne-flavored, Viagra-laced ice cream upon a special request from an anonymous A-list celebrity. Read More