Learning! Roundup: 3D Bug Vision, Hand Dryer Scandals, Teen Gender Fluidity, and More!

Photo by David Clode.

3D Bug Vision

Sometimes it seems like scientists are just little kids playing silly games, like the ones who stuck 3D glasses to praying mantises using beeswax and then showed them 3D movies. Okay, okay, they learned things, like that praying mantises have a sort of stereo vision, or stereopsis. Humans have it too, but praying mantises have way smaller brains than ours, and they also base their ability to read distances on motion, as opposed to our brains that use brightness. Neat!

Hand Dryer Scandal

You know those fancy (and super loud) Dyson air blade dryers that you stick your hands in from the top? Well GUESS WHAT? They are just chock-full of gross bacteria and diseases, and the student who discovered this in an experiment got DEATH THREATS over her discover.

Teen Gender Fluidity

More and more teenagers these days are rejecting a simple gender binary for their own labels. The kids are alright, y'all!

Racist Phrases

Turns out there are a LOT of sayings and colloquialisms that have racist origins. Here's a list. Sorry if it bums you out. (I don't necessarily think that the roots of a phrase mean it's automatically a terrible thing to say, I mean, I still say "rule of thumb" sometimes despite its foundation in wife abuse, but it's still good to know what you're saying.)

Bad Air and Bad Behaviour

Sorry, city-dwellers: air pollution is now linked to unethical behaviour.

What Screen Time Experts Do 

We keep hearing about how screen time is going to give us insomnia, stress us out, and make our kids into heartless robots. So what do the experts do in their homes? Turns out, they do follow their own rules in a relatively measured way. From no media on weekdays, to turning everything off an hour before bed, to monitoring how they are being manipulated by video games into spending more money. They are walking the walk.

The Genes of Mental Disorders

Researchers have gotten further in unlocking the genetic causes of mental disorders like autism, bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, and alcoholism. They found signifiant overlap in the activity of astrocytes (they help neurons grow) for people with autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

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