Learning! Roundup: Testosterone and music, don't answer your kids, prison and personality, and more!

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Testosterone and Music

Looks like there is a relationship between levels of testosterone and enjoyment of opera and classical music - in men. It appears this is a purely biological response and not due to personality differences that result from testosterone levels.

Stop Answering Your Kids

You know how kids ask a billion annoying questions that make you want to claw your brain out through the tiny hole their incessant words drilled in your skull? Well, some people say that the best way to deal with that is to not actually answer their question! Instead, ask them what they think. That encourages them to be curious, investigate solutions, and teaches them not to just seek authority on a question. Plus, it might give your brain a little rest.

Prison and Personality

Just three months in prison can change your personality, making you more likely to take risks and less able to pay attention. This may contribute to the difficulty former prisoners have conforming to lawful society.

Thawing Mercury

Want ANOTHER reason to be afraid of global warming? There is a whole whack of mercury sitting in the earth's permafrost, just waiting to thaw out  and seep into the ocean. YIKES!

The Houdini of Beetles

You know how in fairy tales or myths sometimes a person will escape out of the stomach of an animal? And you think, "yeah, that's fun for the story but obviously they would be pulp in real life." NOT TRUE! Beetles can live for two hours in the stomach of a toad and then escape.

Neural Empathy and Clothing

Here's another piece of the victim-blaming puzzle for us to mull over: people have reduced neural empathy for women who are dressed in revealing clothing than for those who are not. Ugh. Stupid brains.

Original Brits Were Black

Analysis of "Cheddar Man", the oldest complete skeleton in Britain, has now shown that he would have had dark brown skin. I'm going to say that I wish we lived in a world where this wasn't big news, but I get that it is and so I'm happy to hear it. Let's shake up our understanding of what "real Brits" look like!


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