Scienceline Staff Picks

Dwarf chameleons, love vs. lust and CHOCOLATE

Our favorites from the week

February 17, 2012

From Justine E. Hausheer:

New species are always cool, but they are rarely cute. Meet the exception, a new miniature chameleon discovered in Madagascar by German scientists. The research team found three other new dwarf chameleon species, but Brookesia micra is exceptionally tiny.

Dinosaur sex. Lots of it. Brian Switeck brings us a great four-part series about dinosaur reproduction. Part One: How did the biggest dinosaurs get it on? Part Two: Sex and dinosaur necks. Part Three: The intimate secrets of dinosaur lives. Part Four: The anatomy of dinosaur sex.

Put your amateur birding skills to use this weekend and participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. Head outside, count the number and types of birds you see, and enter your information online. Even 15 minutes of bird watching will give ornithologists useful data about where bird species are as winter ends.

From Allison T. McCann:

In honor of Valentines day this week, lots of publications loaded up love. Two former SHERPies Rose Eveleth and Ferris Jabr made an awesome video over at SciAm that breaks down the chemical changes in the brain throughout the various phases of “love” — from the initial smells and sounds that attract us to the intense feelings of love and (tear) rejection, this video does a great job explaining what the heck goes on in our brains when we’re in love. Over at Wired, they highlighted The Love Competition, a short film that documented neuroscientists at Stanford University using fMRI to measure participants’ brain activity in an attempt to determine who could love the “strongest”.

Good news for under-the-table-texters: researchers are developing a new type of touch screen that can detect activity through fabric. By simply tracing the message with your fingers over a t-shirt or jeans, the new screen will be able to decipher the message and send the appropriate text and/or email — turning a casual scratch into “almost outta class — be there in 5!”

From Benjamin Plackett:

Single and sober is scarier when you are old! If you are older and going on a date, a new survey shows that you are much more likely to poor yourself a drink for Dutch courage than a youngster.

This video blog will show you how to measure the speed of light with your ruler, microwave and a bar of chocolate.

Are you a moody little git sometimes? Or just happen to know someone that is? Well then, drink up! Water can help improve your mood – apparently.


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