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No, Animals Can't Sense Disasters


That video of bison fleeing Yellowstone in anticipation of a volcanic eruption? Yeah, not so much. The buffalo are actually running toward the park.

In the last few weeks, interest in a YouTube video purporting to show bison fleeing Yellowstone National Park has rocketed around the Internet. The video, which has racked up nearly two million views since publishing on March 20, is titled "ALERT! Yellowstone Buffalo Running for Their Lives!"The animals are supposedly evacuating themselves in anticipation of an eruption at the park, which sits on a huge volcanic system. Curiosity about the claim was surely fueled by the recent magnitude 4.


Death by Pot Cookie?

Bob Berg/Getty

A Denver teen reportedly ate a marijuana cookie, began acting strangely, and fell from a balcony to his death. But science says you can’t die from a pot overdose. So what happened?

According to the headlines, Levi Thamba Pongi, 19, a native of the Republic of Congo, ate a marijuana cookie, began behaving erratically, and fell off a hotel balcony in Denver.The coroner says the death was caused by the injuries he incurred from the fall. The medical report lists marijuana intoxication as a contributing factor, because it was found in his blood at an intoxicating level.Let’s pause for a moment. First, medical science has proven time and time again that it is impossible to die from a marijuana overdose.

Body Image

The Problem With ‘Skinny’ Apps


Flawless skin, perfect hair, and bright white teeth are all just a swipe away. Now a new app promises to shrink you by 15 pounds. What happens when young girls start downloading it?

Instagram and its co-conspirators have single-handedly transformed us from a bunch of fuglies into a flock of filtered, fair weathered gods and goddesses. There are now picture editing apps that can tone you up, slim you down, smooth your skin, and tousle your hair. But at what point do they stop being harmless re-touchers, and start contributing to society’s spiralling self-esteem problem?SkinneePix is the latest image-enhancing app to hit the market, and has already reached the number one spot in the iTunes store’s photo and video category.

500 Days And Counting

Secret Spaceplane, Mystery Mission


Nearly 500 days into its mission, the Pentagon still won’t say what its drone space shuttle is doing in orbit, or when it might come back.

The Air Force’s secret space plane has been up in orbit for nearly 500 days—a space endurance record. But nearly a year and a half into the mission, the Pentagon still won’t say what the X-37B is doing up there, or when it might come back.  The U.S. Air Force boosted the robotic X-37B atop the nose of an Atlas-5 rocket in December 2012. Since then it’s orbited the Earth thousands of times, overflying such interesting places as North Korea and Iran.

Dream On

Can You Craft the Perfect Dream?


Can you control your dreams through sound? One psychologist says yes, and a new study backs him up.

Professor Richard Wiseman started his career as a magician. Now, he claims he has the power to control your dreams. But there's no magic here--it's hard science. Today, Wiseman is a respected psychologist and has developed a new app, Dream:ON. A study has shown the app helps people craft what they dream about right before waking up, and thus, they rise feeling happy and refreshed."I'd like to think this is my best trick yet," smiles Professor Wiseman, who teaches in the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, UK.

Put a Ring on It

The Cronut of Space

L. Calçada/Nick Risinger/ESO

Chariklo was discovered in 1997, but astronomers recently discovered its two rings. It’s also likely to have one or more moons.

Saturn’s rings make the planet one of the most beautiful objects in our Solar System. Though the rings look solid, they consist of a huge number of icy particles that reflect sunlight back. Thanks to telescopes and space probes, we also know that other worlds have less showy ring systems: the giant planets Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune have them, along with the asteroid Chariklo(roughly pronounced “KAReekloe”), which was recently revealed to have two narrow rings made of water ice.

Up to a Point

P.J. and the Owl-Monkey Project

David Howells/Corbis

Studies confirm what scientists suspected all along: there’s a huge difference between !!, !!!, and !!!!!!.

Social Science Eats the News… Print journalism is succumbing to “Studies show…”  This is understandable. Real news reporting requires reporters, news, and other expensive stuff. But  “Studies show…” items can be clipped and pasted by…  By people like me. The clippings don’t even have to be news in the sense of new. Daily papers and slick monthlies aren’t reluctant to trumpet “findings” older than New Math. Below are examples gathered over the past six weeks from The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atlantic.

Find Your Niche

Reddit’s Toaster Love & Dragon Sex


Deep within the Web’s weirdest recesses, hundreds of other fans of monarchism and intercourse with German Panzers are waiting for you. Warning: NSFW photos of avocados.

In case you have missed any of the dozens—hundreds!—of articles on the topic, Reddit has become the de facto center of the Internet. Last month, it had almost 115 million unique visitors, which is a lot—it’s not that far from Facebook, which had 166 million unique visits in February.But despite its popularity, Reddit manages to retain a glorious, dark, unabashed weirdness that positively thrives there. It remains the receptive petri dish to any and all sorts of colonies of humanity that finally managed to find one another.


The Toilet Saving the World

The Daily Beast

Sanergy, a company founded by MIT students, distributes toilets specially designed for crowded areas. The toilets not only help people stay healthy, but they help communities make money.

About half of Nairobi’s 3.3 million people don’t have access to piped water or a sewage grid. Put simply: this is a public health catastrophe that disproportionately harms women and children. Water and sanitation development projects are legion in the informal settlements of Nairobi, and yet the basics of sanitation—access, affordability, and cleanliness—barely exist.Sanergy, a for-profit/non-profit hybrid started by five MIT students in 2011, may change that.

Charged Up

Women Who’ll Design the Future

Marc Bryan-Brown/Women in the World

Charge a cell phone in less than a minute. Recharge electronic devices remotely. Four young women introduced the audience of Women in the World to the up side of disruptive technologies.

When people attending the fifth annual Women in the World summit at New York’s Lincoln Center arrived at the theater where the summit took place this week, they couldn’t get past the lobby without encountering cell phone charging stations, courtesy of AT&T, a summit sponsor. More than one attendee was surely grateful. But what the audience learned if it attended the panel entitled “Women Design the Future” was that by next year those charging stations may be obsolete.

The Cut

Docs, Stop Forcing Circumcision


The debate is a hot one among parents, and the health benefits are questioned by medical professionals. Some “pro-circers” liken “anti-circers” to anti-vaxxers. Is that a stretch?

As a physician, part of my job is giving my patients and their parents as much information as I can to help them avoid illness and injury. Preventive medicine is a mainstay of quality care, and I would be failing in a major obligation if I didn’t help mothers and fathers make the best decisions they can to keep their children healthy. I talk about bicycle helmets and safety belts and childproofing their homes. And of course, I talk about vaccines.


Wrong About Alzheimer’s All Along

Alfred Pasieka/Corbis

Most researchers think the disease is caused by the build-up of beta amyloid. But over 100 drugs targeting it have failed. Have they been focusing on the wrong protein all this time?

If Claude Wischik is right, almost 20 years of drug development for Alzheimer’s disease have been a costly mistake. Wischik, a chair in mental health at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland, is a founder of TauRx, a Singapore-based pharmaceutical company. He’s also one of several scientists loudly questioning the focus of most Alzheimer’s research.Dominating the research field is a protein called beta amyloid, identified by Alois Alzheimer in 1906.

From the Couch to the Curb

My Therapist Dumped Me


What happens when the man who you entrust with your secrets and feelings suddenly decides he’s no longer interested?

I always thought there were implicit rules to the therapist-patient relationship: patient pays therapist to listen to her yammer on, therapist offers patient insight about her yammering…on and on until the patient runs out of reasons to yammer.Six weeks ago, that understanding changed for me, in a rather radical way. Four words signaled the end: “We’re not making progress.”Let me back up. I started seeing a therapist when I was 17, with an anodyne complaint of insomnia.


E-Cigs Can Poison Kids

Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty

A new CDC study says e-cigarette-related calls to poison control centers has grown substantially since 2010, and 51.1 percent of calls involve young children.

A “healthier” solution to cigarettes may be just the opposite. According to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control Thursday, the number of monthly calls to poison centers for e-cigarette related incidents went from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014.The jump takes the proportion of e-cigarette related calls to poison centers from just 0.3 percent to 41.7 percent.Published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the study sheds light on the hidden dangers of what many consider to be a promising alternative to regular cigarettes.


We’re Number…16?

America isn’t number one this time. Despite having the second-highest GDP on the 132-country list, the U.S. falls shorts on basic human needs, health and wellness, and education.

New Zealand took the number one spot, followed by Switzerland and Iceland in a new global ranking of the world’s most socially advanced countries, according to a new global index released today by a U.S.-based nonprofit, The Social Progress Imperative (SPI). The United States came in 16th. And that’s despite having the second-highest GDP per capita (behind #5, Norway).Created by a team led by Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School, the Social Progress Index ranked 132 countries over three categories: basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, and opportunity.

Better. Faster. Stronger.


6 Sleep Myths to Put to Bed

6 Sleep Myths to Put to Bed

Cough, Cough

Got Mumps? Thank Anti-Vaxxers

The View From London

London’s Own Badass SoulCycle

Home Screen

Reddit Founder’s 7 Fave Apps

Pow Pow

Video Games Make You (More) Racist



Lincoln Center, NYC | APRIL 3-5, 2014

The Women in the World 2014 Agenda

The Women in the World 2014 Agenda

The fifth annual summit hits New York's Lincoln Center stage April 3-5, 2014. Hear stirring true stories that stretch from war zones to Washington, and learn how you too can get involved. Watch LIVE on The Daily Beast starting today at 6:30PM EST!