Harper’s Findings: 4/17/08

Written by Harper's Findings, Music

A selection of “Findings” from the back page of Harper’s Magazine, May 2008.

Biologists found that those English soccer teams with red uniforms tend to win more often and score more goals than other teams, and a British psychologist found that soccer players are successful in direct proportion to the lengths of their ring fingers.

John Gorka, “Arms Length” (download)

Half of all women are estimated to have no G-spot.

An Australian study reported that college students make up 40 percent of Melbourne’s prostitutes.

Dan Bern, “Hooker” (download)

The tip of the nose was determined to be the place where harsh and unpleasant smells are sensed.

Russian officials discovered a boy who was raised among birds and speaks only in chirps.

Mac & Katie Kissoon, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (download)

King penguins were threatened by global warming, blue penguins were threatened by cars, Florida vultures were attacking cars, and male starlings exposed to estrogen-mimicking pollutants were observed to sing long, complex songs that make them attractive to females.

Prozac was revealed not to work, researchers demonstrated that placebos are more effective if the drugs for which they stand in are said to be more expensive, and a Scottish study determined that roughly half of a person’s happiness is due to genetics.

Joe Satriani, “Rubina’s Blue Sky Happiness” (download)

Physicists stored and retrieved a nothing.

Astronomers found that soot floating in interstellar space — rather than dark energy — may be responsible for the dimness of faraway galaxies, and suggested that the early universe was populated by large stars composed of dark matter.

Bill Frisell, “Pretty Stars Were Made to Shine” (download)

Paleontologists unearthed the 55-million-year-old fossil of a mouse-sized primate in Mississippi and the 70-million-year-old fossil of a beach ball-size Beelzebufo (“devil frog”) in Madagascar.

Butterflies and moths remember their lives as caterpillars.

Mason Jennings, “Butterfly” (download)

Honeybees can recognize individual human faces.

Goldfish have reasonably good memories.

Van Morrison, “Goldfish Bowl” (download)