Scientists discovered that eating blueberries and having friends are good for the memory and that pregnancy and smoking are bad for it. Nautiluses can remember useful things, but only for a day, whereas cuttlefish, which are much more sophisticated cephalopods, observe and form preferences for their future prey when they are still embryos. (Robert Plant, “Memory Song” [download])

Swiss biologists determined that stupid flies live longer than smart flies because intelligence wears out flies’ brains, and Canadian researchers said that straining to recall information on the tip of the tongue makes us learn our mistaken guesses rather than the correct answers we eventually remember. (Paul Carrack, “Tip of My Tongue” [download])

Strokes were found to generate depolarization waves that spread outward from the affected area and damage other parts of the brain. Geologists reported that large earthquakes often trigger other seismic events in distant parts of the world; a Franco-Turkish team of seismologists found that the hypersonic energy pulses unleashed by supershear earthquakes may awaken dormant faults nearby; and massive-slow-motion ice-quakes were shaking the West Antarctic Ice Sheet twice a day. (The Grateful Dead, “Ripple” [download])

Neuroscientists found that sloths sleep around nine and a half hours a day. Previous research had studied only captive sloths, who sleep on average sixteen hours a day, possibly because they are bored and depressed. (Mose Allison, “So Tired” [download])

Children exposed to lead are more likely to commit violent crimes as adults, children born to mothers who use cell phones while pregnant are 54 percent more likely to have behavioral problems, and children born to fathers older than forty-five are twice as likely to die before reaching adulthood. (Reverend Horton Heat, “‘D’ for Dangerous” [download])

An increase in pet-owl abandonment in Wales was blamed on Harry Potter. (The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Night Owl Blues” [download])

Widespread toxoplasmosis among marine mammals was attributed to anchovies’ consumption of cat feces, paleontologists unearthed a 380-million-year-old fossil of a fish giving live birth, and a Welsh geobiologist discovered immense populations of prokaryotic cells, which may individually be more than 100 million years old, living a mile beneath the ocean floor. The buried cells are possibly equal in biomass to all plant life on the Earth’s surface. (David Wilcox, “Mighty Ocean” [download])

Astronomers reported that Jupiter’s Little Red Spot is now as big as its Great Red Spot and that a third Red Spot has appeared. Cosmologists concluded that the universe is small. There is evidence of time before the Big Bang. (Deodato, “Also Sprach Zarathustra” [download])