Science - August 25, 2016


Married men and women drink less than singles, shows a study of drinking patterns among twins by the University of Virginia. The drinking patterns of people who live together fall between two extremes. The scientists put the difference down to the restraining influence of a partner. Or is it just that drinkers are less likely to get married?


Men make more extreme choices when there are other men around. In the presence of women they opt for a compromise, suggests a large-scale study of consumer and decision-making behaviour by Boston College. The scientists’ explanation of the effect is: looking for the middle way is not masculine. So never send men shopping together: it will be expensive.

Olympic speed

Usain Bolt fast? For a human being, yes. But in the animal kingdom Bolt is no great shakes. Bolt can’t compete with my rabbit, let alone a gorilla, wild boar, elephant, horse or dog. And the fastest animal of them all is the cheetah, which reaches its top speed of 110 kph in 3 seconds. Okay, on four legs. But even divided by two, that’s still Olympic gold.


Blue light keeps mice awake, shows a study at Oxford University. Green light, on the other hand, makes them sleepy. The researchers think the same applies to humans. Computer screens and mobile phones emit far too much blue light. Good news for students: long hours spent studying help to keep you awake.