Science - September 9, 2016

Pee pass

Students at Kunming Health Vocational College are to be issued with a pass for toilet use on campus. The idea is to reduce water wasting in a region suffering from drought. Each student is allowed to use 3000 litres of water per month. That represents 15 flushes per working day. Surely the Chinese can do better than that? Wouldn’t 1000 litres each be enough?


The more foreign languages you learn the more easily your brain absorbs and processes new information, shows research at the university of Helsinki. The researchers deduce this from EEGs of test subjects who are learning a foreign language. All the more reason to switch to teaching in other languages. Not just English but French and German too.


Were you on the skinny side when you were born? Then you are probably not destined to win an Olympic medal. British research on more than 2700 babies born with low birth weights (<2.5 kg) in March 1946 shows that lightweight babies underachieve in sport and exercise all their lives. And that is not only bad for their health but also for the medal score.


A joint makes you less motivated to earn your living, shows research at University College London. The real news, however, is that the effect is small. Under normal conditions half the test subjects opted to take a tougher test that would earn them more money. Under the influence of a joint, 8 percent fewer did so. Only just significant, but enough reason to give it up?