What Are the Unwritten Rules of Winning a Nobel Prize?

The Nobel Prizes are the “Oscars of Science,” making waves not only in the scientific community, but the lay community as well. Everyone knows there are unofficial rules to adhere to if you want to win an Oscar. Are there similar rules for the Nobels? We asked a Nobel predictor and one of the “pickers” for a prize, the winners of which tend to win Nobels, to give us the skinny on the nonscientific factors that go into picking the winner of a science prize. Read More >>

How to Trick Friends and Family Into Thinking You Gave Them a Great Gift

Tis better to give than to receive, but ‘tis best by far to give something that will make you look good in the eyes of the recipient — especially if you can save money in the bargain. Here’s one psychological finding that will help you choose cheaper gifts people will still appreciate: the less-is-better effect. Read More >>

10 Audiobooks That are Worth Getting For The Voice Acting Alone

Do you ever outgrow the pleasure of having a story read to you? Not if you’re listening to these books. From A-list celebrities to talented voice actors with multiple pseudonyms, these voices will make you love literature, even if you’re listening to it instead of reading it. Read More >>

Behold the Best-Designed Cat House Any Cat Will Still Completely Ignore

Every year, FixNation, a Los Angeles animal charity, holds an auction of designer cat houses to raise money. This year’s 'Fan Favorite' is “Cat in the Fishbowl”. It’s very nice, but we’re pretty sure any cat will ignore it in favour of the box it came in – as purr usual. Read More >>

Robot Anaesthesiologists Lose Their Jobs Because of Humans

A robot anaesthesiologist designed by Johnson & Johnson is going off the market. Only three years after approval, the company has stopped production on the Sedasys machine due to poor sales. Read More >>

This Company is Making an Epi-Pen That Fits in a Wallet

AdrenaCard is meant to help people who are both unfortunate enough to need an epinephrine injection for serious allergic reactions — and also human enough that they regularly forget their “epi-pen” when they’re going out. It’s a small epinephrine injector that fits inside a wallet. Read More >>

This Software Can Read Harry Potter and Answer Questions About It

A Canadian company has come up with an algorithm that can read texts, and then accurately answer questions about them. The software is meant to help people by scanning and responding to their questions about boring technical texts — but there could be so many other great ways to use it. Read More >>

Major Logging Will Begin in the Last Primeval Forest in Europe

In depressing news, about 180,000 cubic metres of wood will be taken from the last of Europe’s primeval forests. The environmental minister in Poland declared that the Bialowieza Puszcza will be logged over the next decade. Read More >>

How Batman’s Butler Alfred Evolved from a Joke Character to a Total Badass

Bruce Wayne has always been a vigilante and billionaire. Since a vigilante needs a lot of help around the house and a billionaire has the money to buy that help, most Batman fans assume that Alfred was in the comics from the beginning. Maybe he wasn’t in that first issue back in 1939, but surely he was always there, the trusty servant in the background who slowly developed into a main character in the Batman universe. Read More >>

Genetically-Modified Maggots Could Help Wounds Heal Faster

Scientists at North Carolina State University are bringing an 18th century wound treatment into the 21st century. They’ve genetically modified maggots to secrete a human growth factor to promote healing while they clean people’s wounds. Read More >>

‘Cat Parasite’ Could Be To Blame for People Suffering from Rage Disorder 

A new study has shown that people with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), associated with bursts of overblown aggression, are twice as likely as healthy people to have Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite, famously carried by cats, has been shown to mess with the neurochemistry of mice. Could it be doing the same to us? Read More >>

Birds Nest Near Alligators to Scare Off Predators and “Pay” Them in Rejected Chicks

A lot of things eat baby birds, and alligators eat most of those things. Birds in the Everglades National Park, Florida, seem to have noticed this and have been found nesting in trees near alligators. The alligators provide a benefit to the birds, keeping away the opossums and raccoons that would eat their eggs. But what might the alligators get out of it? Read More >>

We Might Finally Be Able to Read Ancient Scrolls Damaged By Vesuvius Eruption

Pompeii has the best press, but the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD also buried the town of Herculaneum. Charred scrolls were recovered from the town library in 1752, and Italian scientists just discovered it might be possible to use X-ray technology to read them. Their findings were published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read More >>

Our Cities May Be Making Birds Smarter

The term “bird brain” is going out of fashion as biologists come to understand that birds are actually quite smart and competent. Now scientists in Barbados say that, in many respects, urban birds are smarter than rural birds. Read More >>

Seven Reasons Why it Sucks to Be a Superhero Girlfriend

Wives and girlfriends of superheroes aren’t as hard-done-by as parents of superheroes, but they’re a close second. Not only do they inevitably have a rough time, but everybody (including fans) hate them — which is no surprise. Each superhero girlfriend has a large number of factors working against her. Read More >>