youtube
You Will Never Get as Rich as a YouTuber

For every professional musician, athlete, or chef, there are hundreds if not thousands of schmucks still playing empty bars on Tuesdays, limping out of professional sports with injuries, or flipping burgers at the farthest possible location from a Michelin star. While the barriers to entry might be lower for vlogging fame, new research suggests life as a YouTube star is no different. Read More >>

science
Cocaine Addiction Leads to Buildups of Iron in the Brain

Cocaine, as they say, is a hell of a drug. It affects three of the neurotransmitters in our brains that make us feel fantastic—dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine—and tolerance for the stuff doesn’t seem to dissipate even months after quitting. (It’s also expensive and bad for you.) Today, new research published in Translational Psychiatry adds another bizarre facet to one of the world’s most popular drugs: the cocaine addicts in your life have unusual deposits of iron in their brains. Read More >>

animals
Some Vampire Bats Have Started Biting Humans (and It’s Probably Our Fault)

Feeling drained? According to a new study, a vampire bat species that typically feeds on native birds has turned to sucking the blood of humans at night, likely due to human encroachment. Read More >>

science
Good Wood Makes a Stradivarius Sing

Stradivarius stringed instruments — the finely constructed, highly sought after multi-million dollar wood boxes* crafted in the 17th and 18th century by Italian luthier Antoni Stradivari — are a bit of a mystery to modern day observers. Despite their quality, nobody quite knows what makes them so superior. Read More >>

research
Gadgets Are Not People

If you’re currently single, falling in love with an inanimate object might seem like the obvious solution. Whether its 15 inflatable pool toys or just a potentially explosive phone, dating the non-living instantly eliminates some of the trickiest relationships issues. Worried they might not like you back? Not a problem. Afraid they’ll leave you? Not gonna happen. Read More >>

science
This Blooming Flower Isn’t What it Seems at All

Scientists have been working for some time now on materials that change shape. But as New Scientist points out, these metamorphoses usually require external stimuli to get going. New research published in Nature Communications, though, shows that some non-living substances can be made to transform all on their own. Read More >>

wearables
Your Fitness Tracker Might Actually Make Losing Weight Harder

Activity monitors are supposed to help us reach our fitness goals, but when it comes to staying motivated, you might want to look beyond your wrist. Read More >>

research
Creepy Robot Babies Don’t Prevent Teenagers From Getting Pregnant

One might think that caring for a robot baby—one that cries and sleeps like a regular human baby—might discourage teenage girls from getting pregnant. According to new research, however, the robo-babies actually appear to have the opposite effect. Read More >>

animals
A Rare New Species of Beaked Whale Has Been Discovered in the Pacific

Did you know that beaked whales are a thing, and that they’re more than just giant, weird-looking dolphin clones? Read More >>

music
Why Do We Like the Music That We Like?

Some combinations of notes inherently sound better than others, right? It’s why the bread and butter of pop music, which is engineered to be upbeat and danceable, is highly consonant major chords. It’s why unpredictable 12-tone compositions create unease in the listener, and why Stravinsky’s dissonant Rite of Spring sparked a riot when it debuted. Read More >>

science
We Finally Know Why Jet Lag Is Much Worse Flying East

Jet lag is objectively terrible. It grants no immunity and bends to no form of treatment, unless “consuming an entire bottle of your favourite spirit” is considered treatment. (It’s not.) But according to conventional wisdom, some kinds of jet lag are worse than others—travelling east, for example, is harder on the sleep cycle than travelling west. As it turns out, conventional wisdom is largely correct. Read More >>

health
A US Government-Funded Zika Study Will Use Olympic Athletes as Guinea Pigs

In an effort to learn more about the dreaded disease, the US National Institutes of Health is funding a study in which a group of US athletes, coaches, and staff will be monitored for exposure to the Zika virus while attending the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Brazil. Read More >>

environment
There’s a Whole New Type of Stone and it’s Made From Our Plastic

Congratulations, humanity: After millennia of building cathedrals and toiling over great works of art and science, we've finally created something that will far outlast us. It's called Plastiglomerate, a stone made out of molten plastic, and yes, we should all be ashamed of ourselves. Read More >>

column
What the Hell is the Point of an English Degree?

Hi, I’m Ben and during my five years at university I’ve learnt, errrm… something about communication? Read More >>

science
Retracted: Study That Found Acid Converts Blood Cells Into Stem Cells

A Japanese scientist who published a study trumpeted as a groundbreaking advancement in stem cell biology is now asking that it be retracted. Read More >>