Discovered: Japan's Tsunami debris will hit U.S. shores in the next few months, more proof that our music listening habits are harmful, smelly feet attract mosquitoes, chimps understand each other's mind-sets.
- Tsunami garbage is coming our way. We know the disaster happened all the way across the ocean, but as early as this winter, some Japanese tsunami related trash could hit U.S. shores, predict NOAA scientists. Sea-trash is not only nasty, but potentially harmful to ecosystems. "The worst-case scenario is boats and unmanageable concentrations of other heavy objects could wash ashore in sensitive areas, damage coral reefs, or interfere with navigation in Hawaii and along the U.S. West Coast," explains the report. This serves as a good tragedy of the commons teaching moment. If it took less than a year for harmful debris to travel from Asia to America, imagine all the smog, pollution, and carbon dioxide emissions swirling from one country to the next. As for the tsunami debris, even in the best case scenario it will never go away completely. [NOAA]
- Headphones are still bad for hearing. More proof that listening to music doesn't do wonders for the ear canal. Israeli research has found that one in four teens is in danger of early hearing loss from blasting music at loud volumes for hours on end. "In 10 or 20 years it will be too late to realize that an entire generation of young people is suffering from hearing problems much earlier than expected from natural aging," warns researcher Chava Muchnik. But how will we get through our workdays if we can't distract ourselves with Spotify all day? [Eureka]
- Smelly feet attract mosquitoes. Looking for an incentive to shower: certain skin bacteria, particularly the kind that collects on stinky feet, attract malaria borne mosquitoes, found a new study. So that adds showers and frequent pedicures to the list of things one can do to avoid getting bit. That joins, not-drinking and spraying DEET on both one's body and all over plants. [Discover]
- Chimps are smart. For anyone who has followed these things, these things being chimp smarts, the latest discovery should come as no surprise. Studying the way chimpanzees interact, scientists have discovered that chimps not only knew their audience, but knew the mind-set of the other chimp. "Now we have seen that these chimps, human's close relatives, seem to recognise ignorance and knowledge in others," explained researcher Catherine Crockford. But we already knew that chimps are basically hairy humans. (See: Lucy.) [BBC]