Discovered: The 11th warmest year on record, comet death on camera, banning fast food ads works, red wine's back, ad where you vote matters.

  • 2011 was the 11th warmest year ever. We know the term "global warming" is a passe way to describe our earth's deterioration, but, hello global warming. NASA, which has recorded the global temperature since 1880, found 2011 as the 11th warmest year on record, continuing the trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years have occurred since the year 2000. See telling chart below. For those of you who aren't regular readers of this here research roundup, all the climate change and warming is doing nasty things to our ecosystem and planet. [NASA]
  • This is what comet death looks like. Speaking of hot things, for the first time ever, NASA caught footage of the sun exploding a comet. The footage is kind of blurry and almost impossible to see. But when expanded, the comet comes in on the right and disappears into the sun's fiery depths. Above we see the comet as it grazes the sun via the LASCO C2 camera.  [NASA]
  • Banning fast food ads works. As McDonald's advertisements make the food look delicious and nutritious, this doesn't quite surprise us. But, here's some academic proof: following the commercial ban in Quebec, researchers found fast-food expenditures reduced 13 percent per week in French-speaking households. That added up to between 11 million and 22 million fewer fast-food meals eaten per year, or 2.2 billion to 4.4 billion fewer calories consumed by children.  [Journal of Marketing Research]
  • More good news for wine drinkers, sort of. After that red-wine research fraud blow the other day, here's a tiny bit of good news for the grape-based beverage. The anti-oxidants in grapes, those same anti-oxidants everyone's always raving about, could prevent age related blindness. It's not exactly the fountain of youth miracle drink we had once thought, but it's a step. [Free Radical Biology and Medicine]
  • Churches make voters more conservative. There's something about being in or near a place of worship that influences voters to the right. "The important finding here is that people near a religious building reported slightly but significantly more conservative social and political attitudes than similar people near a government building," explained researcher Wade Rowatt. We see a new plan of action in the Obama campaign's future. [Baylor]