Discovered: 150 billion tons of glaciers melt each year, the fourth warmest January recorded, a rehab app, female fertility changes the way men speak, the benefits of a normal name.
- The glaciers are melting by the billions of tons.150 billion tons of ice each year, to get exact. With all that meltage the former glaciers are adding .4 millimeters to the sea level every year. To put that in perspective, the additional water added between 2003 and 2010 could cover the entire U.S. in about one and a half feet of water. Of course, this climate change business all has some scary implications for humanity and Earth's other inhabitants. But this research could help? "The Earth is losing an incredible amount of ice to the oceans annually, and these new results will help us answer important questions in terms of both sea rise and how the planet's cold regions are responding to global change," said researcher John Wahr. [NASA]
- January 2012 was warm. Speaking of climate change, science has confirmed what Instagram and Punxsutawney Phil already knew: This January out-warmed previous winters' first month. "The average contiguous U.S. temperature in January was 36.3 degrees F, 5.5 degrees F above the 1901-2000 long-term average -- the fourth warmest January on record, and the warmest since 2006," read the report. And below we have the map to prove it. For climate change commentary etc., see above. [NOAA]
- A rehab app? They have dubbed it the oh-so-original iHeal. And iHeal will incorporate "biosensors," which will measure "arousal" levels. "When the software detects an increased stress or arousal level, it asks the user to annotate events by inputting information about their perceived level of stress, drug cravings, and current activities," explains the study. "iHeal's ultimate goal is to identify, in real-time, drug cravings and deliver personalized, multimedia drug prevention interventions precisely at the moment of greatest need." This is one of those things that sounds good in theory, but we imagine won't work too well in real life. Drug addiction is probably strong enough to out will a computer program, we imagine, unless the app involves some sort of shock therapy. [Journal of Medical Toxicology]
- Female fertility makes men talk different. Romantic partners who spend a lot of time together tend to talk alike, unless the woman happens to be ovulating and the man wants to implant himself into her body, finds a new study. Weird, right? That a woman's internal, biological goings-on can have such a profound effect on a man's speech pattern. We wonder what it has to do with reproduction, though. Perhaps it's sexier than hearing an echo of oneself, drawing the couple together? Just a guess. [PLoS ONE]
- The benefits of having a normal name. We understand it's both trendy and character building to give kids weird names. But, having an easy to pronounce name will give them a leg up in life, finds research. People with "normal" names were more likely to get job promotions, win a political race or make it to the top of a law-firm, found research out of the University of Melbourne. [Journal of Experimental Social Psychology]