Discovered: The oldest painting ever, high cancer rates for 9/11 heroes, slang does not equal stupidity, spinning is literally like having a heart attack, the gender wage gap is getting better, faster.
The oldest painting ever. It's about love! Animal love! At least, this 43,500-year-old cave drawing looks like two fish making out to us. And we're going to stick with that interpretation because it makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, knowing that even 43,000+ years ago artists wrestled with life's deep issues, you know? But what makes these drawings even more impressive is that researchers think neanderthals, rather than our species, created the images. "And that's a scientific revolution because, until now, [we] homo sapiens have attributed our selves every achievement, showing [the neanderthals] almost like monkeys," explains researcher José Luis Sanchidrián. [Gizmodo via Diario de Cordoba]
- High cancer rates for 9/11 police officers. Cancer rates have tripled among NYPD officers who responded at Ground Zero during the attacks of September 11. Since then, 297 cops have been diagnosed with the disease, with 56 dying. Cancer isn't the only affliction our country's bravest face: Studies have also shown higher rates of cardiovascular issues, PTSD, headaches, and "compassion fatigue." Not exactly a medal of honor. [The Telegraph]
- Slang does not equal stupidity. Actually, according to this research, it signals a "high level of language competance." Booyah. "Young people adjust their language depending on who they are talking to," found researcher Eli Almer. Almer specifically noted that in social situations with peers students used "like" and "you know," but omitted these phrases when speaking with adults. Kids can turn it on and off, depending on the social situation, which Almer believes shows intelligence. As avid slang advocates, we'll take it. [University of Gothenberg]
- The gender wage gap is getting better, faster. Or at least faster than earlier predicted. Correcting for over and under reporting of salaries, researchers found a 22% improvement since 1979, up from the 16% of earlier findings. Wait, we thought this was supposed to be good news for equality and, more importantly, this blogger's personal wealth. But, no, the wage gap is still a significant $6 per hour. Richard Florida put together some nice (depressing) charts all about it over at The Atlantic Cities. [University of Georgia]
- Spinning is like having a heart attack. For those who have attended a gym spinning hell class, this makes sense. Those classes feel like heart attacks. And it turns out there's a very scientific reason for that. People who took part in a 30-minute long spinning session produced the same biochemicals as heart attacks. It's not unhealthy, say researchers, but we think we'll stick to our apparently deadly exercise of choice just in case. [University of Gothenberg]