Discovered: People with kids are happier than people without kids, eating at the right time matters, Australia has had a hot 1,000 years, and whales ears work like hearing aides.
- People with kids are happier than people without kids. Cat ladies, listen up. After all the crying, diaper changing, those bitchy teenage years and the unrequited love, parents are happy people, science says. "We are not saying that parenting makes people happy, but that parenthood is associated with happiness and meaning," explains researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky. Ooooh. That's a different story. But, still, should be encouraging to those who fear children might ruin their bliss, continues Lyubomirsky. "Contrary to repeated scholarly and media pronouncements, people may find solace that parenthood and child care may actually be linked to feelings of happiness and meaning in life," she continues. "These findings suggest that parents are not nearly the miserable creatures that we might expect from recent studies and popular representations," she adds. [UC Riverside]
- Eating at the right time matters. We can see some people taking this the wrong way. But science has just sanctioned fasting for long periods of time during the day. "Our findings, however, suggest that regular eating times and fasting for a significant number of hours a day might be beneficial to our health," explains researcher Satchidananda Panda. "For the last 50 years, we have been told to reduce our calories from fat and to eat smaller meals and snacks throughout the day. We found, however, that fasting time is important," she adds. That sounds painful. We liked it better when science approved of our all-day snacking habits. [Salk Institute for Biological Studies]
- Australia has had a very hot 1,000 years. Following the trends we're reading about and feeling, Australia has been unusually warm over the last thousand years. "Our study revealed that recent warming in a 1,000 year context is highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone, suggesting a strong influence of human-caused climate change in the Australasian region," explains researcher Dr Joelle Gergis. As per usual, it does not look like this is a natural thing. [Journal of Climate]
- Whales ears work like hearing aides. Or maybe like volume controls? Basically, if a whale thinks it might hear a loud sound, like a cruise ship or some other annoyance, it can turn down its hearing. They learned how to do this because they're loud-mouths. "They sounds they produce are very loud -- they can be over 230-decibel pulses, and then must listen immediately for very quiet echoes," explains researcher Dr Paul Nachtigall. To protect themselves from busting their own ears, whales have developed a sort of volume control for hearing. [BBC]