When you stumble into Starbucks for your morning coffee and are greeted by a super cheery barista inquiring about your day and your life in general, do you ever want to smack that smile off her face?
Well, pity the barista. In recent years the “service with a smile”...
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The Diet Myth
Overlook Press, $28.95
For 10 days, Tom Spector lived off McDonald’s.
He had chicken nuggets or Big Macs for meals, Coke to wash them down and McFlurries for...
You’ve already had a muffin. And a half. You know you’re full. But there they are, fluffy and delicious, waiting for the passersby in the office. Just thinking about them makes your mouth water.
Maybe if you just slice one into quarters. I mean, that barely counts…
And then we give in, our brains overriding our body’s better judgment. When I catch myself once again polishing off a...
Scientists have long puzzled over why tropical songbirds lay fewer eggs than their temperate-zone counterparts. A new study suggests that it may have to do with how baby birds grow.
Thomas Martin of the University of Montana in Missoula compared nestling development in 72 songbird species from Arizona, Venezuela and Malaysia. While the Arizona birds grew quickly in the early days after...
Forensic biologist Silvana Tridico was puzzled by pubic hair.
Specifically, pubic hair samples donated by two volunteers.
She had just finished analyzing the bacteria stuck to the hair of seven people. If each hair sample carried unique mixes of bacteria, Tridico reasoned, investigators might have a new tool to help identify crime suspects. Hair bacteria, like fingerprints, could...
An ancient cemetery in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert is helping to rewrite the region’s past. This burial ground housed the remains of a far-flung, well-connected group of players in what was one of South America’s earliest trade networks, researchers say.
New findings from the roughly 1,500-year-old Larache cemetery support the idea that trade bloomed among societies in the Andes...
To get a glimpse of a superpredator, just look in the mirror. Comparing hunting habits of mammals and fishes reveals humans as Earth’s most dangerous, oddball predator — one that targets adult prey in large numbers, a practice that can push populations into decline.
Humans’ main prey are reproductive adults, the...
Central Europe’s first farmers cultivated not just crops but also massacres, with some villages nearly wiping out neighboring settlements, researchers say.
Evidence of this ancient warfare appears on human bones found scattered in a ditch exposed by German road workers in 2006, says a team led by anthropologist Christian...
Honeybees were into probiotics way before they were cool, a new study suggests.
The hipster insects serve up beneficial bacteria that may help baby bees develop a healthy blend of gut microbes, researchers report online August 7 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Without those thriving gut...
A fuss over trends in monarch butterfly populations has flared up with a flurry of new research papers, all based on records from volunteer butterfly watchers.
There’s no dispute that numbers of monarch butterflies are dwindling at winter refuges in central Mexico (SN: 4/23/11, p. 18). But...