Humans as batteries, awesome moon map, dugongs spotted, and more

Published April 23, 2020

Not the kitties!

Two cats in New York have test­ed pos­i­tive for CoviD-19.

One cat is owned by a per­son who test­ed pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus before the cat showed symp­toms; the sec­ond lives in a house­hold where no mem­bers had con­firmed cas­es of the virus.

Actually that’s three cats. “Earlier this month, a Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo test­ed pos­i­tive after com­ing down with a cough.”

To be fair, we did plant a flag

The U.S. Geological Survey, per­haps creep­ing out­side its purview just a bit, has released the first-ever com­pre­hen­sive geo­log­ic map of the moon. It’s called [insert drum­roll here] “Unified Geologic Map of the Moon.” And it is gorgeous.

A very large ver­sion of the image is avail­able by a‑clickin’ here.

Shocking psychology news

Florida Atlantic University researchers found that (wait for it) fun chil­dren are pop­u­lar.

Quick! That’s too obvi­ous! Give it a science‑y spin!

“Our study is nov­el in that no research has unam­bigu­ous­ly mea­sured peer per­cep­tions of class­mates who are fun and no lon­gi­tu­di­nal stud­ies have exam­ined whether being fun unique­ly antic­i­pates sub­se­quent changes in peer social status.”

Filter it

Two things about this sto­ry made me chuck­le: “How to make the health­i­est cof­fee dur­ing COVID-19 lock­down”.

  1. It has absolute­ly noth­ing to do with the coro­n­avirus. They just want­ed on the bandwagon.
  2. It took more than 700 words to say, “Filtered cof­fee is healthy, unfil­tered cof­fee isn’t.”

Combine this with a shock collar and you have my attention

Workers in the Port of Antwerp will soon be test­ing wrist­bands that alert them when they vio­late social-dis­tanc­ing require­ments. (And if some­one does become infect­ed, they might help trace who he was in con­tact with.)

Dementia: It’s the diet, not the foods

Individuals food can be healthy or not, but a new study out of the University of Bordeaux in France found that your over­all diet — what they called your “food net­work” — can increase your risk of demen­tia.

Bottom line: “We found that more diver­si­ty in diet, and greater inclu­sion of a vari­ety of healthy foods, is relat­ed to less dementia.”

So eat­ing a lot of cook­ies alone isn’t (too) bad, unless it’s indica­tive of your over­all diet. Then you’re in trouble.

Oh come ON

Diseases Can Jump to Humans from Plants, Not Just from Animals

Fungi are oppor­tunis­tic and will jump to any host that pro­vides a wel­com­ing envi­ron­ment, such as a human body. And if the treat­ment for the fun­gal infec­tion involves a drug iden­ti­cal to the fungi­cide encoun­tered on the farm, the fun­gus may flourish.

Skin in the game

CalTech researchers have devel­oped an elec­tron­ic sen­sor that’s pow­ered by human sweat. Specifically, it con­verts the lac­tic acid in human sweat to electricity.

The tech is cool, but refer­ring to it as “har­vest­ing ener­gy from the human body” might not be the most com­fort­ing way to put it.

In addi­tion to the bio­fu­el cells, the e‑skin con­tains biosen­sors that can ana­lyze meta­bol­ic infor­ma­tion like glu­cose, urea and pH lev­els, to mon­i­tor for dia­betes, ischaemia anoth­er health con­di­tions, as well as phys­i­cal infor­ma­tion like skin temperature.

A patch the size of a play­ing card makes enough pow­er for the biosen­sors as well as a Bluetooth transmitter.


Herd of dugongs sight­ed off the coast of Thai island”.

As you were.

(Dugong, you ask? “It’s the cow of the sea-ea-ea.…”) (Warning: Link is an earworm.)

Quick CoviD-19 notes

The Long Read: Teenage Wasteland edition

If you’re stuck at home with an cranky teenag­er, you’re not alone.

Catherine Bagwell of Emory University takes 1,000 words to explain that, “Teens are wired to resent being stuck with par­ents and cut off from friends dur­ing coro­n­avirus lock­down.”

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