studies show that people with long commutes( 45-90 minutes ) are 40% more likely to divorce and have to earn 40% more money to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to work. while the average commute in the U.S. is 25.4 minutes, 8% of workers have a 60 minute or longer commute and 3% have 90 minute or longer commute with a quarter of the extreme commuters living in the Washington D.C. area. it would be interesting to research the effects of unpredictable commutes on divorce rates and pay.
update: important clarification, earning more money doesn’t create more satisfaction, it .
previous research has indicated we have grossly underestimated both the scope and the scale of animal intelligence so i suppose it should come as no surprise ( and certainly no surprise to “dog people” ) that brain scans show that dogs are as conscious as human children. original article, “dogs are people, too”. no word on cats but i’m not holding my breath there’s intelligent life to be found in the cat world ( i jest! ).
the topic of woman in computing and the gender gap is so established and recognized that it has its own long and detailed wikipedia entry which somehow fails to mention the irony that programming in particular was viewed as “lowly”, feminine, clerical work and most early computer programmers were women. the programming field was once stereotyped as female. a researcher reveals how “computer geeks” replaced “computer girls” and now women make 49 cents for every dollar men make in silicon valley.
bpa has been associated with numerous health effects from anxiety and hyperactivity, “deranged metabolism” and human infertility ( just to name a few ) and has been banned in infant formula packaging. new research on bpa challenges key risk assessment assumptions. namely, most risk models that are used to create “safe dose” recommendations assume most ingested bpa is absorbed in the small intestine and converted to less risky metabolites. turns out that “…bpa can be efficiently and very rapidly absorbed through the oral mucosa…” which means you’re getting exposed to more bpa that thought. the authors conclude, somewhat dryly, that “It is clear that our data suggesting that BPA bioavailability can be high should raise some questions and possibly lead some agencies to reconsider their risk analysis on BPA.” an important subtext of the shifting sands on bpa risk assessment models, “of 84,000 registered industrial chemicals in the united states, only about 200 have been tested.
on the heels of research showing no evidence of benefit and some evidence of potential harm to sharply reducing salt intake, the new york times rounds up the latest research indicating numerous health benefits associated with moderate coffee consumption including reduction in the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, basal cell carcinoma, prostate cancer, oral cancer and breast cancer recurrence and dementia. whatever will they discover next that everybody “knows” is wrong? maybe that full-fat dairy consumption lowers risk of cardiovascular death? oh wait, they did already.
a 7th grader hypothesized that fast food restaurants’ ice would contain more bacteria than the fast food restaurants’ toilet water so he tested his hypothesis and and was right! anyone who has worked in the food service industry knows the ice machines are colonized and rarely cleaned so i wouldn’t be surprised if these results extend outside of the fast food industry. and in related news, handbags have more bacteria than a toilet seat ( if you have in infant, think about that the next time you pull out a pacifier ). obviously, we need a comparative study to determine which has more bacteria, the inside of a handbag or ice at a fast food restaurant?
still no cure for cancer, but new research finds that bearded men are more attractive. now, some articles are running with the prove so-and-so wrong that my wooly mammoth beard is actually attractive angle but the original research shows that the effect peaks out at “heavy stubble” ( some old school web folks will be tremendously amused to see whose photo adorns the article in that last link ). so, if you’re feeling a little inadequate about not being able to grow one of those awesome hipster beards – don’t. and in quasi-related news, science proves, as with beards, bigger not always better in other areas.