News for Nerds - The Marital Bliss Edition

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  • Posted by: Dom Testa|
  • 11/8/2013 |
  • 10:00 am
News for Nerds - The Marital Bliss Edition

Welcome back to News for Nerds! This week we'll explain how snakes have improved our eyesight, how jellyfish are taking over the oceans, and how science finally proves that women are better multi-taskers. But first, here are your headlines.

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The sky is blue, water is wet, and couples fight. Some things simply are the way they are. But when couples fight, what factors most influence how and when they make up?

According to a new study from UC-Berkeley, the answer has to do with the woman's ability to keep calm and carry on.

The research involved videotaped interactions of more than 80 couples, post-fracas. The researchers studied body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and topics of discussion, and they found that "a wife's ability to regain composure after an argument was far more important than her husband's with regard to long-term marital satisfaction."

In other words: If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

It is believed that wives play an important role in conflict resolution, in part, because they are so good at discussing the issues at hand and offering solutions. But, says one researcher involved with the study, "Ironically, this may not work so well for husbands, whose wives often criticize them for leaping into problem-solving mode too quickly."

- from The Huffington Post

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We are not alone. The truth is out there. Ground control to Major Tom.

Another study emerging from UC-Berkeley this week indicates that there are 'tens of billions' of Earth-like planets in our Milky Way galaxy, giving credence to the idea that intelligent life just might exist in places beyond Earth. This revelation comes from a very detailed analysis of all the findings from the Kepler telescope, which launched four years ago.

All told, almost 9 billion stars in our galaxy have planets that are similar to Earth in terms of size and climate. And that doesn't count other stars which differ from our own sun, nor does it count stars and planets in other galaxies. Says one astronomer, "With tens of billions of Earth-like planets in each galaxy, our entire universe must contain billions of billions of Earth-like planets."

The closest of these Earth-like planets may be just 12 light-years away -- a mere 72 trillion miles. With gas prices on the way down, maybe we can plan a road trip to check it out, huh?

- from The USA Today and The LA Times

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Here are a few other cool science stories you might enjoy:

  • The problems caused by overfishing and by warming water temperatures are sometimes obvious, and sometimes not. Case in point: jellyfish are on the brink of taking over the world's oceans. And that's not good news.
  • A new study of monkeys shows that their brains have specific cells that fire off warning signals when they see snakes. There are some weird elements to this story, so I suggest you read it in full. But one of the biggest headlines here is that snakes may have inadvertently helped human vision evolve to where it is today. They're still creepy, though.
  • And finally, from the 'Science Confirms the Obvious Department'... experiments conducted by British scientists show that, yes, women really are better multi-taskers than men. Surprised?

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That's all for now! I'll be back with more News for Nerds next week, but be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and to sign up for the free e-Newsletter so that you can properly get your nerd on every single month! And please send any juicy News for Nerds tips to me right here!

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