Discovered: Another invisibility cloak, science confirms sex goes with drugs and rock 'n roll, the dolphins are eating a lot of poison and video games teach kids how to be the best murderers they can be.
- Another crack at the invisibility cloak. This is the third non-magic invisibility cloak we've seen in the last few months. There's clearly a market for this thing for some obvious reason. Following the cloak that erased time and that other cloak that used a special material to scatter light away from an object, we get today's cloak, which uses that second concept. Using a less reflective material, science has created an object that exists but can't be seen. "We found that a carefully engineered gold shell dramatically alters the optical response of the silicon nanowire," explains researcher Pengyu Fan. "Light absorption in the wire drops slightly -- by a factor of just four -- but the scattering of light drops by 100 times due to the cloaking effect, becoming invisible," he continues. Basically, by painting on gold it turns invisible. Harry Potter is real. [Stanford School of Engineering]
- Sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll is a real thing. Really: "I think they've really shown that sex and drugs go with rock and roll," explains researcher Dr. Sharon Levy, referencing a new study that shows loud music correlates with unprotected sex, drugs and binge drinking. It has something to do with certain (bad) kids liking risky behavior. "We know that high-risk behaviors certainly run together, so in some ways it's not a big surprise," she continued. But, parents, it doesn't mean that loud music is some sort of gateway drug. "I don't think that we're at the point that we should say, 'Boy, you should really cut down MP3 player use' -- we should because of the hearing loss, but I don't think there's any evidence that's going to affect other risky behaviors at this point," adds Levy. [Reuters]
- The dolphins are eating a lot of poison. Looking at wild dolphins versus captive ones, science has found that the former have higher mercury (also known as poison) content in their diets. "While mercury levels in the wild dolphins off South Carolina were slightly higher than those in the National Aquarium dolphins, readings from the dolphins off the Florida coasts were significantly higher," explains researcher Yongseok Hong. And, it's all because of the lovely toxins we put into our oceans. "The difference in mercury exposure was attributed to differences in the dolphins' diets," he said. "The aquarium dolphins were fed a consistent level of small fish–capelin and herring–that were caught in North Atlantic waters off Newfoundland and New England. Lower levels of mercury are expected in these waters, compared to the waters off Florida." Yum. [Science and Total Environment]
- Video games teach kids the best way to kill people. Violent shooter games reward players for the kill, teaching players to go right for the death spots. When translating that to real life, a study's participants shot mannequins in those places, too. "In the violent shooting game, participants were rewarded for accurately aiming and firing at humanoid enemies who were instantly killed if shot in the head," wrote the authors. "Players were therefore more likely to repeat this behavior outside of the video game context." And we thought video games turned kids' brain to mush. This is a teaching tool, people. [Communication Research]