Stephanie Lurzel and her colleagues studied 104 Holstein-Friesian calves at a commercial dairy farm in Germany. From birth to Day 14, they stroked the necks of half the calves for three minutes a day and did not pet the other half of the group. By Day 90, the calves who had experienced neck rubs weighed more than the control group, pointing to the positive influence of gentle human interaction on animal weight gain. … [Read more...] about Study: Cows Grow Bigger, Give More Milk After Early Positive Human Interaction
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Answer the door on Halloween and every fifth kid will be dressed as a ninja. There's just something about the legend of the ninja — secretive assassins who move silently in black robes and covered faces, leaping from rooftops and killing with throwing stars (shuriken) — that captures our popular imagination, like pirates or Robin Hood. But just like those other legendary figures, our image of the stealthy Japanese warriors is based largely on nuggets of historical truth buried under mountains of myth. … [Read more...] about Research Center Seeks to Separate Ninja Fact From Fiction
Almost a century later, the discovery would go to a 24-year old working his first job in the field: junior astronomer Clyde Tombaugh with the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. (It was given its name by an even younger space enthusiast: 11-year old Venetia Burney of Oxford, England.) The astronomical body had been observed before, but Tombaugh was the first to posit that it could be a planet. … [Read more...] about Our Closest Look Ever at Pluto’s Weird, Beautiful Surface
Nonprofit consultant Johnson notes that the last 90 days of the year are the period in which some nonprofits receive 40 percent (or more) of their revenue. So, he can see the allure of days targeted at donations. But he cautions, "The gifts given on [Giving Tuesday] are unlikely to be repeated unless the organizations receiving them are focused on building relationships with the new donors that come into their fold. Unfortunately for many organizations, their focus is on the immediate money ... Sustainable revenue — what every nonprofit must have to survive and prosper — comes from the renewed interest and investments of their supporters." … [Read more...] about After Cyber Monday, People Open Their Wallets for Giving Tuesday
Celestial Navigation for Mariners As Fienberg explains, astronomers aren't the only ones who employ celestial coordinates. "Anyone who navigates by the stars uses them too," he says. "Even though all modern ships and boats have GPS systems onboard, sailors and other mariners are required to learn celestial navigation in case the GPS fails. If you can see Polaris, i.e., the North Star, you'll know which way is north — and, by extension, which ways are south, east, and west too. You'll also know your latitude, as the altitude of Polaris above the horizon is equal to your latitude. And if you have an accurate clock, you can also find your longitude by consulting a table of which stars are due south at the time you're observing." … [Read more...] about How Do We Find Things in the Blackness of Space?