The Null Device
In recent health-related news: a cure may have been discovered for the debilitating condition of unrequited love. Researchers in Alabama and Iran have found that a combination of the hormones of melatonin and vasotocin may alleviate the condition:
Intense romantic love is associated with specific physiological, psychological and behavioural changes, including euphoria, obsessiveness, and a craving for closeness with the target.
The key is the pea-sized pineal gland, which produces melatonin. This hormone plays a key role in the circadian cycle. It has also shown anti-dopamine activities in part of the brain, while a second hormone, arginine-vasotocin, also has a key role in romantic love. The researchers suggest that giving the two hormones may be a cure for non-returned romantic love.(Alabama and Iran? I wonder whether there's any deeper significance to two places known for religiously-based social conservatism being at the forefront of research to control a powerful and sometimes disruptive phenomenon. Is it heartening or disturbing that, even as talk of a US/Iranian war grows louder, US and Iranian scientists can join forces in the War On Unrequited Love?)
Also in the same article: taking showers may cause a neurodegenerative condition associated with inhalation of manganese, keeping dogs may cause breast cancer and sunlight may increase violent impulses.
Surely one of the new wonders of the modern world must be the Great Plastic Garbage Patch, a mass of rubbish (mostly plastic) twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific, and serving as a sort of elephants' graveyard to which plastic bags from as the Americas, Japan and Australia migrate when their working lives are finished. The patch, also sometimes referred to as Gilligan's Island, has been growing tenfold every decade since the 1950s, and since it is on the high seas (and not part of any nation's responsibility), there's nothing that can be done about it, other than using fewer plastic bags.
(via Boing Boing)