Welcome to this week’s installment of Knox’s Wireless Green, a rundown of all the week’s most interesting, weird, and popular stories from the worlds of science and the environment.
Scientists were super busy this week announcing new discoveries. Among the most interesting was scientific proof that men are indeed from Mars and women from Venus. While we’ve all known, anecdotally at least, that boys and girls think differently, this is the first straightforward biological evidence to that effect. The study used MRI to measure brain activity while boys and girls did school work. Their results showed that boys and girls used different parts of the brain when they were learning. It appears boys favor a more sensory approach to learning, while girls succeed more with a more linguistic approach.
In a much scarier story, an environmental extremist group allegedly set fire to several upscale homes in Seattle’s Street of Dreams housing development. The Earth Liberation Front is a violent environmental group that sprung from the Animal Liberation Front in the early 90s. Then, in an amusing twist, the eco-terrorists were given a taste of their own medicine by cyber-terrorists. Some intrepid spammer/hacker hacked the ELF website shortly after the group was implicated in the arson. Instead of information on the ELF, visitors were treated to plenty of information on anti-impotence drug Viagra.
The astronauts on the International Space Station can get pretty bored. I imagine it was quite a treat for them to hear that they were getting a specially loaded iPod, with songs specifically chosen to heighten the experience of orbiting the earth. They were chosen by a 14 year old Norwegian girl called Therese Miljeteig. Most of the songs have flying or space or being up in the title somewhere, which is why it was chosen for space flight I guess. Too many of the songs are a bit depressing for my tastes though. I don’t think I’d want to be listening to Up Where We Belong and I Believe I Can Fly for months on end in space.
Finally, it appears that British recyclers may not have accomplished as much as they thought. Thousands of tons of material put out for recycling has actually been ending up in landfills. Local governments admit throwing away or burning around 240,000 tons of paper, plastic, metal and glass waste put out in recycling containers. The real number could actually be closer to 500,000 tons as only half of local government councils have responded to the survey.