Cannabis for construction workers, Romance research noir-noir-noir

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has four segments. Here are bits of each of them:

  • Cannabis for construction workers — A Nigerian study from 2015 hints at a cannabis boost to efficiency. Manasseh Iroegbu at the University of Uyo, Nigeria, is lead author of “Exploring the performance of mason workers in the construction industry: New evidence from the use of cannabis at work site in a field experiment”….
  • Bear-face on Mars — A smiley-faced bear, discernible in a NASA satellite’s image of the surface of Mars (above), is inspiring smiles on the faces of humans on the surface of Earth. Similar discoveries have garnered two Ig Nobel prizes….
  • Romance research, triple-darkly — Romance can be challenging, especially when one of the romancers seems “dangerous” or “gross”, or has a personality bursting with “Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy”, three qualities known as the dark triad. The conjunction of seamy personalities and romance is much studied by psychologists, perhaps none more diligent than Peter Jonason, who has published about 200 studies on the dark triad…. 
  • A little bit missing — While astrophysicists try to identify the “missing mass” that constitutes most of the universe, authorities in Western Australia had to search for a specific, tiny chunk of mass that went missing….