Cola for Mice / Read a bicycle / Head Organ / Life in Salt

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

  • Cola: a swell tale — … If you are a male mouse who drinks lots of Pepsi or Coca-Cola, and if you mainly enjoy reading manly adventure stories, get yourself a copy of the latest write-up from researcher Z. Gong, pour yourself a tall, cool glass of cola and hunker into your favourite reading chair for a hell of a good time….
  • Learning to read a bicycle — … A wonder-provoking diagram of a bicycle is parked on page 100 of 21st Century Skills: Learning for life in our times by Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel. The book, published in 2009, still gets attention, gaining appreciation in a recent study called “The complex associations between scientific reasoning and advanced theory of mind”….
  • Head, Brain, Organ et al — … A few months ago, Dr Organ – Dr Jason Organ – was named the new editor-in-chief of the journal Anatomical Sciences Education. This added flesh to the nominative determinism tradition that is occasionally evident in body-parts-centric medical journals, starting (as far as Feedback is aware) with the publication Brain. Henry Head and Russell Brain were each its editor, at different times…
  • Lots of life in salt — … When people enliven a bland meal by adding salt, they are, in many (and maybe all) cases, adding life to that food. Tiny, maybe tasty, bits of life. Most commercial salt is home to microscopic species. Leila Satari, Alba Guillén, Adriel Latorre-Pérez and Manuel Porcar, all at the University of Valencia, Spain, went looking for that life in six different kinds of table salt. They found it, everywhere….