Cool way to begin a science story (jeans)

The Surprising Science blog gave a mighty cool beginning to this report: The Myth of the Frozen Jeans Levi Strauss advises freezing your jeans to kill the germs that make them smelly, thereby saving the water you’d use in washing them. Don’t bother, says Stephen Craig Cary, a University of Delaware expert on frozen microbes, who wrote to us from Antarctica….

Mozart dies yet another way: Darkness

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart [pictured here] has died a hundred deaths, more or less. Here’s a new one: darkness. Doctors over the years have resurrected the story of Mozart’s death again and again, each time proposing some alternative horrifying medical reason why the 18th century’s most celebrated and prolific composer keeled over at age 35. A […]

Psychological Profile of Polish Skydivers

A new report gives possibly-unexpected insights into the personality of skydivers: “Psychological Profile of Polish Skydivers,” Piotr Próchniak, Psychological Reports, vol. 108, no. 1, February 2011, pp. 263-273. The author, at Pomeranian University, Slupsk, Poland, reports: “It was found that skydivers scored higher on Impulsive Sensation Seeking, Hedonism, Stimulation, and Self-direction values, concentration on the […]

Bye-bye, birdman: John E duPont 1938-2010

John E duPont, the multimillionaire (heir to the DuPont chemical fortune), the trained ornithologist who discovered and officially named more than a dozen new (sub)species of birds, collector of stamps, birds and shells, founder of the Delaware Museum of Natural History, the paranoid schizophrenic who was jailed after murdering an Olympic wrestler in 1996, died […]