We now know why we find some jokes funny - thanks to Seinfeld
Technology

We now know why we find some jokes funny – thanks to Seinfeld

The popular sitcom Seinfeld has helped scientists understand how we appreciate humour Castle Rock Entertainment/Courtesy Everett Collection/Alamy What starts as a simple knock-knock joke can light up different regions of your brain, depending on whether you find the gag funny or just understand it. Scientists gained a better appreciation of this process after monitoring people […]

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Pretend engine noises make electric cars more fun

Gearing up for happiness Transitions sometimes start with a period of frustration. People can adapt to new ways – but the old ways are familiar, which make them feel comfortable in comparison with the new. Transmissions, too, sometimes start with a period of frustration. Tim Stevens reports in Ars Technica about how one automobile manufacturer […]

Honeyguide birds respond to special calls from human honey-hunters
Technology

Honeyguide birds respond to special calls from human honey-hunters

A Yao honey-hunter in Mozambique holds a honeyguide bird Claire Spottiswoode People from multiple cultures in Africa have unique sounds that they use to communicate with honeyguide birds, and the birds recognise these signals as an invitation to cooperate. Greater honeyguides (Indicator indicator) lead humans to bees’ nests so that honey-hunters will break them open. […]

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The US needs to do more to preserve its ancient sites

IN OCTOBER, the US Department of Homeland Security made an urgent announcement. New barriers and roads were needed along the Texas-Mexico border – but construction was impeded by federally mandated surveys and permits. These protect the environment and archaeological sites. They also take time to complete. To speed construction, the Biden administration waived compliance with […]