Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Planet Earth

Help Desk: Relationship Edition

InkfishBy Elizabeth PrestonFebruary 15, 2013 4:54 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

A couple months ago I introduced the Help Desk so I could answer real questions from Inkfish readers. These aren't questions people submitted intentionally, though—they're search terms that sent people to this site. (Take note, Googlers and Bingers of the world: anyone using web analytics can see your searches.) This time, in honor of Valentine's Day, the Help Desk is focusing on relationships. I hope the unsatisfied searchers out there can now find the flower-pooping good twins they're looking for. does music cause rodents to have more babies

placeholder

It's been suggested that background music helps lab mice to relax and breed more, according to a 2005 paper in the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research Journal. However, they'll still startle easily at a loud noise, regardless of background sounds. In behavioral studies, new age music in particular seemed to calm mice down (compared to classical music, pop, or silence). So if you're looking to set the mood, try Enya rather than Bieber.

You can also teach mice to like music if you introduce it during a certain window in their development, according to a Harvard study. But this research looked only at Beethoven and bossa nova, and didn't give mice the option of getting romantic while the music was playing. evil twin symptoms Evil twin is not a medically recognized condition. Perhaps you should try consulting a psychotherapist or a screenwriter. most inconvenient moments to have narcolepsy Wheelbarrow race, optometrist appointment, listening to a deathbed confession, pairs ice dancing. And the obvious one. (The most convenient moments to have narcolepsy include mattress testing, portrait sitting, and televised basketball games.) how to make a sperm cell Thankfully, it's not up to you. that boy has a huge belly button If a giant navel is the worst complaint you have about a person, things probably aren't so bad. Plus, that belly button is a hotbed of bacterial diversity—and so is yours! Look, the two of you have one more topic for dinner conversation already. a pig look better than u Pigs can be pretty charming (see below). If you're looking for a creative insult, what about "a giant land crab look better than u"? Or "a Chinese soft-shelled turtle has a smaller tube coming out of the middle of its face than u"? Zing! You're welcome.

piglet.jpg

placeholder

placeholder

pig repeller If you didn't want the pig around, maybe you shouldn't have flattered it just now. bloomers for older woman It sounds like you're searching for a gift for your significant other. What kind of "older" are we talking about—like nineteenth century? If so, bloomers sound great. how to stay tight with a big guy Just because a guy has gained some weight doesn't mean you can't be friends with him anymore. (That is what you meant, right?) girl that poops flowers If you're wondering why OKCupid rejected your match criterion, I'm sorry to have to tell you that nobody poops flowers. However! If you or your normally excreting girlfriend are willing to commit to a juice cleanse, you can spend a few days pooping vegetables. how to ruin a party you weren't invited to That's tough, but I'm going to have to go back to giant land crabs. mouse quiet too quiet Maybe that Enya CD did the trick. don't make sex in the forest Noted.

Earlier: Help Desk, Part 1.

Images: 

Help desk by Aryc Ogre

Chinese soft-shelled turtle by muzina_shanghai (all via Flickr)

; piglet by Ed Mitchell; robber crab by

John Tann

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In