Chinese, Americans, Truly See Differently, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 22, 2005   View Article

Chinese and Americans literally view the world differently, according to a new study, which found that the two groups tend to move their eyes in distinctly different patterns when looking at pictures.

“If people are literally looking at the world differently, we think it would be natural for them to explain the world in different ways,” said Richard Nisbett, a psychologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Tanning “Buzz” Could Lead to Addiction

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 19, 2005   View Article

Just like the physical rush experienced by endurance athletes, sunbathers often feel a “buzz” after a long day at the beach. But scientists say this natural high can be fatally addictive.

“We treat a lot of patients who have tans and get skin cancer. We tell them to cut back [on their tanning], but they just can’t seem to stop,” said Richard Wagner, a dermatologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Dino-Era Fossils Inspired Monster Myths, Author Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 17, 2005   View Article

According to the Lakota, or Sioux, Indians’ “Water Monsters of the Badlands” legend, the rugged and eroded lands of southwestern South Dakota were the stage for an epic battle between water spirits and thunder and lightning spirits.

The water sprits were embodied by giant water monsters known as the Unktehi. Thunder and lighting spirits took the form of thunderbirds known as Wakinyan.

In Sports, Red Is Winning Color, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 18, 2005   View Article

Note to sportswear shops: stock up on red.

When opponents of a game are equally matched, the team dressed in red is more likely to win, according to a new study.

British anthropologists Russell Hill and Robert Barton of the University of Durham reached that conclusion by studying the outcomes of one-on-one boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman-wresting, and freestyle-wrestling matches at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Ramp Fests Add Flavor, Stench, to Appalachian Spring

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 29, 2005   View Article

On Sunday, Cathey Owens vows to give the ramps on her dinner plate to the first person who will take the onionlike herbs. With upward of 3,000 people expected to attend the 52nd annual Cosby Ramp Festival in Cosby, Tennessee, finding a taker should be easy.

“If you eat one, you’re going to stink, and the more you eat, the more you’re going to stink,” said Owens, who is helping to organize the annual event in Cosby.

Does “Intelligent Design” Threaten the Definition of Science

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 27, 2005   View Article

Where did we come from? It’s one of the oldest and most profound questions. Now “intelligent design” theory may change the very definition of science by allowing the supernatural into the lab.

“Ever since the birth of science as we know it, a cardinal rule for theists [believers in the existence of a god or gods] and nontheists alike has been to limit scientific explanations to natural causes,” said Ronald Numbers, a science historian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kudzu Entrepreneurs Find Gold in Green “Menace”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 22, 2005   View Article

Nancy Basket agrees with the sentiment that kudzu, a fast-growing vine originally imported to the U.S. from Japan, is a menace. But 15 years ago she learned to respect that menace and now it’s rewarding her with a profitable—and growing—business.

Basket is a Native American artisan who runs Kudzu Kabin Designs from her home in the Appalachian foothills of Walhalla, South Carolina. She is one of a handful of people who are seeing gold in the vine that North Americans love to hate.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach