Ancient giant penguin unearthed in Peru [via the BBC]
Scientists from the University of Texas and Yale have discovered the fossil of a giant penguin in Peru that lived some 36 million years ago. Inkayacu paracasensis, about twice the size of contemporary Emperor penguins, had brown and grey feathers and a long, straight beak. The paleontologists said they were able to conclude that while penguins’ physical features date back many millions of years, the recent shift from brown and gray to black and white was more recent.
Lying really does make you want to wash your mouth out with soap [via The Daily Telegraph]
University of Michigan researcher Spike Lee (possibly the coolest name for a scientist ever) led a psychological study that found those who lied were “more likely to head for mouthwash and soap, while those who had told the truth did not feel the same need.” Subjects who lied in the study’s promotion scenario were then willing to pay more for mouthwash and hand sanitizer. “The references to ‘dirty hands’ or ‘dirty mouths’ in everyday language suggest that people think about abstract issues of moral purity in terms of more concrete experiences with physical purity,” Lee said. “Not only do people want to clean after a dirty deed, they want to clean the specific body part involved.”
At Oktoberfest, a Controversy Brews Over Racy Designer Dirndls [via The Wall Street Journal]
“Long the preserve of fräuleins and Alpine cultural enthusiasts, dirndls and lederhosen have become an international fashion trend in recent years, inspiring ever bolder iterations that purists say are transforming their proud heritage into a vulgar caricature.” It’s the bicentennial Oktoberfest, and Germans are up in arms about skimpy skirts, especially since fashionistas such as Paris Hilton have begun wearing designer dirndls, a traditional dress and bodice. “Imagine that you had five friends, and they all wore red sneakers,” says Simone Egger, an anthropologist at the University of Munich who studied the increasing popularity of tracht at Oktoberfest. “Then everybody starts wearing red sneakers. They’re exasperated. They say, ‘We were doing this first, and we wear them the right way.’ It’s a lot like that.”