Fun science news

Fun science news

The benefits of cats purring, pieces of Mars and more.

Need to blow some time while you wait for the clock to signal quitting time this afternoon—but you’re tired of watching kittens flush toilets and sit on vacuum cleaners on YouTube? Here are some interesting and fun news stories to pass your time. Impress your friends with your new knowledge! Or something.

Lower your heart attack risk with cats

My cats seem to raise my blood pressure by clawing me in my sleep, climbing up the walls and leaving splinters for me, and generally making a mess whenever they feel like it. But apparently they can lower your risk of heart attack with their purring. (Look at the photo—you got your Friday cute animal fix after all!) One study even indicates that a cat’s purr can help lower your risk by up to 40 percent!

House plants can clean your air

While you’re investing in a cat, why not get a plant while you are at it? (Note: the two are NOT generally compatible and I recommend putting your plant somewhere that your cat cannot kill it maliciously and gleefully.) Many of us already know about the benefits of plants in our homes, but which ones are the best to get? Here is a helpful list of 19 houseplants that can help eliminate benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and other harmful chemicals out of the air. Other tips, such as how many plants per square foot in your home, are also included.

Pot isn’t harmful to your lungs

A study has shown that moderate use of marijuana does not harm your lungs. This includes years of use, prompting us all to ask—um, why are cigarettes legal while pot isn’t, again? In this test, researchers actually found a slight increase in lung function among pot smokers compared with nonsmokers! It can, however, still irritate airways and cause coughing—as well as cause memory loss over a period of time. I have to laugh at a fact pointed out about marijuana reducing “motivation,” something that Americans simply cannot advocate! Maybe that’s why it’s illegal.

Pieces of Mars fell to Earth last summer

Chunks of meteorite from Mars landed in Morocco last summer, and people are selling them to the highest bidder. Scientists are hoping that the pieces will yield some proof of life on the planet, such as in the form of fossils. Data collected from previous pieces of Mars fallen decades ago remain inconclusive.