7 Stories

Babies May Not Get the Concept of 'Zero,' but Bees Do

Researchers amazed that honeybees can grasp the abstract construct of 'nothing'

(Newser) - Dolphins, monkeys, birds, and homo sapiens have a shared understanding of a quite difficult concept, and now honeybees are joining the party. Per a release , that concept is "zero," an abstract mathematical construct that scientists say stumps humans until at least preschool , but which they now note is... More »

Symmetry-Lovers, Rejoice: It's Palindrome Week!

That means the dates read the same forwards as backwards

(Newser) - Ah, "kayak." Or "Was it a car or a cat I saw?" Or the date, "5.10.15." They're all palindromes—meaning they can be read the same forward as backward—and this week's dates are stock full of them, USA Today reports.... More »

Birthdays Ending in 9 Make Us Cheat, Run, Die

'Nine-enders' are more apt to look for meaning of life with both good, bad behaviors

(Newser) - There's a reason we feel that mixture of dread, excitement, and existential restlessness right before we tip over into the next decade—and scientists say that can be both good and bad. According to a study published in Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences , people turning an age... More »

World's Favorite Number Determined

It's 7, based on a survey of 30K people

(Newser) - It's important stuff as a child: one's favorite number. And that penchant for a special digit doesn't necessarily fade as adulthood sets in. As Dana Mackenzie writes for Nautilus , it was a question that Guardian math blogger Alex Bellos fielded so frequently that he decided to turn... More »

Canada Town Bans 'Unlucky' 4 From Addresses

Number sounds like 'death' in Cantonese, Mandarin

(Newser) - A Toronto suburb that has long catered to the superstitious by skipping 13 when giving out new addresses has decided to do away with the number four as well. Four is considered unlucky by speakers of Cantonese and Mandarin because it sounds like the word "death," and while... More »

A Fertile Uterus Is Mathematically ... Perfect

Gynecologist finds the Golden Ratio in fertile uteri

(Newser) - The world's most mysterious number has popped up in the uterus. Known as the Golden Ratio, 1.618 is hailed by devotees as the formula for perfect natural beauty. Fanatics say the most aesthetically-pleasing rectangle and the most attractive smiles adhere to the numeral. Now Jasper Verguts, a Belgian... More »

Scientists Propose 'Hella' as New Big-Number Prefix

US Davis physicists want to honor NoCal's scientific legacy

(Newser) - Our world's expanding technological horizons draw ever-bigger numbers into household usage—witness "giga" and "tera." So a group of scientists at UC Davis figure they'd head the next one off early: they're petitioning to make "hella" the official prefix for 1027, or 1,000,000,000,... More »

7 Stories