13 Stories

What Midlife Crisis? Most of Us Get Happier

People are happier in their 40s than in their teens

(Newser) - If you've made it through your 40s without suddenly acquiring a blood red convertible, piercings, or a skydiving habit, you might have wondered whether you were the only one to miss out on that much-vaunted midlife crisis. And you'd be right to wonder, according to researchers at the... More »

Don't Blame Sleepiness After Turkey Dinner on Tryptophan

The amino acid has gotten a bad rap—but there's more to the story

(Newser) - Succumbing to Mr. Sandman after a hearty turkey dinner isn't tryptophan's fault. At least, not totally, reports the New York Times , which has done its due diligence in compiling plenty of other sources that back up its stop-blaming-tryptophan campaign. The amino acid found in turkey—and long the... More »

We Were Tricked Into Thinking Carrots Improve Vision

But it turns out to be kind of true

(Newser) - Eating lots of carrots will improve your vision, right? Not exactly, the American Chemical Society explains in a new video . Bottom line: Carrots can contribute in a general way to overall eye health, but they're not going to prevent you from needing glasses. As the ACS video explains, carrots... More »

Inside Dark Origins of 'Slender Man' Who Inspired Girl's Stabbing

Internet meme began on 2009 forum

(Newser) - Two 12-year-old girls who allegedly stabbed their friend in the woods of Waukesha, Wis., offered a chilling explanation for their actions: They'd been driven by "Slender Man," a mythical figure who's made the rounds on the Internet since 2009. But there are no deep, mysterious roots... More »

More Suicides Over Holidays? Just a Myth

But people believe it, study says

(Newser) - Perhaps It's a Wonderful Life is to blame. We tend to think of the holiday months as having an elevated suicide rate, and the media pushes that perception—but in fact, it's entirely wrong, researchers say. A University of Pennsylvania study of CDC data on suicide rates between... More »

Don't Swim After Eating? That's Bunk

Also: Don't pee on jellyfish stings

(Newser) - There are so many myths about summer safety, it's a wonder anyone has any fun. Heard that poison ivy is contagious? Not true. Scared of swallowing watermelon seeds? They'll just pass through you. The Washington Post debunks a host of summer myths:
  • Mosquitoes love people who taste sweet?
... More »

Poseidon's Ancient Wrath? Probably a Tsunami

Mythical event confirmed by modern seismologists

(Newser) - Herodotus tells it this way: As the Persians were charging toward a Greek town, the sea receded, and then mighty Poseidon sent a crushing wave down upon them, a "great flood-tide of the sea, higher than ever before." Now, modern scientists have found evidence that it actually happened,... More »

5 Myths About Your Brain

No, we don't just use 10% of the thing

(Newser) - The brain is much mythologized in mainstream culture—so much so that many believed “facts” are actually fiction, reports the Smithsonian:
  1. We use just 10% of our brains. Nope, brains scans show that even basic tasks use a large portion of the brain—and even a small brain injury
... More »

What the Left Gets Wrong About the Tea Partiers

They're a lot more reasonable than liberals think, writes Ross Douthat

(Newser) - The left likes to paint the Tea Partiers as wingnuts, so it’s time to dispel some misconceptions, writes Ross Douthat. One myth: the Tea Party will be disastrous for the GOP. In fact—Rich Iott, Christine O'Donnell, and Carl Paladino aside—it's backed some very electable candidates, like Pennsylvania's... More »

Real Betsy Ross Was a Lot More Interesting

She was admirably 'scruffier' than her whitewashed legend

(Newser) - Think of Betsy Ross, and you probably picture a demure, patriotic seamstress and maybe an apple pie or two. That's too bad, because the real Betsy Ross was a pistol, "a tough businesswoman fond of dark snuff and storytelling," writes Ruth Graham for Slate . Fortunately, a new wave... More »

Dawkins to Battle the Harry Potter 'Delusion'

Atheist author will write children's book to wean kids from magic

(Newser) - Evengelical atheist Richard Dawkins will take on Harry Potter in his next book, the Daily Telegraph reports. The God Delusion author is working on a book aimed at teaching children not to put their faith in "anti-scientific" fairytales. The professor plans to examine what effect raising children on stories... More »

Woman Claims Roadkill Is Bloodsucking Monster

Texan says 'chupacabra' killed her chickens

(Newser) - It's hairless with large ears, big fangs and grayish skin. So it must be the legendary bloodsucking creature known as the chupacabra (translation: "goat sucker"), according to Texan Phylis Canion, who scooped up the curious roadkill and stuffed it in the freezer for posterity. She's saving it... More »

Full Moon Injuries Just a Myth: Scientists

Austrian researchers miss chance to weigh in on werewolves

(Newser) - Another of life's mysteries has been cleared up—a crack team of scientists has found no link between accidents and the full moon. Experts analyzed 500,000 industrial accidents to arrive at the myth-busting conclusion, the AP reports. Says an Austrian government astronomer, "The full moon does not unfavorably... More »

13 Stories