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September 20th, 2018

Diversions

Oh-So-Sweet Dreams | Pity the researcher

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published March 24, 2017

Oh-So-Sweet Dreams |  Pity the researcher

The Hastens workshop in Koping, Sweden, liberally using the phrase "master artisans" recently, unveiled its made-to-order $149,900 mattress. Bloomberg News reported in December on Hastens' use of superior construction materials such as pure steel springs, "slow-growing" pine, multiple layers of flax, horsehair lining (braided by hand, then unwound to ensure extra spring), and cotton covered by flame-retardant wool batting. With a 25-year guarantee, an eight-hour-a-day sleep habit works out to $2 an hour. (Bonus: The Bloomberg reviewer, after a trial run, gave the "Vividus" a glowing thumbs-up.) [Bloomberg News, 12-2-2016]

Humans are good at recognizing faces, but exceptionally poor at recognition when the same face's features are scrambled or upside down. In December, a research team from the Netherlands and Japan published findings that chimpanzees are the same way -- when it comes to recognizing other chimps' butts. That suggests, the scientists concluded, that sophisticated recognition of rear ends is as important for chimps (as "socio-sexual signaling," such as prevention of inbreeding) as faces are to humans. [Washington Post, 12-6-2016]

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