Chinese media reported that on May 4th, at the Xiaogan Middle School in Hubei province, high school students studying for the all-important national college entrance exam worked through the evening while hooked up to intravenous drips of amino acids to fight fatigue. A director of the school's Office of Academic Affairs reasoned that before the IVs were hung, weary students complained of losing too much time running back and forth to the school's infirmary for energy injections. After the media reports, there was a public backlash, but less against the notion that China was placing too much importance on the exams than against reports that the government was subsidizing the cost of the injections.
Can't Possibly Be True
-Desmond Hatchett, 33, was summoned to court in Knoxville, Tenn., in May so that a judge could chastise him for again failing to make child-support payments. Official records show that Hatchett has at least 30 children (ages 14 down to "toddler") by at least 11 women. He said at a 2009 court appearance that he was "through" siring children and apparently has taken proper precautions since then. (In Milwaukee, Wis., in April, Sean Patrick was sentenced to 30 years in prison for owing more than $146,000 for 12 children by 10 mothers, and the city's Journal Sentinel newspaper reported that, before being locked up, two convicted pimps, Derrick Avery and Todd Carter, had fathered, respectively, 15 kids by seven women and 16 children with "several" mothers.)
Bless Those Researchers' Hearts!
-(1) A team of scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, following up on a Harvard study that found dramatic weight-loss qualities from eating yogurt, did its own yogurt study. The results, summarized in Scientific American in May, noted that yogurt-eating male mice have 10 times the follicle density of other mice, producing "luxuriantly silky fur" and larger, outward-projecting testicles that made them far more effective inseminators. (2) British researchers from the University of Liverpool and the University of Bristol concluded in an April journal article that caterpillars of the large white butterfly, which defends itself against predators by vomiting on them, are less likely to do so when the caterpillars live in groups. The researchers hypothesize that gratuitous vomiters are seen as poor mating risks.
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