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Dr. Miho Nagasawa has come up with a better way to gauge a dog's emotions than the standard tail wag, and it relies on its face rather than its ass. You might think that dogs have only the one stupid dog expression, but by attaching sensors to the animals' faces, they discovered that there are subtle differences depending on whether your pooch is happy to see you or contemplating pooping in your slippers.
Or happy to see you put on the slippers he's pooped in.
The researchers put the dogs in front of a curtain that they would pull back to reveal either their owner or a stranger. When the owner appeared, the dogs would move their left eyebrow upward, but when it was a stranger, they would pull their left ear back. If it was something they hated, like nail clippers or a vacuum cleaner, the right ear would go back. Tail wagging was largely irrelevant -- dogs are all about the intricate dance of ear position and eyebrows like a bunch of smelly, furry little Groucho Marxes.
He had to set his oversized cigar down for the test.
But, because scientists are more emotionally insecure than a pick-up artist, this still wasn't proof enough for Nagasawa's team. So they carried out yet another experiment, which examined the emotional and biological connection between dog and owner. This one focused on our pee. By analyzing the urine of dog owners after they'd just interacted with their pets, the researchers found that it contained increased levels of oxytocin, also known as the "bonding hormone," because it's what mothers produce to help them form a connection with their newborns. And guess what? Researchers in Sweden found oxytocin in the dogs' systems, too. The feeling is totally mutual. Now just give that damn puppy some space, Nagasawa. Insecurity is not an attractive trait.
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Researchers at the University of Utah ran a study that largely involved assaulting people with thermometers to prove once and for all that women are colder (and therefore closer to the world of the dead) than men. The surprising result is that they found the opposite -- women are slightly warmer by about 0.3 degrees.
So why aren't men the ones constantly whining about the cold? It turns out that, while women are warmer on average, their hands are much colder than men's. In fact, an average man's hand was found to be 90 degrees, but it was only 87.2 degrees for women.
There. Problem solved. Can we stop arguing about the thermostat now?
That means that women perceive themselves as colder, even when they're not. But even this has little to do with gender and more to do with size and body fat ratio. Studies conducted into human core body temperatures (which involved dunking people in cold water and then shoving a thermometer up their ass, hoping against hope that the victims of their strange fetish would continue believing this was a legitimate science experiment) revealed that men and women with around the same build have pretty much the same core temperature.
Not to mention pretty much the same intolerance for an unexpected thermometer in the butt.
It's just that women, on average, have a higher ratio of heat-retaining body fat but skinnier hands. That's the only way gender comes into the equation. So there you go: Next time your wife complains about the heat, tell her she's got bony hands that are tricking her into feeling cold when really she should be warmer because she's fatter than you. See how that goes down. In the interest of science.
Josh wants to be your BFF on Facebook. When Elorm is not churning out dick jokes for money, you can find him on Facebook talking about soccer and video games. Hossey specializes in amusing you and your friends at his blog here and on Twitter here.
Related Reading: Sometimes the stupidest questions are the most important ones to answer. Like, what happens if you put three people who believe they're Jesus in the same room? Shockingly, there are some dumb questions science just CAN'T answer, like why do we need to sleep? Some scientific studies exist purely to satisfy perverted scientists, cases in point.
And for things that science is clueless about, check out 25 Mind-Blowing Things Science Can't Explain.