Facebook turns six degrees of separation into 3.57

The idea of six degrees of separation was introduced more than 80 years ago. It suggests that you are six introductions away from meeting anyone in the world. In other words, everyone in the world is connected through a chain of six links. For some, fewer introductions are required to come in direct contact with Barrack Obama or Stephen Hawking. A study made at Facebook suggests that, among its users at least, there are now only 3.57 degrees of separation on average.

Your Taste in Music Might Reveal How Dumb (or Smart) You Are

Virgil Griffith, a student at Caltech, embarked on a most interesting project to seek whether there’s any connection between the music you enjoy and, uhm, your intellectual abilities.  Griffith used aggregated Facebook data about the favorite bands among students of various colleges and plotted them against the average SAT scores at those schools. This allowed him to make a very rough

Urban grasshoppers courting more loudly to overcome traffic

As urban city environments continue to spread, more and more research is being done to measure the effects human pollution of all sorts is affecting the local wildlife. Researchers from the University of Bielefeld in Germany have recently released the results of a study focused on the mating tunes of grasshoppers. They found that the city-boy grasshoppers had a 1 to

Graphene thickness now easily identifiable

We’ve all been hearing about the miracles that carbon nanostructures will provide us in the near future for several years now. One of the first steps to making its application commercially viable is making it easy to use and manufacture. Researchers from the Harbin Institute of Technology at Weihai and Southeast University have made identifying the thickness of graphene easy with

Ear could power efficient radios

Take a moment to think about what your ears do. The human ear has a complex system for turning mere sound waves into electric messages for your brain, and it serves to keep you balanced. In order to turn sound waves (which are mechanical energy) into the electrochemical energy that sends messages to the brain, the waves have to go

Wrens teach password for food to their eggs

The superb fairy-wren is a small Australian bird whose nests are often invaded by cuckoo birds. The cuckoos lay their eggs in the wrens’ nests, leaving their young to be taken care of by the wren family. This is bad for the actual wren chicks, because it limits the amount of resources, like food, that they receive. The fairy-wren has