Rewriting Life

The Smell of Victory

We round up this week’s most intriguing items from around the Web.

The Smell of Victory
As a new tactic for crowd control, the Pentagon is investigating stench warfare, reports New Scientist. One difficulty: culture determines-at least in part-how people respond to various smells, so the military is searching for a weapon offensive to all the noses of the world.

1984 (+17)

Police in Tampa, FL, are watching you. The New York Times details how a new network of publicly mounted cameras compares pedestrians to an electronic mug shot database, flagging matches for investigation. The city used a similar system to surveil attendees at last year’s Super Bowl. Insert paranoid prophesy here.

Pig Prescription
A mineral remedy, concocted to treat aggressive pigs, may help treat human manic-depressive disorders, a Canadian researcher told the British Psychological Society. Although some scientists dismiss the mix as “snake oil,” reports Reuters, others signed on after preliminary tests showed promising results. Sooie!

Star Treatment
Old stars may be bigger than previously thought, say scientists who mixed starlight and laser light to make superfine measurements on three Red Giants. According to Space.com, the findings may make astronomers rethink how stars evolve.

Eat My Shorts
There are bacteria living in your clothes-and not just the ones hanging in your gym locker. Now a Massachusetts researcher wants to put them to work, by engineering strains that feed on human sweat and other grime, reports New Scientist. If he succeeds, you may end up feeding your shirt instead of washing it.

Last week: Moo River

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