Stop eating your pet's food

Apparently people are eating their pet's food, and they're getting salmonella poisoning in return...

A scientific reference manual for US judges

Science and our legal system intersect frequently and everywhere - climate, health care, intellectual...

Rainbow connection

On the way to work this morning, I noticed people pointing out the train window and smiling. From...

Neutrinos on espresso

Maybe they stopped by Starbucks for a little faster-than-the-speed-of-light pick me up....

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Becky JungbauerRSS Feed of this column.

A scientist and journalist by training, I enjoy all things science, especially science-related humor. My column title is a throwback to Jane Austen's famous first line in Pride and Prejudice

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Much like the Chicago Bears' defensive lineman William "The Fridge" Perry cleaned out the New England Patriots in Superbowl XX, you really should clean your fridge out more often.

In fact, most Americans clean their fridges only once or twice a year, according to the Wall Street Journal. That's registering really high on the vomit-encrusted nastiness scale.1 People don't generally clean fridges until something triggers them to act, such as a spill or a pungent odor. Or, if you're a conscientious renter, when you move into and out of apartments.2
Can a differential equation cure cancer?

A fascinating article in Forbes suggests that using mathematics may be able to create drug combinations that are far more effective than the ones now in use.1 "I have a suspicion that we are using almost all the cancer drugs in the wrong way," Larry Norton, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center deputy physician-in-chief for breast cancer, says. "For all I know, we may be able to cure cancer with existing agents."2
For those not living on the East Coast or regions around Atlanta, be thankful that you (a) live in an area that can actually deal with snowfall, or (b) don't live in an area that gets snow. It is fun to see who was wandering through the blanketed landscapes ahead of you, as xkcd notes.

I suppose that's more accurately a hare dryer.
Get your mouse-clicking fingers ready, everybody - time to vote on your favorite NYC condom wrapper design!

Five finalists were selected from nearly 600 entries, and the winning image will be the new, special edition NYC Condom wrapper. The city promotes the use of the free condoms
to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and cut down on unplanned pregnancies.
Wondering if the "natural" cleaning product you're using is really all that natural? Well, soon you won't have to wonder - the Natural Products Association (NPA) released a set of guidelines today that "dictate whether a product can be deemed truly 'natural.' The standard encompasses home care products such as household cleaners, laundry detergents, and concentrated and ready to use hard-surface cleaners. Under the program, products certified under the NPA Natural Home Care Standard can bear the NPA natural home care seal." (See here for the standards and the application for certifying home products.)
If the folks behind the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) were crafty, they would have latched on to the upcoming movie, "The Crazies," for some free publicity.1 Although that's probably not quite the image they want to convey, so maybe it was a shrewd non-move after all. Well played, American Psychiatric Association.