This week, tech giants Apple and Facebook announced that they would begin covering the cost of egg freezing for their employees, allowing female techies to put off childbearing until…some more convenient time, I guess. However, the fact remains that some employees will want to have kids, and Facebook’s new headquarters will provide daycare for dogs but not for children. Someone’s got to take care of the small humans! Luckily, I have devised an elegant solution that combines the best of the internet with real life: LOLCatCare™.
A crack team of cat nannies will care for the babies of Silicon Valley until they are old enough for preschool. Tasks such as feeding and changing babies, which are difficult for childcare workers without opposable thumbs, will be rendered unnecessary by training babies to eat and drink from bowls on the floor and use a litter box. Babies will gain key motor skills by chasing feathers and red dots. Blankets and boxes will be thoroughly investigated. Naptime, of course, will be led by top-level experts.
I see no way this plan can fail. You’re welcome, America. You’re welcome.
Professor Kitteh demonstrates the effect of a simple machine on an object.
A study published this week in the journal Neuron suggests why people learn better when their curiosity is piqued.
Researchers from UC Davis conducted fMRI scans on students and found evidence that activity in the midbrain was enhanced during states of high curiosity. The study indicated that curiosity was related to an increase in the activity of the brain chemical dopamine, which seemed to strengthen the students’ memories.
While this may be good news for human students and teachers, researchers have yet to test the findings on cats, a group to which curiosity is often said to be lethal. Good luck getting those proposals past IRB cat!
Ocean conservationists (and fish) got some rare good news from Washington this week: President Obama created the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the central Pacific Ocean.
The presidential proclamation – which does not require congressional approval – will expand the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument from almost 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000 square miles, placing the area off-limits to commercial fishing and many other activities that can damage the environment.
And what’s good news for fish is good news for kitties, right? You can read more about the expansion of the marine reserve in this article from National Geographic with a follow-up about how the new rules for the area will be enforced.
Imagining Deep Time, an art exhibition at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, tackles the profound theme of “deep time,” the timescale not of human life but of trees, rivers, mountain ranges, even stars. The exhibition features works by 15 artists in a range of styles and media including painting, photography and sculpture. Curator JD Talasek says that the exhibition “explores the role of the artist in helping us imagine a concept outside the realm of human experience.”
The show runs until January 15. More information, including a downloadable catalog, is here.