Weekend Links: Why We Want to Squeeze Cute, Little Things, the Truth About the Risks of Eating Cookie Dough and More

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

Why We Want to Squeeze Cute, Little Things

Brigit Katz writing for the Smithsonian

You certainly don’t want to hurt the cute creatures—you just want to … squish them. As Jon Hamilton reports for NPR, a recent study may reveal what happens in the brain to fuel this paradoxical response, which scientists refer to as “cute aggression.”


9 Questions About Climate Change You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask

Brad Plumer, Brian Resnick, and Umair Irfan writing for Vox

It can be a bit daunting to join the discussion for the first time, or to revisit the conversation after a hiatus. To help, we’ve provided answers to some fundamental questions about climate change you may have been afraid to ask.


Researchers Show Parachutes Don’t Work, But There’s A Catch

Richard Harris writing for NPR

Research published in a major medical journal concludes that a parachute is no more effective than an empty backpack at protecting you from harm if you have to jump from an aircraft. But before you leap to any rash conclusions, you had better hear the whole story.


How Exercise Affects Your Brain

Brock Armstrong writing for Scientific American

You have probably heard people say something along the lines of “your brain is like a muscle.” That comparison certainly supports the brain training industry (by that I mean school) and keeps millions of youth around the world sitting at desks, doing math problems, writing essays, and dissecting unsuspecting amphibians – but is it true?


It’s Probably OK to Eat Raw Cookie Dough — As Long As You’re Smart About It

Brian Zikmund-Fisher writing for Discover

For many people, the holiday ritual of baking cookies isn’t complete without also eating some of the raw dough. In my family, questions like “Who gets to lick the beaters?” and “Can I grab a piece of dough?” were always part of the cookie-making experience.


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