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 Your Phone (and Other Gadgets) Fail You When It’s Cold
Megan Molteni writing for Wired
Batteries, screens, sensors, lightweight materials—the things that power our modern mobile lifestyles—just don’t work when it gets this cold. Here’s what to expect of your gear.
8 Things Everybody Should Know About Measles
Julia Belluz writing for Vox
The measles virus is one of the most infectious diseases known to man. A person with measles can cough in a room and leave, and hours later, if you’re unvaccinated, you could catch the virus from the droplets in the air the infected person left behind. No other virus can do that.
Alligators Gobble Rocks to Stay Underwater Longer
Jake Buehler writing for Science
Scientists have long thought that, like birds, gators swallow stones to help them digest their tough-to-process meals, or accidentally ingest them in the chaos of consuming a live, thrashing dinner. But a new study supports another use for a belly full of rocks—as a way to boost bottom time on dives.
How to Avoid Super Bowl Injury to Your Voice
Bernard Rousseau writing for The Conversation
During major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, fans are often so wrapped up and excited to have an amazing game day experience, that they often neglect the importance of maintaining vocal health and wellness and the consequences that can result from a weekend of excessive vocal use and overindulgence.
The Patents Behind Pasta Shapes
Elizabeth Chu and D. Lawrence Tarazano
What shape do you think of when you hear the word pasta? Macaroni. Ribbons and strands. Bowties. Tubes. Stuffed pockets. The Italians invented over 1,300 shapes of pasta, according to food scholar Oretta Zanini De Vita’s Encyclopedia of Pasta.
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