'Essentially Zero Risk' from Nuclear Accidents; Death by Diet Soda

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Discovered: Nuclear accidents aren't so bad, diet soda is unhealthy, why men are such jerks, a new, old crocodile, college ruins marriageability. 

  • Nuclear accidents aren't so bad. For some reasons, nuclear power has a bad rap. But, science promises, nuclear accidents pose little risk to health, even if history tells a different story. "Successful implementation of existing mitigation measures can prevent reactor core damage or delay or reduce offsite releases of radioactive material," said the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. "As a result, the calculated risks of public health consequences from severe accidents modeled in the severe accident study are very small." The commission even goes so far as to put the risk at "essentially zero." Oh, ok. Well then, we'll just forget all that Fukushima stuff from less than a year ago today. [Reuters]
  • Diet soda is unhealthy. Please, please don't take away diet soda from us, science. Last week it was caffeine and now we can't even enjoy a mid-afternoon Diet Coke break without imagining heart attacks and hospital beds. Looking at 2,564 drinkers of calorie free soda, researchers found cola addicts were 43 percent more likely to suffer a vascular event than those who abstained. Boo. Of course calorie-free, caffeinated, fizzy deliciousness kills us. Of course. [Journal of General Internal Medicine]
  • Testosterone makes people awful. This explains a lot. Testosterone, the hormone men have more of, makes humans both more egotistical and less cooperative -- an unsavory combination of personality traits. "We have shown that, in fact, testosterone also affects our decisions, by making us more egotistical," explains Dr. Nick Wright. "Sometimes, too much testosterone can help blind us to other people's views." Though we'd like to say this only applies to dudes, the study observed the same behavior in women with too much of the hormone. [Welcome Trust]
  • A new, old crocodile. They call him Shieldcroc for his thick skinned eye-spot, or shield, on its head. He's a croc from dinosaur times, leading researchers to believe that the Mesozoic Era was really the "Age of the Crocs," not the dinos. We don't know  what he looked like, but an artist rendered this painting of our bad-ass sea-creature chomping on some unsuspecting prehistoric fish-thing.  [University of Missouri]
  • College ruins marriageability. Apparently we're not the only ones who went to college to get MRS. degrees only to have our dreams crushed by blogging jobs. Going to college reduces marriage odds, especially for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to researchers at Cornell. Looking at 3,200 students, the study found that going to college lessened men's and women's odds of getting hitched by 38 percent and 22 percent, respectively. "It may be difficult for students from less privileged backgrounds to navigate social relationships on campus, and these difficulties may affect what students ultimately gain from the college experience," explains researcher Kelly Musick. [Cornell]

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