From Psychopathic Yawns to a Shark's Sixth Sense

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Every day of the year, Curious.com CEO Justin Kitch writes a quirky fact, known as the Daily Curio, intended to tickle the brains of lifelong learners everywhere. This is a weekly digest.

Last week's Curios covered psychopathic yawning tendencies, hot women at the office, and terrifying news about sharks.

Curio #811 | Only jerks don't catch yawns
Contagious yawning--yawning when we see somebody else yawn--is related to our capacity for empathy. Many animals yawn, but only humans, chimps, baboons, and sometimes dogs can "catch" a yawn. So the next time your partner doesn't yawn right back at you, that's definitely a red flag. It could mean a lack of empathy. Or it could mean he or she is a... keep reading.

Curio #810 | NASA and Matt Damon find water on Mars
Whoa. NASA has detected salt water flowing on the surface of Mars. We've long known the Red Planet has ice at its poles, and potentially below the surface. But this is the first evidence of liquid H2O flowing on the surface of the planet. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has spotted... keep reading.

Curio #809 | Teenage girls are, like, totally Shakespearean
Move over Shakespeare. It turns out young women wield the powerful linguistic pen, not the poets and writers of the time. New research shows that girls in their teens and early 20's are the vehicles for changing linguistic norms throughout history. Whether it's "valley girl" talk or the current speech fad called "vocal fry," young women... keep reading.

Curio #808 | Another Chicago River miracle
There are lots of impressive architectural feats in the city of Chicago: the Sears Tower, the John Hancock Building, and the new Aqua Tower are on every building buff's list. But nothing compares to the architecture of the Chicago River. Not only does it turn green on St. Patrick's Day, but the river flows in the wrong direction. The flow was permanently... keep reading.

Curio #807 | French love affair over?
The French love affair with bread is under siege. For the first time since 1789, this summer Parisian bakers were allowed to take a vacation without government permission. Huh? Well, after the French Revolution, one of the first laws passed by the new parliament was bread related. It ensured... keep reading.

Curio #806 | Hot women at the office
If you work in an office, there's a good chance it's heavily air-conditioned in the summer. And if you're a woman, there's a good chance it makes you freezing. Most buildings still follow a temperature standard called the thermal comfort formula that was developed in the 1960s. The formula uses a single estimate of human metabolic activity--which is how fast we generate heat--based on a... keep reading.

Curio #805 | Sharks were scary enough before you KNEW this
Since the movie Jaws was released 40 summers ago, and swimmers have never looked at the ocean the same way since. Since Roy Scheider (not Richard Dryfus!) uttered the immortal line "You're gonna need a bigger boat!") the fear of shark attacks has skyrocketed. And now comes a scientific discovery sure to make galeophobes even more terrified... keep reading.

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