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Muse: The magazine of science, culture, and smart laughs for kids and children

Muse: The magazine of science, culture, and smart laughs for kids and children February 2020

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Kids who can't help wondering whether video games really kill their brain cells, or what a gentleman ladybug is called, will find the answers here, in articles written by award-winning authors and accompanied by high-quality illustration and photography. MUSE is perfect for any kid interested in science, history, and the arts. Grades 5-9

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United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
9 Issues

in this issue

7 min.
muse mail

Magic, Mirrors, Mechanics I have a lot to say, so sorry if this sounds a little jumbled. First of all, I’d like to point out that I’ve noticed a lot of people say stuff about the HPBs (hot pink bunnies) and how they’re evil and such, but I think they’re kind of cute. Second of all, my top three things are gears, mirrors, and magic. I’ve always liked mechanics and finding out how things work. Did you know that an internal combustion engine is powered by a bunch of tiny explosions? I’m also superstitious. I wish that Halloween wasn’t so stereotyped into some candy-eating holiday. The original point of dressing up was to scare spirits away. Muse is one of my favorite magazines ever! I really like the subjects you talk…

1 min.
corny jokes are funnier with a laugh track

WHAT ARE A NINJA’S FAVORITE SHOES? SNEAKERS! Did you laugh? Did you groan? You might have found this joke funnier if you heard someone else laughing at it, a new study shows. Researchers collected a set of cheesy “dad jokes.” They recorded a professional comedian reading the jokes aloud. Then they asked people to listen to the recordings and rate how funny each joke was, on a scale from 1 to 7. Sometimes, subjects heard a joke along with a recording of people laughing at something funny. At other times, there was a recording of people pretending to laugh. And sometimes people heard the jokes with no laughter at all. People thought these corny jokes were funnier when they heard laughter at the same time. Jokes with real laughter were rated funniest, but jokes…

1 min.
this caterpillar can change color without seeing

MANY ANIMALS change their colors to blend in with their environments. This helps them hide from predators. And one type of caterpillar can camouflage even when it’s blindfolded. Peppered moth caterpillars have very simple eyes. Scientists raised many of these caterpillars in the lab. To “blindfold” some of them, the scientists covered their eyes with black paint. (Sorry, caterpillars.) Then they put all the caterpillars onto sticks painted white, black, green or brown. Slowly, the bugs changed color to match their sticks. Blindfolded caterpillars did this just as well as the caterpillars that could see. In another experiment, scientists put the caterpillars into new containers, and most of them crawled onto sticks that matched their own color. The researchers think the caterpillars can sense light and color through their skin—so being blindfolded…

1 min.
making better blood

PATIENTS IN THE HOSPITAL OFTEN NEED BLOOD FROM DONORS. But any old blood won’t do. Donor blood has to be compatible with the patient’s. Do you know your blood type? It falls into one of these groups: A, B, AB and O. The A and B refer to molecules called antigens on the outside of blood cells. If patients receive blood with A or B antigens that don’t match their own, they can die. But group O blood doesn’t have either of these antigens, so it’s safe for everyone. If scientists could convert other kinds of blood into group O, they could make donated blood available to more people. Now researchers have found a bacterium in the human gut that might help. The bacterium makes two enzymes—molecular tools—that can chop the A…

1 min.
optimists live longer

DO YOU ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE? Do you see the glass as half-full? If so, here’s one more thing to smile about: You might live longer. Researchers used two large studies to look at how long optimists and pessimists live. The studies had followed large groups of men and women over many years. Participants had answered questions about their health, their attitudes, and other aspects of their lives. The data showed that the most optimistic people lived about 11 to 15 percent longer than the least optimistic people. Optimists were also more likely to live past the age of 85. One reason optimists live longer might be that they have healthier lifestyles, researchers say. Optimists might make healthier choices such as exercising, eating nutritious foods, and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes.…

1 min.
one giant leap for cheese-kind

THE MOON is not really made of cheese, of course. But a new company plants to make cheese on the moon. Most cheeses need to be “aged.” This is a process where the cheese stays in a controlled environment for days, months or even years. Aging the cheese helps its distinct flavor develop. A company called LunarFoodie says it can create cheeses like no one has ever tasted before—by aging them on the moon. LunarFoodie plans to land its first cheese-aging spacecraft on the moon sometime in 2021. When the cheeses are ready to eat, the robotic craft will return to Earth. The first types for sale will be Moonchego, Moonterey Jack, and Blue Moon.…