Do Funny Consumer Complaints Lead To Better Results Or Just Hurt Your Case?

A bad consumer experience can result in a lot of anger, perhaps even rage, toward the offender. For some people, the healthiest way to direct that fury is to have a sense of humor about what happened while still trying to get across the message that they were wronged. While slapping an ironic grin on your vitriol might preempt your punching the wall (or someone else) in frustration, is it any more effective than a dry and humorless complaint? [More]

Breaking up isn't hard to do when you're pasta. (Smarter Every Day on YouTube)

Why Does Bending Uncooked Spaghetti Break It Into More Than One Piece?

Anyone who’s ever broken a handful of uncooked pasta over a pot of boiling water, only to find noodle shards flying all over the kitchen might wonder why the darn noodles refuse to simply break in half. So why does dry pasta shatter into more than two pieces when you bend it, to the frustration of many a home cook? Science is here to explain. [More]

Hiroshi Shimizu, enior Vice President, Global Quality Assurance Takata Corporation, answered questions during a Senate committee hearing regarding defective airbags.

Takata “Deeply Sorry” To Those Affected By Defective Airbags, Still Reluctant On Nationwide Recall

In September 2013, Stephanie Erdman’s life changed forever when her 2002 Honda Civic collided with another vehicle on the way to a local grocery store in Florida. While Erdman’s passenger suffered only scrapes and bruises, she’s undergone a number of surgeries – with more to come – after being struck by shrapnel from her vehicle’s ruptured Takata airbag. Erdman’s story, and the graphic photos of her accident and injuries, took center stage Thursday morning during a Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation hearing addressing the airbag defects that have now been linked to at least five deaths. [More]

(a lauts)

The Costco Effect: Science Says We Choose Less Variety When Buying In Bulk

When you go to a convenience store to grab a few cold drinks and some snacks, you’re probably going to make different shopping choices than you would at the supermarket or warehouse store. And a new study claims that we tend to go for more variety when we’re not buying in bulk — even if the bulk packages offer variety. [More]

A veggie burger, but not one with plant blood. (ChrisGoldNY)

Would You Eat A Veggie Burger That Bleeds?

If your first reaction to the above headline is “Oh my god oh oh my god why is a burger made from vegetables bleeding,” you’re not alone. Rest easy, my meat eschewing friends, these vegetarian burgers are only juicing “blood” made from plants. [More]

The Science Behind Those Never-Melting Ice Cream Sandwiches

(Consumer Reports on YouTube)

If you find the idea of ice cream that doesn’t melt after sitting out for hours in 80-degree heat unsettling, you aren’t alone. And because you can’t believe everything you hear on the news, our knowledge-thirsty compatriots at Consumer Reports decided to test out those never-melting ice cream sandwiches for themselves. [More]

Lands’ End Announces Science-Themed Shirts For Girls Because Boys Aren’t The Only Ones Who Like Science

Girls can now choose from decorative stars or a more realistic solar system, just like the boys.

Somehow there are still retailers out there who are late to get the message: Yes, some boys like science. But so do some little girls, and the fact that Lands’ End had science-themed shirts featuring “realistic images of planets and our solar system,” while its T-shirts for girls only had unrealistic stars and dogs in tutus was very disappointing to the mother of one girl who happens to be bonkers about all things space. She wrote a letter telling Land’s End so, prompting the retailer to announce that it’s adding new sciencey shirts for girls as well. [More]

See that little thing above Lincoln's shoulder? That's apparently a working windmill, developed by engineering students in Texas.

Micro-Windmills Could Power Your Smartphone In The Future

Using windmills in non-traditional places — like the roofs of high-rise office buildings and stadia — is already an accepted way of harnessing wind energy to generate electricity. But students at the University of Texas at Arlington want to put windmill power in the palm of your hands. [More]

(Source: The Journal of Consumer Research)

Easy Public Displays Of Support For Charities Lead To Slacktivism

Scroll through your Facebook timeline and you’ll no doubt see any number of people passing on links, photos, stories, invites to groups… all for allegedly good causes. It’s become increasingly simple to say you support things like ending world hunger or providing shelter to victims of natural disaster, while at the same time doing absolutely nothing that actually helps to solve those problems. Such behavior has earned the name “slacktivism,” and a new study aims to show how many people can trick themselves into thinking they have done enough by simply putting on a ribbon or liking a Facebook page. [More]

Just How Much Chicken Meat Is In Your Chicken Nugget?

Just How Much Chicken Meat Is In Your Chicken Nugget?

Chicken nuggets remain a source of mystery for many fast food customers (who often don’t hesitate to chow down after briefly pondering why that one piece looks like a boot), as they generally don’t come from unprocessed cuts of white or dark meat. And so researchers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center performed an “autopsy” on some nuggets to see what they came up with. [More]


Does The Shape Of Chocolate Change How It Tastes?

If there’s one thing that’s important about chocolate — and there are many — it’s how it tastes. Smooth, velvety, dark or milk chocolatey, all of these factors matter to the refined choco-consumer. But what about its shape? Cadbury aficionados across the pond say once the bars of Dairy Milk changed shape, the taste went out the window. [More]

(NoNo Joe)

Study: Want That Cheese To Taste Saltier? Eat It Off A Knife

Oh, science! You know me so well. Talk about cheese and kerspring! You’ve got my complete and undivided attention. A new study says we eat with our brains first, and as such, the way foods taste could depend on the cutlery we use to eat them. For example: Cheese tasted saltier to participants when nibbled off a knife instead of a fork, spoon or toothpick. Who uses spoons for cheese, anyway?* [More]


Scientists Whipping Up “In Vitro” Lab Burgers Just In Time For Summer Grilling Season

Okay, so you’ve assigned all your summer barbecue guests a food to bring — chicken, some veggies for the grill, perhaps a six-pack or two and someone please grab a bag of ice? When it comes to meat…. hmm, how about a couple five-ounce so-called “in vitro” hamburger? Yep, scientists are currently working on creating beef patties in a lab. [More]

Customers Revolt, Make U.K. Pharmacy Chain Stop Sorting Toys By Gender

Customers Revolt, Make U.K. Pharmacy Chain Stop Sorting Toys By Gender

Early on, kids don’t care very much about what they’re supposed to enjoy playing with. Sometimes boys play with trucks, and girls play with sparkly magic wands. It bothers some people when toys are sorted into “Boys” and “Girls” sections, even if they aren’t explicitly labeled as such. But customers of UK pharmacy chain Boots got very upset when they noticed that toy sections had clear pink and blue labels, and a line of scientific exploration toys were only in the “boys” section. The message, detractors said: science isn’t for girls. Perhaps that caring for babies ins’t for boys, either. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Science Says: Vampire Facials Probably Won’t Keep You Young Like That Hottie Dracula

Just because Kim “We Get Angry Letters When We Mention Her Name” Kardashian is running off to get blood facials, otherwise known as vampire facials, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should, too. However, just because it won’t keep you looking fresh out of the coffin forever and ever doesn’t mean it’s bad for you, say super smart scientists. [More]

The Best Mattresses For That Other Thing You Use Mattresses For

The Best Mattresses For That Other Thing You Use Mattresses For

Our lab-coated cousins down the hall at Consumer Reports may test all kinds of products extensively, including mattresses, but we’re fairly certain they’ve never produced a ratings chart like this one. Hilariously-named sleep product review site Sleep Like the Dead polled their users to find out which type of mattress is best for the second most important thing that most people use their beds for: sex.

Lose Weight By Eating In Restaurants?

Lose Weight By Eating In Restaurants?

Ah yes. The dream. To lose weight while eating in restaurants and thus maintaining needed contact with other humans. Can it be done? According to one study, yes, it can. [More]

Government Cuts Off Funding For New Chimp Research

Government Cuts Off Funding For New Chimp Research

Rest assured that the government is determined to prevent the events from Rise of the Planet of the Apes from unfolding. Kidding aside, the government aims to ensure humane treatment of chimpanzees. The National Institutes of Health announced that they won’t give out new grants for biomedical and behavioral research on chimps because they deserve “special consideration and respect.” The organization acted on a recommendation from the Institute of Medicine that concluded most chimp research is unnecessary. [More]