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The Cocktail Napkin


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Great Dessert? Depends on the Plate

Desserts are sweeter on white plates, comedians are kinder off stage, and small feet are more attractive … in our latest Cocktail Napkin.

Women Eye Dance Moves to Find Thrill Seekers

How to spot thrill-seeking men on the dance floor, “sweet” personalities in public, and bidding fever on eBay.


Does This Make My Antenna Look Big?

Researchers mix technology with fashion, analyze a pharaoh’s skin condition, measure the smarts of Scrabble players, and more in this edition of Miller-McCune’s “Cocktail Napkin.”

As if Commercials Weren’t Bad Enough Already

Do we really need to smell the items featured in TV programming? A materials expert has created a function for your TV or portable device that can generate thousands of odors.

The Exploitation of Muggles in Harry Potter’s World

In this edition of The Cocktail Napkin, we look academics’ fixation on the social and economic problems in the world of Harry Potter, and how music festivals impact the psychological and social well-being.

New Dinosaur Gets a Rather Large Name

As if being wiped out by a meteor wasn’t degrading enough, a charismatic dinosaur discovered in Utah gets a less-than-flattering name.

Time for Robin Hood to Make a Comeback

Researchers from Nottingham University Business School say their survey proves it’s time for the city to re-embrace its most famous, albeit probably mythical, hero.

Standing in Alcohol Won’t Get You Drunk

Newsflash: Submerging your feet in alcohol doesn’t get you intoxicated. It only helps you dodge the “Less Filling/Tastes Great” debate. Sorry, Denmark.

College Guys Will Remember the Pretty Ones

In a recent experiment, women who showed interest in college-aged men were more likely to be remembered if they were deemed attractive.

Next They’ll Tell Us Germs Can Dance

Researchers discover very specific patterns in the movement of bacteria, which has important implications for the treatment of infections.

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Quick Studies

How Junk Food Companies Manipulate Your Tongue

We mistakenly think that harder foods contain fewer calories, and those mistakes can affect our belt sizes.

What Steve Jobs’ Death Teaches Us About Public Health

Studies have shown that when public figures die from disease, the public takes notice. New research suggests this could be the key to reaching those who are most at risk.

Speed-Reading Apps Will Not Revolutionize Anything, Except Your Understanding

The one-word-at-a-time presentation eliminates the eye movements that help you comprehend what you're reading.

To Make Friends, Autistic Kids Need Advice—and Space

Kids with autism need help when it comes to making friends—but they also need their independence.

Gaming the Wedding Gift Registry System

Registering for your wedding? Keep your must-have items away from the average price of your registry—they’re unlikely to be purchased.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014