字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Hello, and welcome to January at the Scientific American blog network. I'm Carin Bondar, and you know, this month was kind of a wacky one for the network. We are going all over the place, from extreme weather events to extreme viral behavior, to the evolutionary psychology behind the booming industry that is -- monster pornography. I'm gonna throw it right over to John Horgan to explain that one first. Monster porn; this is written primarily by women, for women and it involves fantasies of women having -- sex often, at least initially, non-consensual sex with -- bigfoot, with Godzilla, T. rex, giant robotic aliens -- I mean, every possible crazy entity that you can imagine. The angle I came up with was -- that not just the human mind in general, but especially the female mind and the female libido are completely mysterious. I mean, because who could possibly predict something as crazy as -- monster porn? This month on her blog, The Artful Amoeba, Jennifer Frazer gets us a history about a virus that has managed to successfully invade an animal host from a plant host. This is mind-boggling! Tobacco ringspot virus normally causes trouble in plants like soybean, raspberry, and of course, tobacco. So it came as a shock when scientists discovered the virus had apparently invaded honeybees. Honeybees and plants are separated by about 1.6 billion years of evolution. So, host leap of that magnitude is mid boggling about. The virus may have been added by a high mutation rate and also by the fact that can be a sexually transmitted disease of plants. Which means it can get around virus per packet, we call polen. Since bees regularly wallow in the stuff, and do it with gusto, the virus clearly had a motive and an opportunity. When scientists discovered the virus comfortably ensconced inside bee's wings, antennae, nerves and blood, it became clear that, no matter how improbable, the virus clearly had the meets as well. We are all very aware of the crazy cold weather that has been going on in a lot of places in North America this month. Mark Fischetti is here to explain what this polar vortex is and exactly why such cold temperatures in such extreme storm events are happening. We keep praying about this polar vortex every time the temperature has dropped, like it's some mystical beast that comes down from the North Pole and grips us into a deep freeze. So, what is this thing anyway? Well, my blog has the details, but you can think about like this: The polar vortex is a prevailing wind pattern that circles the Arctic, flowing from West to East all around the entire planet. Normally it does state far north and locks the cold air up towards the North Pole, but occasionally the vortex weakens and allows that cold air to drift down through Canada into U.S. The vortex, when it does that, can also push the jet stream much further south and keep it there, so we do stay in the cold for days on in. So, what causes the vortex to weaken, in the first place? Well, we'll have to read the blog for the details, but here's a hint: it has to do with a lost of arctic sea ice in the summer time. Well, there you have it, just a small sampling of some of the highlights from January at the Scientific American blog network. Make sure you check back to all of your favorite blogs, you know, weekly there are so many cool histories coming in your away. I get the highlights just of a few of them and I will be back to do just that again in February.