Water-climbing fish, bird brains and baby names all made our top Science stories this week. Check these out.
Waterfall-Climbing Fish Secret
A waterfall-climbing fish in Hawaii uses the same muscles to both rise and feed, researchers have discovered.<br><br>
Scientists looked at the Nopoli rock-climbing goby (<i>Sicyopterus stimpsoni</i>), also known in Hawaiian as <i>o'opu nopili</i>. This plant-eating fish is found throughout Hawaii, and was once greatly relished as food, apparently being a favorite snack among priests."
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/25997-waterfall-climbing-fish-secret.html>
Secret to Fish's Waterfall-Climbing Ability Found</a>]
Decapitated King's Blood Found in Squash
More than 200 years ago, France's King Louis XVI was killed (along with his wife, Marie Antoinette) via guillotine, and legend has it someone used a handkerchief to soak up the king's blood, then stored the handkerchief in a gourd.<br><br>
Now scientists have confirmed that a squash emblazoned with figures from the French Revolution indeed contains the dried blood of the executed king.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/25914-squash-holds-king-louis-xvi-blood.html>
Squash Holds Decapitated King Louis XVI's Blood</a>]
Real-Life Starship Enterprise?
An engineer is petitioning the White House to study the possibility of building a real-life starship Enterprise like the fictional vessel in television's "Star Trek."<br><br>
The proposal was submitted through the White House's official "We the People" channel, which promises an administration response to any petition that gathers at least 25,000 signatures. Just last month, a petition to build a Death Star like the spherical spaceship in the movie "Star Wars" garnered that critical mass, and is currently awaiting its official response.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/25989-starship-enterprise-white-house-petition.html>Engineer Petitions White House for Real-Life Starship Enterprise</a>]
The Brain on Big Bird
Children are not the only ones who can learn from Big Bird — brain scans of children and adults watching "Sesame Street" reveal how brains change as they learn reading and math, researchers say.<br><br>
One goal of brain imaging is discovering more about how children learn. Such an understanding of the building blocks of learning might help diagnose and treat learning difficulties.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/25978-big-bird-brain-development.html>
Big Bird Helps Scientists Study Brain Development</a>]
Facebook and Loneliness
Scientists have found what compels people to constantly update their Facebook status. College students who posted more status updates than they normally did felt less lonely over the course of a week, even if no one "Liked" or commented on their posts, researchers found.<br><br>
"We got the idea to conduct this study during a coffee-break sharing random stories about what friends had posted on Facebook," psychology researcher Fenne große Deters, of the Universitat Berlin, told LiveScience in an email. "Wondering why posting status updates is so popular, we thought that it would be thrilling to study this new form of communication empirically."
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/25972-facebook-status-updates-loneliness.html>
Why Some Facebook Users Constantly Update Status</a>]
Why Congress Fails at Compromise
Hyenas do it. Elephants do it. But apparently congressional representatives do not.
"It" would be cooperation, which has been little-seen in Washington during the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. Despite a deadline they themselves set with consequences no one wanted, Democrats and Republicans went down to the wire before passing a bill that averts major cuts and tax increases but sets the stage for more bickering over the raising of the nation's debt limit and other budgetary issues.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/25962-psychology-compromise-congress-fiscal-cliff.html>
Psychology of Compromise: Why Congress Fails</a>]
You May Not Recognize Yourself in 10 Years
Think you'll be the same person in 10 years that you are today? Think again. Most people realize they've changed in the past, but few expect to change in the future, a new study finds.<br><br>
Instead, while acknowledging that their tastes, values and even personality have varied over the past decade, people tend to insist the person they are today is the person they will be in 10 years — a belief belied by the evidence, said study researcher Daniel Gilbert, a psychologist at Harvard University.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/25951-future-change-more-than-expected.html>You May Not Recognize Yourself in 10 Years</a>]
Tsunami Bomb' Created
The military has a long and honorable history, but part of that history includes some weapons' experiments that in hindsight seem downright wacky, and some even evil.<br><br>
Everything from a "gay bomb" that tried to incapacitate soldiers through uncontrollable homosexual urges to extrasensory perception (ESP) experiments that attempted to give soldiers psychic vision have been the subject of serious — and failed — military investigations. And during World War II, the U.S. military devised a way to create a "tsunami bomb," reports the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/25949-tsunami-bomb.html>
'Tsunami Bomb' Created by US Military</a>]
100 Billion Alien Planets
Our Milky Way galaxy is home to at least 100 billion alien planets, and possibly many more, a new study suggests.<br><br>
"It's a staggering number, if you think about it," lead author Jonathan Swift, of Caltech in Pasadena, said in a statement. "Basically there's one of these planets per star."
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/25938-milky-way-100-billion-planets.html>100 Billion Alien Planets Fill Our Milky Way Galaxy: Study</a>]
2013's First Baby Names
The first babies of 2013 are a creatively named bunch, with monikers ranging from vintage — Olivia Rose — to new inventions such as Lyrik.<br><br>
Lyrik was the first baby born in Colorado in 2013, according to NameCandy.com, which collects the names of the first newborns in each state every year. Lyrik, a boy, was named for his mother's love of music, according to the Denver Post. Though "Lyrik" has never ranked in the top 1,000 in U.S. baby names, "Lyric" ranked as the 325th most popular name for girls in 2011, and it was 858th for boys.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/25926-first-baby-names-2013.html>Lyrik & Lyla Are Among 2013's First Babies</a>]