Welcome to your week, readers! Here's where we give you a quick taste of what HowStuffWorks Now covered this past week and embed the podcast in this post so you can get the full scoop. You can also watch the videos below if that's more your style.
The first story that producer Tyler Klang, host Jonathan Strickland and me, editor Allison Loudermilk, spiritedly discussed was an alternate take on traditional helmets for cyclists. These inflatable helmet airbags are worn instead of the expanded polystyrene foam helmets you typically see, and they resemble a kind of bubble, or puffy, coat for your head when they inflate. Uninflated, the airbag just sits in a sort of pouch around your neck. A company called Hövding makes them, and, recently, Stanford researchers found that they're very effective when it comes to protecting against traumatic brain injuries. Jonathan gives you the details.
Horses were up next. Turns out we haven't been giving the equines enough communication credit. Specifically, a group of Norwegian researchers worked with 23 different horses to find that the animals were quite capable at communicating their desires and preferences about blankets to humans. It's not quite Mr. Ed territory, but it's also not the one-sided conversation we've been having with these nonhuman animals for the past few centuries. Editor and host Christopher Hassiotis brings you that story from writer Jesslyn Shields.
Last up is a story about you, and how your walk says more about you than you might have guesses. Researchers from the University of Portsmouth gave 29 participants a personality test and then used motion capture technology to record the participants' gaits. The researchers discovered that larger relative-upper-to-lower body movement was a strong predictor of aggression and, generally speaking, that our walks might convey more about personality traits such as extraversion and agreeableness than we realize. Here's a link to the study for further reading.
Would you like to learn more? Listen to the podcast embedded here or grab it on your favorite podcasting service. And, as ever, if you like what you hear, please subscribe.