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University of Vienna

  1. Captive Cockatoo Is First Parrot To Spontaneously Invent Its Own Cocka-Tools

    This is Figaro, a Goffin's cockatoo, using a tool he made himself to reach a delicious cashew placed just out of his reach. While more and more birds -- like crows -- are understood to use simple tools, Goffin's cockatoos have never been seen using tools in the wild before, meaning t is the first example of Figaro's species ever using tools -- much less crafting tools themselves without prompting.

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  2. Study Suggests Crows Recognize and Remember Human Voices

    Crows are already regarded as remarkably intelligent birds, having been the first feathered creatures to independently discover the art of snowboarding. However, a new study from the University of Vienna suggests that crows can tell the difference between humans by their voice alone -- and what's more, they seem to remember us.

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  3. Double-Slit Experiment Performed With Large Molecules, Not Subatomic Particles

    The famous double-slit experiment tends to be a go-to experiment for science, as hilariously shown by it being performed in Minecraft with chickens. The point of the experiment is to show that matter and energy can be displayed as both waves and particles. In the experiment, light is shot at a surface that contains two parallel slits, and due to the wave nature of light, the light passing through the slits is split into a light and dark beam, which is observed on a surface behind the one with the slits. This isn't something light would do if it only consisted of particles, but when the light hits the surface behind the one with the slits, it is absorbed as if it were made of particles. A team at the University of Vienna in Austria, however, announced they completed the experiment using very large molecules instead of photons.

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  4. New Study Suggests Why Nails on a Chalkboard Hurts Our Ears

    Most people take for granted that the sound of nails on a chalkboard is unpleasant, but most have probably never wondered why. That was not the case for Michael Oehler of the Macromedia University for Media and Communication and University of Vienna's Christoph Reuter, whose new research into the unpleasant sound may have found the root of our dislike. In their research, the two musicologists looked at both physical and psychological reactions to unpleasant sounds. In their experiments, they played the much-maligned sound of nails on a chalkboard to participants as well as other hated sounds such as squeaky styrofoam, forks scrapping against dinner plates, and chalk against slate. Sometimes they told respondents the true source of the sound and in others told them that the sounds were from a musical composition. On the physical end of the experiment, the researchers monitored various vital signs of the participants while the tones were played. The results were fairly dramatic.

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