Weekend reads: Do NYC dogs like city life? This author 'interviewed' more than 4,000 dogs to find out.

Ben Palmer's reads

An inside look at the mechanics of beatboxing. As part of research examining how the body produces language, scientists last week at the Acoustical Society of America presented scans of five different beatboxers performing inside an MRI. In the video of one of the scans, you can see how the beatboxers tongues flip and snap to create sounds similar to percussion instruments. In addition to examining language production, the researchers hope to create algorithms to describe "the dynamics of the vocal tract," according to the New York Times. The researchers are also comparing how the mouth and throat look before a beatboxer makes a sound and before they speak, hoping to understand what makes beatboxing cognitively different from speech.

He's an ultramarathon runner—and he's 71. At age 71, former OneRoof CEO Eric Spector routinely runs "ultramarathons," or any race that exceeds the usual marathon distance of 26.2 miles. Spector said he first got hooked on running in 1979 when he ran the New York City Marathon and began trail running in 1988. However, Spector picked up his ultramarathon habit later in life, completing his first ultramarathon at age 60 and logging almost 20 more ultramarathons since then—including the Rio Del Lago 100-mile trail, a race in which he won among the 70+ age group with a time of 29:15:43.

Danielle Poindexter's weekend reads

Man interviews thousands of dogs to see how they like living in NYC. How do dogs feel about living in a bustling city with no backyard to play in? Ken Foster wanted to find out. Foster, an author who runs a community program through the Bronx for the Animal Care Centers of NYC, interviewed more than 4,000 dogs (and their owners) in their homes, communities, and places of work in New York City. Based on his investigative research, Foster concluded that most of the dogs—whether from the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens—lead happy lives and help the people of NYC find common ground. "We're different people, we come from different cultures, we speak different languages sometimes, and yet if there's a dog in front of us, we can find a way to connect," he said. Foster published the stories with photographs of the dogs in his new book, "City of Dogs."

You might get your smile—and your dating habits—from your mom. People are more likely to have multiple romantic partners if their mothers did, according to a study published Tuesday. The study, which followed thousands of participants, said the explanation for the similarity is genetic rather than social. People can inherit personality traits that might inhibit their success in romantic relationships, like trust issues or general sadness, from their parents. The study also suggests that people mimic aspects of their parents' romantic lives. "Of course, some mothers ... simply like having lots of different partners and have no desire to marry," Olga Khazan writes for The Atlantic. Data on participants' father's romantic lives was not available.


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