Small Wonders: Oct. 22, 2010

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In this week’s edition: the wet dog shake, putting hamburger lore to the test, and the strange case(s) of the phantom penis.

* Video of the week: Physicists tackle a vital question: What is the optimal speed at which a dog should shake to get dry?

* Are athletes reaching the limits of what’s physically possible?

* What’s in placebos? Good question.

* The awesome Kenji Alt decides to put the “McDonald’s-Food-Doesn’t-Decay” meme to the test.

* My new favorite job? Ape actor.

* Why are our hospitals going bankrupt?

* Different cultures give rise to different kinds of robots.

* Apparently, there’s quite a history of phantom penises in the medical literature.

* Building a bridge to orangutan love (or at least sex).

* Chicago schoolkids can’t eat the produce that they’re growing.

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