Tall Tales

Women are better than men with driverless cars

And other stories from the stranger side of life

A busy UK motorway

Women are better at taking back control of driverless vehicles when required, have faster reaction times, hold more stable wheel control and engage in fewer reckless manoeuvres, according to a new study. Scientists at Newcastle University tested 33 women and 43 men on a driving simulator and found that women were quicker to react and took back control of the car in an average time of 2.45 seconds compared with 2.63 seconds for men. Currently, women are less likely to be involved in accidents, but they are more likely to fail their driving test, said The Times.

Earth experiences its shortest day

The planet experienced its shortest day since records began in June, with 1.59 milliseconds shaved off the usual 24-hour spin on 29 June. Normally, Earth’s average rotational speed decreases slightly over time, but timekeepers have been forced to add 27 leap seconds to atomic time since the 1970s as the planet slows. The Telegraph said the development means a negative leap second may soon be needed to keep clocks “matched up with the heavens”.

Wearable fan developed for dogs

A clothing maker in Japan has teamed up with vets to create a wearable fan for pets to help them during heatwaves, Sky News reported. The small, light, battery-operated fan is attached to a mesh outfit and blows air around the pet’s body. Rei Uzawa, president of maternity clothing maker Sweet Mommy, said she was inspired after her chihuahua suffered during extreme heat. The company has received around 100 orders for the product, Uzawa said.

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