The Black Death is now (Likely) Extinct (Perhaps)

You may now breathe a small sigh of relief; if you are the type to believe what you read in studies from the University of Tübingen, at least: The bacteria thought to be behind the Black Death plague that killed 50 million people in Europe and Asia in about five years in the middle of the 14th century is thought to now be extinct. Oh, there are related versions of the bacteria, Yersinia pestis, alive and well today. As many as 2,000 people die from it around the world each year. But the particularly virulent form that swept across the East like a black death, that one is probably no longer around.

During the Conscious after Decapitation episode on SYSK, we all closed our eyes and counted off four seconds, since that's about how long it's been determined a person can stay conscious after being decapitated. We thought about all of the sights and sounds and sensations that can be experienced in four seconds and we were all thrilled with the horror and dread of it all.

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that favors cats, but it can also be found in humans. Discover the disturbing details of how toxoplasma gondii finds a host -- and how it affects human beings -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Read This Post on Laughing Rats or Mail Me a Dollar, One of the Two

Here at HowStuffWorks.com we're putting together a bunch of articles on happiness, which makes me all yellow smiley face. It looks like I'm jaundiced here I'm so happy. I'm writing a some of the articles in the happiness suite and there's this weird thing that keeps popping up, laughing rats. Not just in congruous articles either -- laughing rats were coming at me from all angles! Run for your life, yellow boy! Run!