Most children are happy no matter what, but materialism catches up eventually

A new survey of 53,000 children across 15 countries reveals that children tend to be happy regardless of the context of their lives. From Nepal to Norway, children between the ages of 10 and 12 say that they are largely satisfied with their lives.

“Children tend to be more optimistic in life,” Elisabeth Backe-Hansen, the Norwegian lead researcher for the Children’s World Survey, told Quartz. Though not surprising, it is reassuring.

But material depravation eventually catches up. Find out how on Quartz, published May 16, 2015.

Image by Yansen Sugiarto under CC-BY-ND

This new synthetic material could get rid of that horrible airplane noise

While airplane noise may not have any long-term effect on a person’s hearing abilities, many find the experience unpleasant. And the reason some of us have to suffer through this is because planes are built to be light.

The ceilings and floors of airplanes use a honeycomb structure, which provides strength without adding much weight. Sadly, this structure is also very effective in letting sound through. So all the unwelcome sounds of jet engines and rotor blades get plugged right in to your ears.

There may now be a solution. Find out on Quartz, published April 28, 2015.

Image by Yun Jing.

The British seem to get less cancer but also survive less than Americans. Why?

In the UK, more than 330,000 cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2011. That compares favorably with the rate of cancer in the US—396 per 100,000 people in the UK vs. 451 per 100,000 in the US.

But even though people in England, where the UK’s largest population is, are less likely to get cancer, five years after diagnosis, only 56% of English cancer patients survive, compared to 65% of American patients.

Find out why on Quartz, published May 5, 2015.

Image by Sam Blackman under CC-BY license.