CLOSE

Cockroaches Love the PlayStation 4, Too

Video game consoles are prone to a number of misfortunes, like Xbox 360’s “red ring of death” or more recently the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con and warping issues. But none have the gross-out factor of one of the PlayStation 4’s most unique issues: roach infestation.

In an article on Kotaku, writer Cecilia D'Anastasio visited Patrick Che, the co-owner of an independent console repair shop in Manhattan, who pointed out a pile of filled black garbage bags in the corner of his store. “You see those bags?” Che asked D'Anastasio. “Those are bags full of roaches. Those are all dead by now.” Though roaches can burrow into any system on the market, it's Sony's latest console that seems to be their ideal destination.

The problem has become so common with PS4s that Che’s shop, XCubicle, charges a $25 “roach fee” to clean the little critters out of the system’s vents and circuit boards. So what makes the PlayStation 4 such an attractive home to roaches (outside of the fact that it kinda looks like a swanky skyscraper from the right angle)? Apparently the PS4’s vents are wider than other consoles, and since they’re placed right at the bottom of the machine, it makes it easier for roaches to crawl right in if the system is placed on the floor.

When the roaches go into the system, they nest on the circuit boards, pop out babies, and, well, melt into the console’s innards. With a system that gets as hot as a PS4, melted roaches and their feces (shudder) will likely turn your console into an expensive paperweight before long. And chances are that you’ll never even know a roach was inside unless you bring it in for repair.

At XCubicle, they see at least one roach-infested PS4 per week, with other repairmen estimating that around half of all PS4 consoles they deal with have some sort of roach issue. The fix for this isn’t so simple: A repairman will have to replace the power supply, clean the system of any roach remnants, and sterilize the whole thing before getting it back to you. There's no one way to prevent roaches from entering your system, other than keeping a clean home, putting your console high up and inaccessible, and placing it away from easy entry points. If that fails, you'll be stuck either buying a new PlayStation 4 or bringing the system to an independent repair shop, as Sony won't accept bug-ridden systems for repair.

[h/t Kotaku]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
language
The Surprising Link Between Language and Depression
iStock
iStock

Skim through the poems of Sylvia Plath, the lyrics of Kurt Cobain, or posts on an internet forum dedicated to depression, and you'll probably start to see some commonalities. That's because there's a particular way that people with clinical depression communicate, whether they're speaking or writing, and psychologists believe they now understand the link between the two.

According to a recent study published in Clinical Psychological Science, there are certain "markers" in a person's parlance that may point to symptoms of clinical depression. Researchers used automated text analysis methods to comb through large quantities of posts in 63 internet forums with more than 6400 members, searching for certain words and phrases. They also noted average sentence length, grammatical patterns, and other factors.

What researchers found was that a person's use (or overuse) of first-person pronouns can provide some insight into the state of their mental health. People with clinical depression tend to use more first-person singular pronouns, such as "I" and "me," and fewer third-person pronouns, like "they," "he," or "she." As Mohammed Al-Mosaiwi, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of Reading and the head of the study, writes in a post for IFL Science:

"This pattern of pronoun use suggests people with depression are more focused on themselves, and less connected with others. Researchers have reported that pronouns are actually more reliable in identifying depression than negative emotion words."

What remains unclear, though, is whether people who are more focused on themselves tend to depression, or if depression turns a person's focus on themselves. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people with depression also use more negative descriptors, like "lonely" and "miserable."

But, Al-Mosaiwi notes, it's hardly the most important clue when using language to assess clinical depression. Far better indicators, he says, are the presence of "absolutist words" in a person's speech or writing, such as "always," "constantly," and "completely." When overused, they tend to indicate that someone has a "black-and-white view of the world," Al-Mosaiwi says. An analysis of posts on different internet forums found that absolutist words were 50 percent more prevalent on anxiety and depression forums, and 80 percent more prevalent on suicidal ideation forums.

Researchers hope these types of classifications, supported by computerized methods, will prove more and more beneficial in a clinical setting.

[h/t IFL Science]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
gross
There's a Train Full of New York City Poop Stranded in Alabama—Here's Why.
iStock
iStock

Residents of Parrish, Alabama probably aren't too fond of New Yorkers right now. That’s because the town is currently home to a full trainload of poop courtesy of the Big Apple, as Bloomberg reports. Some 200 shipping containers of treated sewage have been stuck in Parrish for more than two months while the town takes landfill operators to court.

New York City doesn't keep its own sewage sludge to itself, and it hasn't for decades. In the 1980s, New York City was dumping its "biosolids"—the solids left over from sewage treatment, i.e., your poop—into the Atlantic Ocean, where it settled on the bottom of the sea floor in a thick film stretching over 80 square nautical miles. When the government banned the practice of dumping waste straight into the ocean, the city had to get creative, finding a way to get rid of the 1200 tons of biosolids produced there every day.

Enter the poop train. As a 2013 Radiolab episode taught us (we highly recommend you listen for yourself), treated sludge was eventually shipped out to other states to use as fertilizer in the 1990s. After farmers in Colorado began noticing better growth and fewer pests in the fields they grew with New York City's finest sewer sludge, growers in other states began clamoring to take the big-city poop by the train-full, too. That tide has turned, though, and now no one wants the city's poop. Because of the cost of running the program, the train to Colorado stopped in 2010.

Now, biosolids are instead shipped to landfills upstate and in places like Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, according to The Wall Street Journal. And Alabama. For more than a year, the Big Sky landfill near Parrish has been accepting New York City biosolids, and the locals who have to deal with trainloads of rotting waste aren’t happy.

Normally, the sludge would be loaded onto trucks and then driven the last stretch to get to the landfill. But Parrish and its nearby neighbor of West Jefferson aren't interested in playing host to those messy poop transfers anymore. As the two towns take the landfill operators to court over it, the trains are stuck where they are, next to Parrish's Little League baseball fields. The trainload of sludge is blocked from either being sent to the landfill or back to New York City. While the city has stopped shipping more waste to Big Sky, it essentially said "no takebacks" regarding what they've already sent south. Short of a legal decision, that poop isn't moving.

Needless to say, the residents of Parrish would really, really like to resolve this before summer hits.

[h/t Bloomberg]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios