‘The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half.’ –Dostoyevsky

3.jpg

When you’re doing two things at once – like listening to the radio while driving – your brain organizes itself into two, functionally independent networks, almost as if you temporarily have two brains. That’s according to a fascinating new study from University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientists Shuntaro Sasai and colleagues.

{ Neuroskeptic | Continue reading }

art { Harri Peccinotti }

yesterday never comes back

22.jpg

Remembering the past is a complex phenomenon that is subject to error. The malleable nature of human memory has led some researchers to argue that our memory systems are not oriented towards flawlessly preserving our past experiences. Indeed, many researchers now agree that remembering is, to some degree, reconstructive. Current theories propose that our capacity to flexibly recombine remembered information from multiple sources – such as distributed memory records, inferences, and expectations – helps us to solve current problems and anticipate future events. One implication of having a reconstructive and flexible memory system is that people can develop rich and coherent autobiographical memories of entire events that never happened.

In this article, we revisit questions about the conditions under which participants in studies of false autobiographical memory come to believe in and remember fictitious childhood experiences. […]

Approximately one-third of participants showed evidence of a false memory, and more than half showed evidence of believing that the [fictitious] event occurred in the past.

{ Memory | Continue reading }

Photo photo { Brooke Nipar }

Mimosa Multimetica

23.jpg

{ Yves Klein, Monochrome jaune sans titre (M 8), 1957 | Roy Lichtenstein, Yellow brushstroke I, 1965 }

Every day, the same, again

21.jpg Nearly 40% of Americans Would Give Up Sex for a Year in Exchange for Better Online Security

Criminals can guess Visa card number and security code in just six seconds, experts find

Paper money and coins as potential vectors of transmissible disease [PDF]

The world’s magicians fought a hidden war over an ultra-secret website dedicated to stealing magic tricks

Uber Now Tracks Passengers’ Locations Even After They’re Dropped Off

At this very moment, dozens of Uber’s self-driving cars are touring San Francisco, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh

As transportation industry expert Hubert Horan will demonstrate in his four-part series, Uber has greatly oversold its case [part 1 part 2, part 3, part 4]

When judging other people, first impressions last

Why it’s hard to talk and make eye contact at the same time

Depression in Young People Affects the Stomach, Anxiety the Skin

Portions of the brain fall asleep and wake back up all the time, Stanford researchers find

The purpose of this article is to clarify the distinction between the dying and sick roles

Eleven of the world’s 55 dictators are 69 years old or older and are in varying stages of declining health. At first blush, this paints a hopeful picture for democracy scholars who have documented a slow but steady authoritarian resurgence. Yet…

The findings confirmed that frequent laundering reduced mass, increased colour loss, and reduced tensile strength in the warp direction of the fabric.

A proposed theory of gravity does away with dark matter

In some areas, 98 per cent of female elephants now have no tusks, researchers have said, compared to between two and six percent born tuskless on average in the past.

Perspective Distortion in World War I Camouflage

Background notes and full credits for “The One Moment” Video by OK Go.

No pain, no gain

2.jpg

In a mixed-gender group, when women talk 25% of the time or less, it’s seen as being “equally balanced”. If women talk 25–50% of the time, they’re seen as “dominating the conversation”

[…]

A Californian company called Skinny Mirror sells mirrors that make you look thinner. When installed in the changing rooms of clothes shops, they can increase sales by 18%.

[…]

Twitter has enough money in the bank to run for 412 years with current losses.

{ Fluxx | Continue reading }

photo { Blaise Cepis }

‘Falsity consists in the privation of knowledge, which inadequate, fragmentary, or confused ideas involve.’ –Spinoza

4.jpg

Most people strongly believe they are just, virtuous, and moral; yet regard the average person as distinctly less so. This invites accusations of irrationality in moral judgment and perception — but direct evidence of irrationality is absent. Here, we quantify this irrationality and compare it against the irrationality in other domains of positive self-evaluation. […]

Virtually all individuals irrationally inflated their moral qualities […] Irrational moral superiority was not associated with self-esteem. Taken together, these findings suggest that moral superiority is a uniquely strong and prevalent form of “positive illusion,” but the underlying function remains unknown.

{ Social Psychological and Personality Science | Continue reading }

photo { Weegee, Empire State Building Distortion, 1955 }

3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the population

25.jpg

The idea behind power poses, that if you stand in a “powerful” position, broad posture, hands on hips, shoulders high and pushed back, you will suddenly feel psychologically and physiologically stronger, is intuitively appealing, especially for people without much confidence. The problem is that it’s simply not true, according to University of Pennsylvania researchers. […]

“We did find that […] if you’re a loser and you take a winner or high power pose, your testosterone decreases.”

In other words, Smith said, “people might not be able to ‘fake it until they make it,’ and in fact it might be detrimental.”

{ EurekAlert | Continue reading }

‘History repeats itself. Historians repeat each other.’ –Max Beerbohm

31.jpg

The Dress photograph, first displayed on the internet in 2015, revealed stunning individual differences in color perception. The aim of this study was to investigate if lay-persons believed that the question about The Dress colors was answerable. Past research has found that optimism is related to judgments of how answerable knowledge questions with controversial answers are. Furthermore, familiarity with a question can create a feeling of knowing the answer.

Building on these findings, 186 participants saw the photo of The Dress and were asked about the correct answer to the question about The Dress’ colors (“blue and black,” “white and gold,” “other, namely…,” or “there is no correct answer”). Choice of the alternative “there is no correct answer” was interpreted as believing the question was not answerable. This answer was chosen more often by optimists and by people who reported they had not seen The Dress before.

{ Frontiers Psychology | Continue reading }

photo { Gregory Halpern }

Every day, the same, again

231.jpgMore than one-third of California trees are dead

The relationship between pupil size and intelligence

Eye trauma in Laurel and Hardy movies

Successful removal of a wedding ring constricting an erect penis

The percent of older US adults with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, declined from 11.6 percent in 2000 to 8.8 percent in 2012.

The Medallion Fund, known for its intense secrecy, has produced about $55 billion in profit over the last 28 years. The fund almost never loses money. Its biggest drawdown in one five-year period was half a percent.

The NSA’s Spy Hub in New York, Hidden in Plain Sight

Anish Kapoor is Banned From Buying the World’s Pinkest Paint

Elliptical Pool Table

Hipster nativity scene

‘We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.’ –Ernest Hemingway

24.jpg

When one draws a correlation between body mass and brain mass for living primates and extinct species of Homo, it is not humans—whose brains are three times larger than those of chimpanzees, their closest primate relative—that are an outlier. Instead, it is the great apes—gorillas and the orangutan—with brains far smaller than would be expected in relation to their body mass. We are the new normal in evolution while the great apes are the evolutionary oddity that requires explanation.

But we remain special in another way. Our 86 billion neurons need so much energy that if we shared a way of life with other primates we couldn’t possibly survive: there would be insufficient hours in the day to feed our hungry brain. It needs 500 calories a day to function, which is 25 percent of what our entire body requires.

{ New York Review of Books | Continue reading }

art { Christopher Wool, Untitled, 2006 }

Every day, the same, again

41.jpgThe Dutch prison crisis: A shortage of prisoners

His initial work implanting the testicles of executed prisoners into older prisoners hadn’t worked out as he hoped since there weren’t enough executed criminals to go around

Facebook routinely buys stolen passwords from the black market

The rising trend in hospital presentation of foreign bodies retained in the rectum over a 5-year period

The startling rise in oral cancer in men, and what it says about our changing sexual habits

Talking Sex Robots With Warm Genitals Will Be on Sale Next Year [Thanks GG]

Crafting a “six-pack” from excess body fat

Prediction of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics

Lexical and semantic knowledge related to food is relatively well preserved even in diseases that lead to a general decline in memory and cognition

Repetition makes a fact seem more true, regardless of whether it is or not. Understanding this effect can help you avoid falling for propaganda

The convex glass mirror was a Venetian invention of about 1300. By the late fourteenth century, you could find such mirrors in northern Europe.

App Lets You Buy Restaurant Leftovers for Really Cheap

Fake shopping apps are invading the iPhone

Browser extension named “Web of Trust” is caught selling users’ browsing histories

Watch a drone hack a room full of smart lightbulbs from outside the window

Introducing V.I.Poo. The new pre-poo toilet spray [Thanks GG]

Trump Election Reporting Devices will make voting great again for all Americans [more]

Grapefruit Technique [Thanks TG]

Mermaids have more fin

3.jpg

Stock trading strategies: competition is so stiff that there are only two ways to succeed: (1) insider trading, e.g. you try to obtain job interviews with small publicly traded companies, then based on information glanned during the interview, perform trades and (2) use trading strategies that professional traders will never use, e.g. stay “all cash” for several years on your trading account, and when the right event occurs, massively trade major indexes for a couple of days, then go dormant for another few years. You need sophisticated statistical models to succeed in this, with good back testing, walk-forward and robustness based on state-of-the-art cross-validation.

{ analyticbridge | Continue reading }

art { Rochelle Goldberg, The Cannibal Actif, 2015 }