Every day, the same, again

213.jpgNew Zealand-based company is building a very, very angry robot to help companies deal with angry customers

A statistical analysis of birth month and celebrity finds that individuals born under certain astrological signs are more likely to become famous

Meat eaters who justify their eating habits feel less guilty and are more tolerant of social inequality say researchers.

In study, skipping meals is linked to abdominal weight gain

Sexual harassment of a king penguin by an Antarctic fur seal [PDF]

Traffic noise blocks fish sex

More than 40 percent of US honeybees died this past year

Physics paper with 5,154 authors has broken the record for the largest number of contributors to a single research article.

Why do we appreciate tragic events in art when we don’t appreciate tragic events in life?

Facebook tracks users who are logged-out from Facebook through the social plug-ins (”Like” and “Share” buttons), tracks opted-out Facebook users with a cookie for advertising purposes, tracks users who are not Facebook users but who have visited Facebook’s pages, and so on. Users who wish to protect themselves against tracking by Facebook through social plug-ins are advised to use browser add-ons that block tracking

This is what happens after you die

Anti-NSA pranksters planted tape recorders across New York and published your conversations

Frequent earbud headphone use increases your risk for “hidden hearing loss”: study

Chinese Restaurant Gives Discounts to Customers with Short Skirts

If the lips are gone, the teeth will grow cold

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The dentolabial smile, where the teeth are seen behind the lips, starts to emerge in the first decades of the 20th century. This is attributed to an increased emphasis of awareness of the body and art of cosmetics due to the evolution of social life and the change in habits and manners. Teeth began to play an increasingly important role as more attention was paid to the face, which exhibited more open and unrestricted emotions.

{ Ronald E. Goldstein, Esthetics in Dentistry | Continue reading | Thanks Tim}

art { Leonardo da Vinci, Lady with an Ermine, 1489–90 }

related { Big brands said to want models with at least 10,000 Instagram followers }

‘Die Anatomie ist das Schicksal.’ –Freud

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The relation between sexual orientation and penile dimensions in a large sample of men was studied. […]

Penile dimensions were assessed using five measures of penile length and circumference from Kinsey’s original protocol. On all five measures, homosexual men reported larger penises than did heterosexual men. Explanations for these differences are discussed, including the possibility that these findings provide additional evidence that variations in prenatal hormonal levels (or other biological mechanisms affecting reproductive structures)affect sexual orientation development.

{ Archives of Sexual Behavior | Continue reading }

Revisiting reputation: How past actions matter

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If you sold every share of every company in the U.S. and used the money to buy up all the factories, machines and inventory, you’d have some cash left over. That, in a nutshell, is the math behind a bear case on equities that says prices have outrun reality.

The concept is embodied in a measure known as the Q ratio developed by James Tobin, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at Yale University who died in 2002. According to Tobin’s Q, equities in the U.S. are valued about 10 percent above the cost of replacing their underlying assets — higher than any time other than the Internet bubble and the 1929 peak.

{ Bloomberg | Continue reading }

Flakes of pastry on the gusset of her dress: daub of sugary flour stuck to her cheek. Rhubarb tart with liberal fillings, rich fruit interior. Josie Powell that was.

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Physical activity has a multitude of health benefits — it reduces the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and possibly even cancer — but weight loss is not one of them.

A growing body of scientific evidence shows that exercise alone has almost no effect on weight loss, as two sports scientists and I described in a recent editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. For one, researchers who reviewed surveys of millions of American adults found that physical activity increased between 2001 and 2009, particularly in counties in Kentucky, Georgia and Florida. But the rise in exercise was matched by an increase in obesity in almost every county studied. There were even more striking results in a 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that people who simply dieted experienced greater weight loss than those who combined diet and exercise. […]

It’s calorie intake that is really fueling the obesity epidemic. But it’s not just the number of calories we’re eating as how we’re getting them. The sugar calories are particularly bad. […] The World Health Organization now recommends no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day for the average adult. […]

The food and beverage industry is most guilty of perpetuating the false belief that the obesity epidemic is simply due to lack of exercise, spending billions to market nutritionally poor products as “sports drinks” while simultaneously promoting the benefits of physical activity. […]

None of this means you should turn in your gym membership card. Working out will make you healthier and less susceptible to disease. No matter what your size, even 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity that breaks you into a sweat five times per week will substantially improve your health and well-being. Do what you enjoy, whether it’s dancing, cycling, sex or all three. If it’s longevity you’re after, note that elite athletes in high-intensity sports don’t live any longer than top golfers.

But if weight loss is your goal, your diet is what really needs to change. An analysis by professor Simon Capewell at the University of Liverpool revealed that poor diet (for example, eating too much junk food without enough nuts, whole grains, fruit and vegetables) now contributes to more disease and death than smoking, alcohol and physical inactivity combined.

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }

Brass and reeds, brace and ready!

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A study has shown that in contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, men and women tend to have equal influence on where their groups lives and who they live with. The findings challenge the idea that sexual equality is a recent invention, suggesting that it has been the norm for humans for most of our evolutionary history.

Mark Dyble, an anthropologist who led the study at University College London, said: “There is still this wider perception that hunter-gatherers are more macho or male-dominated. We’d argue it was only with the emergence of agriculture, when people could start to accumulate resources, that inequality emerged.” […]

Dyble said that egalitarianism may even have been one of the important factors that distinguished our ancestors from our primate cousins. “Chimpanzees live in quite aggressive, male-dominated societies with clear hierarchies,” he said. “As a result, they just don’t see enough adults in their lifetime for technologies to be sustained.”

{ Raw Story | Continue reading }

“La vieillesse est un naufrage.” –Charles de Gaulle

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Ageing causes changes to the brain size, vasculature, and cognition. The brain shrinks with increasing age and there are changes at all levels from molecules to morphology. Incidence of stroke, white matter lesions, and dementia also rise with age, as does level of memory impairment and there are changes in levels of neurotransmitters and hormones. Protective factors that reduce cardiovascular risk, namely regular exercise, a healthy diet, and low to moderate alcohol intake, seem to aid the ageing brain as does increased cognitive effort in the form of education or occupational attainment. A healthy life both physically and mentally may be the best defence against the changes of an ageing brain. Additional measures to prevent cardiovascular disease may also be important. […]

It has been widely found that the volume of the brain and/or its weight declines with age at a rate of around 5% per decade after age 40 with the actual rate of decline possibly increasing with age particularly over age 70. […]

The most widely seen cognitive change associated with ageing is that of memory. Memory function can be broadly divided into four sections, episodic memory, semantic memory, procedural memory, and working memory.18 The first two of these are most important with regard to ageing. Episodic memory is defined as “a form of memory in which information is stored with ‘mental tags’, about where, when and how the information was picked up”. An example of an episodic memory would be a memory of your first day at school, the important meeting you attended last week, or the lesson where you learnt that Paris is the capital of France. Episodic memory performance is thought to decline from middle age onwards. This is particularly true for recall in normal ageing and less so for recognition. It is also a characteristic of the memory loss seen in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). […]

Semantic memory is defined as “memory for meanings”, for example, knowing that Paris is the capital of France, that 10 millimetres make up a centimetre, or that Mozart composed the Magic Flute. Semantic memory increases gradually from middle age to the young elderly but then declines in the very elderly.

{ Postgraduate Medical Journal | Continue reading | Thanks Tim}

‘The road up and the road down is one and the same.’ –Heraclitus

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Our best theories of physics imply we shouldn’t be here. The Big Bang ought to have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter particles, which would almost immediately annihilate each other, leaving nothing but light.

So the reality that we are here – and there seems to be very little antimatter around – is one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in physics.

In 2001, Tanmay Vachaspati from Arizona State University offered a purely theoretical solution. Even if matter and antimatter were created in equal amounts, he suggested that as they annihilated each other, they would have briefly created monopoles and antimonopoles – hypothetical particles with just one magnetic pole, north or south.

As the monopoles and antimonopoles in turn annihilated each other, they would produce matter and antimatter. But because of a quirk in nature called CP violation, that process would be biased towards matter, leaving the matter-filled world we see today.

If that happened, Vachaspati showed that there should be a sign of it today: twisted magnetic fields permeating the universe. […] So Vachaspati and his colleagues went looking for them in data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma ray Space Telescope.

{ New Scientist | Continue reading }

related { Rogue antimatter found in thunderclouds }

Every day, the same, again

5.gif At the University of California San Diego, a controversy is brewing over an art class in which students take the final exam in the nude.

Worker fired for disabling GPS app that tracked her 24 hours a day

The secret to overturning negative first impressions

Research shows more sex does not mean more happiness

Researchers have discovered a virus that infects our brains and “makes us more stupid.”

Birth month really does affect personality, says researcher

Pop music shows a pattern from biological evolution known as punctuated equilibrium, in which periods of gradual change are separated by explosions of complexity

The Effects of Popping Popcorn Under Reduced Pressure

Why is the number 2,147,483,647 important? Anything larger confuses many computers.

Self-driving truck cleared to drive on US roads for the first time

Why Uber wants to acquire Here, Nokia’s mapping service

Beard Hair Net Sales Are Booming Thanks to Hipster Chef Bros

Advance blade training

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In the eyes of the pale criminal Zarathustra finds the great contempt

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The box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri is infamous. Its venom will kill a human within minutes. This much I’ve known for decades. What I didn’t know until yesterday is that C. fleckeri has 24 eyes and appears to sleep.

More than a decade ago, researchers in Australia superglued acoustic transmitters to several box jellyfish (without getting stung) and set them free. Using an underwater microphone, they were then able to track their movements. During the daytime, the jellyfish moved in straight lines, typically covering around 200 m an hour. At night, they basically stopped. “During these periods of “inactivity”, the jellyfish lie motionless on the sea floor, with no bell pulsation occurring and with tentacles completely relaxed and in contact with the sea floor,” wrote Jamie Seymour, a biologist at James Cook University in Cairns in The Medical Journal of Australia. A small disturbance – like a light or a vibration – “causes the animals to rise from the sea floor, swim around for a short period, and then fall back into an inactive state on the sand,” they reported.

The clear distinction between activity and rest raises the possibility that the box jellyfish is capable of sleep, a state most commonly associated with vertebrates. Why would a box jellyfish need to sleep? One possibility, suggested by Seymour and his colleagues, is that it uses its eyes to hunt. In the dark, when vision is limited, “it makes a lot of sense to become inactive, decrease your energy used in locomotion and divert it to growth.”

{ The Guardian | Continue reading }

photo { Melvin Sokolsky, Lip Streaks, 1967 }

Fame means millions of people have the wrong idea of who you are

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The McCollough effect is a phenomenon of human visual perception in which colorless gratings appear colored contingent on the orientation of the gratings. It is an aftereffect requiring a period of induction to produce it. For example, if someone alternately looks at a red horizontal grating and a green vertical grating for a few minutes, a black-and-white horizontal grating will then look greenish and a black-and-white vertical grating will then look pinkish. The effect is remarkable for often lasting an hour or more, and in some cases after prolonged exposure to the grids, the effect can last up to three and a half months

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading | via Brad Weslake }

(they have three microwaves, so their food will always be ready at the same time)

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The future is always stranger than we expect: mobile phones and the Internet, not flying cars. […]

“We’re not funding Mother Teresa. We’re funding imperial, will-to-power people who want to crush their competition. Companies can only have a big impact on the world if they get big.” […]

The dirty secret of the trade is that the bottom three-quarters of venture firms didn’t beat the Nasdaq for the past five years. […] The truth is that most V.C.s subsist entirely on fees, which they compound by raising a new fund every three years. Returns are kept hidden by nondisclosure agreements, and so V.C.s routinely overstate them, both to encourage investment and to attract entrepreneurs. […]

“We live in a financial age, not a technological age.”

{ New Yorker | Continue reading }