WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO FUCKING PERFECTTT

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“Emotions such as anger and contempt can seem very threatening for couples. But our study suggests that if spouses, especially wives, are able to calm themselves, their marriages can continue to thrive,” Bloch said.

While it is commonly held that women play the role of caretaker and peacemaker in relationships, the study is among the first to reveal this dynamic in action over a long period of time, researchers point out. Results show that the link between the wives’ ability to control emotions and higher marital satisfaction was most evident when women used “constructive communication” to temper disagreements.

{ UC Berkeley | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

61.jpgAstronauts debate provenance of turd floating in Apollo 10

Nude Beach Blow Job Jet Ski Fight Leads to Wife’s Death

Collector Gets 422 Million AmEx Points With Cup Purchase

How Becoming a Father Changes Your Brain

We only use 10% of our brains? That’s 100% wrong.

Sweet taste liking is associated with impulsive behaviors in humans

Many individuals, and even entire cultures, fear happiness

A gene responsible for stopping the movement of cancer from the lungs to other parts of the body has been discovered by researchers

Unlike any other living thing on Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form

What if Bertrand was suffering from a disorder that was not just extremely rare but entirely unknown to science?

The Polar Bear on Prozac, The Gorilla Who Got Thorazine in His Coca-Cola, The Gorillas Who Got Haldol, Valium, Klonopin, Zoloft, Paxil, Xanax, Buspar, Prozac, Ativan, Versed, Mellaril, and Beta-Blockers…

Using bees that have been genetically modified to 3D-print concrete

Mr. Rose is one of about 50 pickpockets whose mug shots are on flash cards studied by plainclothes subway officers. They call the thieves the “Nifty 50.” [NY Times]

Brands are succeeding largely because of consumer ignorance.

How much are curators really paid?

Touching the Art - Episode 1 [via A new web series that aims to demystify the art world]

Backmasking

If you’re looking for love, and you’re dead, Ghost Singles is the site for you.

The problem with crashes, you never know beforehand precisely what is the catalyst

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People loved for their beauty and cheerfulness are not loved as irreplaceable, yet people loved for “what their souls are made of” are. Or so literary romance implies; leading philosophical accounts, however, deny the distinction, holding that reasons for love either do not exist or do not include the beloved’s distinguishing features. […]

I defend a model of agency on which people can love each other for identities still being created, through a kind of mutual improvisation. […]

I draw another analogy to jazz, this time relating the attraction and concern constitutive of interpersonal love to the reciprocal appreciation and responsiveness of musicians who improvise together as partners. Musicians who improvise together as partners recognize each other to be trying to express the same musical idea, even though the contents of their ideas are still being worked out.

{ PhilPapers | PDF }

‘I’d hate to die twice.’ —Richard Feynman

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Since 1990, the Gerontology Research Group has assumed the role of record keepers for the world’s supercentenarians, or persons older than 110. […]

When it comes to age forgery, Coles has seen it all. He recently received a claim from India of an individual who is supposedly 179—a feat that is almost certainly physically impossible. The deceit can be harder to spot, such as the time a man in Turkey tried to pass himself off as his deceased brother, who was ten years older. And in one particularly challenging case, the government of Bolivia issued false documents to a man who was 106, stating that he was 112.

These problems are well known among those who study the very old. “Ninety-eight percent of ages claimed over 115 are false,” says Thomas Perls, a professor of medicine and geriatrics at Boston Medical Center, and director of the New England Centenarian Study. Based on a research paper he published on the topic, Perls says that “There’s a total of ten different major reasons why people do this.”

Sometimes, the motivation for lying is monetary. In the U.S., for example, a handful of people inflated their ages in order to claim to be Civil War veterans, giving them access to pensions. […] In other cases, a government or group might want to demonstrate that theirs is a “superior race.”

{ Smithsonian | Continue reading }

The same equations have the same solutions

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Connecting with others increases happiness, but strangers in close proximity routinely ignore each other. Why? Two reasons seem likely: Either solitude is a more positive experience than interacting with strangers, or people misunderstand the consequences of distant social connections. […]

Prior research suggests that acting extroverted—that is, acting bold, assertive, energetic, active, adventurous, and talkative (the exact list has varied by study)—in laboratory experiments involving group tasks like solving jigsaw puzzles and planning a day together, generally leads to greater positive affect than acting introverted—lethargic, passive, and quiet—in those same situations. […]

Connecting with a stranger is positive even when it is inconsistent with the prevailing social norm. […]

Our experiments tested interactions that lasted anywhere from a few minutes to as long as 40 minutes, but they did not require repeated interactions or particularly long interactions with the same random stranger. Nobody in the connection condition, for instance, spent the weekend with a stranger on a train. Indeed, some research suggests that liking for a stranger may peak at a relatively short interaction, and then decline over time as more is learned about another person.

If, however, the amount of time spent in conversation with a distant stranger is inversely related to its pleasantness at some point along the time spectrum, then this only makes the results of our experiments even more surprising. On trains, busses, and waiting rooms, the duration of the conversation is relatively limited. These could be the kinds of brief “social snacks” with distant others that are maximally pleasant, and yet people still routinely avoid them.

{ Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | PDF | More: These Psychologists Think We’d Be Happier If We Talked to Strangers More }

photo { Robert Adams, Our Lives and Our Children, 1981 }

Everyone’s trying to be who they’re not

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Major theories propose that spontaneous responding to others’ actions involves mirroring, or direct matching.

Responding to facial expressions is assumed to follow this matching principle: People smile to smiles and frown to frowns.

We demonstrate here that social power fundamentally changes spontaneous facial mimicry of emotional expressions, thereby challenging the direct-matching principle.

{ Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | PDF }

Come and play with us, Danny. Forever, and ever, and ever.

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To understand how a state acquires legal capacity, we need to study a state that lacked it. France, at the end of the sixteenth century did not possess a centralized legal or tax system. This reflected the way French monarchs had gradually added territories to their growing kingdom since the middle ages. Moreover, as more and more territories were added, the king was forced to concede old, and sometimes new, privileges to the regions so as to ensure their loyalty. In the words of one economic historian, the complexities of the resulting fiscal and legal system almost ‘defy description.’

Legal and fiscal fragmentation reflected the underlying political equilibrium of the French monarchy. This was based on a time-tested and simple quid pro quo: The ruler used his military power to protect local privileges, and in exchange, local elites gave the king their political and fiscal support. France was a ‘natural state’ and control over local courts was a source of rents for the provincial nobility. The disbursement of these revenue streams helped to ensure domestic peace.

The legal authority of the Crown was weak in many parts of the country as well. In some regions the provincial nobility still reigned as semi-independent rulers. Even in those areas where the authority of the monarchy was strong, local families dominated the regional parlements and elections.3 As a result, there was ‘a lack of a coherent and common set of laws,’ and ‘the absence of unified laws even within each governmental region.’ […]

Historians have noted that judges of local or ‘inferior’ jurisdictions usually demonstrated much more zeal in prosecuting witches than did the central authorities, and when left to their own de- vices they generally executed more witches than when they were closely supervised by their judicial superiors.’ […]

The crime of witchcraft had two components: ‘maleficia’, or harm through supernatural means, and ‘diabolism’, or crimes relating to the devil. Maleficia could range from harming cattle or causing a blight on grain to actually committing homicide. For example, in 1611 Jacques Jean Thiébaud in Montbéliard was accused of killing the livestock of neighbors and making them sick. […] Diabolism was defined as having dealings with the Devil or his agents. Attendance at a ‘Devil’s Sabbath’, flying through the air, the use of magic powders or unguents, were identified as common behavior among witches.

Witchcraft was difficult to prosecute under conventional legal procedures and standards of proof. Maleficia may have sometimes actually occurred and, in rare cases, may even have left evidence. However, diabolism was, by its nature, beyond the pale of rational legal procedure. Since dealings with the devil existed only in the fantasies of accusers and (rarely) the accused, it was a thought crime. In order to get around the difficulty of prosecuting a suspected witch according to traditional standards of legal proof, local judges turned to the theories of the demonologists. […]

The unobservable nature of the crime combined with the use of torture created a self-replicating logic to witchcraft trials. Accusation led to torture, which led to further accusations. This logic is illustrated by the following example which took place in 1599 in the area of Bazuel which lies in the North of France. A widow named Reine Perceval was accused of sorcery and brought to the local abbey for interrogation. Initially, she denied the accusa- tions, despite the attempts of her interrogator to coerce her confession by pointing to another recently accused woman who, by admitting to the crimes, was released. […] Later, under torture, the widow Perceval did confess to being a witch and named several ‘accomplices.’ […]

It was costly in a purely financial sense to try an individual witch. Furthermore, fear of witchcraft could get out of control and result in lynchings and murders or in devastating mass trials in which large numbers of individuals who would not usually be suspected of witchcraft came under suspicion. […]

We establish that witchcraft trials were more likely to take place where the central state had weak legal institutions. Combining data on the geographic distribution of witchcraft trials with unique panel data on tax receipts across 21 French regions, we find that the rise of the tax state can account for much of the decline in witch trials during this period. Further historical evidence supports our hypothesis that higher taxes led to better legal institutions.

{ Johnson and Koyama | Continue reading }

Lube in my eye

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In general, we can detect a lie only about 54% of the time. […] We may not be very good detectors of lies, but as a species we are incredibly good at lying. […]

The more intelligent an animal is, the more likely it is to lie, which puts us humans right at the top of the ladder. Research has also shown that the best liars are also the best at detecting lies. […]

Given our increasing intelligence and the fairly basic methods used in lie detection, it seems unlikely that we’ll produce lie detectors that can pass muster in the near future. We have yet to fully understand the underlying psychological processes of lying so asking a machine to code it is ambitious, to say the least.

{ The Conversation | Continue reading }

images { Tilman Zitzmann | 2 }

Every day, the same, again

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Many sewage epidemiology studies to date have focused on measuring the drugs carried in urine, dissolved in water. However, now it seems that analysing faecal matter could be more accurate, since some drugs tend to stick more readily to solids.

FBI warns driverless cars could be used as ‘lethal weapons’

Clothing increases the risk of indirect ballistic fractures (If you’re going to be shot, it’s safer to be naked)

Women are more talkative in small groups, whereas men are more talkative in large groups, study finds. [via gettingsome]

The more senior the speaker, the more they interrupt.

Eye movements reveal difference between love and lust

Do Parents’ Gender Roles at Home Predict Children’s Aspirations?

Researchers found that people slept for 20 to 25 minutes less on average on nights with a full moon, compared with how long they slept on nights with a quarter moon. [via gettingsome]

Students who sleep seven hours per night during the exam period score an average of 1.7 points higher (on a scale of 20) on their exams than peers who get only six hours of sleep.

In this study, we examined the extent to which preschool children were able to understand pans (continuous sideward shifts of a scene generated by rotating the camera around a virtual axis)

Of Mitochondria and Men: Why Brain Death is Not the Death of the Human ‘Organism as a Whole’

Cosmologists: Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

Hairline Design with Lasers

Public Bicycle Share Programs and Head Injuries

8 Irresistible Food Blogs From Sub-Saharan Africa

Gallerist Yvon Lambert slammed the investor-centric speculative art market and bemoaned art advisors’ ever-larger roles within the market

The Problem With Selling the Largest Private Art Collection in the World

This Week in Art Crime

SonyOnline.net Domain Expires, Shenanigans Ensue for all SOE Games, Forums, Websites

Travel App Can Recommend Places by Looking at Them

A Redesigned Parking Sign So Simple That You’ll Never Get Towed

World’s deadliest animals

Online Color Challenge

Artist attends Art Basel naked

Invitation

‘When twenty years of the Moon’s reign have passed another will take up his reign for seven thousand years.’ –Nostradamus

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Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made a breakthrough in the race to solve antibiotic resistance.

New research published today in the journal Nature reveals an Achilles’ heel in the defensive barrier which surrounds drug-resistant bacterial cells.

The findings pave the way for a new wave of drugs that kill superbugs by bringing down their defensive walls rather than attacking the bacteria itself. It means that in future, bacteria may not develop drug-resistance at all.

{ Phys.org | Continue reading }

art { Christopher Wool, Untitled, 2007 }

‘Several excuses are always less convincing than one.’ —Aldous Huxley

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In the U.S., couples with daughters are somewhat more likely to divorce than couples with sons. Many scholars have read those numbers as evidence that daughters cause divorce. […]

Previous studies have argued that fathers prefer boys and are more likely to stay in marriages that produce sons. Conversely, the argument runs, men are more likely to leave a marriage that produces daughters. That scholarly claim has been around for decades, and has gained a following in popular culture. […]

A new research from Duke University suggests something quite different may be at play. […] Throughout the life course, girls and women are generally hardier than boys and men. At every age from birth to age 100, boys and men die in greater proportions than girls and women. Epidemiological evidence also suggests that the female survival advantage actually begins in utero. These more robust female embryos may be better able to withstand stresses to pregnancy, the new paper argues, including stresses caused by relationship conflict.

Based on an analysis of longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of U.S. residents from 1979 to 2010, Hamoudi and Nobles say a couple’s level of relationship conflict predicts their likelihood of subsequent divorce.

Strikingly, the authors also found that a couple’s level of relationship conflict at a given time also predicted the sex of children born to that couple at later points in time. Women who reported higher levels of marital conflict were more likely in subsequent years to give birth to girls, rather than boys.

{ EurekAlert | Continue reading }

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How would it be possible, if salvation were ready to our hand, and could without great labour be found, that it should be by almost all men neglected? But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.

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An extensive literature addresses citizen ignorance, but very little research focuses on misperceptions. Can these false or unsubstantiated beliefs about politics be corrected? […] Results indicate that corrections frequently fail to reduce misperceptions among the targeted ideological group. We also document several instances of a ‘‘backfire effect’’ in which corrections actually increase misperceptions among the group in question.

{ Springer Science+Business Media | PDF }