Every day, the same, again

33.jpg Lawyer invents fake DUI trial to propose to attorney girlfriend

We found that happiness increases with individual income until a threshold of 27,913 Euro per year (rounded to 35,000 USD) in European countries.

We demonstrated, for the first time, that self-disgust plays an important role in the association between loneliness and depressive symptoms

this longitudinal study explores the neural basis for paternal protective behavior in fathers prenatally and early postnatally

Amazon Will Pay $0 in Federal Taxes on $11.2 Billion Profits This tax-free break comes even though Amazon almost doubled its U.S. profits from $5.6 billion to $11.2 billion between 2017 and 2018.

Facebook lets you search for photos of your female friends, but not male mates

Why Tech Companies Hire So Many Economists

Should You Listen To Music While Doing Intellectual Work? It Depends On The Music, The Task, And Your Personality

What happens to the natural world if all the insects disappear?

Emoji license plates will soon be available in Australia

Every day, the same, again


Polyamorous couple who identify as VAMPIRES demonstrate how they drink their ‘donor’ girlfriend’s blood

Happiness research: Long-term effects of life events are overestimated [PDF]

Women who take oral contraceptives have a harder time recognizing emotions like pride or contempt in other people’s faces in comparison to women who aren’t on birth control, new study shows

Scene categorization in the presence of a distractor (we presented composite images with a scene in the center and another scene in the periphery. The two channels conveyed different information, and the participants were asked to focus on one channel while ignoring the other.)

Silent Neurons: The Dark Matter of the Brain?

What 100 Years of Typing Research Can Tell Us

Starting this week, Amazon is testing autonomous package delivery with little robot vehicles in a northern Seattle suburb.

The alarm has been raised on so-called ‘driverless dilemmas’, in which autonomous vehicles will need to make ethical decisions on the road. We argue that these ideas are too contrived to be of practical use, represent an incorrect model of proper safe decision making, and should not be used to inform policy.

Forecasting the Impact of Connected and Automated Vehicles on Energy Use

If technology is everywhere, the tech sector no longer exists. If the tech sector no longer exists, its premium is no longer justified.

Fortnite Is the Future, but Probably Not for the Reasons You Think

As HuffPost and BuzzFeed shed staff, has the digital content bubble burst?

In the case of Picasso’s paintings, our econometric analysis shows that some colors are associated with high prices

The moral of this story is that going to the pub raises many interesting philosophical issues

Misophonia is when an everyday sound causes a strong emotional reaction, usually anger, anxiety or disgust [Thanks GG]

How 10,000 maggots eat a pizza in 2 hours

Increased Coldheartedness related to more pleasure and less guilt after bug grinding.

Detecting a Decline in Serial Homicide

Janice Guy at Higher Pictures, until March 9, 2019


The Neon Fruit Illusion (Observers will typically ascribe this colour change not to the lighting but to the objects themselves)

100 Years is an upcoming science fiction film written by John Malkovich and directed by Robert Rodriguez, due to be released on November 18, 2115

Every day, the same, again

34.jpg China germinates first seed on moon and Russian startup wants to put billboards in space

A robot dog has learned to run faster with machine learning

Giving algorithms a sense of uncertainty could make them more ethical

Consumption of sushi is a good predictor of insect acceptance.

researchers discover the brain cells that make pain unpleasant

Wipe your nose with the sullied tissue, and you’ll “get sick on your own terms.” A Mysterious Company Claims to Sell Sneeze-Filled Tissues for $80

Creative Ideas of Physicists and Writers Routinely Occur During Mind Wandering

We use a unique data set to show that financial market experts — institutional investors with portfolios averaging $573 million — exhibit costly, systematic biases. A striking finding emerges: while investors display clear skill in buying, their selling decisions underperform substantially.

Striped bodypainting protects against horseflies

What Did Ancient Romans Do Without Toilet Paper? (instead of reaching for a roll of toilet paper, an ancient Roman would often grab a tersorium — or, in my technical terms, a “toilet brush for your butt.”

Easter Island statues: mystery behind their location revealed

Mars — if it still had a magnetic field, atmosphere and water

toki- Process & WALK_short ver [Thanks Tim]

4 Copy Editors Killed In Ongoing AP Style, Chicago Manual Gang Violence

Every day, the same, again


Spiders Can Fly Hundreds of Miles Using Electricity

Swiss hotel chain offers a ‘social media sitter’ to handle your Instagram while you relax

How and when taking pictures undermines the enjoyment of experiences [Related: How the Intention to Share Can Undermine Enjoyment | PDF and How Taking Photos Increases Enjoyment of Experiences | PDF]

Delivery robot spontaneously bursts into flames

Do you believe that people’s eyes emit an invisible beam of force? According to a rather fun paper in PNAS, you probably do.

Person evaluation is strongly influenced by untrustworthy gossip

picking the ‘wrong’ name can make a huge difference to your sales figures (drug-naming study)

Forgetting in order to Remember Better (we find that the interference of informations limits the capacity of human memory, which is the “magic number seven”.)

Physics explains why time passes faster as you age

A musician had an operation in South Africa to remove most of a brain tumor—and played the guitar while it was happening.

There is now a mental health clinic inside a Walmart Supercenter

Executing Someone Who Does Not Remember the Crime [Argument Session, US Supreme Court | audio]

Can a Corpse Give Birth? Why a dead woman was kept on life support against her wishes. [NY Times]

American suicides are now at their highest point in 50 years. It’s the second-leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 35.

A teenage girl is more at risk of developing mental health problems if her father has experienced post-natal depression, according to research

Google Has a Plan to Eliminate Mosquitoes Worldwide

Self-exciting Risk Modeling for Predicting Next Locations of Serial Crimes

A 30-Year Plan to Transform the Courts [audio] More: The Federalist Society has reached an unprecedented peak of power and influence. Having allies on the highest court of the land is just the top layer of the Federalist Society’s expanding sway. The next most important segment of the judiciary — the federal appeals courts — is also filling up with Federalist Society members: Twenty-five of the 30 appeals court judges Trump has appointed are or were members of the society. [Washington Post]

The choice of information structures must be subject to some limits, otherwise, of course, each agent would simply observe the entire state of the world. The Cost of Information

“Financial markets have significantly evolved over the past decade, driven by new technologies, and the market itself is becoming more difficult to anticipate as traditional participants are imperceptibly replaced by computerised models.” Hedge Funds Have Lost Their Rhythm

The Economic Limits of Bitcoin and the Blockchain

The bar graph was first invented in 1786 and little has changed in its format. Here, a replacement for the bar graph, called a hat graph, is proposed.

Clarence King—who was a renowned explorer, the first director of the United States Geological Survey, and one of the most famous Americans of the nineteenth century—conducted a secret double life in which he passed for black. [The Best Facts I Learned from Books in 2018 ]

The artist targeted five prominent New York museums that have rejected his work—the Metropolitan, Guggenheim, Museum of Modern art, New Museum, and Whitney—arguing that they are part of a cabal to eliminate competition in the art market.

Every day, the same, again

32.jpg Factory robot impales worker with 10 foot-long steel spikes after malfunction

Parrot uses owner’s Amazon Alexa to order shopping, play music

When faking your own death to get out of catering a wedding is not fraud

Child sex dolls seized by Canadian border agents

Boys experience their first ejaculation (thorarche) during adolescence + Thelarche is the onset of secondary (postnatal) breast development, usually occurring at the beginning of puberty in girls + Menarche

Breastfeeding Greater Than 6 Months Is Associated with Smaller Maternal Waist Circumference Up to One Decade After Delivery

Can Humans Really Discriminate 1 Trillion Odors? (The paper’s extravagant claims are based on errors of mathematical logic.)

Physical activity in the evening does not cause sleep problems

Sleep selectively stabilizes contextual aspects of negative memories

The human brain needs to suppress obvious ideas in order to reach the most creative ones. A new study shows that brainwaves play a crucial role in inhibiting habitual thinking modes to pave the way to access more remote ideas.

Research shows that when a nonprofit receives a donation, its views on rules and legislation magically line up with the donor’s. 

The project consisted of Warhol vacuuming the gallery rug and then displaying the vacuum and its signed dust bag in the gallery that he’d cleaned

The Business of Selling Your Location More: Facebook Filed A Patent To Calculate Your Future Location

These Portraits Were Made by AI: None of These People Exist

Advertisers place a single brown pixel on a bright background in a mobile ad. It looks like dust, so users try to wipe it off. That registers as a click, and the user is taken to the homepage. [52 things I learned in 2018]

Should I buy bitcoin (Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island). Should I delete facebook (Washington). Should I cut my hair (Arizona, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio). The Most-Googled “Should I” Question State by State

There Are Now More Shows Streaming Than There Are on Broadcast or Cable

Marriott, like the other big hotel companies, owns very few of its own hotels these days. Marriott is actually a family of 30 hotel brands, many of them virtually indistinguishable. What’s the business logic?

NASA Research Reveals Saturn is Losing Its Rings at “Worst-Case-Scenario” Rate

New results suggest there is no methane on Mars, living organisms thus less likely

Planets with oxygen don’t necessarily have life

The Enfer (French for “Hell”) is a special department of the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. It is a special collection of books and manuscripts of an erotic or pornographic character which, because of their rarity and value, may be seen only with authorization.

Polybius is an almost-certainly fictional arcade game. The original game allegedly was part of a government-run psychology experiment. [Thanks Darren!]


Presenting Oscar, The Modular Body

Every day, the same, again

Poo found on every McDonald’s touchscreen tested

London bans junk food advertising on public transportation

Major dark web drug dealers have started to voluntarily ban the synthetic opioid fentanyl

When cryptocurrency issuers want positive coverage for their virtual coins, they buy it

It claims to be, in short, a next-generation lie detector. Polygraph tests are a $2 billion industry in the US and, despite their inaccuracy, are widely used to screen candidates for government jobs. Released in 2014 by Converus, a Mark Cuban–funded startup, EyeDetect is pitched by its makers as a faster, cheaper, and more accurate alternative to the notoriously unreliable polygraph.

The aim of the current study was to evaluate sleep quality, daytime dozing, anxiety proneness, chronotype and preferred start time in a sample of university students

Most women would be stunned to discover that the law does not consider a piece of their body to be their property, and they legally have almost no voice regarding the use of their own placentas [Placentophagy: A Women ’s Right to Her Placenta | PDF]

Harvard scientists found a potential key ingredient to the start of life on Earth [more]

Chemical industry giant 3M is waging an aggressive campaign to stave off new regulations and potentially billions of dollars in damages stemming from a contamination crisis that has fouled tens of millions of Americans’ drinking water. Inside a corporate giant’s fight to thwart a massive pollution tab

The placement of a period and no spaces between “G-20” and “in” resulted in an inadvertent hyperlink

Scientific communication in a post-truth society

After nine years, Uber isn’t within hailing distance of making money and continues to bleed more red ink than any start-up in history. By contrast, Facebook and Amazon were solidly cash-flow positive by their fifth year. Uber has never presented a case as to why it will ever be profitable, let alone earn an adequate return on capital.

There are about 4,256 human-made satellites orbiting the Earth, of which about 1,149 are still working. If Earth’s orbit is so crowded, why don’t we see space junk in photos of the Earth?

How Restaurants Got So Loud

The first ever human vs. computer no-limit Texas hold ‘em competition took place from April 24-May 8, 2015 at River’s Casino in Pittsburgh, PA. In this article I present my thoughts on the competition design, agent architecture, and lessons learned. [PDF]

How did Choc, a quirky calligraphic typeface drawn by a French graphic designer in the 1950s, end up on storefronts everywhere? [NY Times]

The dolly zoom, illustrated

Behind the scene: Charlie Chaplin roller-skating in a department store in Modern Time (1936)

Robert Mueller Devotional Candle

When trying to trademark Vagina Guitars,  the federal trademark office called this honorable man and said,  “This is not possible. You can not trademark the word guitar.

Vagina Weightlifting Can Empower Women

Every day, the same, again

7.jpgSmall Nuclear War Could Reverse Global Warming for Years

Emile Ratelband, 69, wants to change the date of birth on his passport from March 11, 1949 to March 11, 1969. He says he has had a check-up and is “biologically” 25 years younger than his date of birth claims.

Ellenstein, 57, donated sperm anonymously in his 20s and early 30s to make some extra cash. This past year, thanks to online tools, including DNA test kits, he discovered that he has at least 24 biological children.

we propose that instances of orgasmic dysfunction in many women may be a byproduct of an inability to find and/or retain high-quality male partners. Related: Women’s orgasm obstacles | PDF

Orgasm types include those related to exercise, sleep, drug use, riding in vehicles, breastfeeding, eating, auditory stimulation, and childbirth, among others

Did the Victorians have faster reactions?

Practicing cognitive-training programs or intellectually demanding activities do not enhance general cognitive ability or any cognitive skill

People who think their opinions are superior to others are most prone to overestimating their relevant knowledge and ignoring chances to learn more

“How does it work?” vs. “What are the laws?” Two conceptions of psychological explanation [PDF]

Can hypnotic suggestibility measured online?

Hackers erase 6,500 sites from the Dark Web in one attack

Scott Galloway: Over the past decade, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google have aggregated more economic value and influence than nearly any other commercial entity in history. The breakup of big tech should and will happen. [More: The Four — What to do (July 2017) + How the traditional rules of business don’t apply to the Big Four, September 2018 ]

Google Turns 20: How an Internet Search Engine Reshaped the Wolrd

A bra that falls off when you clap your hands (new patent)

New artists who show their work early in a relatively small network of 400 venues are all but guaranteed a successful art career, the study said. By contrast, artists who exhibit mainly in lower-level galleries and midtier institutions are likely to remain stuck in that orbit.

How I Accidentally Wound Up Running an Outlaw Biker

I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It.

Saddam Hussein memorial plaque appears on London bench

Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’

Semaj (James spelled backwards; in the top 1000 most popular names for boys in the United States from 2001 until 2014.)

How the seven rules of Soviet disinformation are being used to create today’s fake news stories

IBM Q [more] [Thanks Tim]

Every day, the same, again

omg.jpgProfessional mermaids say ‘merverts’ are making their lives a hassle

Restaurant owner murders man, serves his remains to vegetarian diners

Woman who had sex with 20 ghosts is now engaged to a spirit

Researchers found a way to “see” through walls using ambient Wi-Fi signals and an ordinary smartphone

Canada installs Chinese underwater monitoring devices next to US nuclear submarine base

scientists developed a tool that seems remarkably accurate at judging written falsehoods

In a landmark study, 20 top US corporate lawyers with decades of experience in corporate law and contract review were pitted against an AI. Their task was to spot issues in five Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Emotions are frequently thought of as reactions to events in the world. However, many of our emotional experiences are of our own making, coming from thoughts and memories. These different origins mean that these endogenous emotions are more controllable than exogenous emotions.

Loneliness increases a person’s risk of dementia by 40 percent

Curiosity is associated with well-being

Study: Tetris is a great distraction for easing an anxious mind

Oral contraceptive use is associated with greater mood stability and higher relationship satisfaction

Human saliva as a cleaning agent for dirty surfaces

Exploring the effect of microdosing psychedelics on creativity

Psychedelic psilocybin therapy for depression granted Breakthrough Therapy status by FDA

Tolaas also invented 1,500 “smell memory kits” — abstract odors that have never been smelled before. When you want to remember an event, you open the amulet and inhale, sealing the moment in your emotional core.

Swiss experiment with sound to make cheese tastier

Record labels’ study shows performances of Bach are almost 30 percent faster than they were 50 years ago

The shopping mall would have been inconceivable without air conditioning, as would the deep-plan and glass-walled office block, as would computer servers. An inversion of nature: how air conditioning created the modern city

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others? (Blood type, metabolism, exercise, shirt color, drinking beer…)

a special fifth state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC)

20 “Rules for History of Philosophy”

NYC Municipal Archives Collections

What happened to the Sphinx’s nose?

Map of Roman Air Bases in 2nd Century AD and US governors by eye color and if you’re asked to “put your hands up” and have trouble identifying the situation

Every day, the same, again

333.jpgSex doll rental company will make a replica of your dead lover

Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with chainsaw

Assessing the calorific significance of episodes of human cannibalism in the Palaeolithic (This paper presents a nutritional template that offers a proxy calorie value for the human body)

How to Order a Beer — Cultural Differences in the Use of Conventional Gestures for Numbers

Toilet Flushing System Bursting Prompts Massive Recall

Kansas City police looking for stolen inflatable human colon

some down-for-anything fans have also reported post-slushy poop that ranges from blue to green

The Secretive Business of Facial-Recognition Software in Retail Stores

We explored personality inferences made from body shapes … Personality-trait profiles were predicted reliably from a subset of the body-shape features

Do women’s preferences for masculine voices shift across the ovulatory cycle?

A “Need for Chaos” and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced Democracies

we often forget about the fact that the frontal lobes – the most developed part of the brain – are at the same time our greatest weakness, exposed to the action of damaging factors in our evolving environment. Is depression the cost of evolution? The Evolutionary Theory of Depression

Can Moons Have Moons?

Scientists Create Artificial Wood That Is Water- and Fire-Resistant

The band Chic wrote a song in 1978, “Le Freak”, after being refused entry to Studio 54 on New Year’s Eve 1977, despite being invited by Grace Jones.

at least 20 percent of Manhattan’s street retail is vacant or about to become vacant. (The city government’s estimate is lower.)

The man who has eaten at more than 7,300 Chinese restaurants, but can’t use chopsticks and doesn’t care for food

Interviews with elederly people (1929)

Shredding Banksy’s the Girl and Balloon - The Director’s Cut

Restaurant reviews

Every day, the same, again

33.jpgA missing man who was murdered more than 40 years ago has been found - after a seed from a fig in his stomach grew into a tree

Seeking advice lowers mortality risk

We watched 216 episodes of five popular television series on Netflix and identified 333 separate driving scenes, of which 271 (81.4%) portrayed at least one risky driving behaviour.

This paper compares mortality between Gold and Silver medalists in Olympic Track and Field to study how achievement influences health. Contrary to conventional wisdom, winners die over one year earlier than losers.

Zurich crematorium starts to trade precious metals filtered from people’s ashes

Music training does not enhance non-music cognitive skills or academic achievement

Why Determinism in Physics Has No Implications for Free Will

Sixteen healthy volunteers without gastrointestinal disease and normal faecal calprotectin baseline values ingested their own blood twice, either by drinking or via nasogastric tube. Ingestion of blood resulted in an increase in faecal calprotectin-positive tests.

All participants were engaged in a steady heterosexual relationship. Women reported a masturbation frequency of about once per two weeks. Men reported a masturbation frequency of about twice per week. PDF

Three scholars spent 10 months writing 20 hoax papers

Salt not as damaging to health as previously thought, says study (involving more than 90,000 people people in more than 300 communities in 18 countries)

Randy Gardner is the holder of the scientifically documented record for the longest a human has gone without sleep (11 days 25 minutes).

A new mathematical model suggests that signs of extraterrestrial intelligence could be common

Scientists Use DNA to Expose the World’s Top 3 Illegal Ivory Cartels

Effects of the replacement of wheat flour with cricket powder on the characteristics of muffins

Last year, across the globe, more than 100 billion servings of instant noodles were eaten. That’s more than 13 servings for every person on the planet.

History of art paintings through the lens of entropy and complexity

artnet Intelligence Report

Who was in on Banksy’s ’self-destruct’ art stunt? [previously: Banksy’s Girl With Balloon (2006) self-destructed at the end of a Sotheby’s auction]

Self-driving homes

Putin at the photocopier

Dancing in the Streets

Every day, the same, again

25.jpgSex doll brothel raided by police, closed down

She thought she had candles to burn during a power outage — but it was dynamite

Japan starts space elevator experiments

Amazon has patented a system that would put workers in a cage, on top of a robot

The Secret Drug Pricing System Middlemen Use to Rake in Millions

Stab Wound to the Chest Masquerading as Impalement by Rose Bush

Scientists discovered wasps, honeybees and even a squirrel nesting inside a mummified corpse. Researchers think the corpse had remained undiscovered for about 13 years. 

The report — which surveyed more than 11,000 researchers worldwide — also finds a growing “reviewer fatigue.” Finding peer reviewers is becoming harder, even as the overall volume of publications rises globally

Smile intensity in social networking profile photographs is related to greater scientific achievements

The experience of having a daughter as a first child significantly increases fathers’ support for policies designed to increase gender equality

People’s interpretation of new evidence is often biased by their previous choices

People overestimate the size of their nose

How is experience transformed into memory?

The Mystery of People Who Speak Dozens of Languages

Computer vision researchers have uncovered a world of visual signals hiding in our midst, including subtle motions that betray what’s being said and faint images of what’s around a corner (with a recording of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” reconstructed from the minuscule vibrations of an empty chip bag as viewed through a soundproof window)

Did scientists discover a new shape?

Where former Lehman Brothers employees are today 

The generation now entering the workforce is sober, industrious and driven by money. They are also socially awkward and timid about taking the reins.

Meet the Worshipers Who Believe They’re Aliens in Human Form

This note discusses the gap in intellectual property protections for the fashion industry

trends in the diffusion of misinformation on Facebook and Twitter between Jan- uary 2015 and July 2018 [PDF]

Are New York’s free FREE LinkNYC internet kiosks tracking your movements?

“The Most Unwanted Song” is a song created by artists Komar and Melamid and composer Dave Soldier in 1997. The song was designed to incorporate lyrical and musical elements that were annoying to most people, as determined by a public opinion survey.

How Technology is Hijacking Your Mind — from a Magician and Google Design Ethicist [Thanks Tim]

The 20 Books Travelers Are Always Leaving Behind at Their Hotels

We only eat fruit, and haven’t brushed our teeth in two years

Every day, the same, again


Air Guitarists Compete At World Championships

For $450, This Japanese Company Will Quit Your Job For You

Google and Mastercard Cut a Secret Ad Deal to Track Retail Sales

The present research examined ‘creepiness,’ a commonly referenced but little understood construct

people routinely find themselves on the receiving end of others’ memory failures; that is, people sometimes find themselves forgotten

Researchers find evidence that neural systems actively remove memories, which suggests that forgetting may be the default mode of the brain

relation between the gray matter volume of the amygdala and procrastination

Evaluating the replicability of social science experiments in Nature and Science between 2010 and 2015 [PDF]

I argue that the object that is universally lost in all break-ups is a person with certain intrinsic qualities, who is in a relationship characterised by certain shared activities and recognized as romantic. That means that, at least in romantic terminations, the beloved and the relationship are not independent objects of grief. The Break-Up Check: Exploring Romantic Love through Relationship Terminations. [last week: How to Recover from Romantic Heartbreak + previously: The scientific study of heartbreak is extremely new, with nearly all articles on the matter appearing in the last 10-15 years]

Pet Phone: Using Apologies to Enhance User-Smartphone Attachment [PDF]

Pink for Girls, Red for Boys, and Blue for Both Genders: Colour Preferences in Children and Adults

“Google, but for colors”

“I think [Warhol’s] most interesting work is actually the way he created something that he called business-art”

How Two Thieves Stole Thousands of Prints From University Libraries

Scientists have shown that water is likely to be a major component of those exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars) which are between two to four times the size of Earth.

Any contact with water whatsoever – even her own sweat – leaves Rachel with a painful, swollen and intensely itchy rash which can last for several hours The woman who is allergic to water

People are having trouble telling the difference between real videos and the deepfake videos

Healthy adult humans blink somewhere between every 2 and 10 seconds, and a single blink takes between one-tenth and four-tenths of a second. That’s what would be normal to see in a video of a person talking. But it’s not what happens in many deepfake videos.

Conditional video synthesis from Berkeley [Thanks Tim]