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]

Every day, the same, again

5.jpgPolice bodycams can be hacked to doctor footage

The effects of emotional disclosure were equivalent whether participants thought they were disclosing to a chatbot or to a person.

Here I report a case of “masturbation” with a tool by a wild infant chimpanzee. The observed “masturbation” did not involve ejaculation, because infant chimpanzees are unable to ejaculate.

Tokyo University manipulated test scores for more than a decade to ensure more men became doctors

Among the most frequent reasons that men indicated for being single included poor flirting skills, low self-confidence, poor looks, shyness, low effort, and bad experience from previous relationships.

How to Recover from Romantic Heartbreak. Use “negative reappraisal,” and understand you have work to do—time alone may not be enough.

The strongest positive correlates of narcissism were: using words related to sports, second-person pronouns, and swear words.

observation of the eyes and ocular regions of normal control individuals, and of serial killers, enabled average respondents to distinguish these individuals clearly in terms of trustworthiness, likability, and general “goodness.”

Chemists discover how blue light (from digital devices and the sun ) speeds blindness

Lip-reading artificial intelligence could help the deaf—or spies

It’s nearly impossible to break a dry spaghetti noodle into only two pieces. A new MIT study shows how and why it can be done. [more]

Obesity has reached alarming levels in Thailand, which ranks as the second- heaviest nation in Asia, after Malaysia. One in three Thai men are obese, while more than 40 percent of women are significantly overweight. [NY Times]

When presented with two vendors selling effectively identical products, the Japanese choose whichever one has the longer line in front of it

An errant fly ruined a world record domino attempt in Germany

Man falls into Anish Kapoor’s artwork, ends up at hospital

Adam is the founder of Dick At Your Door

Every day, the same, again

232.jpgSTUDY: Watching Only Fox News Makes You Less Informed Than Watching No News At All

How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions Jerome Jacobson and his network of mobsters, psychics, strip club owners, and drug traffickers won almost every prize for 12 years, until the FBI launched Operation ‘Final Answer.’

Mountain View’s unusual rule for Facebook: No free food

Hackers break into voting machines within 2 hours at Defcon

A new report debunks the health benefits of taking omega-3 supplements And: Giving children omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduces disruptive behavior, which in turn had a positive effect on their parents, making them less likely to argue with each other and engage in other verbal abuse

Neuroscientists report that they had participants wear a ball gag while watching images of people in pain

People’s eye movements reveal whether they are sociable, conscientious or curious

psychology researchers reveal factors that lead to infidelity, as well as prevent it.

Coupled individuals adjust their ideal mate preferences according to their actual partner

the extraordinary aspects of the human mind are due to our species’ ability to process the relations among three items of information simultaneously

Across six studies, we find that the tendency to experience awe is positively associated with scientific thinking. We show that the disposition to experience awe predicts a more accurate understanding of how science works, rejection of creationism, and rejection of unwarranted teleological explanations more broadly.

Psychologists have proposed an explanation for why Ouija board users feel as though a spirit is moving the planchette

We find that suicide rates rise 0.7% in US counties and 2.1% in Mexican municipalities for a 1 °C increase in monthly average temperature

Nearly 412,000 deaths every year in the US can be attributed to lead contamination

Assassination Markets Let Augur Users Gamble on Trump Murder

Son of Romanian peasants, Constantin Brancusi arrived in Paris around the same time Picasso did, but on foot. Within a few years, he had somehow managed to apprentice with Rodin.

In 1978 a series of small mistakes created some characters out of nothing. The errors went undiscovered just long enough to be set in stone, and now these ghosts are, at least in potential, a part of every computer on the planet

Pianist Plays Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Ravel & Debussy for Blind Elephants in Thailand

Every day, the same, again

222.jpgMcDonald’s Sued For $1.5M By Customer Who Wanted More Than 1 Napkin

Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States

Man accused of faking own kidnapping to get money from his family

About 56 percent of crypto startups that raise money through token sales die within four months of their initial coin offerings

Google decided to make Maps its next billion dollar business by raising prices 14 times and decreasing free usage limit almost 30 times

What Cyber-War Will Look Like The hacking campaigns I envision would be low-key, localized, and fairly low-tech.

This research explores the possibility that exaggerating in order to entertain the listener while sharing previous experiences can increase interpersonal closeness in new relationships

Do smart people have better intuitions?

Why do angry people overestimate their intelligence?

What Ever Happened to the “Cool” Kids? Early adolescent pseudomature behavior predicted long-term difficulties in close relationships, as well as significant problems with alcohol and substance use, and elevated levels of criminal behavior.

Verbal communication during sex did not predict sexual satisfaction

Fukushima’s nuclear signature found in California wine

How Postcards Solved The Problem Of Disappearing Rice

Maybe we can afford to suck CO2 out of the sky after all

A white female and baby giraffe were first spotted on a reserve in Kenya in early August. Leucism, which inhibits skin cells from producing pigment but allows other organs, like eyes, to be dark colored. Albinism, a congenital condition, inhibits the body from producing pigment in all organs, and animals with this condition often have pink eyes.

Suicide in parachuting

The 50-something man has been living alone in the Brazilian Amazon for 22 years, after the last members of his tribe were murdered.

Timeline of the far future

Scores of long-buried archaeological sites have been revealed once again as ‘cropmarks’, or patterns of growth in ripening crops and parched grasslands More: Europe’s scorching weather has revealed a mysterious henge

Hokusai relocated 93 times and changed his name 30 times



Every day, the same, again

3.jpgMan arrested after trying to pay for meal with credit card stolen from waitress

Credit card debt in China is $2t v. $815b in the United States.

Thousands of people in Sweden have inserted microchips, which can function as contactless credit cards, key cards and even rail cards, into their bodies.

Cocaine in rivers harming endangered eels, study finds

The blue lights are meant to discourage people from using drugs in store bathrooms by making it more difficult for them to see their veins

Pudding sent to the edge of space goes missing

More than 700 hives, valued at as much as a million dollars, went missing in a single night. How to Steal 50 Million Bees

Progress in artificial intelligence makes the technology increasingly relevant to military applications. In particular, autonomous weapons could be of great military use. And: U.S. military is actively developing deadly uncontrolled drone swarms. Previously: MICRO DRONES KILLER ARMS ROBOTS

Blind Snapshot Predictions vs. Actual Photos [Thanks Tim]

Many of these traditional stock- and bond-picking firms are now paying up to hire mathematical and computer experts. They want these recruits to dive into pools of data—and the machine-learning tools that harness that data and other information—in search of trading ideas and blind spots.

Instead of ‘finding your passion,’ try developing it, Stanford scholars say

Statements that were repeated were more likely to be considered true compared to new statements [PDF]

Education appears to be the most consistent, robust, and durable method yet to be identified for raising intelligence

Researchers have identified over 1,016 specific genes associated with intelligence, the vast majority of which are unknown to science

How To Get Kids To Pay Attention

I got Facebook removed from RBS’s online banking landing page because it could access the account pages (which it was not loaded on) Facebook JavaScript SDK is often illegal

We did not find any strong support for the hypothesis that exposure to images of half-naked women impact economic preferences

The first lawsuit was filed by asset management executive Steven Tananbaum, who alleged that Koons and the gallery failed to deliver three monumental sculptures, even after he paid millions of dollars for them.

Digital communication is undergoing exclamation-point inflation

The return to ‘inflatable tanks’ and the art of deception in the British Army

The “sudden death during recreational mummification bondage” happened Nov. 22, but was not reported until muckraking podcaster Ebner broke the story last week. S&M-loving Hollywood exec keeps job after man dies in his sex dungeon

St. Ignace Mystery Spot

Who up [Thanks Tim]

realsuperhuman.net [Thanks Tim]

Every day, the same, again

33.jpgTelevangelist says Jesus asked him to buy a new private jet, asks his followers to buy him the $54 million jet

Mutually Nonconsensual Sex. Is it possible for two people to simultaneously sexually assault each other?

Walking faster could make you live longer: research

Human footsteps can provide a unique behavioural pattern for robust biometric systems

A New Tool Uses DNA to Predict Eye, Hair, Skin Color

Taking a photo of something impairs your memory of it, whether you expect to keep the photo or not

Without air conditioning, each 1°F increase in school year temperature reduces the amount learned that year by one percent.

Women who wore the obese body suit ate significantly more than women who wore the control clothing, but this effect was not observed in men

Study Identifies Processes In The Gut That Drive Fat Build-Up Around The Waist

we show that incidental exposure to fishy smells is sufficient to undermine cooperation in economic trust and public good games [PDF]

Human immune cells in blood can be converted directly into functional neurons in the laboratory in about three weeks with the addition of just four proteins

Scientists have categorized 6 types of disgust

If correlation doesn’t imply causation, then what does?

What Is It Like to Be a Dolphin?

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

AI Winter Is Well On Its Way

Alexa is recording mundane details of your life, and it’s creepy as hell

Early hackers used whistles from Cap’n Crunch cereal boxes. They played certain tones through their telephones to bypass AT&T’s analog system and get free long-distance phone calls.

AI, Blockchain, Anime: Crypko, the next generation cryptocollectible game

‘Diane Arbus: American Portraits’ at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne

English teacher corrects White House letter

Every day, the same, again

22.jpg Mum changes her son’s name after tattoo artist spelled it wrong

A cancer researcher said she collected blood from 98 people. It was all her own.

In the 1950s, China established a regulation requiring that at least one room in each apartment receive a minimum of one hour of sunshine on the day of the winter solstice, December 21.

Researchers studied a range of fitness apps and found only one was effective, while others failed to spark improvements or made the problem worse

The more intelligent a person, the fewer connections there are between the neurons in his cerebral cortex. These findings sound paradoxical at first glance, but they do reconcile previously conflicting results.

Images of baby animals temporarily reduce women’s appetite for meat. In contrast, the evidence for men was less strong.

people display more red and black clothing when meeting a possible mate for the first time

Demographics doom more and more males to involuntary celibacy

Male Sexlessness is Rising, But Not for the Reasons Incels Claim

The Difference Between Reversible and Irreversible Decisions

As robots get good at mimicking human behavior, people can be deceived into thinking they have human intelligence

The social pressure to have an opinion and a lack of accountability are what lead to the mix of truth, half-truth and outright falsehood known as bullshit, study

the rise of the pointless job

distinctive eyebrows (e.g., thick, dense) reveal narcissists’ personality to others

Susceptibility to contagious diseases among improvisational artists

How much life does a sausage cost you?

Extra glass of wine a day ‘will shorten your life by 30 minutes’

researchers have shown that a synthetic “double Trojan horse” drug can fool bacteria into willingly accepting a toxic antibiotic

the eye movement record suggested that initial processing of the text was facilitated when periods were followed by two spaces

How could we build an invisibility cloak to hide Earth from an alien civilization?

What Is Dark Matter?

Dead zones are areas devoid of oxygen. In the ocean, these are also known as ‘oxygen minimum zones’ and they are naturally occurring between 200 and 800 meters deep in some parts of the world.

Why New York City Stopped Building Subways

“Law does not govern,” writes Dorothy Thompson, then a correspondent for several major U.S. publications, about conditions in 1934 Germany. “Force and the arbitrary and unchallengeable decisions of a small oligarchy, made from day to day, govern. Their decrees are the law.”

Things no one tells you before an Antarctic expedition

A first experiment in AI-enhanced AR

Communication and propaganda through the Wi-FI wireless standard

Two rubber band technique for finger ring removal

Seven Puzzles You Think You Must Not Have Heard Correctly (with solutions) [PDF]

Lying or spreading “false news” was treated as a crime in colonial Massachusetts

The longest straight-line route possible without hitting land

Once upon a time…

Every day, the same, again

3.jpgHackers stole a casino’s high-roller database through a thermometer in the lobby fish tank. They are increasingly targeting unprotected ‘internet of things’ devices such as air condition systems and CCTV to get into corporate networks.

‘Bitcoin Heist’ suspect climbs out prison window in Iceland, gets on plane to Sweden, reportedly same flight as Iceland’s leader

A powerful combination of lawyers, banks and hedge funds have lined up to talk hundreds of women into unnecessary and sometimes dangerous surgery, to help build better lawsuits against medical device companies

T-Mobile agreed to pay $40 million to resolve a government investigation that found it failed to correct problems with delivering calls in rural areas and inserted false ring tones in hundreds of millions of calls

researchers found that people at higher elevations in an office building were more willing to take financial risks

After working in a world of ‘tech bros,’ entrepreneur Kristina Roth founds SuperShe, a female-only island

we found that better government services were related to lower religiosity among countries (Study 1) and states in the United States (Study 2).

In jobs where existing research has posited that attractiveness is plausibly a productivity enhancing attribute—those that require substantial amounts of interpersonal interaction—a large beauty premium exists. In contrast, in jobs where attractiveness seems unlikely to truly enhance productivity—jobs that require working with information and data—there is no beauty premium.

The plastic, which can come from soft furnishings and synthetic fabrics, gets into household dust which falls on plates and is consumed. We could be swallowing more than 100 tiny plastic particles with every main meal, a Heriot-Watt study has revealed.

Women’s voice pitch lowers after pregnancy

Not using smartphones in the bedroom increases happiness and quality of life.

New research shows that we can train our brains to become memory champions [More: The Method of Loci]

This finding provides new insights on the attentional mechanisms behind the initial stages of serendipity.

HARVEST uses wind energy to mine cryptocurrency to fund climate research [Thanks Tim]

A kakistocracy is a system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens

Every day, the same, again

5.jpgA French waiter is suing for the right to be rude at work

The Rise in Self-Proclaimed Time Travelers

How do blind people represent rainbows?

What Happens When a Blind Person Takes LSD?

Retaliation on a voodoo doll symbolizing an abusive supervisor restores justice

A new device, created by mad scientists at MIT, can accept commands that you say only in your own head. It works by analyzing “subvocalization,” or silent speech.

DNA tests for IQ are coming, but it might not be smart to take one

It took about 50 hours of interaction to move from acquaintance to casual friend, about 90 hours to move from casual friend to friend, and more than 200 hours to qualify as a best friend. A new study shows how long—in hours—friendships take to develop.

Sleeping without smartphones improves sleep, relationships, focus and wellbeing, although impacts is relatively small

Mark Bittman and doctor David L. Katz patiently answer pretty much every question we could think of about healthy food

76% of sports sponsorships tied to junk food, study says

Last year, some social media genius discovered that single-paragraph updates did inordinately well on LinkedIn. Thus, through the opportunistic gaming of oblique algorithms, a new literary genre was born. [Thanks Tim]

By creating free wifi on the London Underground, Transport for London is harvesting data. Uber harvests data well beyond car journeys (the app continues to collect data on passenger behaviour after a ride has finished, although users can now opt out of this). New digital advertising billboards at Piccadilly Circus are harvesting data (they contain cameras to analyse the facial expressions of people in the crowds passing by).

Next month, the US government is expected to green-light a number of agreements between private drone operators and states and local entities that want to test drone services involving “beyond-line-of-sight operations”

Unicorns Take Different Paths to Being Public

Sex Workers Making Underground Porn on Snapchat

Self-storage: How warehouses for personal junk became a $38 billion industry

Scientists have spent 60 years agonizing over how our knuckles crack [study]

Why it’s Impossible to Accurately Measure a Coastline

Maine Restaurant Announces It Will Only Accept Reservations Via Snail-Mail

A brief history of audio recording and playback, from the 1850s onward [The Museum of Obsolete Media]

Metropolitan Police Coat Hook

Amalia Ulman’s Instagram art hoax

Japanese Are Polishing Foil Balls To Perfection

Every day, the same, again

2.jpg‘Time-traveller’ brings food item from 2200 that has ‘ended world hunger’

An Oklahoma mother married her daughter after the pair “hit it off.” Investigators later discovered she had previously wed her son.

How optimistic are you about the future?

Frustrated husband creates spreadsheet of wife’s excuses for not having sex with him

One study found that 81% of women orgasm during oral sex, which is about three times more often than during intercourse. But in a survey Cristol conducted, she discovered that 80% of women turn down oral sex when they wanted to say yes.

Stability of Genetic and Environmental Influences on Female Sexual Functioning

We report the first case in literature of a work nail gun injury to male external genitalia.

The most successful people are not the most talented, just the luckiest, a new computer model of wealth creation confirms

Envy is harmful to psychological health and wellbeing [PDF]

New evidence suggests that by age five, children begin to understand the broad importance of reputation and to engage in surprisingly sophisticated impression management.

MDMA appears to have a stronger effect on emotional memories than non-emotional memories, according to new research. The finding may explain why the drug has beneficial effects for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and similar psychiatric conditions.

Using sleep deprivation to lift people out of severe depression may seem counterintuitive, but for some people, it’s the only thing that works

Acoustical Analysis of Shouting Into the Wind

Overtrafficked and underserviced, aircraft lavatories are swarming with E. coli. “Your typical flight will have one for every 50 people.” More: Behaviors, movements, and transmission of droplet-mediated respiratory diseases during transcontinental airline flights

“Salami slicing” refers to the practice of breaking scientific studies down into small chunks and publishing each part as a seperate paper.

We are experiencing a fundamental paradigm shift in our relationship to knowledge. From the ‘information age’, we are moving towards the ‘reputation age’, in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated and commented upon by others.

The history of the ‘ideal’ woman

A staggering number of golf balls wind up in the ocean. What happens to them?

René Redzepi’s Copenhagen restaurant, once called the best in the world, reopens

Henderson Island is isolated and uninhabited—but its beaches are still covered in garbage.  

Murders in Brazil

No one, presently, sees the Moon rotate like this

A phone line that puts callers on hold for seven years