science

I’m in that black on black Porsche Panamera, in the back like “ooh wee”

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Using Music as Medicine – finding the optimum music listening ‘dosage’

There was a general agreement of dosage time across 3 of the 4 domains with 11 minutes being the most common amount of time it took for people to receive the therapeutic benefit from their self- selected music preferences. The only exception was the domain of happiness where the most common length of time for people to become happier after listening to their chosen music was reduced to 5 minutes, suggesting that happy music takes less time to take effect than other music. 


{ British Academy of Sound Therapy.com | PDF | More

photo { Sarah Illenberger }

If I wrote you a love letter would you write back?

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I’m 62 years old as I write this. Like many of my friends, I forget names that I used to be able to conjure up effortlessly. When packing my suitcase for a trip, I walk to the hall closet and by the time I get there, I don’t remember what I came for.

And yet my long-term memories are fully intact. I remember the names of my third-grade classmates, the first record album I bought, my wedding day.

This is widely understood to be a classic problem of aging. But as a neuroscientist, I know that the problem is not necessarily age-related.

Short-term memory contains the contents of your thoughts right now, including what you intend to do in the next few seconds. It’s doing some mental arithmetic, thinking about what you’ll say next in a conversation or walking to the hall closet with the intention of getting a pair of gloves.

Short-term memory is easily disturbed or disrupted. It depends on your actively paying attention to the items that are in the “next thing to do” file in your mind. You do this by thinking about them, perhaps repeating them over and over again (“I’m going to the closet to get gloves”). But any distraction — a new thought, someone asking you a question, the telephone ringing — can disrupt short-term memory. Our ability to automatically restore the contents of the short-term memory declines slightly with every decade after 30. […]

Some aspects of memory actually get better as we age. For instance, our ability to extract patterns, regularities and to make accurate predictions improves over time because we’ve had more experience. (This is why computers need to be shown tens of thousands of pictures of traffic lights or cats in order to be able to recognize them). If you’re going to get an X-ray, you want a 70-year-old radiologist reading it, not a 30-year-old one. […]

Older adults have to search through more memories than do younger adults to find the fact or piece of information they’re looking for. Your brain becomes crowded with memories and information. It’s not that you can’t remember — you can — it’s just that there is so much more information to sort through. 

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

‘I love the sun but don’t have the time to get a good tan and keep it year-round, so I am a huge fan of tanning products.’ –Kim Kardashian

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In the US, the normal, oral temperature of adults is, on average, lower than the canonical 37°C established in the 19th century. We postulated that body temperature has decreased over time.

We analyzed 677,423 human body temperature measurements from three different cohort populations spanning 157 years of measurement and 197 birth years.

We found that men born in the early 19th century had temperatures 0.59°C higher than men today, with a monotonic decrease of −0.03°C per birth decade.

Temperature has also decreased in women by −0.32°C since the 1890s with a similar rate of decline (−0.029°C per birth decade).

{ eLife | Continue reading }

acrylic on vinyl tarpaulin { Keith Haring, Untitled, 1983 }

how many oysters does it take to get horny

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McCaper in retrophoebia, beck from bulk, like fantastic disossed and jenny aprils

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{ Tropical Malaise }

As you spring so shall you neap

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Most of the research on happiness has documented that income, marriage, employment and health affect happiness. Very few studies examine whether happiness itself affect income, marriage, employment and health. […] Findings show that happier Indonesians in 2007 earned more money, were more likely to be married, were less likely to be divorced or unemployed, and were in better health when the survey was conducted again seven years later.

{ Applied Research in Quality of Life | Continue reading }

image { Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, Toilet Paper #1, June 2010 }

Reason leads to self-preservation

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The air conditioner is nearly 100 years old, and yet it hasn’t evolved much — the technology is essentially the same as it was the day it was invented.

The cooling of our air is responsible for 10% of the planet’s electricity consumption. […] As the world heats, demand for air conditioners will only grow, especially in developing countries. This, in turn, will increase the impact that cooling appliances have on the climate, thus warming the Earth further and creating a vicious cycle. […] There are 1.2 billion room air conditioning units installed today, but that figure will soar to 4.5 billion by 2050. […]

A new coalition — led by India’s government and America’s Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a nonprofit environmental research organization — has launched the Global Cooling Prize, a $1-million competition to design the next generation of air cooling systems. […] The prize’s judges have shortlisted eight finalists, who will now build functioning prototypes that will be tested both in a lab and in real-world conditions at an apartment block in Delhi. […] Three of the eight finalists are from India, three are from the US and one each from the UK and China. […] The overall winner will be announced in November 2020.

{ CNN | Continue reading }

images { Lissajous knots }

And the dneepers of wet and the gangres of sin in it!

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Across four studies participants (N = 818) rated the profoundness of abstract art images accompanied with varying categories of titles, including: pseudo-profound bullshit titles (e.g., The Deaf Echo), mundane titles (e.g., Canvas 8), and no titles.

Randomly generated pseudo-profound bullshit titles increased the perceived profoundness of computer-generated abstract art, compared to when no titles were present (Study 1).

Mundane titles did not enhance the perception of profoundness, indicating that pseudo-profound bullshit titles specifically (as opposed to titles in general) enhance the perceived profoundness of abstract art (Study 2).

Furthermore, these effects generalize to artist-created abstract art (Study 3).

Finally, we report a large correlation between profoundness ratings for pseudo-profound bullshit and “International Art English” statements (Study 4), a mode and style of communication commonly employed by artists to discuss their work.

{ Judgment and Decision Making | Continue reading }

Why is he smiling in this moment — during a question and answer regarding such a serious subject? A smile, when it’s out of context, is always telling.

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According to a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, you can come off as more persuasive by speaking slightly louder than you normally do, and by varying the overall volume of your voice (i.e., speaking both more loudly and softly). […] it will make you appear more confident when you speak, which has a positive impact on your overall persuasiveness, according to the study.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

‘Now looking at the screen, it feels like the future didn’t last long, so Find The Filter You Love The Most And Let It Kill You.’ –Fette Sans

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“The human eye is extraordinarily sensitive to light,” Dr. Woods said. Throw a few dozen photons its way, a few dozen quantum-sized packets of light, and the eye can readily track them. […]

N.I.S.T. disk number two was an example of advanced ultra-black technology: elaborately engineered arrays of tiny carbon cylinders, or nanotubes, designed to capture and muzzle any light they encounter. […] The N.I.S.T. ultra-black absorbs at least 99.99 percent of the light that stumbles into its nanotube forest. But scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported in September the creation of a carbon nanotube coating that they claim captures better than 99.995 of the incident light. “The blackest black should be a constantly improving number,” said Brian Wardle, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and an author on the new report. “Folks will find other materials that are blacker than ours.” […]

Psychologists have gathered evidence that black is among the most metaphorically loaded of all colors, and that we absorb our often contradictory impressions about black at a young age. […] Participants were asked to link images with traits. Which boy was likeliest to cheat on the test? Which man was likely to be in charge at work? Which girl was the smartest in her class, which dog the scariest? Again and again, among both children and young adults, black pulled ahead of nearly every color but red. Black was the color of cheating, and black was the color of cleverness. A black tie was the mark of a boss, a black collar the sign of a pit bull. Black was the color of strength and of winning. Black was the color of rage. […]

Diemut Strebe, an artist in residence at M.I.T., collaborated with Dr. Wardle on a project that would merge carbon at its most absorptive configuration, in the form of carbon nanotubes, with carbon in its most reflective and refractive state, as a diamond. One of their biggest challenges: finding a jeweler willing to lend them a chunky diamond that would be plastered with what amounts to high-tech soot. “I tried many companies, Tiffany, others,” Ms. Strebe said. “I got many no’s.” Finally, L.J. West Diamonds, which specializes in colored diamonds, agreed to hand over a $2 million, 16.78-carat yellow diamond, provided the process could be reverse-engineered and the carbon nanotube coating safely removed. The resulting blackened bling is on view at the New York Stock Exchange, which Ms. Strebe calls “the holy grail of valuation.”

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

roboto a roboto

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Electrical activity from the brains of a pair of human subjects was transmitted to the brain of a third individual in the form of magnetic signals, which conveyed an instruction to perform a task in a particular manner. […]

In [another] report, a human using a noninvasive brain interface linked, via computer, to the BCI of an anesthetized rat was able to move the animal’s tail.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }

art { Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, San Francisco Museum of Art, Calendar, 1969 }

Holihowlsballs and bloody acres!

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Do a country’s inhabitants get happier as it gets richer? […]

In Britain, for example, happiness fell sharply during the two world wars. It began to rise again after 1945, peaked in 1950, and then fell gradually, including through the so-called Swinging Sixties, until it reached a nadir around 1980.

America’s national happiness, too, fell during the world wars. It also fell in the 1860s, during and after the country’s civil war. The lowest point of all came in 1975, at the end of a long decline during the Vietnam war, with the fall of Saigon and America’s humiliating defeat.

In Germany and Italy the first world war also caused dips in happiness. By contrast, during the second world war these countries both got happier as the war continued. […]

A one-year increase in longevity has the same effect on national happiness as a 4.3% increase in gdp. […]

it is warfare that causes the biggest drops in happiness. On average it takes a 30% increase in gdp to raise happiness by the amount that a year of war causes it to fall. The upshot appears to be that, while increasing national income is important to happiness, it is not as important as ensuring the population is healthy and avoiding conflict.

{ The Economist | Continue reading }