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

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ –Ronald Reagan

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“What are the odds, if everything is random?” Wang wondered.

In a new paper, Wang investigates whether “hot-streak” periods are more than just a lucky coincidence. […]

Looking at the career histories of thousands of scientists, artists, and film directors, the team found evidence that hot streaks are both real and ubiquitous, with virtually everyone experiencing one at some point in their career. While the timing of an individual’s greatest successes is indeed random, their top hits are highly likely to appear in close proximity. […]

“If we know where your best work is, then we know very well where your second-best work is, and your third,” he says, “because they’re just around the corner.”

{ Kellogg School of Management | Continue reading }

‘If we can’t fix it, it ain’t broke.’ –Lieutenant Colonel Walt Weir

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Human memory systems are subject to many imperfections, including memory distortions and the creation of false memories. Here, we demonstrate a case where memory distortion is adaptive, increasing the overall accuracy of memories. […]

Although participants’ memories were systematically distorted, they were distorted in a way that is consistent with minimizing their average error […]

Thus, memory distortion may not always be maladaptive: in some cases, distortion can result from a memory system that optimally combines information in the service of the broader goals of the person. Furthermore, this framework for thinking about memory distortion suggests that false memory can be thought of on a continuum with true memory: the greater uncertainty participants have about an individual item memory, the more they weight their gist memory [Gist traces are fuzzy representations of a past event]; with no item information, they weight only their gist memory.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

photo { Ana Mendieta, Untitled, from Silueta Series, Iowa, 1978 }

And yet life, Lucilius, is really a battle

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When scientists began tracking the health of 268 Harvard sophomores in 1938 during the Great Depression, they hoped the longitudinal study would reveal clues to leading healthy and happy lives. […] They eventually expanded their research to include the men’s offspring, who now number 1,300 and are in their 50s and 60s, to find out how early-life experiences affect health and aging over time. […]

Over the years, researchers have studied the participants’ health trajectories and their broader lives, including their triumphs and failures in careers and marriage. […]

“The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health,” said Robert Waldinger, director of the study. […] Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed. […] Those who kept warm relationships got to live longer and happier, said Waldinger, and the loners often died earlier. “Loneliness kills,” he said. “It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.” […]

The study showed that the role of genetics and long-lived ancestors proved less important to longevity than the level of satisfaction with relationships in midlife.

{ Harvard Gazette | Continue reading }

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong

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The Grim Reaper, the personification of death, is a well known mythological and literary figure. Reported characteristics include a black cloak with cowl, a scythe, and cachexia. High quality scientific research linking the Grim Reaper to mortality has been scarce, despite extensive anecdotes.

Walking speed is a commonly used objective measure of physical capability in older people, predicting survival in several cohort studies. A recent meta-analysis found that being in the lowest fourth of walking speed compared with the highest was associated with a threefold increased risk of mortality. Moreover, the association between slow walking speed and mortality seems consistent across several ethnic groups and shows a dose-response relation. Although the association between walking speed and mortality has been well documented, the plausible biological relation between the two remains unclear.

We assessed whether the relation between slow walking speed and mortality results from the increased likelihood of being caught by Death. By assessing this relation using receiver operating characteristics curve analysis, we hypothesised we would be able to determine the walking speed of the Grim Reaper—information of importance to public health. […]

[1705] men have been followed for a mean of 59.3 months. Walking speed at baseline was not available in 77 men, mostly through inability to complete the test. A total of 266 deaths occurred during follow-up. […]

Based on receiver operating characteristics analysis and estimation of the Youden index, a walking speed of 0.82 m/s (2 miles (about 3 km) per hour) was most predictive of mortality. Therefore, we predict that this is the likely speed at which the Grim Reaper prefers to ambulate under working conditions. Older men who walked at speeds greater than 0.82 m/s were 1.23 times less likely to encounter Death. In addition, no men walking at speeds of 1.36 m/s (3 miles (about 5 km) per hour) or above were caught by Death (n=22, 1.4%). This supports our hypothesis that faster speeds are protective against mortality because fast walkers can maintain a safe distance from the Grim Reaper. Interestingly, the predicted walking speed of Death estimated in the present study is virtually identical to the gait speed (0.80 m/s) associated with median life expectancy at most ages and for both sexes in a recent meta-analysis of gait speed and mortality using data from diverse populations. This indicates that the preferred walking speed of the Grim Reaper while collecting souls is relatively constant irrespective of people’s geographical location, sex, or ethnic background.

{ British Medical Journal | PDF }

A husky fifenote blew. Blew. Blue bloom is on the.

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“Modern” Homo sapiens (that is, people who were roughly like we are now) first walked the Earth about 50,000 years ago. Since then, more than 108 billion members of our species have ever been born, according to estimates by Population Reference Bureau (PRB). Given the current global population of about 7.5 billion (based on our most recent estimate as of mid-2017), that means those of us currently alive represent about 7 percent of the total number of humans who have ever lived.

{ Population Reference Bureau | Continue reading }

photo { Edward Weston, Death Valley, 1947 }

‘Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it hundreds of times.’ –Mark Twain

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This paper examines the association between television ownership and coital frequency using data from nearly 4 million individuals in national household surveys in 80 countries from 5 continents. […]

Under our most conservative estimate, we find that television ownership is associated with approximately a 6% reduction in the likelihood of having had sex in the past week,

{ National Bureau of Economic Research | Continue reading }

photo { Matthew Casteel }

On ne sait pas ce que peut le corps

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The new “eyes wide shut” illusion uses a standard enlarging (shaving or makeup) mirror. Close one eye and look at the closed eye in the mirror; the eye should take up most of the mirror. Switch eyes to see the other closed eye. Switch back-and-forth a few times, then open both eyes. You see an open eye. Which eye is it? To find out, close one eye. Whichever you close, that’s the eye you see. How can this be possible? The brain is fusing two images of the two eyes.

{ Perception | Continue reading | Thanks Brad! }

However, no one has hitherto laid down the limits to the powers of the body, that is, no one has as yet been taught by experience what the body can accomplish solely by the laws of nature, in so far as she is regarded as extension. No one hitherto has gained such an accurate knowledge of the bodily mechanism, that he can explain all its functions; nor need I call attention to the fact that many actions are observed in the lower animals, which far transcend human sagacity, and that somnambulists do many things in their sleep, which they would not venture to do when awake: these instances are enough to show, that the body can by the sole laws of its nature do many things which the mind wonders at.

Again, no one knows how or by what means the mind moves the body, nor how many various degrees of motion it can impart to the body, nor how quickly it can move it.

{ Spinoza, Ethics, III, Proposition II, Scholium | Continue reading }

unrelated { eye colour may not be a priority when choosing a partner }

I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books

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The familiarity of the phrase ‘much ado about nothing’ belies its complexity. In Shakespeare’s day ‘nothing’ was pronounced the same as ‘noting’, and the play contains numerous punning references to ‘noting’, both in the sense of observation and in the sense of ‘notes’ or messages. […]

‘Nothing’ was Elizabethan slang for the vagina (a vacancy, ‘no-thing’ or ‘O thing’). Virginity — a state of potentiality rather than actuality — is also much discussed in the play, and it is these twin absences — the vagina and virginity — that lead, in plot terms, to the ‘much ado’ of the title.

{ The Guardian | Continue reading }

photo { Olivia Rocher, I Fought the Law (Idaho), 2016 }

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

‘Time is a waste of money.’ –Oscar Wilde

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What happens when we unexpectedly see an attractive potential partner? Previous studies in laboratorial settings suggest that the visualization of attractive and unattractive photographs influences time. The major aim of this research is to study time perception and attraction in a realistic social scenario, by investigating if changes in subjective time measured during a speed dating are associated with attraction. […]

When there is a perception of the partner as being physically more attractive, women tend to overestimate the duration of that meeting, whereas men tend to underestimate its duration.

{ University of Minho | Continue reading }

‘Nous sommes dans l’inconcevable, mais avec des repères éblouissants.’ —René Char

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Someone Completely Demolished Trump’s Hollywood Star with a Pickax