Center stage on the mic

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Peter Drucker once observed that, “Much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.” […]

Bain & Company studied a sample of big firms, finding that their managers spent 15% of their time in meetings, a share that has risen every year since 2008. Many of these meetings have no clear purpose.

The higher up you go, the worse it is. Senior executives spend two full days a week in meetings with three or more colleagues.

{ The Economist | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

61.jpg Alleged phone thief calls 911 because victim won’t leave her alone

About 100,000 German employees can now choose to have all their incoming emails automatically deleted when they are on holiday so they do not return to a bulging in-box.

Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis said he can’t return the vehicles, a 2007 Cadillac Escalade and a 2012 Bentley Flying Spur, because a strip-club owner in Mexico—angry that several Girls Gone Wild promotions fell through— took them.

The evolution of PMS: It may exist to break up infertile relationships

Is the absence of biological fathers related to their daughters’ earlier age at menarche?

The stability of your personality peaks in mid-life, then grows increasingly wobbly again

Dartmouth researchers demonstrate in a new study that a previously understudied part of the brain, the retrosplenial cortex, is essential for forming the basis for contextual memories, which help you to recall events ranging from global disasters to where you parked your car.

Angry faces increase the effectiveness of threats

New study finds that antiperspirant deodorants alter your armpit bacteria and may actually worsen body odor as a result.

Is there a cannabis epidemic model? Evidence from France, Germany and USA

People fake to look authentic on social media

Solving the puzzle of why Finns have the highest IQ, but one of the lowest number of Nobel prizes in Europe

People recall more and learn better when they expect to teach that information to another person, a new study finds.

Starting removal of John Hancock Building west antenna

I’m not here to make friends

‘No occurrence is sole and solitary, but is merely a repetition of a thing which has happened before, and perhaps often.’ —Mark Twain

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The systematic biases seen in people’s probability judgments are typically taken as evidence that people do not use the rules of probability theory when reasoning about probability but instead use heuristics, which sometimes yield reasonable judgments and sometimes yield systematic biases. This view has had a major impact in economics, law, medicine, and other fields; indeed, the idea that people cannot reason with probabilities has become a truism. We present a simple alternative to this view, where people reason about probability according to probability theory but are subject to random variation or noise in the reasoning process. […] Results suggest that people’s probability judgments embody the rules of probability theory and that biases in those judgments are due to the effects of random noise.

{ APA/PsycNET | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

5.gif Researchers Reconstruct Speech Recorded in the Vibrations of a Potato Chip Bag

Science is proving that many other tissues than the tongue can taste what you ingest

Do Narcissists Know They’re Narcissists?

Time Flies: Science offers ideas about how to reconstruct that feeling of long, slow days you remember from when you were a kid.

Three Perimeter Institute researchers have a new idea about what might have come before the big bang. What we perceive as the big bang, they argue, could be the three-dimensional “mirage” of a collapsing star in a universe profoundly different than our own.

Honda is one of the few multinational companies that has succeeded at globalization. They’ve never lost money. They’ve been profitable every year. And they’ve been around since 1949, 1950.

Car Security Is Likely to Worsen, Researchers Say and Hackers Demand Automakers Get Serious About Security

The Brazilian Bus Magnate Who’s Buying Up All the World’s Vinyl Records [NY Times]

Stephen King has always disliked Stanley Kubrick’s film: What Stanley Kubrick got wrong about “The Shining”

For this show, Williams has insisted that there be no wall text. Williams has also insisted that all the photos at MoMA be hung below normal height. Christopher Williams at MoMA

In an official partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation, Ryan McGinness has erected 50 signs throughout Manhattan.

How to Use Your Cat to Hack Your Neighbor’s Wi-Fi

Chef Grills Steak, Volcano-Style, With Molten Lava.

Real Cigarette Reviews

Statues Taking Selfies

Two adult sex toys having automated sex with each other

Don’t let go of me (Grip my hips and move me)

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Why do fingers get wrinkly in the water? […]

A hypothesis has been proposed which suggests that the wrinkling might be an evolutionary adaptation to make the handling of objects underwater easier. Wrinkling creates a kind of drainage path for water and so enhances the grip on an object (this is called a ‘rain tread’ hypothesis). In order to test if this hypothesis is true Kareklas et al. have recruited volunteers and tested their ability to transfer wet objects when the fingers are wrinkled and not. […]

20 participants had to transfer glass marbles from one container to another in two different conditions (1) take the marble from a container with water pass it through a small hole and put into an empty container and (2) take the marble from a container without water pass it through a small hole and put into an empty container. […]

When the marble ball was dry there was no difference between the transfer time with wrinkly and smooth fingers. However, when the marble was wet then on average it took 12% less time to transfer the object with wrinkly fingers. Therefore, the study concluded that the wrinkling of fingers improves the handling of wet objects (which supports the rain tread hypothesis). Why are our fingers not always wrinkled then? In paper’s discussion Kareklas et al. suggest that there potentially are some fitness trade-offs to the wrinkly fingers. Maybe wrinkled fingers are less sensitive to pain, pressure, heat etc. and are therefore damaged easier, which would explain why it is not good to always have those wrinkles.

{ The Question Gene | Continue reading }

The work done in this room lies at the heart of a department that handles some of the UK’s most cutting-edge research on forensics and anatomy. […]

The hand is Meadows’ area of focus. Variations in scars, skin pigmentation, the smallest nooks and crannies of the fingernail and, most importantly, superficial vein patterns: all of these can build a body of evidence and allow the police to identify an offender in an incriminating photograph. “The back of the hand is part of the anatomy that an offender is quite happy to have in an image, whereas they wouldn’t necessarily want their face captured,” Meadows says. In 2009, Cahid’s work was instrumental in the Neil Strachan case, part of Scotland’s biggest paedophile ring. His unusually distorted lunula (the white half moon at the bottom of a nail) helped identify and convict him.

Meadows and her colleagues have built up the UK’s only database of the hand’s vein patterns, with around 800 samples. Of the 40 or so cases they have worked on, their data have resulted in over 80 per cent of suspects changing their plea.

{ FT | Continue reading }

cause he crosses his hind legs

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For centuries, horse riding was largely restricted to males. The previous situation is in stark contrast to the present day, when nearly 80 percent of riders are women. Modern-day equestrian sports are unique in that men and women compete directly against one another at all levels, from beginners in gymkhanas to national champions in the Olympic Games. “For this reason it is interesting to consider whether a theory of riding that was developed exclusively for men can be applied to women,” explains Natascha Ille, the first author of the recent publication.

As Ille notes, “It is often assumed that women are more sensitive towards their horses than men. If this is so, male and female riders should elicit different types of response from their horses.” […]

The results were surprising: the level of stress on a horse is independent of whether a man or a woman is in the saddle.

{ University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Continue reading }

related { Horses read each other’s ears }

photo { Gérard Marot }

Every day, the same, again

4.jpgWhile we assumed everyone knew that correspondence from Nigerian leaders requesting funds were always fraudulent, it appears the US government decided the opportunity was worth the risk…

Host of 2,000+ person party: ‘Worth it’ despite drug overdoses

A mathematical equation which can predict our moment-by-moment happiness has been developed by researchers

Why are people with high self-control happier?

Why is intelligence associated with stability of happiness?

2D:4D digit ratio predicts depression severity for females but not for males. Previously: Depression in men is associated with more feminine finger length ratios.

Used cigarette butts offer energy storage solution

It’s -55 °C at the British base in Antarctica. The power has failed. How are they coping?

My Work as an Eyemaker: The First 55 Years

How a Simple Spambot Became the Second Most Powerful Member of an Italian Social Network

Female runner uses Nike+ to draw giant dicks around San Francisco

We tend to see what we want to see

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Common parlance such as “ray of hope” depicts an association between hope and the perception of brightness. Building on research in embodied cognition and conceptual metaphor, we examined whether incidental emotion of hopelessness can affect brightness perception, which may influence people’s preference for lighting. Across four studies, we found that people who feel hopeless judge the environment to be darker (Study 1). As a consequence, hopeless people expressed a greater desire for ambient brightness and higher wattage light bulbs (Studies 2 and 3). Study 4 showed the reversal of the effect — being in a dimmer (vs. brighter) room induces greater hopelessness toward the perceived job search prospects. Taken together, these results suggest that hopeless feeling seems to bias people’s perceptual judgment of ambient brightness, which may potentially impact their electricity consumption.

{ SAGE }

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord.

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Using data from an online hotel reservation site, the authors jointly examine consumers’ quality choice decision at the time of purchase and subsequent satisfaction with the hotel stay.

They identify three circumstantial variables at the time of purchase that are likely to influence both the choice decisions and the postpurchase satisfaction: the time gap between purchase and consumption, distance between purchase and consumption, and time of purchase (business/nonbusiness hours).

The authors incorporate these three circumstantial variables into a formal two-stage economic model and find that consumers who travel farther and make reservations during business hours are more likely to select higher-quality hotels but are less satisfied.

{ JAMA | Continue reading }

photo { Philip Lorca-diCorcia, Roy, ‘in his 20s’, Los Angeles, California, $50 (Hustlers series), 1990-1992 }

Every day, the same, again

23.jpgBahamas built by bacteria using Saharan dust

One reason brain tumors are more common in men

Why bad news dominates the headlines

If demand shifts to sectors where entrepreneurship is harder, the rate of entrepreneurship is going to decline.

If You’re Always Working, You’re Never Working Well

Abramović raised over $660,000 for her institute on Kickstarter in June and recently “collaborated” with Adidas. Yet somehow she cannot afford to pay people to work for the Marina Abramović Institute

What The Numbers On Your Credit Card Really Mean

How to Tell a Sociopath from a Psychopath

The social lives of cows are clearly more complex than biologists imagine.

Army develops 3D printers to feed the troops

I found that MonsantoCollaborators.org was registered hours before the article it was supposedly responding to was even put online.

History of Culture Visualized through Art History, Physics, Complexity

Japanese TV series features model yelling at the camera, and nothing else

Wife Zone [Thanks GG!]

‘Pendant les premiers temps de son mariage, il se croit heureux. En fait il est hébété, il a reçu un coup sur la tête.’ –Léon Tolstoi

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Love stories are dynamic processes that begin, develop, and often stay for a relatively long time in a stationary or fluctuating regime, before possibly fading. Although they are, undoubtedly, the most important dynamic process in our life, they have only recently been cast in the formal frame of dynamical systems theory.

In particular, why it is so difficult to predict the evolution of sentimental relationships continues to be largely unexplained. A common reason for this is that love stories reflect the turbulence of the surrounding social environment. But we can also imagine that the interplay of the characters involved contributes to make the story unpredictable—that is, chaotic.

In other words, we conjecture that sentimental chaos can have a relevant endogenous origin. To support this intriguing conjecture, we mimic a real and well-documented love story with a mathematical model in which the environment is kept constant, and show that the model is chaotic. The case we analyze is the triangle described in Jules et Jim, an autobiographic novel by Henri-Pierre Roché that became famous worldwide after the success of the homonymous film directed by François Truffaut.

The results fully support our conjecture and also highlight the genius of François Truffaut.

{ Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science | PDF }

photo { Man Ray, Rayograph, 1925 }

Six feet of land was all that he needed

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She also learned an old cop trick: If you’re recovering a body in an apartment building, ask every tenant to make coffee — it covers the smell. “Oldest trick in the book,” one officer told her. […]

She began, as all autopsies do, by inserting a needle into the side of each eye to collect fluid — a delicate procedure Melinek perfected after once popping out a cadaver’s glass eyeball. […] Then she removed Booker’s testes, took a samples from each, and put them back in the scrotum. […]

There was the subway jumper at Union Square, for example, whose body was recovered on the tracks of the uptown 4 train with no blood — none at the scene, none in the body itself. She’d never seen anything like it, and only CME Hirsch could explain: The massive trauma to the entire body caused the bone marrow to absorb all the blood. […]

In one case, a man was shot in the chest, but the bullet was found in his liver.

{ NY Post | Continue reading }

photo { Hiroshi Sugimoto }