No pain, no gain

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In a mixed-gender group, when women talk 25% of the time or less, it’s seen as being “equally balanced”. If women talk 25–50% of the time, they’re seen as “dominating the conversation”

[…]

A Californian company called Skinny Mirror sells mirrors that make you look thinner. When installed in the changing rooms of clothes shops, they can increase sales by 18%.

[…]

Twitter has enough money in the bank to run for 412 years with current losses.

{ Fluxx | Continue reading }

photo { Blaise Cepis }

‘Falsity consists in the privation of knowledge, which inadequate, fragmentary, or confused ideas involve.’ –Spinoza

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Most people strongly believe they are just, virtuous, and moral; yet regard the average person as distinctly less so. This invites accusations of irrationality in moral judgment and perception — but direct evidence of irrationality is absent. Here, we quantify this irrationality and compare it against the irrationality in other domains of positive self-evaluation. […]

Virtually all individuals irrationally inflated their moral qualities […] Irrational moral superiority was not associated with self-esteem. Taken together, these findings suggest that moral superiority is a uniquely strong and prevalent form of “positive illusion,” but the underlying function remains unknown.

{ Social Psychological and Personality Science | Continue reading }

photo { Weegee, Empire State Building Distortion, 1955 }

3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the population

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The idea behind power poses, that if you stand in a “powerful” position, broad posture, hands on hips, shoulders high and pushed back, you will suddenly feel psychologically and physiologically stronger, is intuitively appealing, especially for people without much confidence. The problem is that it’s simply not true, according to University of Pennsylvania researchers. […]

“We did find that […] if you’re a loser and you take a winner or high power pose, your testosterone decreases.”

In other words, Smith said, “people might not be able to ‘fake it until they make it,’ and in fact it might be detrimental.”

{ EurekAlert | Continue reading }

‘History repeats itself. Historians repeat each other.’ –Max Beerbohm

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The Dress photograph, first displayed on the internet in 2015, revealed stunning individual differences in color perception. The aim of this study was to investigate if lay-persons believed that the question about The Dress colors was answerable. Past research has found that optimism is related to judgments of how answerable knowledge questions with controversial answers are. Furthermore, familiarity with a question can create a feeling of knowing the answer.

Building on these findings, 186 participants saw the photo of The Dress and were asked about the correct answer to the question about The Dress’ colors (“blue and black,” “white and gold,” “other, namely…,” or “there is no correct answer”). Choice of the alternative “there is no correct answer” was interpreted as believing the question was not answerable. This answer was chosen more often by optimists and by people who reported they had not seen The Dress before.

{ Frontiers Psychology | Continue reading }

photo { Gregory Halpern }

Every day, the same, again

231.jpgMore than one-third of California trees are dead

The relationship between pupil size and intelligence

Eye trauma in Laurel and Hardy movies

Successful removal of a wedding ring constricting an erect penis

The percent of older US adults with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, declined from 11.6 percent in 2000 to 8.8 percent in 2012.

The Medallion Fund, known for its intense secrecy, has produced about $55 billion in profit over the last 28 years. The fund almost never loses money. Its biggest drawdown in one five-year period was half a percent.

The NSA’s Spy Hub in New York, Hidden in Plain Sight

Anish Kapoor is Banned From Buying the World’s Pinkest Paint

Elliptical Pool Table

Hipster nativity scene

‘We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.’ –Ernest Hemingway

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When one draws a correlation between body mass and brain mass for living primates and extinct species of Homo, it is not humans—whose brains are three times larger than those of chimpanzees, their closest primate relative—that are an outlier. Instead, it is the great apes—gorillas and the orangutan—with brains far smaller than would be expected in relation to their body mass. We are the new normal in evolution while the great apes are the evolutionary oddity that requires explanation.

But we remain special in another way. Our 86 billion neurons need so much energy that if we shared a way of life with other primates we couldn’t possibly survive: there would be insufficient hours in the day to feed our hungry brain. It needs 500 calories a day to function, which is 25 percent of what our entire body requires.

{ New York Review of Books | Continue reading }

art { Christopher Wool, Untitled, 2006 }

Every day, the same, again

41.jpgThe Dutch prison crisis: A shortage of prisoners

His initial work implanting the testicles of executed prisoners into older prisoners hadn’t worked out as he hoped since there weren’t enough executed criminals to go around

Facebook routinely buys stolen passwords from the black market

The rising trend in hospital presentation of foreign bodies retained in the rectum over a 5-year period

The startling rise in oral cancer in men, and what it says about our changing sexual habits

Talking Sex Robots With Warm Genitals Will Be on Sale Next Year [Thanks GG]

Crafting a “six-pack” from excess body fat

Prediction of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics

Lexical and semantic knowledge related to food is relatively well preserved even in diseases that lead to a general decline in memory and cognition

Repetition makes a fact seem more true, regardless of whether it is or not. Understanding this effect can help you avoid falling for propaganda

The convex glass mirror was a Venetian invention of about 1300. By the late fourteenth century, you could find such mirrors in northern Europe.

App Lets You Buy Restaurant Leftovers for Really Cheap

Fake shopping apps are invading the iPhone

Browser extension named “Web of Trust” is caught selling users’ browsing histories

Watch a drone hack a room full of smart lightbulbs from outside the window

Introducing V.I.Poo. The new pre-poo toilet spray [Thanks GG]

Trump Election Reporting Devices will make voting great again for all Americans [more]

Grapefruit Technique [Thanks TG]

Mermaids have more fin

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Stock trading strategies: competition is so stiff that there are only two ways to succeed: (1) insider trading, e.g. you try to obtain job interviews with small publicly traded companies, then based on information glanned during the interview, perform trades and (2) use trading strategies that professional traders will never use, e.g. stay “all cash” for several years on your trading account, and when the right event occurs, massively trade major indexes for a couple of days, then go dormant for another few years. You need sophisticated statistical models to succeed in this, with good back testing, walk-forward and robustness based on state-of-the-art cross-validation.

{ analyticbridge | Continue reading }

art { Rochelle Goldberg, The Cannibal Actif, 2015 }

Hey, I’m married to a banker. You shouldn’t generalize. It’s a mere 99% that give the rest a bad name.

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The first column shows that the sun setting one hour later within a location reduces nighttime sleep by roughly 20 minutes per week. […] The second column shows that daily sunset time also affects earnings in a location. A sunset time one hour later reduces earnings by a significant 0.5%, on average.

Our analysis demonstrates that workers experiencing an earlier sunset get more sleep. […] In the short run the additional sleep largely comes at the expense of leisure, while in the long run it comes at the expense of both work and leisure. Insofar as these changes in other time uses impact worker productivity, our instrumental variables estimate of the effect of sleep on wages will also contain those effects. […]

We show that increasing short-run weekly average sleep in a location by one hour increases worker wages by 1%. Increasing long-run weekly average sleep in a location by one hour increases wages by 4.5%.

{ Time Use and the Labor Market: The Wage Returns to Sleep | PDF }

photo { Marton Perlaki }

Every day, the same, again

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Fertility doctor used his own sperm to inseminate patients

Human brain is predisposed to negative stereotypes, new study suggests

The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese: An fMRI Study

Spinach can be engineered to detect explosives, and send an email warning

Scientists identified for the first time the region of the brain that’s responsible for the “placebo effect” in pain relief

Another classic finding in psychology—that you can smile your way to happiness—just blew up.

Partners who induced high-orgasm rates were rated as more humorous, creative, warm, faithful, and better smelling

We review the history of the clitoral versus vaginal orgasm debate. A new synthesis is presented that acknowledges the enormous potential women have to experience orgasms from one or more sources of sensory input.

Polyembolokoilamania is the insertion of foreign objects into body orifices for sexual gratification

A Poker Champ Identifies Clinton and Trump’s Tells: When Trump’s challenged on things, you’ll notice sometimes his chin raises and he looks up and feigns confidence.

We reassess Achen and Bartels’ (2002, 2016) prominent claim that shark attacks influence presidential elections, and we find that the evidence is, at best, inconclusive. [PDF]

Does Technology Substitute for Nurses? [PDF]

Sunshine matters a lot to mental health; temperature, pollution, rain not so much

Does Daylight Saving Time Really Save Energy?

The new solar tax is so high that it means that, in some months, it would be cheaper for my family to not have solar panels at all.

Pasadena is going to tax subscribers of streaming video providers such as Netflix, HBO Go and Hulu

Despite its Nefarious Reputation, New Report Finds Majority of Activity on the Dark Web is Totally Legal and Mundane

Why are there so many books with “girl” in the title?

Facial expression ambiguity in adults and children

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Marriage is a risky undertaking that people enter with incomplete information about their partner and their future life circumstances. A large literature has shown how new information gained from unforeseen but long-lasting or permanent changes in life circumstances may trigger a divorce.

We extend this literature by considering how information gained from a temporary change in life circumstances - in our case, a couple having a child with infantile colic - may affect divorce behavior. Although persistent life changes are known to induce divorce, we argue that a temporary stressful situation allows couples more quickly to discern the quality of their relationship, in some cases leading them to divorce sooner than they otherwise would have.

{ Demography | Continue reading }

jangled through a jumble of life in doubts afterworse

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Size has been one of the most popular themes in monster movies, especially those from the 1950s. The premise is invariably to take something out of its usual context–make people small or something else (gorillas, grasshoppers, amoebae, etc.) large–and then play with the consequences. However, Hollywood’s approach to the concept has been, from a biologist’s perspective, hopelessly naïve. Absolute size cannot be treated in isolation; size per se affects almost every aspect of an organism’s biology. Indeed, the effects of size on biology are sufficiently pervasive and the study of these effects sufficiently rich in biological insight that the field has earned a name of its own: “scaling.” […]

Take any object–a sphere, a cube, a humanoid shape. […] If you change the size of this object but keep its shape (i.e., relative linear proportions) constant, something curious happens. Let’s say that you increase the length by a factor of two. Areas are proportional to length squared, but the new length is twice the old, so the new area is proportional to the square of twice the old length: i.e., the new area is not twice the old area, but four times the old area (2L x 2L).

Similarly, volumes are proportional to length cubed, so the new volume is not twice the old, but two cubed or eight times the old volume (2L x 2L x 2L). As “size” changes, volumes change faster than areas, and areas change faster than linear dimensions.

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In The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), the hero is exposed to radioactive toxic waste and finds himself growing smaller and smaller. When he stops shrinking, he is about an inch tall, down by a factor of about 70 in linear dimensions. Thus, the surface area of his body, through which he loses heat, has decreased by a factor of 70 x 70 or about 5,000 times, but the mass of his body, which generates the heat, has decreased by 70 x 70 x 70 or 350,000 times. He’s clearly going to have a hard time maintaining his body temperature (even though his clothes are now conveniently shrinking with him) unless his metabolic rate increases drastically.

Luckily, his lung area has only decreased by 5,000-fold, so he can get the relatively larger supply of oxygen he needs, but he’s going to have to supply his body with much more fuel; like a shrew, he’ll probably have to eat his own weight daily just to stay alive. He’ll also have to give up sleeping and eat 24 hours a day or risk starving before he wakes up in the morning (unless he can learn the trick used by hummingbirds of lowering their body temperatures while they sleep).

Because of these relatively larger surface areas, he’ll be losing water at a proportionally larger rate, so he’ll have to drink a lot, too.

{ Fathom Archive | Continue reading }

art { Agnes Martin, Untitled, 1960 }

more { Delusional misidentification syndromes have fascinated filmmakers and psychiatrists alike }