‘In love, happiness is an abnormal state.’ —Proust

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Woman has married herself after being single for six years

Experiences feel more intense — whether good or bad — when someone else is there to share them, new study says

As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion

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We conduct an empirical study to analyze how waiting in queue in the context of a retail store affects customers’ purchasing behavior. […] pooling multiple queues into a single queue may increase the length of the queue observed by customers and thereby lead to lower revenues. We also find that customers’ sensitivity to waiting is heterogeneous and negatively correlated with price sensitivity, which has important implications for pricing in a multiproduct category subject to congestion effects.

{ Management Science | Continue reading }

photo { Garry Winogrand }

When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames must render up myself

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Have you ever felt lost and alone? If so, this experience probably involved your hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure in the middle of the brain. About 40 years ago, scientists with electrodes discovered that some neurons in the hippocampus fire each time an animal passes through a particular location in its environment. These neurons, called place cells, are thought to function as a cognitive map that enables navigation and spatial memory.

Place cells are typically studied by recording from the hippocampus of a rodent navigating through a laboratory maze. But in the real world, rats can cover a lot of ground. For example, many rats leave their filthy sewer bunkers every night to enter the cozy bedrooms of innocent sleeping children.

In a recent paper, esteemed neuroscientist Dr. Dylan Rich and colleagues investigated how place cells encode very large spaces. Specifically, they asked: how are new place cells recruited to the network as a rat explores a truly giant maze?

{ Sick papes | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

5.jpgAnarchist conference descends into chaos

Rollercoaster thrill-seekers showered in blood after ride decapitates deer

Penises grown in lab could be tested on humans within five years

Americans love to eat out. During the year 2012, the average resident of the United States of America ate more than 200 meals outside the home. This paper studies the history of eating outside the home in America from Colonial to modern times.

Diners Tend To Eat More If Their Companions Are Overweight

Losing the sense of smell predicts death within five years, according to new research.

Southampton University scientists have found evidence that awareness can continue for at least several minutes after clinical death which was previously thought impossible

Who has more appeal and influence: Someone who makes decisions with considerable thought and analysis or someone who takes virtually no time and seems to make decisions effortlessly? [PDF]

Over-caffeinated people may have a hard time expressing emotion

Mosquitoes think and act 100 times faster than you can

A New York appeals court will soon decide if chimps should have the same rights as humans

Other people can tell whether your partner is cheating on you

‘Back-up husbands,’ ‘emotional affairs’ and the rise of digital infidelity

Being a gynecologist in Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world

Sensory deprivation goes from CIA torture manuals to a yoga studio near you.

World’s loudest sound circled the Earth four times

In carefully crafting a lightbulb with a relatively short life span, the cartel thus hatched the industrial strategy now known as planned obsolescence.

The online illicit drug economy is booming. Here’s what people are buying.

The World’s Most Dangerous Garden

Too Much Air in Potato Chip Packets? Students Make a Boat to Prove It

A quantitative analysis of the graying of Barack Obama’s hair [PDF]

One by one they were all becoming shades

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We will review evidence from neuroscience, complex network research and evolution theory and demonstrate that — at least in terms of psychopharmacological intervention — on the basis of our understanding of brain function it seems inconceivable that there ever will be a drug that has the desired effect without undesirable side effects.

{ Neuroethics | Continue reading }

photo { Hannes Caspar }

‘I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it all started with a mouse.’ –Walt Disney

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“There’s as much biodiversity in the soils of Central Park as we found in the soil… from the Arctic to Antarctica” […] almost 170,000 different kinds of microbes. […] The team also found 2,000 species of microbes that are apparently unique to Central Park.

{ NPR | Continue reading }

‘The possible ranks higher than the actual.’ –Heidegger

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Women first entered Russian universities as early as in 1859. Four university centres, including in St. Petersburg and Kiev, expressed their support for women’s education, allowing them to attend classes as external ‘free students’, i.e. not officially enrolled. While these changes did not lead to equal rights for men and women in the area of education—a right which women activists would continue struggle for throughout subsequent decades—they constituted a first step in the formation of the multi-layered system of women’s education which was in place prior to the 1917 revolution. […]

Russian women became one of the first to achieve full voting rights, and the Soviet Constitution of 1918 fully and finally confirmed women’s rights to study at all levels of the educational system. The Labour Code of 1918 guaranteed women a 16-week maternity leave and a premium for breast- feeding, but most important of all it guaranteed equal wages for equal work. […]

These and other events which occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century led Irina Yukina to posit the thesis that the pre-revolutionary activities of women were fully successful. […]

The rebirth of feminism in the conditions of Soviet reality began in 1979. […] This article presents a short history of the origin and creation of the Almanac “Women and Russia,” which began as a samizdat underground publication devoted to the problem of women and childrearing in the USSR. […] The women writers featured in the first edition of the Almanac […] exposed the consequences for women living and functioning in a patriarchal social order, and ironically one where all the questions concerning ‘women’s rights’ were deemed to have been resolved in a progressive fashion much earlier.

{ de Gruyter | Continue reading }

photo { Paul Kwiatkowski }

Every day, the same, again

2.jpg The Belgian city of Bruges has approved plans to build a pipeline which will funnel beer underneath its famous cobbled streets. Locals and politicians were fed up with huge lorries clattering through the cobbled streets.

10,000 pigeons underwent anal security check in China

Virgos suffering ‘astrological discrimination’ in China

Survey says half of all married women have a ‘backup husband’ in mind

Alcohol makes smiles more ‘contagious,’ but only for men

Neural activity predicts the timing of spontaneous decisions

Winners evaluate themselves favorably even when the competitor is incompetent

Couvade syndrome: why some men develop signs of pregnancy

Who are the men and boys suffering from anorexia?

A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback.

The ban against Spinoza was the harshest ever issued by the Amsterdam Portuguese-Jewish community

In the autumn of 1931, the philosopher Martin Heidegger began to record his thoughts in small diaries that he called the schwarze Hefte, or “black notebooks.”

Why conspiracy theories in America are not on the rise after all

Why do Autocrats Disclose?

Do Communists Have Better Sex?

“You don’t have to be clever to make a discovery”

Things That Cost More Than Space Exploration

World’s smallest microphone is just one molecule

Living in a Dumpster More: My boyfriend lives in a dumpster

Statistician Creates Mathematical Model to Predict The Future of Game of Thrones

Schizophrenia in rap music

How much actual trading is done at 11 Wall Street? “It’s pretty darn close to zero”

“It was here where I believe Andy [Kaufman] would develop the concept of ‘bending reality’ to suit his needs”

Overspire: The experience of too much inspiration, resulting in no further gains in creativity.

How Wolves Change Rivers and Maybe Wolves Don’t Change Rivers, After All

Ice tsunami [more info]

‘Virality isn’t a measure, but a genre created by measurement.’ —Nathan Jurgenson

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Studies of human conversation have documented that 30–40% of everyday speech is used to relay information to others about one’s private experiences or personal relationships, and recent surveys of Internet use indicate that upwards of 80% of posts to social media sites (such as Twitter) consist simply of announcements about one’s own immediate experiences.

Although other primates do not generally attempt to communicate to others what they know—for example, by pointing out interesting things or modeling behaviors for others to imitate—by 9 mo of age, human children begin trying to draw others’ attention to aspects of the environment that they find important, and adults in all societies make consistent attempts to impart their knowledge to others. […]

What drives this propensity for disclosure? Here, we test recent theories that individuals place high subjective value on opportunities to communicate their thoughts and feelings to others and that doing so engages neural and cognitive mechanisms associated with reward. Five studies provided sup- port for this hypothesis. Self-disclosure was strongly associated with increased activation in brain regions that form the mesolimbic dopamine system, including the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area. Moreover, individuals were willing to forgo money to disclose about the self.

{ PNAS | PDF }

Self-disclosure plays a central role in the development and maintenance of relationships. One way that researchers have explored these processes is by studying the links between self-disclosure and liking. […]

Significant disclosure-liking relations were found for each effect: (a) People who engage in intimate disclosures tend to be liked more than people who disclose at lower levels, (b) people disclose more to those whom they initially like, and (c) people like others as a result of having disclosed to them.

{ Psychological Bulletin | PDF }

art { Joram Roukes, RedWhiteAndBlue, 2012 }

‘What is good is easy to get, and what is terrible is easy to endure.’ –Epicurus

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{ Ad for Blow-Up, 1966 | more }

Every day, the same, again

4.jpgScientists confess to sneaking Bob Dylan lyrics into their work for the past 17 years

Men are now the primary grocery shoppers in about four in 10 households. But men, food companies have found, have their own priorities.

Morphed images of Hollywood celebrities reveal how neurons make up your mind

Motion, audio, and location data harvested from a smartphone can be analyzed to accurately predict stress or depression

How to tell when a robot has written you a letter

Order doesn’t just happen, and it isn’t the product of individual freedom. It needs to be established, and it needs to be established first (sometimes by force), before individuals can be granted civic, economic, and social freedom. [via Rob Horning]

How Edward Hopper “Storyboarded” His Iconic Painting Nighthawks

Artists to Serve Radioactive Soup at Frieze London

New York artist creates ‘art’ that is invisible and collectors are paying millions. Previously: Andy Warhol: Invisible Sculpture [photo]

Create and manage chaos, then offer a form of order

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{ 100 Copies of The Beatles’ White Album Playing At The Same Time }