Every day, the same, again

29.jpgThe Police Are Scanning the Faces of Every Single Person at Download Festival

Female psychopaths process moral judgements differently than male psychopaths

Love-Hate Relationships at Work Might Be Good for You

Dutch people are the tallest on Earth. Their height could be the result of natural selection favoring a towering stature, study suggests.

When Do People Prefer Carrots to Sticks? A Robust ‘Matching Effect’ in Policy Evaluation

Just as in the 1600s, the basic underlying logic of China’s economic boom after 1980 was the import of money in exchange for the export of goods.

The constantly updated catalogue of entrances to Hell in and around the UK

For years the sign has caused passengers on planes to freak out about going to the wrong place. [Thanks Tim]

Every day, the same, again

28.jpg Soft robot tentacle can lasso an ant without harming it

The world’s most expensive coffee is made from beans eaten by Thai elephants and plucked a day later from their dung

Interacting with women can impair men’s cognitive functioning

City medical examiners are allowed to keep a person’s brain and organs, even if the family wants them back: court

Cognitive capacities for cooking in chimpanzees

Lots of animals consume alcohol but only humans do it to get drunk.

The best bonfires are roughly as tall as they are wide

Why So Many Robots Struggled With the DARPA Challenge More: A Transformer Wins DARPA’s $2 Million Robotics Challenge

LEGO didn’t want any of the players to endow its online world with penises.

Ad tech companies are knowingly selling “garbage” data to customers who are being blinded by the apparent need to load themselves with an endless supply of customer information

Jaw power (new patent)

Algorithm Chooses the Most Creative Paintings in History

A photo of Jackie Siegel clutching an iced drink and taking a selfie at her daughter’s funeral

New 3D printer grows solid objects out of liquid baths

If not reason, then the devil

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New research shows that, for most of us, the last experience we’ve had can be the defining one when it comes to taking a decision, coming at the expense of other experiences we’ve accumulated further back in time. […]

People’s natural inclination towards a ‘happy ending’ means that we often ascribe greater value to experiences than they are worth, say researchers, meaning that we end up overvaluing experiences with a final uptick over those that taper at the last minute, despite being of equal or even lesser overall value, and making our next moves on that basis.

Writing in the journal, they use the analogy of a three-course dinner: it has mediocre starter, a fine main, and an excellent dessert. This will be viewed much more favourably – and have much more weight in any future decision – than the inverse: an excellent starter and ending with a mediocre dessert, despite the fact that overall both experiences share equal value.

{ ScienceBlog | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

5.jpgMan sues Chinese actress over her intense stare in TV show

Customer suspects annoyed waiter spat in soda; police use DNA to prove it

More New Yorkers are surviving being run over by 100-ton subway trains, statistics show

The brain shrinks over the course of the day, ending up smaller in the evening – before returning to its full size the next morning.

Group discussion improves lie detection

Study finds people — even teenagers — unconsciously follow advice from their elders

Seven or more hours of sleep per night: A health necessity for adults

Links found between blood type and risk of cognitive decline

Google’s Artificial Intelligence Is Learning How To Count Calories In Instagram Photos

Derived from the lapis lazuli stone, the pigment was considered more precious than gold. A brief history of ultramarine

rain swing

A Guide to Translating Things Men Say on Tinder

Build a fort / Set that on fire

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There is no question that biases exist in self-perceptions of personality. To what extent do people have insight into their positive and negative self-biases? In two samples (total N = 130), people with positive biases (i.e., self-perceptions that are more positive than a reputation-based criterion measure) accurately described themselves as positively biased, and people with negative biases accurately described themselves as negatively biased. Furthermore, people were able to distinguish which traits they were more or less biased about. These findings suggest that people may know more about themselves than they initially admit.

{ Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin }

art { Jean-Michel Basquiat, untitled, 1982 }

how, hell in tunnels

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Previous studies reveal relationships between birth month and several diseases including atherothrombosis, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and myopia, leaving most diseases completely unexplored. […]

We found 55 diseases that were significantly dependent on birth month. […] Seasonally dependent early developmental mechanisms may play a role in increasing lifetime risk of disease. […]

Looking at all 10 (9 novel) cardiovascular conditions revealed that individuals born in the autumn (September–December) were protected against cardiovascular conditions while those born in the winter (January–March) and spring (April–June) were associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk (Figure 5). Interestingly, one study found that people born in the autumn (October–December) lived longer than those born in the spring (April–June).

{ Oxford University Press | Continue reading }

photo { Garry Winogrand, Los Angeles, 1980–1983 }

When most I wink, then do my eyes best see

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Einstein wondered what would happen if the Sun were to suddenly explode. Since the Sun is so far away that it takes light eight minutes to travel to Earth, we wouldn’t know about the explosion straight away. For eight glorious minutes we’d be completely oblivious to the terrible thing that was about to happen.

But what about gravity? The Earth moves in an ellipse around the Sun, due to the Sun’s gravity. If the Sun wasn’t there, it would move off in a straight line. Einstein’s puzzle was when that would happen: straight away, or after eight minutes? According to Newton’s theory, the Earth should know immediately that the Sun had disappeared. But Einstein said that couldn’t be right. Because, according to him, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light — not even the effects of gravity. […]

Before Einstein people thought of space as stage on which the laws of physics play out. We could throw in some stars or some planets and they would move around on this stage.

Einstein realised that space isn’t as passive as that. It is dynamic and it responds to what’s happening within it. If you put something heavy in space — let’s say a planet like Earth — then space around it gives a little. The presence of the planet causes a small dent in space (and in fact, in time as well). When something else moves close to the planet — say the Moon — it feels this dent in space and rolls around the planet like a marble rolling in a bowl. This is what we call gravity. […] Stars and planets move, causing space to bend in their wake, causing other stars and planets to move, causing space to bend in their wake. And so on. This is Einstein’s great insight. Gravity is the manifestation of the curvature of space and time.

{ Plus Magazine | Part One | Part Two }

Every day, the same, again

24.jpg Woman Who Claims She Owns Sun Takes eBay To Court: They Won’t Let People Bid On It

Eating the placenta: trendy but no proven health benefits and unknown risks

What to say — and what not to say — on a first date, according to science

Researchers say: Don’t worry what other people think, going out on your own can be fun

When light travels through a medium such as oil or water, does it pull or push on the medium?

How Dinosaurs Shrank and Became Birds

Horses communicate amongst each other with eye and ear twitches

Why you should answer all your emails at 3PM (The ideal work schedule, as determined by circadian rhythms)

Becoming disabled by choice, not chance: ‘Transabled’ people feel like impostors in their fully working bodies

In 1948, a man was found on a beach in South Australia. The mysterious circumstances of his death have captivated generations of true-crime fanatics. Today, one amateur sleuth has come close to solving the case.

These are the sounds left behind when you compress a song to MP3 + How Well Can You Hear Audio Quality?

Rejected ‘The Shining’ Poster Designs From Saul Bass, With Stanley Kubrick’s Notes

Lassie’s Little Boomerang removes all of the annoying obstacles standing in the way of calling in an airstrike on yourself

Interactive Mirror Built from 450 Rotating Penguins by Daniel Rozin

“scroll to top” elevator [Thanks Tim]

‘La discrétion est le plus habile des calculs.’ —Balzac

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For the student of negotiation, Breaking Bad is an absolute treasure trove, producing an incredibly complex and varied array of bargaining parties and negotiated transactions, episode after episode. What’s so fascinating about these transactions is that they draw on familiar, foundational negotiation concepts in the service of less familiar, usually illicit ends. Put another way, when we watch Walter White negotiate, we watch a mega-criminal anti-hero implement the same “value-neutral” strategies that we teach lawyers and businesspeople. […]

This article examines five negotiations, one from each season, each featuring Walter White. The close readings provided show how the five negotiations demonstrate and/or disrupt foundational negotiation concepts or skills.

{ New Mexico Law Review | PDF | More: New Mexico Law Review, Special Edition dedicated to Breaking Bad }

‘If youth were not ignorant and timid, civilization would be impossible.’ –Balzac

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In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis.

{ EurekAlert | Continue reading }

unrelated { The benefits of a herpes infection }

‘Darkness within darkness. The gate to all mystery.’ –Lao Tze

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Researchers in France wanted to know if non-reflective thinkers (those who trust their initial intuition) would be more likely than reflective thinkers (those who use analytic reasoning to question their initial intuition) to believe an unusual or uncanny experience was the result of some supernatural explanation such as astrology or extra-sensory perception. They conducted three separate experiments to see if participants who appeared to have their minds read “through telepathy” by a fellow participant would see the experience differently based on whether they were reflective or non-reflective in their personal style.

Of course, you have likely already guessed that the “fellow participant” was not a participant at all but rather what researchers call a “confederate” who was able to “read” the actual participant’s mind and identify the cards the participant chose at random. (In truth, the experimenter could see the cards chosen and the confederate was cued about which card it was by the language the experimenter used to tell the confederate to focus on the “image” of the card the participant was “telepathically sending” to the confederate.) So the participant (either a reflective or a non-reflective thinker) was incredibly able to telepathically send the images of the cards to the confederate. And guess what? When asked how they explained their heightened ability to telepathically communicate, the reflective and non-reflective thinkers had varying explanations.

The reflective (analytical) thinkers thought it was a fluke and the non-reflective thinkers thought they were fabulous telepathic communicators. […] We showed that a single uncanny experience may be enough for non-reflective thinkers to seriously consider the possibility of supernatural causation. This makes them especially vulnerable to scammers who attempt to leverage paranormal beliefs into profits. A common trick, for example, consists of pretending to detect a paranormal ability in an individual, only to offer him or her an expensive training aimed at developing this potential. Individuals with a predominantly non-reflective cognitive style should be well warned against their own reaction to such and other encounters with the supernatural.

{ The Jury Room | Continue reading }

Next time you’re worrying, remember that your thoughts aren’t real. Life is real.

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For decades, many psychologists and neuroscientists have argued that humans have a so-called “cognitive peak.” That is, that a person’s fluid intelligence, or the ability to analyze information and solve problems in novel situations, reaches its apex during early adulthood. But new research done at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital paints a different picture, suggesting that different aspects of intelligence reach their respective pinnacles at various points over the lifespan—often, many decades later than previously imagined. […]

For example, while short term memory appears to peak at 25 and start to decline at 35, emotional perception peaks nearly two decades later, between 40 and 50. Almost every independent cognitive ability tested appears to have its own age trajectory. The results were reported earlier this year in Psychological Science.

{ The Dana Foundation | Continue reading }