twitter
facebook twitter tumblr newsletter
blog-shines-like-174
Shines Like Gold
By imp kerr
what matter who's speaking?
rss feed

Triple-Decker Weekly, 113

tdw-113

“Emotions such as anger and contempt can seem very threatening for couples. But our study suggests that if spouses, especially wives, are able to calm themselves, their marriages can continue to thrive,” Bloch said. While it is commonly held that women play the role of caretaker and peacemaker in relationships, the study is among the first to reveal this dynamic in action over a long period of time, researchers point out. Results show that the link between the wives’ ability to control emotions and higher marital satisfaction was most evident when women used “constructive communication” to temper disagreements. [UC Berkeley]

Major theories propose that spontaneous responding to others’ actions involves mirroring, or direct matching. Responding to facial expressions is assumed to follow this matching principle: People smile to smiles and frown to frowns. We demonstrate here that social power fundamentally changes spontaneous facial mimicry of emotional expressions, thereby challenging the direct-matching principle. [Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | PDF]

People loved for their beauty and cheerfulness are not loved as irreplaceable, yet people loved for “what their souls are made of” are. Or so literary romance implies; leading philosophical accounts, however, deny the distinction, holding that reasons for love either do not exist or do not include the beloved’s distinguishing features. […] I defend a model of agency on which people can love each other for identities still being created, through a kind of mutual improvisation. […] I draw another analogy to jazz, this time relating the attraction and concern constitutive of interpersonal love to the reciprocal appreciation and responsiveness of musicians who improvise together as partners. Musicians who improvise together as partners recognize each other to be trying to express the same musical idea, even though the contents of their ideas are still being worked out. [PhilPapers | PDF]

Connecting with others increases happiness, but strangers in close proximity routinely ignore each other. Why? Two reasons seem likely: Either solitude is a more positive experience than interacting with strangers, or people misunderstand the consequences of distant social connections. […] Prior research suggests that acting extroverted—that is, acting bold, assertive, energetic, active, adventurous, and talkative (the exact list has varied by study)—in laboratory experiments involving group tasks like solving jigsaw puzzles and planning a day together, generally leads to greater positive affect than acting introverted—lethargic, passive, and quiet—in those same situations. […] Connecting with a stranger is positive even when it is inconsistent with the prevailing social norm. […] Our experiments tested interactions that lasted anywhere from a few minutes to as long as 40 minutes, but they did not require repeated interactions or particularly long interactions with the same random stranger. Nobody in the connection condition, for instance, spent the weekend with a stranger on a train. Indeed, some research suggests that liking for a stranger may peak at a relatively short interaction, and then decline over time as more is learned about another person. If, however, the amount of time spent in conversation with a distant stranger is inversely related to its pleasantness at some point along the time spectrum, then this only makes the results of our experiments even more surprising. On trains, busses, and waiting rooms, the duration of the conversation is relatively limited. These could be the kinds of brief “social snacks” with distant others that are maximally pleasant, and yet people still routinely avoid them. [Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | PDF | These Psychologists Think We'd Be Happier If We Talked to Strangers More]

To understand how a state acquires legal capacity, we need to study a state that lacked it. France, at the end of the sixteenth century did not possess a centralized legal or tax system. This reflected the way French monarchs had gradually added territories to their growing kingdom since the middle ages. Moreover, as more and more territories were added, the king was forced to concede old, and sometimes new, privileges to the regions so as to ensure their loyalty. In the words of one economic historian, the complexities of the resulting fiscal and legal system almost ‘defy description.’ […] Witchcraft was difficult to prosecute under conventional legal procedures and standards of proof. Maleficia may have sometimes actually occurred and, in rare cases, may even have left evidence. However, diabolism was, by its nature, beyond the pale of rational legal procedure. Since dealings with the devil existed only in the fantasies of accusers and (rarely) the accused, it was a thought crime. In order to get around the difficulty of prosecuting a suspected witch according to traditional standards of legal proof, local judges turned to the theories of the demonologists. […] The unobservable nature of the crime combined with the use of torture created a self-replicating logic to witchcraft trials. Accusation led to torture, which led to further accusations. This logic is illustrated by the following example which took place in 1599 in the area of Bazuel which lies in the North of France. A widow named Reine Perceval was accused of sorcery and brought to the local abbey for interrogation. Initially, she denied the accusa- tions, despite the attempts of her interrogator to coerce her confession by pointing to another recently accused woman who, by admitting to the crimes, was released. […] Later, under torture, the widow Perceval did confess to being a witch and named several ‘accomplices.’ […] It was costly in a purely financial sense to try an individual witch. Furthermore, fear of witchcraft could get out of control and result in lynchings and murders or in devastating mass trials in which large numbers of individuals who would not usually be suspected of witchcraft came under suspicion. […] We establish that witchcraft trials were more likely to take place where the central state had weak legal institutions. Combining data on the geographic distribution of witchcraft trials with unique panel data on tax receipts across 21 French regions, we find that the rise of the tax state can account for much of the decline in witch trials during this period. Further historical evidence supports our hypothesis that higher taxes led to better legal institutions. [Johnson and Koyama]

Since 1990, the Gerontology Research Group has assumed the role of record keepers for the world’s supercentenarians, or persons older than 110. […] When it comes to age forgery, Coles has seen it all. He recently received a claim from India of an individual who is supposedly 179—a feat that is almost certainly physically impossible. The deceit can be harder to spot, such as the time a man in Turkey tried to pass himself off as his deceased brother, who was ten years older. And in one particularly challenging case, the government of Bolivia issued false documents to a man who was 106, stating that he was 112. These problems are well known among those who study the very old. “Ninety-eight percent of ages claimed over 115 are false,” says Thomas Perls, a professor of medicine and geriatrics at Boston Medical Center, and director of the New England Centenarian Study. Based on a research paper he published on the topic, Perls says that “There’s a total of ten different major reasons why people do this.” Sometimes, the motivation for lying is monetary. In the U.S., for example, a handful of people inflated their ages in order to claim to be Civil War veterans, giving them access to pensions. […] In other cases, a government or group might want to demonstrate that theirs is a “superior race.” [Smithsonian]

A gene responsible for stopping the movement of cancer from the lungs to other parts of the body has been discovered by researchers

Danish DNA Could be Key to Happiness

How Becoming a Father Changes Your Brain

We only use 10% of our brains? That’s 100% wrong.

Sweet taste liking is associated with impulsive behaviors in humans

Brands are succeeding largely because of consumer ignorance.

We’re more likely to spend money when we’re feeling nostalgic, study

Previous research shows the existence of a height premium in the workplace with tall individuals receiving more benefits across several domains (e.g., earnings) relative to short people.

The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task.

There’s little correlation between company performance and CEO pay.

A millionaire cross-dressing NY real estate ​​heir was busted for peeing on the candy display at a CVS

After Drugs and Guns, Art Theft Is the Biggest Criminal Enterprise in the World

How much are curators really paid?

“never show a husband the apartment without his wife.”

A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites

Backmasking

Astronauts debate provenance of turd floating in Apollo 10

Using bees that have been genetically modified to 3D-print concrete

Triple-Decker Weekly, 112

tdw-112

Germany’s nudist movement is in decline

Many sewage epidemiology studies to date have focused on measuring the drugs carried in urine, dissolved in water. However, now it seems that analysing faecal matter could be more accurate, since some drugs tend to stick more readily to solids.

Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made a breakthrough in the race to solve antibiotic resistance. New research published today in the journal Nature reveals an Achilles’ heel in the defensive barrier which surrounds drug-resistant bacterial cells. The findings pave the way for a new wave of drugs that kill superbugs by bringing down their defensive walls rather than attacking the bacteria itself. It means that in future, bacteria may not develop drug-resistance at all. [Phys.org]

Few human possessions are so universally owned as mobile phones. There are almost as many mobile phones as there are humans on the planet. More people worldwide own mobile phones than have access to working toilets. These devices not only help individuals share information with each other, they are increasingly being used to help individuals gather information about themselves. Smartphones — mobile phones with built in applications and internet access — have rapidly become one of the world’s most sophisticated self-tracking tools. Self-trackers and those engaged in the “quantified self” movement are using smartphones to collect large volumes of data about their health, their environment, and the interaction between the two. Continuous tracking is now obtainable for personal health indicators including physical activity, brain activity, mood dynamics, numerous physiologic metrics and demographic data. Similarly, smartphones are empowering individuals to measure and map, at a relatively low cost, environmental data on air quality, water quality, temperature, humidity, noise levels, and more. Mobile phones can provide another source of information to their owners: sample data on their personal microbiome. The personal microbiome, here defined as the collection of microbes associated with an individual’s personal effects (i.e., possessions regularly worn or carried on one’s person), likely varies uniquely from person to person. Research has shown there can be significant interpersonal variation in human microbiota, including for those microbes found on the skin. We hypothesize that this variation can be detected not just in the human microbiome, but also on the phone microbiome. [Meadow/Altrichter/Green]

An extensive literature addresses citizen ignorance, but very little research focuses on misperceptions. Can these false or unsubstantiated beliefs about politics be corrected? […] Results indicate that corrections frequently fail to reduce misperceptions among the targeted ideological group. We also document several instances of a ‘‘backfire effect’’ in which corrections actually increase misperceptions among the group in question. [Springer Science+Business Media | PDF]

Recent experimental studies show that emotions can have a significant effect on the way we think, decide, and solve problems. [Frontiers]

It’s called “contextual jitter” — in the time it takes to silence your cell phone, you’ve already lost track of what you were doing. […] When their attention was shifted from the task at hand for a mere 2.8 seconds, they became twice as likely to mess up the sequence. The error rate tripled when the interruptions averaged 4.4 seconds. [The Atlantic]

DNA tests prove your close friends are probably distant relatives

In the U.S., couples with daughters are somewhat more likely to divorce than couples with sons. Many scholars have read those numbers as evidence that daughters cause divorce. […] Previous studies have argued that fathers prefer boys and are more likely to stay in marriages that produce sons. Conversely, the argument runs, men are more likely to leave a marriage that produces daughters. That scholarly claim has been around for decades, and has gained a following in popular culture. […] A new research from Duke University suggests something quite different may be at play. […] Throughout the life course, girls and women are generally hardier than boys and men. At every age from birth to age 100, boys and men die in greater proportions than girls and women. Epidemiological evidence also suggests that the female survival advantage actually begins in utero. These more robust female embryos may be better able to withstand stresses to pregnancy, the new paper argues, including stresses caused by relationship conflict. Based on an analysis of longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of U.S. residents from 1979 to 2010, Hamoudi and Nobles say a couple’s level of relationship conflict predicts their likelihood of subsequent divorce. Strikingly, the authors also found that a couple’s level of relationship conflict at a given time also predicted the sex of children born to that couple at later points in time. Women who reported higher levels of marital conflict were more likely in subsequent years to give birth to girls, rather than boys. [EurekAlert]

Do Parents’ Gender Roles at Home Predict Children’s Aspirations?

What does it take to look attractive for members of the opposite sex? […] Researchers investigated whether a sex-biased population (that is, more men or women than a 50/50 division) affected attractiveness. […] If you want to command the attention of potential mates: hang out with girls if you’re a guy and hang out with guys if you’re a girl. [United Academics]

Eye movements reveal difference between love and lust

Do women perceive other women in red as more sexually receptive?

Does cheating seem as bad when it’s “all in the family”?

Anyone we could marry would, of course, be a little wrong for us. It is wise to be appropriately pessimistic here. Perfection is not on the cards. Unhappiness is a constant. Nevertheless, one encounters some couples of such primal, grinding mismatch, such deep-seated incompatibility, that one has to conclude that something else is at play beyond the normal disappointments and tensions of every long-term relationship: some people simply shouldn’t be together. […] Given that marrying the wrong person is about the single easiest and also costliest mistake any of us can make, it is extraordinary, and almost criminal, that the issue of marrying intelligently is not more systematically addressed at a national and personal level, as road safety or smoking are. [Philosophers’ Mail]

When humans fight hand-to-hand the face is usually the primary target and the bones that suffer the highest rates of fracture are the parts of the skull that exhibit the greatest increase in robusticity during the evolution of basal hominins. These bones are also the most sexually dimorphic parts of the skull in both australopiths and humans. In this review, we suggest that many of the facial features that characterize early hominins evolved to protect the face from injury during fighting with fists. Specifically, the trend towards a more orthognathic face; the bunodont form and expansion of the postcanine teeth; the increased robusticity of the orbit; the increased robusticity of the masticatory system, including the mandibular corpus and condyle, zygoma, and anterior pillars of the maxilla; and the enlarged jaw adductor musculature are traits that may represent protective buttressing of the face. If the protective buttressing hypothesis is correct, the primary differences in the face of robust versus gracile australopiths may be more a function of differences in mating system than differences in diet as is generally assumed. […] The protective buttressing hypothesis provides a functional explanation for the puzzling observation that although humans do not fight by biting our species exhibits pronounced sexual dimorphism in the strength and power of the jaw and neck musculature. The protective buttressing hypothesis is also consistent with observations that modern humans can accurately assess a male’s strength and fighting ability from facial shape and voice quality. [Biological Reviews]

Trivers introduced his theory of self-deception over three decades ago. According to his theory, individuals deceive themselves to better deceive others by placing truthful information in the unconscious while consciously presenting false information to others as well as the self without leaving cues to be detected of deception. […] According to Trivers, a blatant deceiver keeps both true and false information in the conscious mind but presents only falsehoods to others. In doing so, the deceiver may leave clues about the truth due to its conscious access. A self-deceiver keeps only false information in consciousness. Lying to others and to the self at the same time, the self-deceiver thus leaves no clues about the truth retained in the unconscious mind. […] Memory and its distortion may be temporarily employed first to keep truthful information away from both self and others and later to retrieve accurate information to benefit the self. Using a dual-retrieval paradigm, we tested the hypothesis that people are likely to deceive themselves to better deceive high- rather than equal-status others. [Evolution Psychology | PDF]

In general, we can detect a lie only about 54% of the time. […] We may not be very good detectors of lies, but as a species we are incredibly good at lying. […] The more intelligent an animal is, the more likely it is to lie, which puts us humans right at the top of the ladder. Research has also shown that the best liars are also the best at detecting lies. […] Given our increasing intelligence and the fairly basic methods used in lie detection, it seems unlikely that we’ll produce lie detectors that can pass muster in the near future. We have yet to fully understand the underlying psychological processes of lying so asking a machine to code it is ambitious, to say the least. [ The Conversation]

Drawing on theorizing and research suggesting that people are motivated to view their world as an orderly and predictable place in which people get what they deserve, the authors proposed that (a) random and uncontrollable bad outcomes will lower self-esteem and (b) this, in turn, will lead to the adoption of self-defeating beliefs and behaviors. Four experiments demonstrated that participants who experienced or recalled bad (vs. good) breaks devalued their self-esteem (Studies 1a and 1b), and that decrements in self-esteem (whether arrived at through misfortune or failure experience) increase beliefs about deserving bad outcomes (Studies 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b). Five studies (Studies 3–7) extended these findings by showing that this, in turn, can engender a wide array of self-defeating beliefs and behaviors, including claimed self-handicapping ahead of an ability test (Study 3), the preference for others to view the self less favorably (Studies 4–5), chronic self-handicapping and thoughts of physical self-harm (Study 6), and choosing to receive negative feedback during an ability test (Study 7). The current findings highlight the important role that concerns about deservingness play in the link between lower self-esteem and patterns of self-defeating beliefs and behaviors. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. [Journal of Personality and Social Psychology | PDF]

Our results show that individuals who possess unstable high self-esteem reported a stronger desire to become famous than did those with stable high self-esteem.

Women are more talkative in small groups, whereas men are more talkative in large groups, study finds [via gettingsome]

The more senior the speaker, the more they interrupt.

The term “stress” had none of its contemporary connotations before the 1920s.

The modern idea of stress began on a rooftop in Canada, with a handful of rats freezing in the winter wind.

How our ideas about pain and suffering have radically changed through the years.

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can’t see it

Cosmologists: Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

The present studies investigate whether people perceive the same work of art to be of lower quality if they learn that it was a collaborative work

Artist attends Art Basel naked

The Problem With Selling the Largest Private Art Collection in the World

Study: Young women with sexy social media photos seen as less competent

I no longer look at somebody’s CV to determine if we will interview them or not,” declares Teri Morse, who oversees the recruitment of 30,000 people each year at Xerox Services. Instead, her team analyses personal data to determine the fate of job candidates. She is not alone. “Big data” and complex algorithms are increasingly taking decisions out of the hands of individual interviewers – a trend that has far-reaching consequences for job seekers and recruiters alike. […] Employees who are members of one or two social networks were found to stay in their job for longer than those who belonged to four or more social networks (Xerox recruitment drives at gaming conventions were subsequently cancelled). Some findings, however, were much more fundamental: prior work experience in a similar role was not found to be a predictor of success. “It actually opens up doors for people who would never have gotten to interview based on their CV,” says Ms Morse. [FT]

CYNK, a ”social networking” startup that has no assets, no revenue, no members, and one employee, is worth $4.75 billion

CYNK Short Squeeze Scam Costs Trader His Job

Haberman wanted grocery stores to embrace the 12-digit Universal Product Code—better known as the barcode—to create a standardized system for tracking inventory and speeding checkout. He took his fellow execs to a nice dinner. Then, as was the fashion at the time, they went to see Deep Throat. […] Without the barcode, FedEx couldn’t guarantee overnight delivery. […] Nearly all babies born today in U.S. hospitals get barcode bracelets as soon as they’re swaddled. [Wired]

Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill

‘Hidden From Google’ Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced to Forget

140 Google Interview Questions

SonyOnline.net Domain Expires, Shenanigans Ensue for all SOE Games, Forums, Websites

You Can Learn a New Language While You Sleep, Study Finds

Public Bicycle Share Programs and Head Injuries

A busy NYC restaurant kept getting bad reviews for slow service, so they hired a firm to investigate. When they compared footage from 2004 to footage from 2014, they made some pretty startling discoveries.

Phantom pain, experienced in missing limbs, tortures amputees and puzzles scientists. Srinath Perur cycles round Cambodia with a man who treats it with mirrors.

How Collecting Opium Antiques Turned Me Into an Opium Addict [Thanks Tim]

Audio: Nixon’s Secret White House Tapes

The CIA’s writing manual has been leaked

CIA Cafeteria Complaints

People continue to reinvent the wheel. Some of those people file patent applications. Patent offices even approve some of those applications.

Travel App Can Recommend Places by Looking at Them

Now You Can 3-D Print The Perfect Pair Of Earphones

German airport rolls out world’s first robotic parking valet

FBI warns driverless cars could be used as ‘lethal weapons’

Clothing increases the risk of indirect ballistic fractures (If you’re going to be shot, it’s safer to be naked)

Hairline Design with Lasers

8 Irresistible Food Blogs From Sub-Saharan Africa

Online Color Challenge

Anyone wont there ass eaten in my Jeep m4w (LA)

Triple-Decker Weekly, 111

tdw-111

This study compared the effectiveness of four classic moral stories in promoting honesty in 3- to 7-year-olds. Surprisingly, the stories of “Pinocchio” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” failed to reduce lying in children. In contrast, the apocryphal story of “George Washington and the Cherry Tree” significantly increased truth telling. Further results suggest that the reason for the difference in honesty-promoting effectiveness between the “George Washington” story and the other stories was that the former emphasizes the positive consequences of honesty, whereas the latter focus on the negative consequences of dishonesty. [Psychological Science | PDF]

“For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” St Matthew’s words are oft quoted, albeit usually in an abbreviated form. But are they true? […] Dr van de Rijt designed a series of experiments intended to look at whether giving people an arbitrary advantage over their fellows at the beginning of an endeavour led to a significantly better outcome for those people. […] Success does breed success, but not overwhelmingly. Whether the second part of the dictum, that failure breeds failure, is true awaits further experimentation. [The Economist]

Four experiments examined the interplay of memory and creative cognition, showing that attempting to think of new uses for an object can cause the forgetting of old uses. […] Additionally, the forgetting effect correlated with individual differences in creativity such that participants who exhibited more forgetting generated more creative uses than participants who exhibited less forgetting. These findings indicate that thinking can cause forgetting and that such forgetting may contribute to the ability to think creatively. [APA/Psycnet]

Human Language Is Biased Towards Happiness, Say Computational Linguists

The articulation of vowels systematically influences our feelings and vice versa.

In the language of social psychology, the situationist view attributes behavior mainly to external, rather than internal forces. Hence, heroism and villainy are unrelated to individual differences in personality or even conscious decisions based on one’s values. This seems to imply a rather passive view of human behavior in which people are largely at the mercy of circumstances outside themselves, rather than rational actors capable of making choices. However, if features of the person can be disregarded in favour of situational forces, then it is very difficult to explain why it is that the same situation can elicit completely opposite responses from different people. This would seem to suggest that situations elicit either heroic or villainous responses in a random way that cannot be predicted, or that situational factors alone are insufficient to explain the choices that people make in difficult circumstances. An alternative view is that situations do not so much suppress the individual personality, as reveal the person’s latent potential (Krueger, 2008). Therefore, a dangerous situation for example might reveal one person’s potential for bravery and another’s potential for cowardice. [Eye on Psych]

Realism is a term that can be understood only by contrasting it with an opposite term, such as idealism or representationalism. But representationalism has indeed to presuppose something that is represented, in order for the representation to be possible at all. […] Our grasp on reality is always determined by our own way of accessing it. A realism which can take hold of this presupposition is to be called phenomenological realism. In this sense, reality is always given only in representation, that is, mediated by our access to it, but is not itself representation. It is an objectivity opposed to ourself, it has a particular place and it appears, but its appearance does not belong to the subject, it is simply there. Therefore, appearances are spatial and have to be described as such. [Meta Journal | PDF]

Does Having Daughters Cause Judges to Rule for Women’s Issues? Using new data on the family lives of U.S. Courts of Appeals judges, we find that, conditional on the number of children a judge has, judges with daughters consistently vote in a more feminist fashion on gender issues than judges who have only sons. This result survives a number of robustness tests and appears to be driven primarily by Republican judges. More broadly, this result demonstrates that personal experiences influence how judges make decisions, and this is the first article to show that empathy may indeed be a component in how judges decide cases. [American Journal of Political Science]

Economist Rick Nevin has an explanation for the 1990s dramatic drop in crime. After lead was banned from paint and gasoline in the 1970s, he says, fewer children suffered mental handicaps that can result from lead exposure, and eventually, lead to criminality. [Thanks Tim]

Fastest-Growing Metro Area in U.S. Has No Crime or Kids

The concept of “mother” in linguistics

Polygyny rates are higher in western Africa than in eastern Africa. The African slave trades help explain this difference. More male slaves were exported in the transatlantic slave trades from western Africa, while more female slaves were exported in the Indian Ocean slave trades from eastern Africa. The slave trades led to prolonged periods of abnormal sex ratios, which affected the rates of polygyny across Africa. [Economic Development and Cultural Change]

The only cryonics storage facilities are in the US and Russia. So while my day job is as a student landlord, in my spare time I run Cryonics UK and train a cryonics emergency team in my own home. We’re ready to administer the medical procedures needed to stabilise and cool a body before it is flown to the US on dry ice. Around 40 people are on our emergency list – people who can call us and say, “I’m going, please help me.” They pay roughly £20 a month to cover the upkeep of our equipment and ambulance. To call us out when the time comes costs about £20,000, plus there’s the cost of long-term storage. With Alcor, one of two US storage services, the total bill will be $95,000 for “head only” and $215,000 for “whole body”. Most people cover that with life insurance. [Financial Times]

A team of researchers has found that releasing excess heat from air conditioners running during the night resulted in higher outside temperatures, worsening the urban heat island effect and increasing cooling demands. [Phys]

“I looked up at the shower head, and it was as if the water droplets had stopped in mid-air” […] Although Baker is perhaps the most dramatic case, a smattering of strikingly similar accounts can be found, intermittently, in medical literature. There are reports of time speeding up – so called “zeitraffer” phenomenon – and also more fragmentary experiences called “akinetopsia”, in which motion momentarily stops. For instance, travelling home one day, one 61-year-old woman reported that the movement of the closing train doors, and fellow passengers, was in slow motion and “broken up”, as if in “freeze frames”. A 58-year-old Japanese man, meanwhile, seemed to be experiencing life like a badly dubbed movie; in conversation, he found that although others’ voices sounded normal, they were out of sync with their faces. […] One explanation for this double-failure is that our motion perception system has its own stopwatch, recording how fast things are moving across our vision – and when this is disrupted by brain injury, the world stands still. For Baker, stepping into the shower might have exacerbated the problem, since the warm water would have drawn the blood away from the brain to the extremities of the body, further disturbing the brain’s processing. Another explanation comes from the discovery that our brain records its perceptions in discrete “snapshots”, like the frames of a film reel. “The healthy brain reconstructs the experience and glues together the different frames,” says Rufin VanRullen at the French Centre for Brain and Cognition Research in Toulouse, “but if brain damage destroys the glue, you might only see the snapshots.” [BBC]

Recognizing faces despite amnesia

This face is unrecognizable to several state-of-art face detection algorithms

Consciousness on-off switch discovered deep in brain

Less Sleep Means Smaller Brains in Older Adults

Scientists are using hypnosis to understand why some people believe they’re inhabited by paranormal beings.

Decline of religion in the West has created a rise in black magic, Satanism and the occult. We need more exorcists, say Catholics.

Why Do Some Teens Become Binge Drinkers? Algorithms Answer.

Don’t Try Losing Weight By Just Eating More Fruits And Vegetables

A 1999 outbreak of diarrheal illness affected 44% of patrons (an estimated 4800 people) who visited a new local interactive water fountain in a beachside park. Water recreation illnesses

How do mosquitoes find some people and not others?

A Contraceptive Implant with Remote Control

Ford And Intel Use Facial Recognition To Improve In-Car Tech, Safety

Hacking into Internet Connected Light Bulbs

New State of Matter Discovered

Another group ended up believing that quantum mechanics did represent reality, and that, yes, reality was non-local, and possibly not very real either. Quantum state may be a real thing

Colonizing Venus

If our understanding of the physics behind the recently-discovered Higgs boson is correct, our universe shouldn’t exist. That is, however, if another cosmological hypothesis is real, a hypothesis that is currently undergoing intense scrutiny in light of the BICEP2 results.

People voluntarily leaving jobs at highest rate since 2009 downturn

For a long list of investment “biases,” including lack of diversification, excessive trading, and the disposition effect, we find that genetic differences explain up to 45% of the remaining variation across individual investors, after controlling for observable individual characteristics.

A common but little-known practice in corporate America: Companies are taking out life insurance policies on their employees, and collecting the benefits when they die. [NY Times]

When does rude service at luxury stores make consumers go back for more?

How did China become the world’s leader in luxury goods sales — a category that relies heavily on IP rights for its market value — while at the same time achieving unchallenged global dominance in “IP theft”?

When you visit BuzzFeed, they record lots of information about you.

Wikipedia editors hit with $10 million defamation lawsuit

The dark side of Twitter — Infidelity, break-ups, and divorce

Fake Followers for Hire, and How to Spot Them

While on an expedition into Africa during the late 19th century, Jameson, heir to an Irish whiskey manufacturer, reportedly bought an 11-year-old girl and offered her to cannibals to document and sketch how she was cooked and eaten. [+ NY Times | PDF]

The codpiece, however, may have been a disguise for underlying disease.

Darwin may be the first person to ever notice a puzzling phenomenon:  the bafflingly long time it takes kids to learn the meanings of color words.

8 Summer Miseries Made Worse by Global Warming, From Poison Ivy to Allergies

More left-handed men are born during the winter

New York lawmakers approve ban on ‘tiger selfies’

Kara Walker’s sugar-coated sphinx

Spit masks [Thanks Tim]

Retail Sluts

Chinese hospitals introduce hands-free automatic ‘sperm extractor’ for donors

Triple-Decker Weekly, 110

tdw-110

Yo is the hottest new app that will leave you scratching your head. The entire premise of the app is to send other users a single word: Yo. […] Without ever having officially launched, co-founder and CEO Or Arbel managed to secure $1.2 million in funding. [Tech Crunch]

That $1m funding should cover costs for a year to find out whether Yo really can succeed, Mr Arbel says. […] “It’s not just an app that says Yo,” says Mr Arbel. “It’s a whole new means of communication.” [FT]

Yo, the app, has been hacked

The present research provides empirical evidence that drug names may entail implicit promises about their therapeutic power. We asked people to evaluate the perceived efficacy and risk associated with hypothetical drug names and other secondary related measures. We compared opaque (without meaning), functional (targeting the health issue that the drug is meant to solve) and persuasive (targeting the expected outcome of the treatment) names. Persuasive names were perceived as more efficacious and less risky than both opaque and functional names, suggesting that names that target the expected outcome of the drug may bias the perception of risk and efficacy. [Applied Cognitive Psychology ]

A new study suggests that free will may arise from a hidden signal buried in the “background noise” of chaotic electrical activity in the brain, and that this activity occurs almost a second before people consciously decide to do something. [Live Science]

Searching for the “Free Will” Neuron

Instinct Can Beat Analytical Thinking

About 20% of the population are “highly sensitive people” (HSP), who display heightened awareness to subtle stimuli – whether positive or negative – and process information more thoroughly.

Is group brainstorming more effective if you do it standing up?

What is episodic memory good for?

Is finding that ‘new’ invention a massive mental leap from point A to point B, or are there scores of unnoticed intermediate steps in between? Pitt psychology researchers explore how engineers create

Where Do New Ideas Come From?

How often do men really think about sex?

Is It Really True That Watching Porn Will Shrink Your Brain?

The basic unit of neuronal communication and coding is the spike (or action potential), an electrical impulse of about a tenth of a volt that lasts for a bit less than a millisecond. How does the brain speak to itself?

Neuroscience patients who changed how we think about the brain

In a remarkable experiment, a paralyzed woman used her mind to control a robotic arm. If only there were a realistic way to get this technology out of the lab and into real life.

For the first time scientists have found a direct biological link between stress and inflammation of blood vessels which can lead to heart attacks

Participants had lower levels of physiological stress when at work than at home.

Human Foreskins are Big Business for Cosmetics

A man with almost no hair on his body has grown a full head of it after a novel treatment by doctors at Yale University. The patient has also grown eyebrows and eyelashes, as well as facial, armpit, and other hair, which he lacked at the time he sought help.

Time Travel Simulated by Australian Physicists

One physicist says the speed of light must be slower than Einstein predicted and has developed a theory that explains why 

Big Bang backlash: BICEP2 discovery of gravity waves questioned by cosmologists

Blue Light Exposure before Evening Meal Linked to Increased Hunger

Ambient temperatures can influence the growth or loss of brown fat in people

Does temperature affect economic performance? Has temperature always affected social welfare through its impact on physical and cognitive function? While many studies have explored the indirect links between climate and welfare (e.g. agricultural yield, violent conflict, or sea-level rise), few address the possibility of direct impacts operating through human physiology. This paper presents a model of labor supply under thermal stress, building on a longstanding physiological literature linking thermal stress to health and task performance. […] We find that hotter-than-average years are associated with lower output per capita for already hot countries and higher output per capita for cold countries: approximately 3%-4% in both directions. [SSRN]

Causes of accidents by soy sauce squeezing residue and fish meal

On How Hygiene and Authenticity Shape Consumer Evaluations of Restaurants [PDF]

All-you-can-eat sushi restaurants should not exist. So why do they?

Why We Enjoy Chili Peppers, S&M, Gruesome Movies, and Other Unpleasant Experiences

Readers come to a page to consume content, not ads — so, does higher engagement with a part of a page actually correlate with higher engagement with the ad that’s in view at that position?

How does a chicken tell time?

How smartphones and sitting at a computer can ruin your posture

Why do your earphones get tangled in your pocket?

In a year with (practically) no water, here’s something that was inevitable: farming without any water at all.

A 1999 outbreak of diarrheal illness affected 44% of patrons (an estimated 4800 people) who visited a new local interactive water fountain in a beachside park. Water recreation illnesses

This French tech school has no teachers, no books, no tuition

See how borders change on Google Maps depending on where you view them

NY Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning Pet Tattoos, Piercings

New York lawmakers approve ban on ‘tiger selfies’

New Yorkers are prone to wrinkling, a new study has found. Largely thanks to long, hard commute.

Safest and riskiest areas of New York’s subway system

Salvador Dali was a reader of Scientific American, and created one of his most iconic pieces based on a Scientific American article on face perception.

The Pearl Diving Mermaids of Japan

black diamond in disneyland

Triple-Decker Weekly, 109

tdw-109

It is an object of the present invention to provide a practical and affordable device to disperse cremated remains in a special and honorary manner. […] At an appointed time, the remains are loaded into one or more mortar launchers mounted on the back of a mobile unit, be it a vehicle or other mobile device, and propelled into the sky. When an appropriate altitude is reached, the explosive device is activated and explodes, causing the ashen remains to disintegrate and cover an expansive area with the ash. The loved ones may feel that the spirit of the departed lingers in that area, allowing surviving family and friends to enjoy the comfort of having a part of the loved one physically and figuratively all around them [Wallace N. Brown | via Improbable ]

A small proportion of the population is responsible for the vast majority of lies

Jesus Christ could have come to Britain to further his education, according to a Scottish academic.

New study suggests the Universe is not expanding at all.

How Would Humans Know If They Lived in a Multiverse?

Man with penis stuck in pipe for two days. “It was hot so I was painting the wall in the nude…”

Teen charged as adult due to big penis

In the study, 41 women viewed and handled penises made on a 3D printer

Tattoo artists sue videogame makers over the copyrights to artworks they’ve inked on athletes that appear in games. [via gettingsome]

Why are countries still using the phony bomb detectors sold by a convicted conman?

When It Costs Too Much to Work

Unhappiness and Job Finding

Boredom at work can make us more creative

First, we find that nearly half of the unemployed do not experience a drop in happiness [PDF]

Job interview tips from a woman who went on 100 job interviews in six years

We all know the awkward feeling when a conversation is disrupted by a brief silence. This paper studies why such moments can be unsettling. We suggest that silences are particularly disturbing if they disrupt the conversational flow. A mere four-seconds silence (in a six-minute video clip) suffices to disrupt the conversational flow and make one feel distressed, afraid, hurt, and rejected. These effects occur despite participants’ unawareness of the short, single silence. […] Finally, the present research reveals that although people do not consciously notice brief silences, they are influenced by conversa- tional disfluency in a way quite similar to ostracism experiences (e.g., Williams, 2001). That is, people report feeling more rejected and experience more negative emotions when a conversation is disrupted by a silence, rather than when it flows. Thus, disrupted flow can implicitly elicit feelings of rejection, confirming human sensitivity to social exclusion cues. [Journal of Experimental Social Psychology | PDF]

My data show that reductions in the barriers to divorce were associated with reductions in women’s happiness, particularly among older women and women with children.

New study sheds light on what happens to ‘cool’ kids

Studies have shown that children can figure out when someone is lying to them, but cognitive scientists from MIT recently tackled a subtler question: Can children tell when adults are telling them the truth, but not the whole truth?

Bartlett incorporated a lie detector into the facial recognition technology. This technology promises to catch in the act anyone who tries to fake a given emotion or feeling.

With distance comes greater wisdom, research finds

How to Criticize with Kindness

Justifying Atrocities: The effect of moral-disengagement strategies on socially shared retrieval-induced forgetting

Damage to certain parts of the brain can lead to a bizarre syndrome called hemispatial neglect, in which one loses awareness of one side of their body and the space around it. In extreme cases, a patient with hemispatial neglect might eat food from only one side of their plate, dress on only one side of their body, or shave or apply make-up to half of their face, apparently because they cannot pay attention to anything on that the other side. Research published last week now suggests that something like this happens to all of us when we drift off to sleep each night. [Neurophilosophy/Guardian]

Going out in search of love on an empty stomach makes people more attracted to larger partners, a study suggests [Thanks Glenn]

Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system, study finds

Of 47 foods studied, all but 6 (raspberry, tangerine, cranberry, garlic, onion, and blueberry) satisfied the powerhouse criterion

Killing a Patient to Save His Life [Thanks Glenn]

The disease has wiped out an estimated 10 percent of the U.S. pig population, helped push pork prices to record highs

The Next Green Revolution May Rely on Microbes

A Re-Evaluation of the Size of the White Shark Population off California, USA

The history of bear pepper sprays: They played recordings of growling bears and hissing humans. They blared boat horns, blew whistles, engaged strobe lights, and set off firecrackers. Finally, they sprayed chemicals directly into the bear’s face: onion juice, Windex, mustard, and an aerosol-based dog repellent called Halt.

This study is related to the use of natural ventilation silencers for the howling and barking (hereafter referred to as “barking”) of dogs. With the spread of nuclear families, low birth rates, and aging populations, pets play an important role in advanced nations. In Japan, the number of complaints and problems caused by the noise created by barking dogs is increasing; it represents the major component of noises in living spaces, thus necessitating some sort of countermeasure. In addition, dogs in veterinary hospitals are housed in connecting cages; one dog’s barking can cause others to bark as well, creating stress in the other animals in the hospital. One method being considered to remedy this situation is the attachment of a sound insulating board to the opening of the cages and the utilization of forced ventilation. However, the use of sound boards and forced ventilation creates a number of issues, including problems such as hindrance in communicating with animals, noise associated with ventilation intake and output, noise from fans within cages, cost, energy consumption, and the risks of malfunction and power outages; collectively, these problems make this solution unfeasible. […] We created a prototype based on resonance within a rectangular chamber divided into cells, adding nonwoven sheets to the interior, tail pipes, and coaxial side branch tube silencers to the open end. We then assessed the sound attenuation performance. [International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Applications | PDF]

Disturbing Facts About Sunscreen

Toilet psychology: Why do men wash their hands less than women?

An experience reducing toilet flushing noise reaching adjacent offices

Ever since “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” everyone is either disrupting or being disrupted.

New study finds Internet not responsible for dying newspapers

“So Cute I Could Eat It Up”: Priming Effects of Cute Products on Indulgent Consumption [PDF]

The Rise of the $8 Ice Cube

A quarter of all public company deals may involve some kind of insider trading. […] The study [PDF], perhaps the most detailed and exhaustive of its kind, examined hundreds of transactions from 1996 through the end of 2012. [NY Times]

This paper documents a close connection between the timing of corporate news disclosures and CEOs’ absences from headquarters. I identify CEO absences by merging publicly available flight histories of corporate jets with real estate records of CEOs’ property ownership near leisure destinations. I find that CEOs go to their vacation homes just after companies report favorable news, and CEOs return to headquarters right before subsequent news is released. More good news is released when CEOs are back at work, and CEOs appear not to leave headquarters at all if a firm has adverse news to disclose. When CEOs are away from the office, stock prices behave quietly with sharply lower volatility. Volatility increases immediately when CEOs return to work. Mandatory Form 8-K disclosures of material company news are more likely to be filed late if news occurs while CEOs are at their vacation homes. [David Yermack/NYU School of Law | PDF]
1 in 10 New Yorkers doesn’t have a bank account

ATM hacked by 14-year-olds using manual found online

The Effect of Graduated Response Anti-Piracy Laws on Music Sales [PDF]

Does the advertising business that built Google actually work?

For non-brand keywords we find that new and infrequent users are positively influenced by ads but that more frequent users whose purchasing behavior is not influenced by ads account for most of the advertising expenses, resulting in average returns that are negative. [PDF]

In shopping malls, for instance, a firm called Euclid Analytics collects, in its own words, “the presence of the device, its signal strength, its manufacturer (Apple, Samsung, etc.), and a unique identifier known as its Media Access Control (MAC) address.” In London last year, one start-up installed a dozen recycling bins that sniffed MAC addresses from passers-by, effectively tracking people through the area via their phones. […] Companies like Euclid or its peer Turnstyle Solutions use the data to track footfall in stores, how people move about in shops, how long they linger in certain sections, and how often they return. Store-owners use the information to target shoppers with offers (paywall) or to move high-value items to highly-trafficked parts of the shop, among other things. […] Apple’s solution, as discovered by a Swiss programmer, is for iOS 8 to generate a random MAC addresses while scanning for networks. That means that companies and agencies that collect such information will not necessarily know when the same device (i.e., person) visits a store twice. [Quartz]

New York Dealers Discuss the Future of Galleries

Oscar Murillo has recreated a candy-making factory inside a New York gallery

In 1963, Spoerri enacted a sort of performance art called Restaurant de la Galerie J in Paris, for which he cooked on several evenings

Mermaids – their biology, culture, and demise [PDF | via Improbable]

There’s a plan to put ancient texts on the moon — just in case Earth suffers a nuclear holocaust or a plague

Feedback From James Joyce’s Submission of Ulysses to His Creative-Writing Workshop

Marilyn Monroe was a huge fan of Joyce. And Magnum photographer Eve Arnold once photographed her reading Ulysses.

How To Catch A Chess Cheater

Can a Plane Fly Around the World on Solar Power Alone?

Hidden Deep Inside the Oregon Woods Is a Boeing 727 — and It Wasn’t Parked There by Accident

The surprising story of 2 TV chopper pilots who followed the OJ chase 20 years ago

O.J. Simpson’s White Bronco Can Apparently Be Rented for Parties

The American Dream Is Alive—and It’s Really, Really Tiny

Jennifer in paradise: the story of the first Photoshopped image

they wanted her funeral to be just as lively

Best friends