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Shines Like Gold
By imp kerr
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Triple-Decker Weekly

The basic idea is to replace the notion of infinity with a new number that Sergeyev calls grossone, which he writes like this: ➀. [The Physics arXiv Blog]

Researchers have established a direct link between the number of friends you have on Facebook and the degree to which you are a “socially disruptive” narcissist, confirming the conclusions of many social media skeptics. [ The Guardian ]

A team of researchers has methodically demonstrated that a face’s features or constituents – more than the face per se – are the key to recognizing a person. Their study goes against the common belief that brains process faces “holistically.” [EurekAlert]

Faces are considered more attractive when they’re moving. [BPS]

You’re famous for denying that propositions have to be either true or false (and not both or neither) but before we get to that, can you start by saying how you became a philosopher? [Graham Priest interviewed by Richard Marshal | 3AM]

Several theories claim that dreaming is a random by-product of REM sleep physiology and that it does not serve any natural function. Phenomenal dream content, however, is not as disorganized as such views imply. I put forward the hypothesis that the biological function of dreaming is to simulate threatening events, and to rehearse threat perception and threat avoidance. [Antti Revonsuo/Behavioral and Brain Sciences | PDF]

Many are alarmed by the prospect of pharmaceutical memory manipulation. In this brief comment, I argue that these fears are overblown. [SSRN]

Neuroscientists know that the brain contains some 100 billion neurons and that the neurons are joined together via an estimated quadrillion (one million billion) connections. It’s through those links that the brain does the remarkable work of learning and storing memory. Yet scientists have never mapped that whole web of neural contact, known as the connectome. It would be as if doctors knew about each of our bones in isolation but had never seen an entire skeleton. The sheer complexity of the connectome has put such a map out of reach until now. [Discover]

According to a paper just published (but available online since 2010), we haven’t found any genes for personality. [Neuroskeptic]

New support for the value of fiction is arriving from an unexpected quarter: neuroscience. [NY Times]

Previous studies identified a number of common cycling injuries, including neck and back pain, chafing, and genital numbness. […] The Medoc Vibratory Sensory Analyzer 3000, not your average vibrator, was used to measure sensation at eight genital regions: the clitoris, the left and right perineum, the anterior and posterior vagina, the left and right labia, and the urethra. [Salamander Hours]

There is nothing wrong with wishing that it were possible to compartmentalize your digital conversations in the same way you do your meatspace exchanges. Unfortunately for us, this is not the direction the web is going, which is why pseudonymous accounts and the networks who accept them are so very, very important. [AV Flox]

A Christian missionary sets out to convert a remote Amazonian tribe. He lives with them for years in primitive conditions, learns their extremely difficult language, risks his life battling malaria, giant anacondas, and sometimes the tribe itself. In a plot twist, instead of converting them he loses his faith, morphing from an evangelist trying to translate the Bible into an academic determined to understand the people he’s come to respect and love. Along the way, the former missionary discovers that the language these people speak doesn’t follow one of the fundamental tenets of linguistics, a finding that would seem to turn the field on its head, undermine basic assumptions about how children learn to communicate, and dethrone the discipline’s long-reigning king. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

A team of physicists published a paper drawing on Google’s massive collection of scanned books. They claim to have identified universal laws governing the birth, life course and death of words. [WSJ]

The Mystery of Trephination: Why did ancient peoples cut holes in their heads? [Neuroskeptic]

Philosophically, a realist is someone who holds that our theories are descriptions of how the world really is. Yet realist explanations of the behaviour of elementary particles face a fundamental challenge. Theorists therefore turned to building mathematical models which could predict electron behaviour rather than explain electrons in realist terms. [Philosophy Now]

Change in average incomes: 1934 and 2010 [Reuters]

People with autism have a greater than normal capacity for processing information even from rapid presentations and are better able to detect information defined as ‘critical’, according to a study published today in the ‘Journal of Abnormal Psychology’. The research may help to explain the apparently higher than average prevalence of people with autism spectrum disorders in the IT industry. [Wellcome Trust]

Estranged wives are having to adjust their expectations about their divorce settlements as a result of the trend for investment banks to reward their bankers with bonuses in deferred shares, rather than cash. [Financial Times]

One out of 10 Wall Street employees is a clinical psychopath, compared with one out of 100 people in the general population. [The Week]

This new research provides a terrific reference list of prior work done on women stalkers and reports a high rate of psychosis among women stalkers. [Keen Trial]

By all rights, sex shouldn’t exist. It is quite simply a terrible way to reproduce. The evolutionary conundrum is that compared to asexual reproduction, breeding sexually poses a daunting number of disadvantages, so many, in fact, that a number of highly regarded evolutionary theorists have concluded rather glumly that sex may actually be a biological liability, something that we—and other species as well—are regrettably stuck with. [The Chronicle of Higher Education ]

Sex is not an efficient way of sharing genes. When we mate sexually we combine only 50% of our genetic material with our partner’s, whereas asexually budding organisms have 100% of their genetic material carried into the next generation. [Cosmos]

As bacteria evolve to evade antibiotics, common infections could become deadly. Diseases that were once curable, such as tuberculosis, are becoming harder and more expensive to treat. [ABC]

Woman’s ‘phantom limb’ never existed in the first place. [MSNBC]

Snow Globes Set Fire to a Couch by Magnifying the Sun’s Rays. [Gizmodo]

Menstruation, Ovulation, Orgasm, Menopause… Female Sexual Mysteries. [SFSU]

Mankind’s ancestors may have started walking on two legs simply because it allowed them to carry more food away in their hands, boosting their chance of survival, scientists believe. [Independent]

Could rosemary scent boost brain performance? [SAGE]

One in Four HIV Patients Sexually Abused in Childhood. [United-Academics]

Researchers at Yale University have developed a new way of seeing inside solid objects, including animal bones and tissues, potentially opening a vast array of dense materials to a new type of detailed internal inspection. [Yale News]

The discovery of a hormone-like molecule in the scalp may offer new clues for treating male baldness. [ScienceNews]

Researchers in Florida have found that when they deplete a smoker’s self control, smoking a cigarette may restore self-control. [Moffit Cancer Center]

Learning best when you rest: Sleeping after processing new info most effective, new study shows. [EurekAlert]

Scientists measure how energy is spent in martial arts. [EurekAlert]

Wielding a gun increases a person’s bias to see guns in the hands of others, new research shows. [ScienceBlog]

Sexual sadists show increased peripheral sexual arousal when observing other individuals in pain. The neural mechanisms underlying this unusual response are not well understood. [Neurocritic]

Why your 1st marriage has a 50% chance of lasting. [LiveScience]

Will marriage matter? Effects of marriage anticipated by same-sex couples. [SAGE]

How stress makes oranges better for you. [InkFish]

Alexander Shulgin, the chemist who re-discovered MDMA (after it was synthesised and abandoned by Merck) and went on to discover hundreds of psychedelic drugs such as the 2C* family. [Neurobonkers]

Last year, physicists discovered that red wine can turn certain materials into superconductors. Now they’ve found that Beaujolais works best and think they know why. [The Physics arXiv Blog]

Twitter not so good at predicting box office revenues after all. [The Physics arXiv Blog]

Is magazine publishing really screwed?

Do e-books make it harder to remember what you just read?

The object of fashion: methodological approaches to the history of fashion.

In a 30 year period, around 26,000 freed slaves were brought to the island after being rescued from slave traders.

How One Response to a Reddit Query Became a Big-Budget Flick. [Wired]

How Christian Marclay created The Clock, his twenty-four-hour video collage. [The New Yorker]

For Houllebecq’s fictional artist, “Hirst was basically easy to capture: you could make him brutal, cynical in an ‘I shit on you from the top of my pile of cash’ kind of way; you could also make him a rebel artist (but rich all the same) pursuing an anguished work on death; finally, there was in his face, something ruddy and heavy, typically English, which made him look like a rank-and-file Arsenal supporter.” [Guardian]

Wallace had been taking Nardil for his depression since 1989. Nardil is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, or MAOI, a member of the earliest generation of antidepressants; newer drugs are usually not only more effective against the illness but also less likely to cause collateral damage. [The Claremont Institute | Continue reading]

Two novels that include hair as a major theme are Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho (1991) and Don Delillo’s Cosmopolis (2003). [Wayne E. Arnold]

Who wrote the Iliad?

Future Shock: “too much change in too short a period of time.”

Techniques for Solving Sudoku Puzzles.

The Perfect Martini.

The 10 Rules of Great Paper Writing.

Breakdown of a Murakami novel.

John F. Kennedy autopsy.

Background art from animated cartoons.

Did a German ad agency blatantly steal an idea to make these charming Lego ads? More: Lego = Minimalist Simpsons.

Wildrose is a conservative provincial political party in Alberta, Canada. Danielle Smith is their current leader. This is her bus.
The Buzludzha monument, Bulgaria. [Wikipedia]

“Barney’s” was a long-established New York institution known for medium-priced clothing for men and boys. When the ownership decided to upgrade to a high-fashion, high-priced emporium for women’s as well as men’s wear, an elegant new logo was developed. [Chermayeff & Geismar]

Welcome Joe back to the trail.

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