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Shines Like Gold
By imp kerr
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Triple-Decker Weekly, 41

As the percentage of wives outearning their husbands grows, the traditional social norm of the male breadwinner is challenged. The upward income comparison of the husband may cause psychological distress that affects both partners’ mental and physical health in ways that impact decisions on marriage, divorce, and careers. This paper studies this impact through sexual and mental health problems. Using wage and prescription medication data from Denmark, we implement a regression discontinuity design to show that men outearned by their wives are more likely to use erectile dysfunction (ED) medication than their male breadwinner counterparts, even when this inequality is small. Breadwinner wives suffer increased insomnia/anxiety medication usage, with similar effects for men. We find no effects for unmarried couples or for men who earned less than their fiancée prior to marriage. Our results suggest that social norms play important roles in dictating how individuals respond to upward social comparisons. [ Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin/SSRN]

The US surveillance regime has more data on the average American than the Stasi ever did on East Germans. The American government is collecting and storing virtually every phone call, purchases, email,  text message, internet searches, social media communications, health information,  employment history, travel and student records, and virtually all other information of every American. Some also claim that the government is also using facial recognition software and surveillance cameras to track where everyone is going.  Moreover, cell towers track where your phone is at any moment, and the major cell carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requests for cell phone locations and other data in 2011. And – given that your smartphone routinely sends your location information back to Apple or Google – it would be child’s play for the government to track your location that way. As the top spy chief at the U.S. National Security Agency explained this week, the American government is collecting some 100 billion 1,000-character emails per day, and 20 trillion communications of all types per year. [Washington Blogs]

Empty Times Square building generates about $23mn a year from electronic ads.

Perhaps no other human trait is as variable as human height. […] The source of that variation is something that anthropologists have been trying to root out for decades. Diet, climate and environment are frequently linked to height differences across human populations. More recently, researchers have implicated another factor: mortality rate. In a new study in the journal Current Anthropology, Andrea Bamberg Migliano and Myrtille Guillon, both of the University College London, make the case that people living in populations with low life expectancies don’t grow as tall as people living in groups with longer life spans. [Smithsonian]

Researcher says the Hawaiian Islands are dissolving.

Neuroticism may have a healthy upside.

Negotiating with Our Future Selves. How We Trade Off Happiness Today Against Tomorrow.

A Spider Builds Fake Spiders To Psych Out Predators. [thanks Sam]

Eat All you Want; Just Not Late at Night.

How to kill an earworm.

Why Do We Blink So Frequently?

How does a traffic cop ticket a driverless car?

Debris from North Korea’s Launcher: What It Shows.

Mullen compares these mass killings to the Malaysian amok, a recognized “culture-bound syndrome” often defined as a “spree of killing and destruction (as in the expression “run amok”) followed by amnesia or fatigue.”

Instagram furor triggers first class action lawsuit.

Black Bookstores in the United States.

A year-long calculation proved there are no 16-clue puzzles in Sodoku, confirming the long held belief that the smallest number of starting clues a puzzle can contain is 17.

What should everyone know about cats?

Many parts of the space shuttles were built and crafted by the hands of skilled workers.

Lucian Freud by David Dawson.

Pre-Socratic philosophers.

It was Empedocles who established four ultimate elements which make all the structures in the world – fire, air, water, earth. Empedocles never used the term “element,” which seems to have been first used by Plato.

What’s the difference between Holland and the Netherlands?

Guidelines against body fluid transmission via CPR manikins.

Gesture of moral support.

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