They have designed an imager chip that could turn mobile phones into devices that can see through walls, wood, plastics, paper and other objects. [The University of Texas at Dallas]
Physicists from the University of Zurich have discovered a previously unknown particle composed of three quarks in the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator. [ScienceDaily]
Would you make the same decisions in a foreign language as you would in your native tongue? […] Using a foreign language reduces decision-making biases. [SAGE]
Women differ from men in circulating levels of certain hormones, and some of those hormones change across the menstrual cycle. We find that naturally cycling women bid significantly higher than men and earn significantly lower profits than men except during the midcycle when fecundity is highest. We suggest an evolutionary hypothesis according to which women are predisposed by hormones to generally behave more riskily during their fecund phase of their menstrual cycle in order to increase the probability of conception, quality of offspring, and genetic variety. We also find that women on hormonal contraceptives bid significantly higher and earn substantially lower profits than men. This may be due to progestins contained in hormonal contraceptives or a selection effect. [University of California | PDF]
Analyses suggest that a personality high in agreeableness is associated with lower earnings. This might seem surprising, given that agreeableness is associated with interpersonal effectiveness, increasingly important in jobs. But at least it helps explain why women experience pay inequality, given that women tend to have warm qualities; if they want to earn more, they better toughen up. [BPS]
If you don’t die from an accident, a serious infection or a cancer, you’ll live as long as your arteries let you. And how long they let you is all in your hands. I know this sounds over-simplified, but it’s biomedical knowledge in a nutshell. Let’s look at what happens in and to your arteries and what that means for keeping them in mint condition. [Chronic Health]
Despite what’s written in sex advice books, the scientific search for the female erogenous zone known as the G-spot has proved surprisingly elusive. But now one physician claims to have found the first anatomical evidence of the fabled structure. [ScienceNews]
Lots and lots of papers have now studied this question and the evidence is rather clear: the types of austerity that are most-likely to a) cut the debt and b) not kill the economy are those that are heavily weighted toward spending reductions and not tax increases. I am aware of not one study that found the opposite. [Mercatus Center]
Food intended to be eaten hot, and supplied hot, is subject to 20 per cent VAT. Food intended to be eaten hot, but not supplied hot – fish and chips bought in a supermarket – is zero rated. But what of food supplied hot and intended to be eaten cold such as freshly baked bread? Problems such as these are not confined to tax policy. When we regulate bank capital, we observe that a loan to another financial institution differs from a mortgage. But what of a loan to another financial institution whose repayment depends on the performance of a mortgage? [John Kay]
Watching developments in Spain since the beginning of April has been source of non-stop déjà vu for anyone who spent 2010 watching events unfold in Ireland. There are a number of striking similarities between the position in which the Spanish government now finds itself and the Irish government’s situation in November 2010, just before it was forced into an EU/IMF bailout programme. Based on Ireland’s experience, a bailout for Spain seems inevitable. [Megan Greene]
Why do Japanese investors keep buying their own public sector debt, which is racing to 250% of GDP by 2015, twice the level that got Greece in trouble? [JP Morgan’s global asset allocation team/FT]
Many crimes are generally performed by using language. Among them are solicitation, conspiracy, perjury, threatening, and bribery. In this chapter, we look at these crimes as acts of speech, and find that they have much in common – and a few interesting differences. [SSRN]
A fun little study from 2008 looked at rates of self-reported mental illness in mental health professionals. [Neuroskeptic]
Back in late 2009, an Apple patent application surfaced showing that the company had explored ad-supported operating systems, with the user receiving free or discounted goods or services in exchange for viewing the advertisements. [MacRumors]
A team led by psychology professor Ian Spence at the University of Toronto reveals that playing an action videogame, even for a relatively short time, causes differences in brain activity and improvements in visual attention. [University of Toronto]
The worst part of philosophy is the philosophy of science; the only people, as far as I can tell, that read work by philosophers of science are other philosophers of science. It has no impact on physics whatsoever, and I doubt that other philosophers read it because it’s fairly technical. And so it’s really hard to understand what justifies it. [Interview with Lawrence Krauss]
In the mind of cryonicists, it would be entirely inappropriate to refer to a frozen corpse as a corpsicle. In their lingo, after all, a patient is not dead, but rather, “deanimated.” [CMAJ]
I stopped shaving. Legs, pits, bits – I ceased cultivation and let them revert to a state of nature. […] I smell exactly the same as I did before. […] I have changed the way I dress a little. [Vagenda]
Efforts to “recruit” subjects were often illegal, even though actual use of LSD was legal in the United States until October 6, 1966. In Operation Midnight Climax, the CIA set up several brothels in San Francisco, California to obtain a selection of men who would be too embarrassed to talk about the events. The men were dosed with LSD, the brothels were equipped with two-way mirrors, and the sessions were filmed for later viewing and study. Some subjects’ participation was consensual, and in these cases they appeared to be singled out for even more extreme experiments. In one case, volunteers were given LSD for 77 consecutive days. [Wikipedia]
Commercial airline passengers will routinely fly in pilotless planes by 2030. The Stake: $1,000. In 2108, an independent, sentient artificial intelligence will exist as a corporation, both providing its services as well as making all financial and strategic decisions. The Stake: $400. [Longbets.org | Wired]
The Descriptive Camera works a lot like a regular camera–point it at subject and press the shutter button to capture the scene. However, instead of producing an image, this prototype outputs a text description of the scene. [Matt Richardson, Descriptive Camera, 2012] [Thanks Tim]
Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt use it—don’t cheat with it. Be as faithful to it as a scientist—but don’t think anything is of any importance because it happens to you or anyone belonging to you. [Ernest Hemingway to Scott Fitzgerald]
Retrocausality is any of several hypothetical phenomena or processes that reverse causality, allowing an effect to occur before its cause. [Wikipedia] Related: Quantum decision affects results of measurements taken earlier in time.
Both scientists and artists have suggested that sleep facilitates creativity, and this idea has received substantial empirical support. In the current study, we investigate whether one can actively enhance the beneficial effect of sleep on creativity by covertly reactivating the creativity task during sleep. [Journal of Sleep Research/Wiley]
Some scientists argue that the purpose of sleep may not be restorative. In fact, they argue that the very question “why do we sleep?” is mistaken, and that the real question should be “why are we awake?” […] The world record for going without sleep is eleven days. [BBC]
When you see a person’s face, how do you go about combining his or her facial features to make a decision about who that person is? Most current theories of face perception assert that the ability to recognize a human face is not simply the result of an independent analysis of individual features, but instead involves a holistic coding of the relationships among features. […] Contrary to the predictions of most current notions of face perception, our findings showed that human observers integrate facial features in a manner that is no better than would be predicted by their ability to use each individual feature when shown in isolation. That is, a face is perceived no better than the sum of its individual parts. [SAGE]
Not only is it accurate enough to compensate for the tiny aberrations in the optics, but it’s so accurate that we don’t know how accurate it is because we don’t yet have instruments accurate enough to measure the level of its accuracy. The point is it’s pretty accurate. [Gizmodo]
Electronic dissemination of written news already substitutes for the delivery of some print newspapers. With the advent of electronic readers (“e-readers”) and tablet computers, the shift from print to electronic dissemination appears set to accelerate.Paper manufacturing, printing, and newspaper distribution release substantial amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG). The frequency and volume of newspapers makes them particularly energy intensive. We estimate that, in the United States, one newspaper subscription releases 94.7 kg of carbon dioxide annually, for production, printing, and delivery. In contrast, the production and operation of a single e-reader or tablet computer generates far fewer GHG emissions, assuming that emissions pro- duced during the manufacture of these devices are spread out over a three-year product life span. We calculated potential reductions by disseminating written news with e-readers rather than newspapers in a “what-if” scenario (that is, what if each current newspaper subscription were replaced today with an e-reader or tablet computer). Adopting e-readers could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from publishing and distributing newspapers by 74 percent. [RAND | PDF]
Historically, the book, almost alone, has resisted that great colonizing form of our age, the ad. [Tom Dispatch]
Researchers have shown that by becoming carnivores, our ancestors were able to give birth to a greater number of offspring. [Cosmos]
The buy, driven entirely by Zuckerberg, was made because Facebook’s CEO was petrified of Instagram becoming a Twitter-owned property. Zuckerberg, we’re told, lives in perpetual anxiety, preoccupied by the fear of Facebook losing its place, terrified that youngsters will get their social networking fix from other services. That fear served as the catalyst behind his decision to buy Instagram and keep it out of the hands of a cross-town competitor. [VentureBeat]
Anonymous, together with a group known as the Peoples Liberation Front, Tuesday announced the immediate availability of a new website for hacktivists to dump their stolen (”doxed”) data. [InformationWeek]
They’ve become a part of the pop-culture landscape: sexy, private shots of celebrities stolen from their phones and e-mail accounts. They’re also the center of an entire stealth industry. The Man Who Hacked Hollywood.
Starbucks Corp said that it will stop using a natural, government-approved coloring made from crushed beetles in its strawberry flavoring by late June, bowing to pressure from some vegetarian customers.
MissTravel.com is a travel dating website that matches generous travelers with attractive travel girls (or guys). This is not an escort site.
Black and white portrait of famous rapper superimposed with misattributed quote. Text-Only Instagram.