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every day the same again

Triple-Decker Weekly, 122

tdw122

The Male Idiotic Theory (MIT) stipulates that the reason men are more prone to injury and death is simply because they “are idiots and idiots do stupid things“. Despite tons of anecdotal evidence confirming MIT, there’s never been a systematic analysis on sex differences in idiotic risk taking behaviour. Until now. In a new study published in BMJ, researchers obtained 20 years worth of data from the Darwin Awards to tally up the sex of each year’s winner. For those not in the know, the Darwin Awards are given to people who die in such astonishingly stupid ways that “their action ensures the long-term survival of the species, by selectively allowing one less idiot to survive”. […] Men made up a staggering 88.7 % of Darwin Award winners in 318 examined cases. [Neurorexia]

Males are more likely to die than females while in the womb

Several weeks ago, Vidra communicated the new vision to the staff in what I am told was an uncomfortable stream of business clichés ungrounded in any apparent strategy other than saying things like “let’s break shit” and “we’re a tech company now.” [NY mag | Continue reading | Daily Beast]

Subclinical Primary Psychopathy, but Not Physical Formidability or Attractiveness, Predicts Conversational Dominance

Women outperform men in some financial negotiations

Most American presidents destined to fade from nation’s memory, study suggests [more]

The door-in-the-face (DITF) influence strategy has been studied for over 20 years. […] Before making a request of a person, an initial larger request is made, which the person declines. […] Declining the first request makes persons more likely to accept the second (target) request. [Guilt and expected guilt in the door-in-the-face technique | PDF | via Improbable]

10 of The Most Counter-intuitive Psychology Findings Ever Published 1. Self-help Mantras Can Do More Harm Than Good […] 3. Criminals Show Cooperation and Prosocial Behaviour in Economic Games […] 5. We Make Many Decisions Mindlessly […] 6. Opposites Don’t Attract […] 10. Sometimes a Pregnant Woman’s Depression is Advantageous For Her Baby [BPS]

This research proposes that because rounded numbers are more fluently processed, rounded prices (e.g., $200.00) encourage reliance on feelings. In contrast, because nonrounded numbers are disfluently processed, nonrounded prices (e.g., $198.76) encourage reliance on cognition. Thus, rounded (nonrounded) prices lead to a subjective experience of “feeling right” when the purchase decision is driven by feelings (cognition). Further, this sense of feeling right resulting from the fit between the roundedness of the price number and the nature of decision context can make positive reactions toward the target product more positive and negative reactions more negative, a phenomenon referred to as the rounded price effect in the current research. Results from five studies provide converging evidence for the rounded price effect. Findings from the current research further show that merely priming participants with rounded (nonrounded) numbers in an unrelated context could also lead to the rounded price effect. [Journal of Consumer Research]

Frostbite is the freezing of parts of the body. Your cells are mostly water; when water freezes it forms crystals. The crystals are sharp and are larger than the same amount of water (ie. water expands when it freezes). This leads to punctures in the cell membranes; the affected parts of the body sort of digest themselves due to the release of enzymes from the broken cells. Frostbite usually affects the extremities – toes, fingers, nose, ear lobes, private parts for men – because they have less blood flow and are harder to keep warm. Your body also sacrifices these body parts in an effort to keep warm by constricting blood vessels to keep the majority of blood from cooling and carrying the cold back to the center of the body. […] Hypothermia is the bone-chilling cold you feel when your entire body’s temperature is dropping. Your normal body temperature is 98.6 ˚F (37 ˚C) or thereabouts. At 95 ˚F (35 ˚C) hypothermia begins. At 91 ˚F (32.7 ˚C) you get amnesia, and below 85 ˚F (29.5 ˚C) you lose consciousness. […] Hypothermia can kill you in several ways, two of which have to do with electricity. Your heart beats because it supplies itself with a chemico-electrical jolt every second or so. This is what occurs in the sinus and AV nodes of the heart and is based on an electrical charge difference across the cells’ membranes in the node. Low body temperature messes with the membrane potential, so the heartbeat is slow and erratic. Too slow (bradycardia) or too erratic (arrhythmia) leads to a heartbeat so dysfunctional that it won’t push the blood through your body and you die from cardiac failure. [The ‘Scope]

Smoking erases Y chromosomes

The Sex Lives of Sex Researchers

How addicts gained the power to reverse overdoses

When a man was fitted with a new heart, his mind changed in unusual ways. Why?

[D]etoxing – the idea that you can flush your system of impurities and leave your organs squeaky clean and raring to go – is a scam. It’s a pseudo-medical concept designed to sell you things. “Let’s be clear,” says Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, “there are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t.” The respectable one, he says, is the medical treatment of people with life-threatening drug addictions. “The other is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.” […] In 2009, a network of scientists assembled by the UK charity Sense about Science contacted the manufacturers of 15 products sold in pharmacies and supermarkets that claimed to detoxify. The products ranged from dietary supplements to smoothies and shampoos. When the scientists asked for evidence behind the claims, not one of the manufacturers could define what they meant by detoxification, let alone name the toxins. [...] Then there’s colonic irrigation. Its proponents will tell you that mischievous plaques of impacted poo can lurk in your colon for months or years and pump disease-causing toxins back into your system. Pay them a small fee, though, and they’ll insert a hose up your bottom and wash them all away.[…] No doctor has ever seen one of these mythical plaques, and many warn against having the procedure done, saying that it can perforate your bowel. [The Guardian]

Scientists have created a chemical that can be added to food to make people feel full.

Food Guns

Microbial succession in a sterilized restroom begins with bacteria from the gut and the vagina, and is followed shortly by microbes from the skin.

Effect of Vaginal Electrical Stimulation

‘Off switch’ for pain discovered

Crazymeds.us gives mostly accurate and readable descriptions of the costs and benefits of every psychiatric medication.

Forty percent of trials reported significantly greater long-term weight loss with diet compared with aerobic exercise. Diet+aerobic exercise resulted in significantly greater weight loss than diet alone in 50% of trials.

A new study looks at the changes in social structures and diet during the transition from the Merovingian (6th to 9th c. CE) to Vikings era (9th to 11th c. CE) in Northern Europe.

things you (probably) didn’t know about the Middle Ages

Many theories have hypothesized that Protestantism should have favored economic development. Using population figures of 272 cities in the years 1300-1900, I find no effects of Protestantism on economic growth.

Does Religious Beliefs Affect Economic Growth? Evidence from Provincial-level Panel Data in China

The balcony scene in “Romeo and Juliet” is not actually in Shakespeare’s play.

Wittgenstein and Hitler Attended the Same School in Austria, at the Same Time (1904-1905)

A World War II grenade apparently landed on a tree during fighting. It was then enveloped by wood growing around it to the point that it was invisible when the tree was chopped down for firewood and sold to the supermarket…

It turns out that the modern affliction of spellcheckers wreaking havoc on unsuspecting documents has been given a name.

Evidence for ‘bilingual advantage’ may be less conclusive than previously thought

It’s called “beauty work.” It’s a digital procedure of sorts, in which a handful of skilled artists use highly specialized software in the final stages of post-production to slim, de-age and enhance actors’ faces and bodies. […] Under strict non-disclosure agreements, Hollywood A-listers have been quietly slipping in and out of a few bland office buildings around town, many to sit in on days-long retouching sessions, directing the artists to make every frame suitable. […] Hips are narrowed, calves slimmed, turkey-necks tucked. Pores are tightened. Eye-bags reduced (often, entire hangovers are erased). Hair is thickened, teeth whitened. Underarm-skin is de-jiggled. Belly fat obliterated, abs raised. [ Mashable]

According to a study released this week by Brown University’s Department of Modern Culture and Media, it now takes only four minutes for a new cultural touchstone to transform from an amusing novelty into an intensely annoying thing people never want to see or hear again. […] “We project that by 2018, the gap between liking something new and wishing yourself dead rather than hearing it again will be down to 60 seconds,” Levinson said. “And by 2023, enjoyment and abhorrence will occur simultaneously, the two emotions effectively canceling each other out and leaving one feeling nothing whatsoever.” [The Onion | via Nathan Jurgenson]

Alfredo Martinez strapped his little brother to a rocket engine at the age of 12, was shot in the leg in Guatemala by a death squad in the 1980’s, and he himself shot his dealer at an art fair in New York City with a self-made gun.

How Law Defines Art

Much Contemporary Art is a Sham Says Famous British Critic

Even Steve Martin Got Sold an $850,000 Forgery

Museums are mining increasingly detailed layers of information about their guests, employing some of the same strategies that companies like Macy’s, Netflix and Wal-Mart have used in recent years to boost sales by tracking customer behavior

Startup wants to build you a personal website that’s automatically updated with your own data

The tattoos are worn exactly as a regular temporary tattoo would be worn. The sensors simply sit atop the skin without penetrating it and interact with Bluetooth or other wireless devices with a signal in order to send the data.

WhatsApp is cited in nearly half of all Italian divorce proceedings

The Associations Between Adolescents’ Consumption of Pornography and Music Videos and Their Sexting Behavior

People trust NSA more than Google, survey says

The Cost of the “S” in HTTPS [PDF]

Almost one-fourth of video ads and 11 percent of display ads are viewed by bots created by cyber crime networks seeking to siphon advertising money

BitTorrent launches invite-only torrent-based browser

IsoHunt unofficially resurrects The Pirate Bay

List of search terms blocked in China

The Rise and Fall of Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge, America’s Worst Gay Power Couple

This startup wants to pay you to fly with strangers’ stuff in your luggage

Anyone with more than 2,000 personal Facebook friends or 100,000 followers on Instagram gets a free seven-night stay at the luxury hotel, which usually costs $360/night.

Big Bang, Universe, Sun & Earth, Life begins…

New theories suggest the big bang was not the beginning, and that we may live in the past of a parallel universe. […] Time’s arrow may in a sense move in two directions, although any observer can only see and experience one. [Scientific American]

Amazing unknown transparent vehicle captured over Vienna, Austria – Nov 26, 2014 [Thanks Tim]

Triple-Decker Weekly, 121

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Man’s toilet explodes while city crew cleans sewers

Business culture in banking industry favors dishonest behavior, study shows

CEO Facial Width Predicts Firm Financial Policies

Facial Feature Assessment of Popular U.S. Country Music Singers Across Social and Economic Conditions

How can it be that new music is liked by young people if so much of it is often regarded as quite bad?

Around three percent of the Swiss secretly eat cat or dog

The younger generation doesn’t have the time or patience to stick with golf, and it’s killing the industry.

Researchers able to turn sawdust into gasoline

Female inmates regularly concoct their own makeup, or “fakeup,” using food, lotions, and other items provided by their facilities.

Automatic gender spoof detection (make-up and mustaches)

This year, Paul Aronson, an 84-year-old from Manhattan, contacted a 17-year-old girl, Shaina Foster, through the site and took her out to dinner. On a second date, Ms. Foster brought along her twin sister, Shalaine. [NY Times]

How the love of a high school girl sparked a gang war

[P]eople who are depressed display some surprising advantages in their thinking skills. Depressed people: 1. process information more deeply. 2. are more accurate at complex tasks. 3. make better judgements on detail-oriented information. 4. make more accurate cost-benefit analyses. The researchers developed a new questionnaire which measures ‘analytical rumination’, a mental process which is thought to be an ancient defence mechanism and the root of depression. Analytical rumination is where people turn problems over in their heads to the exclusion of all else, trying to look for a solution. They first examine the problem’s cause, then the things that need solving, any possible solutions plus the costs and benefits of each solution. The symptoms of depression, which often include lethargy, difficulty sleeping, poor concentration and disinterest in other people or the external world, may actually be ways of saving energy while a person is focusing on the problem. [PsyBlog]

Experimental and Field Evidence that Morality and a Sense of Humor are Psychologically Incompatible [PDF]

Researchers in the US have used electrical brain stimulation to boost the vigilance of sleep-deprived military personnel working on an airforce base. Experiments on 18- to 42-year old men and women on active duty found that half an hour of electrical brain stimulation improved their performance twice as much as caffeine, and the effect lasted three times as long. [The Guardian | via gettingsome]

Researchers has determined the location where memories are generated with a level of precision never achieved before.

Twitter Users Are More Likely to Follow Others With The Same First Name But Nobody Knows Why

The malware, called “Regin”, is probably run by a western intelligence agency and in some respects is more advanced in engineering terms than Stuxnet. […] Symantec said it was not yet clear how Regin infected systems but it had been deployed against internet service providers and telecoms companies mainly in Russia and Saudi Arabia as well as Mexico, Ireland and Iran. […] “Nothing else comes close to this . . . nothing else we look at compares,” said Orla Cox, director of security response at Symantec, who described Regin as one of the most “extraordinary” pieces of hacking software developed, and probably “months or years in the making”. […] “Sometimes there is virtually nothing left behind – no clues. Sometimes an infection can disappear completely almost as soon as you start looking at it, it’s gone. That shows you what you are dealing with.” [FT]

Utah Considers Cutting Off Water to the NSA’s Data Center

The mysterious ‘action at a distance’ between liquid containers

Heat Your House with Someone Else’s Computers

When Apple announced the iPhone 6 this September, it didn’t have a sapphire screen, only a regular glass one. And a month later, the small New Hampshire-based company chosen to supply Apple with enormous quantities of cheap sapphire, GT Advanced Technologies, declared bankruptcy. The terms Apple negotiated committed GT to supplying a huge amount of sapphire, but put Apple under no obligation to buy it.

Police in California and Texas Test Networked Guns

The police do not do trauma clean-up. Neither do firefighters or ambulance crews or emergency services. Instead, hired hands like Sandra handle the clean-up at crime scenes, deaths, floods and fires.

Ivan Pavlov is best known as a founding figure of behaviorism who trained dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell. […] Pavlov didn’t use a bell, and for his real scientific purposes, couldn’t. English-speakers think he did because of a mistranslation of the Russian word for zvonok (buzzer). […] Although one would expect that this investigator of reflexive reactions would think otherwise, he believed in free will. […] He didn’t win his Nobel Prize (1904) for research on conditional reflexes, but rather for his studies of digestive physiology. [Oxford University Press | More: New Yorker]

When I started life Hegelianism was the basis of everything: it was in the air, found expression in magazine and newspaper articles, in novels and essays, in art, in histories, in sermons, and in conversation. A man unacquainted with Hegel had no right to speak: he who wished to know the truth studied Hegel. Everything rested on him; and suddenly forty years have gone by and there is nothing left of him, he is not even mentioned – as though he had never existed. And what is most remarkable is that, like pseudo-Christianity, Hegelianism fell not because anyone refuted it, but because it suddenly became evident that neither the one nor the other was needed by our learned, educated world. [Leon Tolstoy, What then must we do?, 1886 | PDF]

Linguistic Mapping Reveals How Word Meanings Sometimes Change Overnight

Winston Churchill Received the First Ever Letter Containing “O.M.G.” (1917)

The balcony scene in “Romeo and Juliet” is not actually in Shakespeare’s play.

‘How to Fake a Piece of Art’ by Artist Alfredo Martinez

Symphony No. 45 in F-sharp minor, known as the “Farewell” Symphony, was composed by Joseph Haydn and dated 1772. […] During the final adagio each musician stops playing, snuffs out the candle on his music stand, and leaves in turn, so that at the end, there are just two muted violins left. [Wikipedia]

My stalker is back.

European art collective created a bot that crawls the Darknet and makes one purchase per week

TED Talk: How to Dispose of a Chimp’s Body by Col. Frank Tuplin

The poop bus could actually improve air quality, as biomethane produces fewer emissions than regular diesel fuel does.

bosomcouture.com

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Two Chinese officials bought corpses from grave robbers to meet government cremation quotas

In Australia alone roughly 30 people per year suffer lightning shocks delivered by telephone.

Journalists consider the importance of events and the audience’s interest in them when deciding on which events to report. Events most likely to be reported are those that are both important and can capture the audience’s interest. In turn, the public is most likely to become aware of important news when some aspect of the story piques their interest. We suggest an efficacious means of drawing public attention to important news stories: dogs. Examining the national news agenda of 10 regional newspapers relative to that of the New York Times, we evaluated the effect of having a dog in a news event on the likelihood that the event is reported in regional newspapers. The “dog effect” is approximately equivalent to the effect of whether a story warrants front- or back-page national news coverage in the New York Times. Thus, we conclude that dogs are an important factor in news decisions. [Cambridge University Press | PDF]

The Effects of Subtle Misinformation in News Headlines

Writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events has been found to result in improvements in both physical and psychological health

English has recently developed a new intensifier, ass, which means something very close to very, is marked as vulgar and colloquial, and appears in cases such as in: That is a big-ass chair, It is a cold-ass night [PDF]

Some people may know what is being said even though the auditory hallucinations may only consist of nonverbal sounds.

Flattery—the art of offering pleasing compliments—is one of the oldest and most commonly used of persuasion methods. Research in this area provides a reason for the popularity of this tactic. Put simply, flattery works. Various studies have shown that the target of the flattery evaluates the flatterer positively because human beings have a basic desire to believe in good things about themselves. What happens, however, in situations in which the flattery is “bogus”—that is, when the recipient knows that the flatterer is offering an insincere compliment, presumably driven by an ulterior motive? Instances of insincere flattery abound in the marketing context, such as the salesperson who offers prospective customers profuse compliments on how an expensive outfit makes them look. […] The authors show that even when flattery by marketing agents is accompanied by an obvious ulterior motive that leads targets to discount the proffered compliments, the initial favorable reaction (the implicit attitude) continues to coexist with the dis- counted evaluation (the explicit attitude). Furthermore, the implicit attitude has more influential consequences than the explicit attitude, highlighting the possible subtle impact of flattery even when a person has consciously corrected for it. [Journal of Marketing Research | PDF]

People’s beliefs about their physical attractiveness (self-perceived attractiveness) can also influence whether people will support or reject inequality.

When We Don’t Like the Solution, We Deny the Problem

Airport security agents using a new conversation-based screening method caught mock airline passengers with deceptive cover stories more than 20 times as often as agents who used the traditional method of examining body language for suspicious signs

Once dominated by correlational studies, face-perception research is moving into the realm of experimentation—and gaining tremendous insight.

Why Women Buy Magazines that Promote Impossible Body Images

Based on a survey of heterosexual female college students in committed relationships, how often women experienced orgasm as a result of sexual intercourse was related to their partner’s family income, his self-confidence, and how attractive he was. […] We also identified an ensemble of partner psychological traits (motivation, intelligence, focus, and determination) that predicted how often women initiated sexual intercourse. Their partner’s sense of humor not only predicted his self-confidence and family income, but it also predicted women’s propensity to initiate sex, how often they had sex, and it enhanced their orgasm frequency in comparison with other partners. [Evolution Psychology | PDF]

Guy Ends Up In Hospital After Getting Girlfriend’s Strap-On Stuck Up His Bum

In a series of 7 experiments we demonstrate that women perceive men to be more attractive and sexually desirable when seen on a red background and in red clothing. […] The influence of red appears to be specific to women’s romantic attraction to men: Red did not influence men’s perceptions of other men, nor did it influence women’s perceptions of men’s overall likability, agreeableness, or extraversion. [APA PsycNet]

A man’s likelihood of obtaining a woman’s phone number increases three-fold when accompanied by a dog

Ghost illusion created in the lab [more]

This thing we call time doesn’t tick at the same rate everywhere in the universe. Or even on our planet. Right now, on the top of Mount Everest, time is passing just a little bit faster than it is in Death Valley. […] Time itself is flowing more quickly on the wall than on the floor. These differences didn’t really matter until now. But this new clock is so sensitive, little changes in height throw it way off. Lift it just a couple of centimeters, Ye says, “and you will start to see that difference.” […] The world’s current time is coordinated between atomic clocks all over the planet. But that can’t happen with the new one. [NPR]

An interesting idea is that the universe could be spontaneously created from nothing, but no rigorous proof has been given. In this paper, we present such a proof based on the analytic solutions of the Wheeler-DeWitt equation. [The Physics arXiv Blog]

Why do we dream? It’s still a scientific mystery. The “Threat Simulation Theory” proposes that we dream as a way to simulate real-life threats and prepare ourselves for dealing with them. “This simulation in an almost-real experiential world would train the brain to perceive dangers and rapidly face them within the safe condition of sleeping,” write the authors of a new paper that’s put the theory to the test. […] The researchers contacted thousands of first-year students at the end of the day that they sat a very important exam. […] over 700 of the students agreed to participate and they completed a questionnaire about their dreams and sleep quality the previous evening, and any dreams they’d had about the exam over the course of the university term. […] The more exam dreams a student reported having during the term, the higher their grade tended to be. [BPS]

Human tetrachromacy is the purely theoretical notion that a woman might, through a rare mutation on one of her two X chromosomes, end up having four different types of cones in her retina instead of the usual three, and therefore be uncannily sensitive to differences in color.

Google Wants to Store Your Genome

Why people cry when they are happy

According to a new study, sad music trigger emotions and experiences beyond sadness.

How can a sequence of dance steps best be learned?

Cotton Vs. Polyester: Which Gym Clothes Trap The Most Body Odor?

We all resist changing our beliefs about the world, but what happens when some of those beliefs are based on misinformation? Is there a right way to correct someone when they believe something that’s wrong? […] The first thing their review turned up is the importance of “backfire effects” — when telling people that they are wrong only strengthens their belief. […] If you try and debunk a myth, you may end up reinforcing that belief, strengthening the misinformation in people’s mind without making the correct information take hold. What you must do, they argue, is to start with the plausible alternative (that obviously you believe is correct). If you must mention a myth, you should mention this second, and only after clearly warning people that you’re about to discuss something that isn’t true. [Tom Stafford/BBC]

Crimes such as bribery require the cooperation of two or more criminals for mutual gain. Instead of deterring these crimes, the state should disrupt them by creating distrust among criminals so they cannot cooperate. In a cooperative crime with two criminals, the state should offer amnesty and a bounty to the criminal who first secures punishment of the other criminal. When the bounty exceeds the bribe, a bribed official gains less from keeping the bribe than from confessing and receiving the bounty. Consequently the person who pays the bribe cannot trust the person who takes it. The game’s unique equilibrium is non-cooperative and bribes disappear. [Review of Law & Economics]

The Public Find Neuroscience Irrelevant and Anxiety-provoking

Loneliness is a disease that changes the brain’s structure and function

An Entire Restaurant With Tables for One

How blind people use batlike sonar

The 24th Ig Nobel prizes were announced on September 18. The prizes annually award scientific research that “first makes people laugh and then makes them think.” […] The prize went to Kiyoshi Mabuchi of Kitasato University for his work “measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that’s on the floor”. Also tested were apple peels and orange skin – found to be less dangerous. […] Creatures of the night are, on average, “more self-admiring, more manipulative and more psychopathic” than people who habitually wake up early in the morning, according to Peter Jonason of the University of Western Sydney and colleagues. [The Conversation]

In politics we’re familiar with the non-apology apology (well described in Wikipedia as “a statement that has the form of an apology but does not express the expected contrition”). Here’s the scientific equivalent: the non-retraction retraction.

Researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection between pairs of people. […] Researchers were able to transmit the signals from one person’s brain over the Internet and use these signals to control the hand motions of another person within a split second of sending that signal. [University of Washington]

Researchers at the MIT are testing out their version of a system that lets them see and analyze what autonomous robots, including flying drones, are “thinking.” [LiveScience | via gettingsome]

Penguin Robot infiltrates Penguin colony

China Builds Anti-Drone Laser Tech

A Feather and a Bowling Ball Dropped Together Inside the World’s Largest Vacuum Chamber

Man freed after being trapped between two walls of Colorado store

The Survival Condo is a 15-story building underground that can house up to 75 people

The 36 People Who Run Wikipedia

Why Are So Few Blockbuster Drugs Invented Today? [NY Times]

When is fortunetelling a crime?

Amy Li Sets Up a Gallery in Her Father’s Button Shop

The Influence and Legacy of Larry Sultan

Cleaning a vinyl record with wood glue. This trick works because the glue and record are somewhat chemically similar, so the glue only sticks to stuff that’s not supposed to be there.

a pregnancy diary that grows with the mother’s belly

ShitExpress [related: doppio + single]

Fletcher Bach and I recently discovered that there are reviews of prisons on Yelp.

Happy birthday!

Warning Signs of Satanic Behavior. Training video for police, 1990

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We will review evidence from neuroscience, complex network research and evolution theory and demonstrate that — at least in terms of psychopharmacological intervention — on the basis of our understanding of brain function it seems inconceivable that there ever will be a drug that has the desired effect without undesirable side effects. [Neuroethics]

Anarchist conference descends into chaos

Virgos suffering ‘astrological discrimination’ in China

The Belgian city of Bruges has approved plans to build a pipeline which will funnel beer underneath its famous cobbled streets. Locals and politicians were fed up with huge lorries clattering through the cobbled streets.

Mother drives with 5-month-old in trunk to avoid being cited for not having car seat

Blind people have four times more nightmares than sighted people

Scientists may have accidentally misread space dust as evidence of the Big Bang

Researcher proves, mathematically, that black holes do not exist

Rollercoaster thrill-seekers showered in blood after ride decapitates deer

Experiences feel more intense — whether good or bad — when someone else is there to share them, new study says

Have you ever felt lost and alone? If so, this experience probably involved your hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure in the middle of the brain. About 40 years ago, scientists with electrodes discovered that some neurons in the hippocampus fire each time an animal passes through a particular location in its environment. These neurons, called place cells, are thought to function as a cognitive map that enables navigation and spatial memory. Place cells are typically studied by recording from the hippocampus of a rodent navigating through a laboratory maze. But in the real world, rats can cover a lot of ground. For example, many rats leave their filthy sewer bunkers every night to enter the cozy bedrooms of innocent sleeping children. In a recent paper, esteemed neuroscientist Dr. Dylan Rich and colleagues investigated how place cells encode very large spaces. Specifically, they asked: how are new place cells recruited to the network as a rat explores a truly giant maze? [Sick papes]

Woman has married herself after being single for six years

Penises grown in lab could be tested on humans within five years

Vaginal orgasm doesn’t exist, study

Other people can tell whether your partner is cheating on you

‘Back-up husbands,’ ‘emotional affairs’ and the rise of digital infidelity

Alcohol makes smiles more ‘contagious,’ but only for men

Couvade syndrome: why some men develop signs of pregnancy

de Gruyter]

Men seem to focus more on the artist’s background and authenticity, while women pay more attention to the art itself.

Our results show that even in an environment where other group members show no bias, women in male-typed areas and men in female-typed areas may be less influential [PDF]

Who has more appeal and influence: Someone who makes decisions with considerable thought and analysis or someone who takes virtually no time and seems to make decisions effortlessly? [PDF]

Over-caffeinated people may have a hard time expressing emotion

Coffee Drinkers Have Trouble Talking About Emotions?

Winners evaluate themselves favorably even when the competitor is incompetent

Studies of human conversation have documented that 30–40% of everyday speech is used to relay information to others about one’s private experiences or personal relationships, and recent surveys of Internet use indicate that upwards of 80% of posts to social media sites (such as Twitter) consist simply of announcements about one’s own immediate experiences. Although other primates do not generally attempt to communicate to others what they know—for example, by pointing out interesting things or modeling behaviors for others to imitate—by 9 mo of age, human children begin trying to draw others’ attention to aspects of the environment that they find important, and adults in all societies make consistent attempts to impart their knowledge to others. […] What drives this propensity for disclosure? Here, we test recent theories that individuals place high subjective value on opportunities to communicate their thoughts and feelings to others and that doing so engages neural and cognitive mechanisms associated with reward. Five studies provided sup- port for this hypothesis. Self-disclosure was strongly associated with increased activation in brain regions that form the mesolimbic dopamine system, including the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area. Moreover, individuals were willing to forgo money to disclose about the self. [PNAS | PDF]

Self-disclosure plays a central role in the development and maintenance of relationships. One way that researchers have explored these processes is by studying the links between self-disclosure and liking. […] Significant disclosure-liking relations were found for each effect: (a) People who engage in intimate disclosures tend to be liked more than people who disclose at lower levels, (b) people disclose more to those whom they initially like, and (c) people like others as a result of having disclosed to them. [Psychological Bulletin | PDF ]

Genes don’t just influence your IQ—they determine how well you do in school

Morphed images of Hollywood celebrities reveal how neurons make up your mind

Motion, audio, and location data harvested from a smartphone can be analyzed to accurately predict stress or depression

A new study has suggested that men who exercise on a regular basis are at lower risk of nocturia i.e. waking up at night to urinate.

Awareness can continue for at least several minutes after clinical death [Where did the story come from?]

Neural activity predicts the timing of spontaneous decisions

Losing the sense of smell predicts death within five years, according to new research.

Low-frequency sounds we don’t hear could still affect our ears

World’s loudest sound circled the Earth four times

World’s smallest microphone is just one molecule

How to tell when a robot has written you a letter

The book describes the training of laboratory rats to trade in foreign exchange and commodity futures markets

The online illicit drug economy is booming. Here’s what people are buying.

In carefully crafting a lightbulb with a relatively short life span, the cartel thus hatched the industrial strategy now known as planned obsolescence.

We conduct an empirical study to analyze how waiting in queue in the context of a retail store affects customers’ purchasing behavior. […] pooling multiple queues into a single queue may increase the length of the queue observed by customers and thereby lead to lower revenues. We also find that customers’ sensitivity to waiting is heterogeneous and negatively correlated with price sensitivity, which has important implications for pricing in a multiproduct category subject to congestion effects. [Management Science]

Men are now the primary grocery shoppers in about four in 10 households. But men, food companies have found, have their own priorities.

Americans love to eat out. During the year 2012, the average resident of the United States of America ate more than 200 meals outside the home. This paper studies the history of eating outside the home in America from Colonial to modern times.

Diners Tend To Eat More If Their Companions Are Overweight

Researchers found that when charged more for an all-you-can-eat buffet diners rated the food higher than when charged less for the same food.

Playful new cooking based on traditional methods and weird ingredients will supplant the industrial techniques that dominate modernist cuisine.

Scientists have “hacked” photosynthesis, and it could help them speed up food production

Too Much Air in Potato Chip Packets? Students Make a Boat to Prove It

The World’s Most Dangerous Garden

“There’s as much biodiversity in the soils of Central Park as we found in the soil… from the Arctic to Antarctica” […] almost 170,000 different kinds of microbes. […] The team also found 2,000 species of microbes that are apparently unique to Central Park. [ NPR]

10,000 pigeons underwent anal security check in China

The idea of an aesthetically pleasing gluteal region has been with us since early recorded history.

A history of the word “Bitch”

Schizophrenia in rap music

The ban against Spinoza was the harshest ever issued by the Amsterdam Portuguese-Jewish community

In the autumn of 1931, the philosopher Martin Heidegger began to record his thoughts in small diaries that he called the schwarze Hefte, or “black notebooks.”

Why do Autocrats Disclose?

Do Communists Have Better Sex?

A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback.

A quantitative analysis of the graying of Barack Obama’s hair [PDF]

100 Copies of The Beatles’ White Album Playing At The Same Time

USB cigarettes (pay-as-you-smoke) patent

I Quant NY [Thanks Tim]

What happens if racing greyhounds not just chase, but actually catch the mechanical rabbit?

matt.cash

Triple-Decker Weekly, 117

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People’s belief in free will is lower when they need to urinate or desire sex

Domestic violence likely more frequent for same-sex couples

The main objective of this study was to describe male and female lumbar spine and hip motion and muscle activation patterns during coitus and compare these motions and muscle activity across five common coital positions. […] A secondary objective was to determine if simulated coitus could be used in place of real coitus for future coitus biomechanics research. [via University of Waterloo | PDF]

Venezuela’s shortage of breast implants

Bra Wearing Not Associated with Breast Cancer Risk

Double mastectomy for breast cancer ‘does not boost survival chances’

Town in Brazil made up entirely of women has made an appeal for bachelors

’Family meal’ ideal is stressful, impossible for many families

New Toyota minivan equips parents with mic to make it easier to yell at unruly kids in the back

To examine the effects of grunting on velocity and force production during dynamic and static tennis strokes in collegiate tennis players. […] The velocity, force, and peak muscle activity during tennis serves and forehand strokes are significantly enhanced when athletes are allowed to grunt. [Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research | more]

Self-Deceived Individuals Are Better at Deceiving Others

Neuroscientists reverse memories’ emotional associations: Brain circuit that links feelings to memories manipulated

‘Memories’ can be passed down through genetic code from one generation to the next.

A woman has reached the age of 24 without anyone realising she was missing a large part of her brain. […] her entire cerebellum was missing […] The cerebellum – sometimes known as the “little brain” – is located underneath the two hemispheres. It looks different from the rest of the brain because it consists of much smaller and more compact folds of tissue. It represents about 10 per cent of the brain’s total volume but contains 50 per cent of its neurons. [NewScientist]

Scientists discover new “sleep node” in the brain: Findings may lead to new therapies for sleep disorders, including insomnia

How your brain actually makes decisions while you sleep

When you set sad lyrics against happy music, the music wins

Both men and women find humility attractive

Findings from two experiments suggest that priming the passage of time through the sound of a ticking clock influenced various aspects of women’s (but not men’s) reproductive timing. Moreover, consistent with recent research from the domain of life history theory, those effects depended on women’s childhood socioeconomic status (SES). The subtle sound of a ticking clock led low (but not high) SES women to reduce the age at which they sought to get married and have their first child (Study 1), as well as the priority they placed on the social status and long-term earning potential of potential romantic partners (Study 2). [Human Nature]

Researchers have discovered how two genes keep the circadian clocks in all human cells in time and in proper rhythm with the 24-hour day, as well as the seasons.

Study of more than 100,000 people finds three genetic variants for IQ — but their effects are maddeningly small.

Gene-Silencing Drugs Finally Show Promise

Genes may help explain why some people are naturally more interested in music than others

Research on twins has found that our genes may determine an innate baseline for how happy we’ll be during our lives

An office enriched with plants makes staff happier and boosts productivity by 15 per cent

Not everyone who hears voices experiences them as social entities but this type of social hallucinated voice is not rare or exotic.

The evidence that abstinence from alcohol is a cause of heart disease and early death is irrefutable

First-person account of Cotard’s delusion – the belief that you’re dead

This study examines whether tattoo visibility affects recidivism length of ex-offenders [PDF]

Richard Feynman’s Lectures on Physics

Time Travel Simulation Resolves “Grandfather Paradox”

Grandfather busted for prostituting himself… to young women

Imagine that someone else was controlling your actions. You would still look like you, and sound like you, but you wouldn’t be the one deciding what you did and what you said. Would anyone notice the difference?

Action films most likely to make you fat

Serialized Killers: Prebooting Horror in Bates Motel and Hannibal

New Study Examines Impact of Violent Media on the Brain

Study finds ‘magical contagion’ spreads creator’s essence to artworks, adding value

Only 1.5 percent of looted art is ever recovered. Why don’t museums put GPS trackers on everything?

Scientists use E.coli bacteria to create fuel

Growing mushrooms in diapers

What body parts are seeing the most striking rise in venture-capital funding? Eyes and ears.

“At some factories, robots are even building other robots, producing about 50 robots per 24-hour shift and operating unsupervised for as long as 30 days at a time.” [via gettingsome]

Hackers Are Homing in on Hospitals

How the FBI took down the online black market and drug bazaar known as the Silk Road

Quick-change materials break the silicon speed limit for computers

Where is Josh Harris now?

DJs all over the world are now deliberately making mistakes during their mixes to prove to fans and critics that they are in fact real DJs.

Burger King goes “Goth” in Japan

Airlines are creating rush hours and crowds at airports – on purpose

When individual performance was publicly posted in the workplace, employees working in a group performed better than when working alone; however, when individual performance was not posted, employees working in a group performed worse than when working alone. [Management Science]

This paper considers when a firm’s freely chosen name can signal meaningful information about its quality, and examines a setting in which it does. Plumbing firms with names beginning with an “A” or a number receive five times more service complaints, on average. In addition, firms use names beginning with an “A” or a number more often in larger markets, and those that do have higher prices. These results reflect consumers’ search decisions and extend to online position auctions: plumbing firms that advertise on Google receive more complaints, which contradicts prior theoretical predictions but fits the setting considered here. [Ryan C. McDevitt | PDF]

Her job was to taste Hitler’s food to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. [via Natalie Shutler]

Germany’s Air Food One is a subscription service that lets anyone get airline meals delivered to their home once a week.

Plane crash [Thanks Tim]

Portraits of former Playboy Bunnies

Returning to from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn

The various ways to duck paying the fare on the Paris Subway

Porn for the Blind [thanks GG]

Share selfies with your friends if they’re standing behind you. [Thanks Tim]

I Wanted a Floor Lamp