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Triple-Decker Weekly, 101


The less Americans know about Ukraine’s location, the more they want U.S. to intervene

A computer has solved the longstanding Erdős discrepancy problem. Trouble is, we have no idea what it’s talking about — because the solution, which is as long as all of Wikipedia’s pages combined, is far too voluminous for us puny humans to confirm. A few years ago, the mathematician Steven Strogatz predicted that it wouldn’t be too much longer before computer-assisted solutions to math problems will be beyond human comprehension. [io9]

When you really focus your attention on something, you’re said to be “in the present moment.” But a new piece of research suggests that the “present moment” is actually […] a sort of composite—a product mostly of what we’re seeing now, but also influenced by what we’ve been seeing for the previous 15 seconds or so. They call this ephemeral boundary the “continuity field.” [Quartz]

Young, sexually mature humans Homo sapiens sapiens of both sexes commonly congregate into particular but arbitrary physical locations and dance. These may be areas of traditional use, such as nightclubs, discotheques or dance-halls or areas that are temporarily commissioned for the same purpose such as at house parties or rock festivals etc. This type of behaviour is seen in a variety of animals although there are no apparent attempts to monopolize particular areas within these locations as is often seen in species that lek. The present studies were conducted in order to investigate this phenomenon in a commercial nightclub environment. Data revealed that more than 80% of people entering the nightclub did so without a partner and so were potentially sexually available. There was also an approx. 50% increase in the number of couples leaving the nightclub as compared to those entering it seen on each occasion this was measured, indicating that these congregations are for sexual purposes. Within the nightclub itself more than 80% of bouts of mixed sex dancing were initiated by a male approaching a female, demonstrating that males are stimulated to approach females rather than vice versa. In consequence, females are placed in competition with each other to attract these approaches. Various female display tactics were measured and these showed that whilst only 20% of females wore tight fitting clothing that revealed more than 40% of their flesh/50% of their breast area and danced in a sexually suggestive manner, these attracted close to half (49%) of all male approaches seen. These data reveal the effectiveness of clothing and dance displays in attracting male attention and strongly indicate that nightclubs are human display grounds, organised around females competing for the attention of males. Females with the most successful displays gain the advantage of being able to choose from amongst a range of males showing interest in them. [Institute of Psychological Sciences | PDF]

A 2008 study found that women showed signs of arousal watching pretty much anything: masturbation, straight sex, girl-on-girl, guy-on-guy, bonobo chimps, everything—except pictures of naked men.

An Italian man was sentenced to 6 months in jail because his girlfriend made too much noise during sex.

Partnerships are situations in which two or more persons join to pursue a common project. Being together increases the chances of success of the project, whether the project aims at raising children, establishing a business or writing a scientific article. Much has been written about the issue of free riding in such situations: one of the partners may rely on the others to do most of the work while keeping on enjoying its benefits. This issue can lead to inefficient situations where both partners contribute very little. A comparatively small part of the academic literature deals with the dissolution of partnerships and why partners decide to stop working together. Both low contribution levels and dissolution indicate failure in a partnership, but the distinction between those two types of failures is important; it is akin to the distinction between a dysfunctional marriage that keeps on going, and a marriage that ends in a divorce. This paper deals with the inner dynamics of partnerships, in particular with how success and failure determine the probability a common project will break down. […] Subjects underestimated the pay-off from staying, in large part because they had an exaggerated fear of being left alone in the collaborative project. This led to lower overall welfare when exit was easy. [SSRN]

Research suggests that the way people think and act is affected by ceiling height.

The ‘fading affect bias’ (FAB), the tendency for negative emotions to fade away more quickly than positive ones in our memories.

New research reveals that lifespan could be affected by how people deal with stress. People who forgive themselves for mistakes are physically healthier than those who obsess over them.

Magnifying the visual size of one׳s own hand modulates pain anticipation and perception, reducing experienced pain

Tendency to procrastinate is affected by genetic factors, which are also linked to a propensity to be impulsive

If you’re like most people, you spend a great deal of your time remembering past events and planning or imagining events that may happen in the future. While these activities have their uses, they also make it terribly hard to keep track of what you have and haven’t actually seen, heard, or done. Distinguishing between memories of real experiences and memories of imagined or dreamt experiences is called reality monitoring and it’s something we do (or struggle to do) all of the time. […] Perhaps you’ve left the house and headed to work, only to wonder en route if you’d locked the door. Even if you thought you did, it can be hard to tell whether you remember actually doing it or just thinking about doing it. […] The study’s authors also found greater activation in the anterior medial prefrontal cortex when they compared reality monitoring for actions participants performed with those they only imagined performing. [Garden of the Mind]

Regenerative medicine: For the first time, a mammalian organ has been persuaded to renew itself

Caffeine has a positive effect on tau deposits in Alzheimer’s disease

Between a fifth and a third of the wild-caught seafood imported into the United States is caught or trafficked illegally

French organic winegrower fined for refusing to spray grapes with pesticide

French scientists are working on an acoustic earthquake shield

Solar power is already so cheap that it competes with oil, diesel and liquefied natural gas in much of Asia without subsidies.

GPS Shoes Will Lead You Home, Just Click Your Heels Three Times [Thanks Tim]

Online skim reading is taking over the human brain

People That Think Social Media Helps Their Work Are Probably Wrong

44% of Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet

Too many ‘friends’, too few likes? Evolutionary Psychology and Facebook Depression and Understanding Factors Influencing Users’ Retweeting Behavior [via Bookforum]

Five Reasons Not To Raise Venture Capital

Of all the words in the English language, which one has the most meanings? Run.

Physicists have confirmed the existence of an exotic particle that cannot be explained by current theories.

How CERN’s discovery of exotic particles may affect astrophysics

If the Universe began with equal amount of matter and antimatter, why does matter dominate today’s cosmos?

Dark Matter May Be Destroying Itself in Milky Way’s Core

Wassily Kandinsky, Dance Curves: On the Dances of Palucca, 1926

Eli Broad: I Would Not Hire Jeffrey Deitch Again

Robert Mapplethorpe having his nipple pierced

Damien Hirst’s ghostwritten biography promises to reveal criminal past and to expose the “filthy money business” of the art world. Plus: Florida Pastor on Trial for Selling Fake Damien Hirst Paintings

‘I want to prove that you can make art with nothing,” Abramovic explained to BBC

A fugitive managed to become the finance chief of a Czech Museum, subsequently stole $500,000.

He decided to live inside a bear carcass for thirteen days and thirteen nights.

TIFF’s first major original exhibition: David Cronenberg: Evolution

The Remarkable Self-Organization of Ants

Tobias Frere-Jones on type foundries in New York, 1828-1909

Barbarian Group’s Superdesk and Barton F. Graf’s continuous floor [Thanks Tim]


Lets Get Social 2014 [Thanks Tim]

Triple-Decker Weekly, 100


Danish travel company offers “ovulation discount” for couples, rewards if you conceive on holiday

Nine-month-old boy accused of planning murder

$4 trillion in “fake” euro bonds seized at Vatican Bank

Growing up poor is bad for your DNA

Feelings of gratitude automatically reduce financial impatience

Daylight saving time linked to heart attacks, study

What one man with no memory – and no regrets – can really teach us about time.

How behavioral and neural responses to standard moral dilemmas are influenced by religious belief, study

Ketamine, a chemical used as an anaesthetic for horses and as an illegal party drug, can produce “remarkable changes” in severely depressed patients who are not helped by existing treatments, according to a new study. Oxford university researchers reported encouraging results from a clinical trial in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Some patients who had been severely depressed for years, despite multiple antidepressants and talking therapies, responded rapidly to intravenous infusions of ketamine. […] The Oxford team has given more than 400 ketamine infusions to 45 patients and is now looking for ways to sustain the initial benefits, which faded in most of the patients. Although ketamine is a banned substance – and about to be upgraded by the Home Office from Class C to Class B – the Oxford patients did not show the ill effects, such as bladder problems and memory loss, which make it a dangerous drug of abuse. The doses used to treat depression are much lower than some people take illegally. Even so, most patients experienced a shortlived “dissociative” effect, with feelings that they were disconnecting from their body, as the drug was being infused. It did not produce euphoric feelings. [FT]

Results suggest that a perceiver can accurately gauge the real intelligence of men, but not women, by viewing their faces in photographs

Which couples who meet on social networking sites are most likely to marry?

Women do not apply to ‘male-sounding’ job postings

Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. [PDF]

There are clear differences between how our brains respond to genuine and fake laughter

Does the unconscious know when you’re being lied to?

Levels of psychopathic traits among Mafia members who have been convicted of a criminal offense

The Empathetic Capacity of Psychopaths and its Neurological Implications

Selfies Linked to Narcissism, Addiction and Mental Illness, Say Scientists [Thanks Tim]

How does stress affect your public speaking skills?

‘Homo’ is the only primate whose tooth size decreases as its brain size increases

Radiolab: If you could wipe mosquitoes off the face of the planet, would you?

Why do snakes have two penises?

The idea that flies don’t like stripes dates back at least to 1930.

Study shows restaurant reviews written on rainy or snowy days, or very cold or hot days, are more negative than those written on nice days.

You Can Now Search Yelp Using Emojis

The inexplicable prices in hotel minibars around the world

Six humans are in Hawaii, testing the psychological effects of life on another planet.

Could Noah’s Ark Float? In Theory, Yes Previously: The Impossible Voyage of Noah’s Ark

How Many People Does It Take to Colonize Another Star System?

Norwegian Skydiver Almost Gets Hit by Falling Meteor — and Captures it on Film

Hacker holds key to free flights

The “Cuban Twitter” Scam

Researchers have created a wearable device that is as thin as a temporary tattoo and can store and transmit data about a person’s movements, receive diagnostic information and release drugs into skin. [more]

Gawker bans ‘Internet slang’

Why I keep a database of my friends and colleagues and rates their personal, professional, physical and financial attributes.

The Steve Jobs email that outlined Apple’s strategy a year before his death

How Scammers Turn Google Maps Into Fantasy Land

In a behavior called whitewalling, users post to Facebook—sometimes in great detail — but then quickly delete everything, creating a blank timeline.

Fake Guggenheim Website Announces Sustainable Design Competition for Abu Dhabi Branch

Saving $400M printing cost from font change? Not exactly…

Google Trends data showed a 193% spike in searches for “cancel Amazon prime,” less than the 433% spike observed in searches for “cancel Netflix” in 2011

Why the Trix Rabbit Looks Down on You

Designer Beaver [I Got Vajazzled by Completely Bare Hi-Tech Spa in NYC]

Is This the Modern Woman’s Perfect Bikini Wax?

What It’s Like to Be a Professional Line Sitter

New Kurt Cobain death scene photos released by Seattle P.D.

By happy, horrified tradition, theater folk hesitate to name a certain Shakespeare play (Macbeth), for fear bad things will then happen.

Penguin Group Targets Artist Over Satirical Art Book

Nietzsche was writing out his own prescriptions for the sedative chloral hydrate, signing them “Dr. Nietzsche.”

Interview with Michel Foucault, 1971 [via SFJ]

Are two interviewers better than one?

Boost your vocabulary with these fiercely plausible words and definitions

Crap Taxidermy [Thanks Tim]

The Golden Boba

Safely Immobilize Children

Triple-Decker Weekly, 99


Oklahoma pastor says he accidentally flooded Texas by praying too hard

One luckless expatriate was picked up and thrown into a trash can.

Party officials were apparently willing to turn a blind eye to Ms Groll’s career choice, but they could not ignore her sexual encounter with the black male in her latest movie, titled Kitty Discovers Sperm.

Sleepwalking woman had sex with strangers

The Jewish-Japanese Sex & Cook Book and How to Raise Wolves

Some women fake orgasms during sex in order to increase their own arousal, a new study has suggested.

The guy who created the iPhone’s Earth image explains why he needed to fake it

Kangaroos have three vaginas

Grills, ‘Grillz’ and dental hygiene implications

Cholesterol levels vary by season, get worse in colder months

Homeopathic Remedies Recalled For Containing Real Medicine

When adding is subtracting

People often believe they have more control over outcomes (particularly positive outcomes) than they actually do. Psychologists discovered this illusion of control in controlled experiments. […] People suffering from depression tend not to fall for this illusion. That fact, along with similar findings from depression, gave rise to the term depressive realism. Two recent studies now suggest that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may also represent contingency and estimate personal control differently from the norm. […] Their obsessions cause them distress and they perform compulsions in an effort to regain some sense of control over their thoughts, fears, and anxieties. Yet in some cases, compulsions (like sports fans’ superstitions) seem to indicate an inflated sense of personal control. Based on this conventional model of OCD, you might predict that people with the illness will either underestimate or overestimate their personal control over events. So which did the studies find? In a word: both. [Garden of the Mind]

A recent paper has put a hole in another remnant of Freud’s influence, that suppressed memories are still active. Freud noticed that we can suppress unwelcome memories. He theorized that the suppressed memories continued to exist in the unconscious mind and could unconsciously affect behaviour. Uncovering these memories and their influence was a large part of psychoanalysis. Understanding whether this theory is valid is important for evaluating recovered memories of abuse and for dealing with post-traunatic stress disorder. The question Gagnepain, Henson and Anderson set out to answer was whether successfully suppressed conscious memories were also suppressed unconsciously or whether they were still unconsciously active. […] [T]he results do fit with a number of other findings about memory, so that it is now unwise to take the Freudian view of suppression as reliable. [Neuro-patch]

Can you drive fast enough to avoid being clocked by speed cameras?

The Behavioral Economics of Drunk Driving [PDF]

Cell phone use is estimated to be involved in 26 percent of all motor vehicle crashes

San Francisco billboards shame drivers with actual photos of them texting

ATM attack uses SMS to dispense cash

You can now pay $3,000 to rent a “social media wedding concierge”

Censorship is free speech when search engines do it, a US court just ruled

Data suggests that French language just might be the language of the future.

These companies are mining the world’s data by selling street lights and farm drones

How one college went from 10% female computer-science majors to 40%

Had Finney invented Bitcoin himself and simply used his neighbor’s name as a pseudonym?

Miners earn newly minted bitcoins for adding new sections to the blockchain. But the amount awarded for adding a section is periodically halved so that the total number of bitcoins in circulation never exceeds 21 million (the reward last halved in 2012 and is set to do so again in 2016). Transaction fees paid to miners for helping verify transfers are supposed to make up for that loss of income. But fees are currently negligible, and the Princeton analysis predicts that under the existing rules these fees won’t become significant enough to make mining worth doing in the absence of freshly minted bitcoins. [ Technology Review]

Hire a Drone With Bitcoin


Sweden is the largest exporter of pop music, per capita, in the world.

Marinating meat in beer before grilling it can reduce the chances of producing harmful chemicals that can cause cancer

According to a new study, a couple of drinks makes you tell objectively funnier jokes. [Thanks Tim]

Scientists Create Synthetic Yeast Chromosome Man-made yeasts could irreversibly change everything from the biofuel to the brewing industry.

Public smoking bans linked with rapid fall in preterm births and child hospital visits for asthma

Four in 10 infants lack strong parental attachments

Stress impacts ability to get pregnant, study

Stem cells offer clue to bipolar disorder treatment

Consciousness and Futility: A Proposal for a Legal Redefinition of Death

Farrenkopf had a bank account with a very large sum in it, and she had set up her mortgage and utility bills to be paid automatically from it. As her body decomposed in her garage, the funds went out regularly.

In 1982 a brutal triple homicide shook the city of Waco and soon became one of the most confounding criminal cases in Texas history [Part I to V]

Nietzsche’s obituary, New York Times, August 26, 1900

In 1848, the discovery of gold brought 300,000 men to California from all over the world. Yet this sudden mass of humanity lived without a functioning legal system. And if there had been a legal enforcement system, it was unclear what law it would enforce. […] Without a functional government, there were no licensing procedures, fees, or taxes to regulate gold prospecting. No miner worked land that he owned. Any prospector could join any mining camp at any time. Camp populations were heterogeneous: “Puritans and drunkards, clergymen and convict, honest and dishonest, rich and poor.” There was no common language, culture, or legal experience. […] The men shared a common set of needs, however. Each miner needed to be able to leave whatever he owned unguarded each day while he worked his claim. A miner who found gold needed to protect his find until he could convert it into cash or goods. [Paul H. Robinson/SSRN]

Hypotheses about why we sleep

Horses are the only species other than man transported around the world for competition purposes. In humans, transport across several time zones can result in adverse symptoms commonly referred to as jetlag. Can changes in the light/dark cycle, equivalent to those caused by transport across several time zones, affect daily biological rhythms, and performance in equine athletes? […] We found that horses do feel a change in the light/dark cycle very acutely, but they also recover very quickly, and this resulted in an improvement in their performance rather than a decrease in their performance, which was exactly the opposite of what we thought was going to happen. [HBLB | PDF]

Why Dark Pigeons Rule the Streets

Scientists film inside a flying insect

Plant nanobionics approach to augment photosynthesis and biochemical sensing

A restaurant is now selling a drink topped with foie gras

Why is it that one person can stay slim while eating a lot of calories, while another tends to gain weight despite eating fewer?

Sick Again? Why Some Colds Won’t Go Away

Five Health Benefits of Standing Desks

3-D Printed Skull Successfully Implanted In Woman

Can You Sue A Robot For Defamation?

Jordan Wolfson’s Animatronic dancer doll on view at David Zwirner Gallery [more videos]

L’art contemporain n’est-il qu’un discours ? with Nathalie Heinich

His animals get their energy from the wind so they don’t have to eat. [Wikipedia]

In a small, often overlooked area of the museum was an overwhelming amount of meticulously ordered material by an artist I’d never heard of before. After being rejected by his parents, his wife, his school, and even his teacher – Joseph Beuys – Ademeit abandoned drawing and painting for photography and writing. He shot more than 6,000 Polaroids in isolation over a 14-year period, which engulfed the room. In the margins of the Polaroids, and in seemingly endless calendars and booklets, he handwrote notations at a scale that borders on indecipherable. He was studying the impact of cold rays, earth rays, electromagnetic waves and other forms of radiation on his health and safety. He protected himself with magnets and herbs from what he perceived to be dangerous invisible forces, while obsessively creating this trove of records and evidence. [Taryn Simon]

I like doing sound portraits – I get close to someone’s face, I take down the sound of the hair, the sounds of the skin, eyes and lips, and then I create a specific chord that relates to the face. How Harbisson hears the colors that most people see

If a person insists that they are color blind, how can you prove otherwise?

Traditional rug-making techniques meet contemporary political imagery

Embroidered Cat Shirts By Hiroko Kubota [Thanks Tim]

I’ve put my heartbeat on the internet.

Simulated High-Altitude Taste Testing of Tomato Juice

Coded Notes Found at Weldon Library

Instant architect

Concert accessories


Triple-Decker Weekly, 98


Fox News host Bill Hemmer explains missing plane: ‘It took 2,000 years to find Noah’s Ark’

Male movements serve as courtship signals in many animal species, and may honestly reflect the genotypic and/or phenotypic quality of the individual. Attractive human dance moves, particularly those of males, have been reported to show associations with measures of physical strength, prenatal androgenization and symmetry. [...] By using cutting-edge motion-capture technology, we have been able to precisely break down and analyse specific motion patterns in male dancing that seem to influence women’s perceptions of dance quality. We find that the variability and amplitude of movements in the central body regions (head, neck and trunk) and speed of the right knee movements are especially important in signalling dance quality. [Biology Letters | PDF]

A paper that correlates occupations with divorce and separation rates, to be published in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, reveals that those employed in extrovert and stressful jobs are highly likely to divorce, as are those who work in the caring professions. Dancers, choreographers and bartenders have around a 40% chance of experiencing a relationship breakdown. But also at high risk are nurses, psychiatrists and those who help the elderly and disabled. Conversely, agricultural engineers, optometrists, dentists, clergymen and podiatrists are all in occupations which carry a 2-7% chance of family breakdown. [The Guardian]

Marriage is hard work, but the alternative might be less attractive, at least financially.

Durex surveyed 2,000 adults and found that 15 percent of those surveyed would answer the phone or read a text while otherwise engaged in a sexual act.

Men found faces more attractive when they were wearing less makeup

Women hold about 60 per cent of the total jobs in the thirty occupations projected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to have the most net job growth in the decade through 2022. […] The projections obviously should be interpreted more as a guide to current trends than as a reliable forecast. But combined with the number from the NWLC, they suggest that if those trends don’t change, then the recent struggles of men — and especially young men — finding work in a labour market that continues to shift towards traditionally female-dominated occupations will only worsen. […] The jobs of the new labour market are lower-paying, and therefore difficult to accept for men who were accustomed to making more, even if the old jobs aren’t coming back. Many of these jobs are in traditionally female-dominated occupations, which require training that men are less likely to have. And they pay higher wages to college grads, the vast majority of which are now women. […] The composition of future jobs is unlikely to get “manlier”. [FT]

Peoples’ jobs as adults in 2010 and their parents’ income when they were kids in 1979

In one experiment angel investors watched pitches and then handed out start-up money. Attractive men were more likely than unattractive men and even more likely than women to succeed. [Thanks Tim]

Woman charged $787.33 for two-mile cab ride

Missing Woman Found Alive in Trash Compactor

Organized criminals who have long trafficked drugs are diversifying into humdrum areas of commerce—particularly food, booze and cheap consumer goods.

At present, no more than about 200 young people start using crack-cocaine each day. Ten years ago, the corresponding estimated daily rate was 1000.

What Happens To Your Body When You Get Drunk And Stoned At The Same Time?

The most striking finding of our study is that addition of milk to black tea completely prevents the biological activity of tea in terms of improvement of endothelial function. Our results thus provide a possible explanation for the lack of beneficial effects of tea on the risk of heart disease in the UK, where milk is usually added to tea. [European Heart Journal | PDF]

Australia has begun exporting camels to Saudi Arabia. More than 100 animals are being shipped from the Australian port city of Darwin and are due to arrive in Saudi Arabia in early July [2002]. The vast majority are destined for restaurant tables in a major camel-consuming nation. [BBC]

Pots of honey, thousands of years old, and yet still preserved.

Knowing whether food has spoiled without even opening the container

How thinking in a foreign language makes you more rational in some ways but not others

Trust highly correlated with intelligence, study

Human nose can detect at least 1 trillion odors — far more than thought, says study. For comparison, our eyes can see a few million different colors, and we can hear about 340,000 tones.

Genetic mugshot recreates faces from nothing but DNA

Computer system spots real or faked expressions of pain more accurately than people can

So anyone who has had general anesthesia has been in a coma? Yes, general anesthesia is nearly identical to what we might call “natural” coma. [American Scientist ]

Periods of sleeplessness may cause permanent brain damage regardless of makeup rest, study

How the internet works, and why it’s impossible to know what makes your Netflix slow

Like other federal agencies, the NSA is compelled by law to try to commercialize its R&D.

Juliet speaks more to her nurse than she does to Romeo; Romeo speaks more to Benvolio than he does to Juliet. Romeo gets a larger share of attention from his friends (Benvolio and Mercutio) and even his enemies (Tybalt) than he does from Juliet; Juliet gets a larger share of attention from her nurse and her mother than she does from Romeo. The two appear together in only five scenes out of 25. [FiveThirtyEight]

The Phenomenology of Spirit: How to appreciate Hegel

Nietzsche’s pianos

Band makes money on Spotify by streaming silent tracks Band makes money on Spotify by streaming silent tracks [related: 4′33″]

Record bosses now hope that online streaming could become a big enough business to arrest their industry’s long decline.

Like the music industry, Adobe is abandoning selling its wares on physical discs to rent them out online

Museum of Endangered Sounds

Self-propelled catwalk car in the Lincoln Tunnel, NY, 1960 and in the Holland Tunnel, 1954

How many times would you have to fold a page onto itself to reach the Moon? 42.

What Jupiter would look like if it were the same distance from us as the Moon

Avoid exes, co-workers, that guy who likes to stop and chat [Thanks Tim]

Can you unsuck a penis? [via Max Read]

Burden called a group of friends into a gallery to watch an assistant shoot him with a .22 rifle

Lego robot crushes Rubik’s Cube world record with superhuman speed

A clock that writes the time. [Thanks Tim]

How the Dalí Atomicus photo was taken

Compare Lincoln’s hand to yours

Concert accessories


Triple-Decker Weekly, 97


Does the human body really replace itself every 7 years?

Let’s say you transfer your mind into a computer—not all at once but gradually

In his story Sarrasine, Balzac, describing a castrato disguised as a woman, writes the following sentence: “This was woman herself, with her sudden fears, her irrational whims, her instinctive worries, her impetuous boldness, her fussings, and her delicious sensibility.” Who is speaking thus? Is it the hero of the story bent on remaining ignorant of the castrato hidden beneath the woman? Is it Balzac the individual, furnished by his personal experience with a philosophy of Woman? Is it Balzac the author professing ‘literary’ ideas on femininity? Is it universal wisdom? Romantic psychology? We shall never know, for the good reason that writing is the destruction of every voice, of every point of origin. Writing is that neutral, composite, oblique space where our subject slips away, the negative where all identity is lost, starting with the very identity of the body writing. [Roland Barthes, The Death of the Author, 1967]

These fictional examples suggest that creativity and dishonesty often go hand-in-hand. Is there an actual link? Is there something about the creative process that triggers unethical behavior? Or does behaving in dishonest ways spur creative thinking? My research suggests that they both exist: Encouraging people to think outside the box can result in greater cheating, and crossing ethical boundaries can make people more creative in subsequent tasks. [Scientific American]

Some new evidence about just how quickly our unconscious minds can process incoming information

Your voice betrays your personality in a split second

Elephants Know How Dangerous We Are From How We Speak

How sound affects the taste of our food

New spectroscopy technique makes it faster and easier to find out how much horse is in your burger

Woman, 63, ‘becomes PREGNANT in the mouth’ with baby squid after eating calamari

How much meat is too much?

Most of the caffeine used in soft drinks is actually synthetically produced in Chinese pharmaceutical plants.

In 2005, levamisole was found in almost 2 percent of the cocaine seized by the DEA. In 2007, the frequency went up to 15 percent, and by 2011 a staggering 73 percent of all cocaine seized by the DEA had been cut with levamisole.

A new study shows that the use of cocaine dropped by half across the United States from 2006 to 2010, while use of marijuana jumped by more than 30 percent during the period.

Effect of a clown’s presence at botulinum toxin injections in children

Does clown therapy really help anxious kids?

Gonorrhea is about to become impossible to treat. Antibiotic resistance means the STD might soon spread more aggressively than ever.

The economics of prostitution in eight U.S. cities

In 2005, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance attempted to impose sales tax on a nightclub’s offering of exotic dancing to its customers.

Once derided as being like a plastic bag with the erotic appeal of a jellyfish, the female condom is being reinvented as the next big thing in safe sex.

Butt Shaped Lamp Can Be Pinched On, Slapped Off [Thanks Tim]

3D Printed Phil Robertson Duck Dynasty Butt Plug

Road closed as police hunt severed penis

‘Lick This’ App Teaches Oral Sex Via Phone-Licking

The surprising similarities between pole dancers and financial dealers [PDF]

Hormones and Women Voters: A Very Modern Scientific Controversy And: Does Daylight Saving Time Affect Voter Turnout?

The arguments for ditching notes and coins are numerous, and quite convincing. In the US, a study by Tufts University concluded that the cost of using cash amounts to around $200 billion per year – about $637 per person. This is primarily the costs associated with collecting, sorting and transporting all that money, but also includes trivial expenses like ATM fees. Incidentally, the study also found that the average American wastes five and a half hours per year withdrawing cash from ATMs; just one of the many inconvenient aspects of hard currency. While coins last decades, or even centuries, paper currency is much less durable. A dollar bill has an average lifespan of six years, and the US Federal Reserve shreds somewhere in the region of 7,000 tons of defunct banknotes each year. Physical currency is grossly unhealthy too. Researchers in Ohio spot-checked cash used in a supermarket and found 87% contained harmful bacteria. Only 6% of the bills were deemed “relatively clean.” […] Stockholm’s homeless population recently began accepting card payments. [...] Cash transactions worldwide rose just 1.75% between 2008 and 2012, to $11.6 trillion. Meanwhile, non traditional payment methods rose almost 14% to total $6.4 trillion. [TransferWise]

Sigma X is one of the largest dark pools in the U.S., accounting for 1 percent of total daily trading in January

TOR Network Increasingly Being Abused by Cybercriminals.

How an Army e-mail phishing experiment went awry

Where are the 750k Bitcoins lost by Mt. Gox?

Lady Gaga’s Charity Donated Just $5,000 of Its $2.1 Million

Study finds that social ties influence who wins certain Hollywood movie awards

This past summer was a disaster for the major studios – but it was also a highly predictable one. The Future of Film I, II, and III

The Story Behind The THX Deep Note

Heidegger’s Hitler Problem Is Worse Than We Thought

The Phenomenology of Spirit: how to appreciate Hegel

A study finds more than half the books lining shelves in British homes have never been read.

To get one of those apartments, on average, you need to plunk down the equivalent of almost $300,000. Household rental system in South Korea

Most hotels actually lose money on room service.

Commercial drones are now legal in U.S. skies, thanks to a court decision this month that slapped down the Federal Aviation Administration’s attempt to ground them. A San Francisco company has leaped on the opportunity, gearing up to offer drone delivery of drugstore items in the Mission.

The last place on Earth… without life

Nearly Every Star Hosts at Least One Alien Planet

The Statue of Liberty under construction in Paris [more]

By taking about 100 pictures of McDuffie using a pillow to pose as he did in the picture taken Aug. 14, 1945, by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gibson said she was able to match the muscles, ears and other features of the then-80-year-old McDuffie to the young sailor in the original image.

Park Avenue surgeon implants woman with heart-shaped eye jewelry

The man who has painted more than 1,000 watercolors with his tongue.

In the last years news are over and over again about record breaking prices reached for an artwork at a public auction. Such high pricing strucks not only the old masters but also works for still living artists. As you might know the prices for young artist’s paintings are often assessed by canvas size. So the question for my use-case arises: Is there also a correlation between size and hammer price of famous artworks at auctions? [Ruth Reiche]

Richard Prince is selling inkjet prints of Twitter screenshots (another one)

The internationalized art world relies on a unique language.

Despite claims made and repeated for decades, Pollock did not paint “Mural” in one great, glorious burst of nonstop creative fervor.

Shooting Into the Corner, 2008-2009

The orb consists of a black latex balloon filled with helium, a battery-powered Arduino board, a speaker, and an Adafruit Wave Shield that’s been modified to record and play back ambient sounds on the fly.

The whole event was supposed to be a fundraiser for charity, but ended up costing the city millions in lawsuits [read more]

Woman taking part in major mountain search operation for a lost tourist was the missing person everyone was looking for

What it Was Like to Travel to Iran With Andy Warhol in 1976

Damien Hirst exhibition in Doha, Qatar

Robert Mapplethorpe Children’s Museum Celebrates Grand Opening

In memory of Roger Bucklesby