Triple-Decker Weekly

Japanese researchers build a gun capable of stopping speakers in mid-sentence. [ The Physics arXiv Blog ]

For a start, cancer isn’t a single disease, so we can dispense with the idea of a single "cure." There are over 200 different types, each with their own individual quirks. Even for a single type – say, breast cancer – there can be many different sub-types that demand different treatments. Even within a single subtype, one patient’s tumour can be very different from another’s. [ NERS/Discover ]

Elliott passed every standard intelligence test with flying colors. But he was dysfunctional because he was missing one thing: his cognitive brain couldn’t converse with his emotional brain. [ Big Think ]

Attempting to separate my Self from my ID by making contradictory changes to my own Google .doc in a bunch of different browser windows. [ Tim Geoghegan ]

One thing I’ve learned in the five years I’ve spent studying viruses is that these little things are genetic brewing machines. They can carry genetic material from different organisms, they can integrate in the host’s genome, they can transport genetic material from one organism to another. [ Chimeras ]

As for the love of the Other, or, worse, the “recognition of the Other,” these are nothing but Christian confections. There is never “the Other” as such. There are projects of thought, or of actions, on the basis of which we distinguish between those who are friends, those who are enemies, and those who can be considered neutral. The question of knowing how to treat enemies or neutrals depends entirely on the project concerned, the thought that constitutes it, and the concrete circumstances (is the project in an escalating phase? is it very dangerous? etc.). [ Interview with Alain Badiou | Cabinet ]

Amazon isn’t just a distributor, it’s a hoping to be the major publisher of e-books. When Amazon buys ebooks for $13 wholesale and sells them for $10 retail, and its gargantuan size means it can keep up the practice indefinitely, the strategy isn’t just jarring publishers into adopting lower price points. Because Amazon offers writers a better royalty for publishing directly, its pricing strategy is aimed at squeezing publishers out of the equation entirely. [ Barry Ritholtz ]

The researchers behind this work were testing the hypothesis that most of what we do we do in order to protect us from the terror of death; what they call “Terror Management Theory.” Our sophisticated worldviews, they believe, exist primarily to convince us that we can defeat the Reaper. [...] The psychologists, psychiatrists and anthropologists who developed Terror Management Theory have shown that almost all ideologies, from patriotism to communism to celebrity culture, function similarly in shielding us from death’s approach. [ New Humanist ]

While women are no longer characterized as pathological by virtue of being women alone, and while scientific inquiry has expanded to explore issues affecting women and their health, much remains to be done about educating the general population about issues relating to women’s health. [ avflox ]

One of the interesting things about success is that we think we know what it means. A lot of the time our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. They’re sucked in from other people. And we also suck in messages from everything from the television to advertising to marketing, et cetera. These are hugely powerful forces that define what we want and how we view ourselves. What I want to argue for is not that we should give up on our ideas of success, but that we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we’re truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along. [ Alain de Botton | Thanks Tim ]

Although female orgasms were reportedly most commonly experienced during foreplay, their vocalizations were reported to occur most frequently before and simultaneous with male ejaculation. So basically the women’s sex noises most frequently accompanied their partner’s orgasm. Why? It turns out, it’s because they wanted to help their partners out. Sixty-six percent reported making noise to accelerate their partner’s ejaculation. Ninety-two percent believed these vocalizations upped their partner’s self-esteem (87 percent reported vocalizing for this purpose). Other reported reasons included speeding things up, “to relieve discomfort/pain, boredom, and fatigue in equal proportion, as well as because of time limitations.” [ Salon ]

Common sense or ‘folk psychology‘ is what your average person in the street uses to make sense of human behaviour. [...] Scientists tend to say ‘well, it’s a bit more complicated than that’ but talk of conditional risk factors for behaviour won’t get you very far in a dinner table discussion so ‘folk psychology’ is a culturally agreed form of psychology that is acceptable to use in everyday explanation. [...] A study in the journal Public Understanding of Science looks at how the enthusiasm for pop neuroscience has encroached on ‘folk psychology’ to create a form of ‘folk neuropsychology’ where brain-based explanations are now becoming acceptable in everyday explanation. [ Mindhacks ]

Whenever we are doing something, one of our brain hemispheres is more active than the other one. However, some tasks are only solvable with both sides working together. [...] Based on a pigeon-model, they are proving for the first time in an experimental way, that the ability to combine complex impressions from both hemispheres, depends on environmental factors in the embryonic stage. [ EurekAlert ]

In the philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is the question of how to explain evil if there exists a deity that is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Some philosophers have claimed that the existences of such a god and of evil are logically incompatible or unlikely. [ Wikipedia ]

Since when did being a writer become a career choice, with appropriate degree courses and pecking orders? Does this state of affairs make any difference to what gets written? [ NY Review of Books ]

The most destructive of the defense mechanisms are those that involve being deeply out of touch with reality. [...] A classic example is delusion. [...] Another example is denial. [...] Level 4 defense mechanisms are considered to be generally functional. Some examples include humor [..] and sublimation. [ Psych Your Mind ]

Keith Chen, an economist from Yale, makes a startling claim in an unpublished working paper: people’s fiscal responsibility and healthy lifestyle choices depend in part on the grammar of their language. [ Discover ]

Epicurus himself, while dismissive of the claims of all religions, was no “luxurious sensualist.” Known for the simplicity of his life, he was born on the Greek island of Samos in 341 BCE, studied philosophy in Athens with a disciple of Plato’s and eventually founded a school of his own there, over which he presided until his death, in 270. [...] The physical world, he held, was all there was [...] The only rational goal was to live life as pleasurably as possible. […] "By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul." [ The Jewish Daily Forward ]

It’s estimated that 1% of the world’s population is asexual. [ The Guardian ]

Chang and Eng Bunker were conjoined twin brothers, born on May 11, 1811 in Siam (now Thailand). Their condition and birthplace became the basis for the term “Siamese twins.” [...] The brothers settled on a plantation, bought slaves, and adopted the name "Bunker." [...] They married two sisters. [...] They shared a bed built for four. Chang and his wife had 10 children; Eng and his wife had 11. In time, the wives squabbled and eventually two separate households were set up – the twins would alternate spending three days at each home. [ Wikipedia | Thanks Tim ]

Kids Are Still Getting Drunk By Shoving Vodka-Soaked Tampons Up Their Butts.

Thai teen girls think braces are cute. They're also deadly. [Thanks Tim]

US Newspaper Ad Revenues Drop To 60Yrs Low.

North Korea Suspends Nuclear Testing. United States offers food aid in exchange for moratorium on uranium enrichment and weapons testing.

Why Russia needs to rebuild its military, by Vladimir Putin.

A mother describes the surprising effect that the pharmaceutical sleeping drug Ambien has had on her brain-damaged son. [NY Times]

Ever wonder how dogs can walk barefoot in the snow? A Japanese scientist may have the answer -- an internal central heating system.

The odorous compound responsible for halitosis - otherwise known as bad breath - is ideal for harvesting stem cells taken from human dental pulp, scientists have discovered.

Yes, pheromones send signals about your moods, your sexual orientation and even your genetic makeup.

Brain cells know which way you'll bet.

Do consumers prefer to pay $29 for 70 items or get 70 items for $29?

Showing off in humans: Male generosity as a mating signal.

Does religious background influence sexual orientation?

Advocates for the increased use of neuroscience in law have made bold and provocative claims about the power of neuroscientific discoveries to transform the criminal law in ways large and small.

Computer scientists have developed a simple algorithm that accurately guesses your hometown using the location information of photos uploaded to Flickr.

How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Are Tracking Me on the Web.

The digitization of over five million books has created a huge dataset of cultural interest. Now researchers are beginning to tease it apart using powerful number-crunching techniques.

Internet pioneer Larry Smarr's quest to quantify everything about his health led him to a startling discovery, an unusual partnership with his doctor, and more control over his life.

How Do You Ship A Horse To The London Olympics? Carefully, And Via FedEx

Yahoo has asserted claims on patents that include the technical mechanisms in the Facebook's ads, privacy controls, news feed and messaging service.

For the US, the war confirmed its status as a sovereign state and tested the limits of manifest destiny. On this side of the border, the matter is much simpler: if we hadn’t won the War of 1812, we wouldn’t be Canadian.

If you were thrown into the vacuum of space with no space suit, would you explode?

Monsters, daemons, and devils: The Accusations of Nineteenth-Century Vegetarian Writers.

Consumers’ Responses to Table Spacing in Restaurants.

We celebrate Nietzsche for being anti-everything, but why is there no anti-Nietzsche?

How did the gender symbols originate in biology? What do ? and ? actually stand for?

The film is in the public domain because the producers failed to renew the copyright in 1973.

"Carrie vs Amélie" 3 Hooks Set.

Keith Haring, Drawings for Fashion Moda at New Museum, 1980. Related: More and more undeniable sightings of UFOs produced over major cities.

Duchamp was here.

The Cat Scan.