It is an object of the present invention to provide a practical and affordable device to disperse cremated remains in a special and honorary manner. […] At an appointed time, the remains are loaded into one or more mortar launchers mounted on the back of a mobile unit, be it a vehicle or other mobile device, and propelled into the sky. When an appropriate altitude is reached, the explosive device is activated and explodes, causing the ashen remains to disintegrate and cover an expansive area with the ash. The loved ones may feel that the spirit of the departed lingers in that area, allowing surviving family and friends to enjoy the comfort of having a part of the loved one physically and figuratively all around them [Wallace N. Brown | via Improbable ]
Man with penis stuck in pipe for two days. “It was hot so I was painting the wall in the nude…”
First, we find that nearly half of the unemployed do not experience a drop in happiness [PDF]
We all know the awkward feeling when a conversation is disrupted by a brief silence. This paper studies why such moments can be unsettling. We suggest that silences are particularly disturbing if they disrupt the conversational flow. A mere four-seconds silence (in a six-minute video clip) suffices to disrupt the conversational flow and make one feel distressed, afraid, hurt, and rejected. These effects occur despite participants’ unawareness of the short, single silence. […] Finally, the present research reveals that although people do not consciously notice brief silences, they are influenced by conversa- tional disfluency in a way quite similar to ostracism experiences (e.g., Williams, 2001). That is, people report feeling more rejected and experience more negative emotions when a conversation is disrupted by a silence, rather than when it flows. Thus, disrupted flow can implicitly elicit feelings of rejection, confirming human sensitivity to social exclusion cues. [Journal of Experimental Social Psychology | PDF]
Studies have shown that children can figure out when someone is lying to them, but cognitive scientists from MIT recently tackled a subtler question: Can children tell when adults are telling them the truth, but not the whole truth?
Damage to certain parts of the brain can lead to a bizarre syndrome called hemispatial neglect, in which one loses awareness of one side of their body and the space around it. In extreme cases, a patient with hemispatial neglect might eat food from only one side of their plate, dress on only one side of their body, or shave or apply make-up to half of their face, apparently because they cannot pay attention to anything on that the other side. Research published last week now suggests that something like this happens to all of us when we drift off to sleep each night. [Neurophilosophy/Guardian]
Killing a Patient to Save His Life [Thanks Glenn]
The history of bear pepper sprays: They played recordings of growling bears and hissing humans. They blared boat horns, blew whistles, engaged strobe lights, and set off firecrackers. Finally, they sprayed chemicals directly into the bear’s face: onion juice, Windex, mustard, and an aerosol-based dog repellent called Halt.
This study is related to the use of natural ventilation silencers for the howling and barking (hereafter referred to as “barking”) of dogs. With the spread of nuclear families, low birth rates, and aging populations, pets play an important role in advanced nations. In Japan, the number of complaints and problems caused by the noise created by barking dogs is increasing; it represents the major component of noises in living spaces, thus necessitating some sort of countermeasure. In addition, dogs in veterinary hospitals are housed in connecting cages; one dog’s barking can cause others to bark as well, creating stress in the other animals in the hospital. One method being considered to remedy this situation is the attachment of a sound insulating board to the opening of the cages and the utilization of forced ventilation. However, the use of sound boards and forced ventilation creates a number of issues, including problems such as hindrance in communicating with animals, noise associated with ventilation intake and output, noise from fans within cages, cost, energy consumption, and the risks of malfunction and power outages; collectively, these problems make this solution unfeasible. […] We created a prototype based on resonance within a rectangular chamber divided into cells, adding nonwoven sheets to the interior, tail pipes, and coaxial side branch tube silencers to the open end. We then assessed the sound attenuation performance. [International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Applications | PDF]
“So Cute I Could Eat It Up”: Priming Effects of Cute Products on Indulgent Consumption [PDF]
A quarter of all public company deals may involve some kind of insider trading. […] The study [PDF], perhaps the most detailed and exhaustive of its kind, examined hundreds of transactions from 1996 through the end of 2012. [NY Times]
This paper documents a close connection between the timing of corporate news disclosures and CEOs’ absences from headquarters. I identify CEO absences by merging publicly available flight histories of corporate jets with real estate records of CEOs’ property ownership near leisure destinations. I find that CEOs go to their vacation homes just after companies report favorable news, and CEOs return to headquarters right before subsequent news is released. More good news is released when CEOs are back at work, and CEOs appear not to leave headquarters at all if a firm has adverse news to disclose. When CEOs are away from the office, stock prices behave quietly with sharply lower volatility. Volatility increases immediately when CEOs return to work. Mandatory Form 8-K disclosures of material company news are more likely to be filed late if news occurs while CEOs are at their vacation homes. [David Yermack/NYU School of Law | PDF]
1 in 10 New Yorkers doesn’t have a bank account
The Effect of Graduated Response Anti-Piracy Laws on Music Sales [PDF]
For non-brand keywords we find that new and infrequent users are positively influenced by ads but that more frequent users whose purchasing behavior is not influenced by ads account for most of the advertising expenses, resulting in average returns that are negative. [PDF]
In shopping malls, for instance, a firm called Euclid Analytics collects, in its own words, “the presence of the device, its signal strength, its manufacturer (Apple, Samsung, etc.), and a unique identifier known as its Media Access Control (MAC) address.” In London last year, one start-up installed a dozen recycling bins that sniffed MAC addresses from passers-by, effectively tracking people through the area via their phones. […] Companies like Euclid or its peer Turnstyle Solutions use the data to track footfall in stores, how people move about in shops, how long they linger in certain sections, and how often they return. Store-owners use the information to target shoppers with offers (paywall) or to move high-value items to highly-trafficked parts of the shop, among other things. […] Apple’s solution, as discovered by a Swiss programmer, is for iOS 8 to generate a random MAC addresses while scanning for networks. That means that companies and agencies that collect such information will not necessarily know when the same device (i.e., person) visits a store twice. [Quartz]