Triple-Decker Weekly, 126

We study the influence of reason and intuition on decision-making over time. […] We find that intuition will outperform reason in the long run if individuals are sufficiently ambitious. Moreover, intuitive decisions are prevalent in the early and late stages of a learning process, whereas reason governs decisions in intermediate stages. [Managerial and Decision Economics]

The majority of music people listen to in their daily lives includes lyrics. This research documents how more repetitive songs lyrically are processed more fluently and thus adopted more broadly and quickly in the marketplace. [Journal of Consumer Psychology]

Baby girl born ‘pregnant’ with twins undergoes operation to remove foetuses

How to Make Breakfast With Your Vagina

For many years, scientists believed that female development was the default programme, and that male development was actively switched on by the presence of a particular gene on the Y chromosome. In 1990, researchers made headlines when they uncovered the identity of this gene, which they called SRY. Just by itself, this gene can switch the gonad from ovarian to testicular development. For example, XX individuals who carry a fragment of the Y chromosome that contains SRY develop as males. [Nature]

Although much attention concerning the potential impact of sexualized media has focused on girls and women, less is known about how this content effects boys’ perceptions of women and courtship. Accordingly, the current three-wave panel study investigated whether exposure to sexualizing magazines predicts adolescent boys’ (N = 592) sexually objectifying notions of women and their beliefs about feminine courtship strategies. The results indicated that when boys consumed sexualizing magazines more often, they expressed more gender-stereotypical beliefs about feminine courtship strategies over time. This association was mediated by boys’ objectification of women. [Journal of Adolescence]

[V]iewing sexual music videos by male artists increased the acceptance of female token resistance (i.e., the notion that women say “no” to sex when they actually mean “yes”) among adolescent girls, but not adolescent boys. [Communication Research]

The team’s model predicts that the most attractive penis would measure 12.8–14.2 centimetres in its flaccid state

Women tend to prefer men who make them laugh and men tend to prefer women who laugh at their jokes. However, it is unclear how robust this pattern is. Here we report a replication of one of the first studies (Bressler, Martin, and Balshine, 2006) to examine the sex differences in preferences for humor receptivity versus humor production. […] We found that men viewed humor receptivity as a necessity and humor production as a luxury when they were asked to create an ideal long-term partner. For women, it was just the opposite. [Evolutionary Psychology | PDF]

Most respondents reported their BDSM interests starting before age 15, sometimes creating a phase of anxiety and shame in the absence of reassuring information.

A device to aid women in giving birth — the woman is strapped onto a circular table, and the table is then rotated at high speed [Google Patents | via Improbable]

The scientific study of heartbreak is extremely new, with nearly all articles on the matter appearing in the last 10-15 years. In fact, the notion that strong emotional stress can impact health was not widely accepted in academia until recently. In the 1990’s, Japan started accruing cases of a disease called “takotsubo cardiomyopathy,” where patients’ hearts would actually become damaged and their ventricles would be misshapen (into that of a “takotsubo,” or octopus-catching pot – a very bad shape for a heart chamber). Curiously, these cases were not heart attacks, but instead were a form of heart failure brought on by a rush of stress hormones. After 15 years, the syndrome was finally mentioned in a 2005 New England Journal of Medicine article, where it was renamed “Broken Heart Syndrome.” Among the causes of Broken Heart Syndrome are romantic rejection, divorce, or the death of a loved one, and the outcome can be as serious as death. [NeuWrite]

Individuals who report experiencing communication with deceased persons are traditionally called mediums. During a typical mediumship reading, a medium conveys messages from deceased persons to the living (i.e., sitters). There are two types of mediumship: mental and physical. In mental mediumship, communication with deceased persons is experienced “through interior vision or hearing, or through the spirits taking over and controlling their bodies or parts thereof, especially … the parts required for speech and writing.” During physical mediumship, the experienced communication “proceeds through paranormal physical events in the medium’s vicinity,” which have included reports of independent voices, rapping sounds on walls or tables, and movement of objects. […] Recent research has also confirmed previous findings that mediumship is not associated with conventional dissociative experiences, pathology, dysfunction, psychosis, or over-active imaginations. Indeed, a large percentage of mediums have been found to be high functioning, socially accepted individuals within their communities. […] Psychometric and brain electrophysiology data were collected from six individuals who had previously reported accurate information about deceased individuals under double-blind conditions. […] These differences suggest that the impression of communicating with the deceased may be a distinct mental state distinct from ordinary thinking or imagination. [Frontiers in Psychology | PDF]

“The goal of memory isn’t to keep the details. It’s to be able to generalize from what you know so that you are more confident in acting on it,” Davachi says. You run away from the dog that looks like the one that bit you, rather than standing around questioning how accurate your recall is. [The New Yorker]

Memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s reversed for first time

Few studies have investigated the role of sleep deprivation in the formation of false memories, despite overwhelming evidence that sleep deprivation impairs cognitive function. We examined the relationship between self-reported sleep duration and false memories and the effect of 24 hr of total sleep deprivation on susceptibility to false memories. We found that under certain conditions, sleep deprivation can increase the risk of developing false memories. [Neuroethics & Law ]

Sleep is undoubtedly important not only for how well we think, feel and behave in our daily lives but also for longer-term health. In childhood, the quantity and quality of night-time and 24 hour sleep have consistently been identified as predictor of health. For example, night sleep predicts weight status. These findings have led to the hypothesis that increasing quantity of sleep through promoting daytime sleep would benefit child health. We sought to look for evidence on the independent effects of daytime sleep on child health, learning and behavior to assess whether this hypothesis was supported. […] The evidence suggests that beyond the age of 2 years when cessation of napping becomes more common, daytime sleep is associated with shorter and more disrupted night sleep. Those studies examining direction of effect all report that daytime sleep is not a response to poor night sleep but rather precedes poor night sleep. Evidence relating to cognitive functioning, accidents, weight status and behavior were less conclusive. [Medical Research]

We found we can change an animal’s sleep/wake rhythms by artificially stimulating the neurons in the master biological clock

In the early 1900s, the Dream of the Rarebit Fiend comic strip conveyed how the spicy cheese dish Welsh rarebit leads to bizarre and disturbing dreams. Today, the perception that foods disturb dreaming persists. But apart from case studies, some exploratory surveys, and a few lab studies on how hunger affects dreaming, there is little empirical evidence addressing this topic. The present study examines three aspects of the food/dreaming relationship. […] Reports of vivid dreams were associated with measures indicative of wellness: better sleep, a healthier diet, and longer times between meals (fasting). [Frontiers]

An ingredient in olive oil kills a variety of human cancer cells without harming healthy ones

Regular coffee consumption contributes to DNA integrity

Light jogging may be most optimal for longevity

Napping reverses health effects of poor sleep

Woman becomes obese after fecal transplant from overweight donor

Four drug deaths last month in Britain have been blamed on so-called “Superman” pills being sold as Ecstasy, but actually containing PMMA, a synthetic stimulant drug with some MDMA-like effects that has been implicated in a number of deaths and hospitalizations in Europe and the U.S. The “fake Ecstasy” was also under suspicion in the September deaths of six people in Florida and another three in Chicago. An additional six deaths in Ireland have also been linked to the drug. PMMA, or paramethoxymethamphetamine, causes dangerous increases in body temperature and blood pressure, is toxic at lower doses than Ecstasy, and requires up to two hours in order to take effect. […] The Spice products—synthetic cannabinoids—are still the most common of the novel synthetic drugs. Hundreds of variants are now on the market. Science magazine recently reported on a UK study in which researchers discovered more than a dozen previously unknown psychoactive substances by conducting urine samples on portable toilets in Greater London. [Addiction Inbox]

Animals getting high, drunk and tripping

Colorado May Pay Residents Over Excess Marijuana Revenue

Drawing on county-level data from Kansas for the period 1977-2011, we examine whether plausibly exogenous increases in the number of establishments licensed to sell alcohol by the drink are related to violent crime. During this period, 86 out of 105 counties in Kansas voted to legalize the sale of alcohol to the general public for on-premises consumption. We provide evidence that these counties experienced substantial increases in the total number of establishments with on-premises liquor licenses (e.g., bars and restaurants). Using legalization as an instrument, we show that a 10 percent increase in drinking establishments is associated with a 4 percent increase in violent crime. Reduced-form estimates suggest that legalizing the sale of alcohol to the general public for on-premises consumption is associated with an 11 percent increase in violent crime. [SSRN]

Older scientists are often seen as less open to new ideas than younger scientists. We put this assertion to an empirical test. Our results buttress the importance of funding scientific work by young researchers. [PDF]

Serendipity, the notion that research in one area often leads to advances in another, has been a central idea in the economics of innovation and science and technology policy. Claims about serendipity, and the futility of planning research, were central to the argument in Vannevar Bush’s Science–The Endless Frontier often considered the blueprint of post-World War II U.S. science policy. […] The idea of serendipity has been influential not only in practice, but also in theory. Much of the economic work on the governance of research starts from the notion that basic research has economically valuable but unanticipated outcomes. Economic historians, most notably Nathan Rosenberg, have emphasized the uncertain nature of new innovations, and that many technologies (for example, the laser) have had important, but unanticipated, uses and markets. Like Vannevar Bush, prominent economists studying science policy have argued that research cannot and should not be targeted at specific goals but instead guided by the best scientific opportunities, as have influential philosophers of science. […] [T]here is surprisingly little large-sample evidence on the magnitude of serendipity. This has contributed to perennial debate about the benefits of untargeted or fundamental research, relative to those from basic (or applied) research targeted at specific goals. […] [C]laims about serendipity have been important for diffusing calls (from Congress and taxpayers) to shift funding from fundamental research to that targeted at specific outcomes. […] I provide evidence on the serendipity hypothesis as it has typically been articulated in the context of NIH research: that progress against specific diseases often results from unplanned research, or unexpectedly from research oriented towards different diseases. […] If the magnitudes of serendipity reported here are real, this would pose real challenges for medical research funding. If disease is not the right organizing category for NIH research, then what might be? Is it possible to mobilize taxpayer and interest group support for science that cuts across dis- eases, or is the attachment of disease categories, however fictitious, required? Even more fundamentally, serendipity makes it hard to fine tune policy to stimulate research areas that taxpayers care about (or even limit the growth of areas where there is too much innovation), and assess whether a funding agency is allocating its funds reasonably given what its patrons desire. [Bhaven N. Sampat/SSRN]

While studying bone cells in a rabbit femur using a titanium chamber, Brånemark was unable to remove it from bone. His realization that bone would adhere to titanium led to the concept of osseointegration and the development of modern dental implants. [Wikipedia]

The asteroid landed in the ocean and would have caused megatsunamis, for which evidence has been found in several locations in the Caribbean and eastern United States—marine sand in locations that were then inland, and vegetation debris and terrestrial rocks in marine sediments dated to the time of the impact. […] The asteroid landed in a bed of gypsum (calcium sulfate), which would have produced a vast sulfur dioxide aerosol. This would have further reduced the sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface and then precipitated as acid rain, killing vegetation, plankton, and organisms that build shells from calcium carbonate (coccolithophores and molluscs). […] The impact may also have produced acid rain, depending on what type of rock the asteroid struck. However, recent research suggests this effect was relatively minor, lasting for approximately 12 years. […] Such an impact would have inhibited photosynthesis by creating a dust cloud that blocked sunlight for up to a year, and by injecting sulfuric acid aerosols into the stratosphere, which might have reduced sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface by 10–20%. It has been argued that it would take at least ten years for such aerosols to dissipate, which would account for the extinction of plants and phytoplankton, and of organisms dependent on them (including predatory animals as well as herbivores). […] The event appears to have hit all continents at the same time. […] The event eliminated a vast number of species. Based on marine fossils, it is estimated that 75% or more of all species were wiped out by the K–Pg extinction. In terrestrial ecosystems all animals weighing more than a kilo disappeared. The most well-known victims are the non-avian dinosaurs. […] The fact that the extinctions occur at the same time as the Chicxulub asteroid impact strongly supports the impact hypothesis of extinction. […] The Chicxulub crater is more than 180 kilometres (110 mi) in diameter and 20 km (12 mi) in depth, making the feature one of the largest confirmed impact structures on Earth; the impacting bolide that formed the crater was at least 10 km (6 mi) in diameter. […] Researchers dated rock and ash samples from the impact to roughly 66 million years ago. […] Some scientists maintain the extinction was caused or exacerbated by other factors, such as volcanic eruptions, climate change, or sea level change, separately or together. [The Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event | Chicxulub crater]

Plants survive better through mass extinctions than animals

Rising Sea Levels Are Already Making Miami’s Floods Worse

US airplane accidents between 1983 and 2000: More than 95 percent of airplane occupants survived. [PDF | Thanks Nathan]

12 ways researchers think human civilisation is most likely to end

No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning

Hilbert managed to build a hotel with an infinite number of rooms, all of which are occupied. Suppose a new guest arrives and wishes to be accommodated in the hotel. Because the hotel has an infinite number of, we can move any guest occupying any room n to room n+1 (the occupant of room 1 moves to room 2, room 2 to room 3, and so on), then fit the newcomer into room 1. Now suppose an infinite number of new guests arrives: just move any occupant of room n to room 2n (room 1 to room 2, room 2 to room 4, room 3 to room 6, and so on), and all the odd-numbered rooms (which are countably infinite) will be free for the new guests. [Wikipedia]

Psychological Language on Twitter Predicts County-Level Heart Disease Mortality

New mathematical theory may explain patterns in fingerprints, raisins, and microlenses

Scientists create contact lens that magnifies at blink of an eye

Researchers have found a way to store information in the form of DNA, presumably preserving it for nearly an eternity.

Japan Has More Car Chargers Than Gas Stations

We explore how product images and color in business plans influence venture investment screening decisions. Because images are accessible, memorable, and influential, we argue that product images in a business plan will increase the likelihood of favorable judgments during screening decisions. Moreover, because red and blue automatically affect an individual’s cognition in different manners such that red elicits negative associations and blue elicits positive ones from the evaluators, we predict that the use of red in a business plan will decrease the favorability of judgments during screening decisions, while the use of blue will increase their favorability. [Journal of Business Venturing]

Why Do Inventors Sell to Patent Trolls?

The Business of Fake Diplomas

‘Haunted’ laptop exposed to graveyard overnight gets eBay bids of over $3000. Texas seller claims his MacBook levitates and uses pen and paper to write notes after it was left at a graveyard next to an abandoned mental hospital all night.

You can now bet on shark racing in Florida

Greek Judges Judge Judges’ Pensions Cuts Unconstitutional

The four male crew members (models provided to Abercrombie) had to wear jeans, boxers, polo shirts, and flip-flops. The manual specified the seating arrangements for Jeffries’s three dogs, the length of the spoon Smith required for his tea, and the proper way to respond to requests (“No problem”). Behind the decline of Abercrombie & Fitch and the fall of its mastermind, Michael Jeffries

Would you like to understand how the “new” Harper Lee novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” came to be billed as a long-lost, blockbuster sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird” — one of the definitive books of the American 20th century — when, by all the known facts, it’s an uneven first draft of the famous novel that was never considered for publication?

Bloomberg News headlines, as we’ve observed in the past, often sound like they’ve been written by someone with a bizarre journalistic strain of aphasia.

Colombian teacher who likes to wear Nazi-themed bondage outfits changes her name to Abcdefg Hijklmn Opqrst Uvwxyz


Dude Builds Tinder Bot to Automate Swipes Based on Facial Recognition [Thanks Tim]

timder brooklyn [Thanks Tim]