Males were perceived as being more likely to be creepy than females. Only four occupations were judged to be significantly higher than the neutral value of “3” on the creepiness rating scale: Clowns, Taxidermists, Sex Shop Owners, and Funeral Directors. [On the nature of creepiness | PDF]
Strange-face illusions are produced when two individuals gaze at each other in the eyes in low illumination for more than a few minutes. Usually, the members of the dyad perceive numinous apparitions, like the other’s face deformations and perception of a stranger or a monster in place of the other, and feel a short lasting dissociation. […] Strange-face illusions can be considered as ‘projections’ of the subject’s unconscious into the other’s face. In conclusion, intersubjective gazing at low illumination can be a tool for conscious integration of unconscious ’shadows of the Self’ in order to reach completeness of the Self. [Explore | Continue reading]
If you want a baroque and high-tech method of bitcoin storage here is ConnectX, “a private network of small satellites that stores digital currency wallets and performs financial transactions ‘off-planet’ eliminating the use of the Internet.”
ML is short for machine learning, referring to computer algorithms that can learn to perform particular tasks on their own by analyzing data. AutoML, in turn, is a machine-learning algorithm that learns to build other machine-learning algorithms. With it, Google may soon find a way to create A.I. technology that can partly take the humans out of building the A.I. systems that many believe are the future of the technology industry. […] The tech industry is promising everything from smartphone apps that can recognize faces to cars that can drive on their own. But by some estimates, only 10,000 people worldwide have the education, experience and talent needed to build the complex and sometimes mysterious mathematical algorithms that will drive this new breed of artificial intelligence. The world’s largest tech businesses, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft, sometimes pay millions of dollars a year to A.I. experts, effectively cornering the market for this hard-to-find talent. The shortage isn’t going away anytime soon, just because mastering these skills takes years of work. […] Eventually, the Google project will help companies build systems with artificial intelligence even if they don’t have extensive expertise. [NY Times]
How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met (A man who years ago donated sperm to a couple, secretly, so they could have a child—only to have Facebook recommend the child as a person he should know.)
Earlier this fall, Amazon announced it would build a second headquarters (known as HQ2) and asked cities to submit requests for proposal. It had received 238 proposals. Massachusetts offered a $500 million package that included 100 percent property tax exemptions for the headquarters’ employees. Philadelphia’s price tag was $2 billion. Newark, New Jersey upped the ante to $7 billion in tax benefits…
The neural underpinnings of the decoy effect — a marketing strategy in which one of three presented options is unlikely to be chosen but may influence how an individual decides between the other two options
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first digital pill for the US which tracks if patients have taken their medication. The pill called Abilify MyCite, is fitted with a tiny ingestible sensor that communicates with a patch worn by the patient — the patch then transmits medication data to a smartphone app which the patient can voluntarily upload to a database for their doctor and other authorized persons to see. Abilify is a drug that treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and is an add-on treatment for depression. [The Verge]
New Zealand’s War on Rats Could Change the World The nation wants to eradicate all invasive mammal predators by 2050. Gene-editing technology could help—or it could trigger an ecological disaster of global proportions.
Probabilistic genotyping uses complex mathematical formulas to examine the statistical likelihood that a certain genotype comes from one individual over another. The Impenetrable Program Transforming How Courts Treat DNA Evidence
“People who serve on juries don’t have more sympathy or give a lighter sentence based on claims of bad genetics. And sometimes, introducing genetic evidence can even make things worse for a defendant.”
When your attention shifts from one place to another, your brain blinks. The blinks are momentary unconscious gaps in visual perception and came as a surprise to the team of Vanderbilt psychologists who discovered the phenomenon while studying the benefits of attention.
Participants who had been breastfed scored lower in neuroticism, anxiety, and hostility and higher in openness and optimism than those not breastfed. Neuroticism was lowest for those breastfed for 9-12 months and highest for those either breastfed for >24 months or exclusively bottle-fed.
Wise and her colleagues recruited 10 heterosexual women to lay in a fMRI scanner and stimulate themselves to orgasm. They then repeated the experiment but had their partners stimulate them.
Wanting to know more about threesomes, he decided to conduct research on the subject himself. This led to a PhD about threesomes among two men and one woman (MMF).
Drug-Associated Spontaneous Orgasm (Spontaneous orgasm is characterized by a spontaneous onset of orgasm without any preceding sexual or nonsexual trigger)
A certain number of single-vehicle crashes into stationary roadside objects such as trees are thought to be occult suicides. More: Complex suicide is usually defined as the application of more than one killing mechanism to ensure a fatal outcome.
The common assumption that population sleep duration has declined in the past few decades has not been supported by recent reviews, which have been limited to self-reported data. The aim of this review was to assess whether there has been a reduction in objectively recorded sleep duration over the last 50+ years. […] The results indicate relative stability of objectively-recorded sleep durations in healthy sleepers assessed over the last half-century. Similar results were found across all age groups, in both men and women. […] These data are consistent with recent comprehensive reviews that found no consistent or compelling evidence of significant decrements in self-reported sleep duration and/or prevalence of short sleep over a similar range of years. Together, these data cast doubt on the notion of a modern epidemic of insufficient sleep. […] The cliche of an ever-expanding 24/7 society is not well-supported by empirical evidence, at least not over the past 50 y. For example, evidence suggests that the prevalence of shift-work has remained stable at about 15-20% over this interval of years. Such data might seem counterintuitive in light of the increased number of 24-h services and businesses. However, while many of these businesses (e.g., restaurants and convenience stores) can operate all-night with just a few employees, over the past half-century there has been a dramatic shutdown of factories which once employed thousands of shift-workers. Moreover, over the past 10-20 y, protective regulations and practices which limit shift-work and sleep deprivation and/or better accommodate individual’s preferences (e.g., flex time and telecommuting), have been implemented for various occupations, including medical residents, truck drivers, and transportation workers. It is a widely repeated hyperbole that never before in human history have we faced such challenges to our sleep. It has been hypothesized that industrialization, urbanization, and technological advances have caused us to ignore or override our natural tendency to sleep more, and we do so at great costs to our health and quality of life. […] The light bulb has been blamed for sleep loss. However, recent anthropologic studies of people in societies with little or no electricity have failed to indicate that these people sleep more than people in industrialized societies. […] The notion of a recent epidemic of insufficient sleep, and speculation that this is a primary contributor to modern epidemics of obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc., rests largely on the question of whether sleep duration has declined in the last few decades. Consistent with recent reviews of subjective data, this review does not support this notion, at least not in healthy sleepers. […] Reasons for persistent assumptions about a temporal decline in societal sleep duration could include a larger number of people assessed and diagnosed with sleep disorders with the emergence of sleep medicine; greater knowledge about sleep and the risks of inadequate sleep; increased prevalence of depression; misperceptions about population norms; and persistent claims in the popular and scientific literature regarding a so-called modern epidemic of insufficient sleep. [Sleep Medicine Reviews | PDF]
Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes (three to four cups a day provide largest risk reduction for various health outcomes)
Dark-matter hunt fails to find the elusive particles. Physicists begin to embrace alternative explanations for the missing material.
Graphic designer Ivan Chermayeff passes away at 85. His firm Chermayeff & Geismar designed logos for Pan Am, Mobile Oil, Chase Bank, Xerox, NBC, Showtime, The Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic…
When Rome conquered Greece, they replaced their own dull pantheon with renamed versions of Zeus, Athena, and the others. But not all Roman gods were Greek copies — here are a few of the more important ones.
Da Vinci is probably the only artist in history ever to dissect with his own hands the face of a human and that of a horse to see whether the muscles that move the lips are the same ones that can raise the nostrils of the horse’s nose More: Mona Lisa (Prado’s version), possibly painted simultaneously by a student of da Vinci in the same studio where he painted his own Mona Lisa
I know of an art historian who was asked to authenticate a work by Leonardo, and he was going to, you know, charge the normal kind of fee charged for doing this kind of thing — a low six figures. And the owner said, “No, no, no. We want to pay you a percentage of what it sells for.” Now, what is the chance that any art historian given that particular contract is gonna say, “Oh no, it’s not by a famous artist. It’s by Joe Blow and it will sell for a thousand bucks”? [Blake Gopnik | more]
Recognizing the popularity of John Waters films and the absence of merchandise for them, Curator Tyson Tabbert assembled a crew of designers to produce limited editions of such virtual merchandise.
“This page has intentionally been left blank.” Intentionally blank pages have been around, in abundance, since at least the 18th century