The sex act called fisting is a source of confusion and misconceptions for many Christians. This is unfortunate, because it means that many Christian men and women are depriving themselves of what could be the most spiritual sexual experience of their lives. Like anal sex and BDSM, fisting is often mistakenly associated with the gay community or is considered a sex act too extreme to be appropriate for Christian couples. Not only are these views incorrect, but fisting actually has a scriptural precedent, as we will show. [Sex in Christ]
A deeply religious pizza parlor worker is suing the archdiocese that presides over the Church of St. Patrick in Newburgh, because he says this 600-pound crucifix fell on him, crushing one of his legs, which had to be amputated. The man believed his devotion to a crucifix was responsible for his wife being cured of cancer. [CBS]
New research shows a simple reason why even the most intelligent, complex brains can be taken by a swindler’s story – one that upon a second look offers clues it was false. […] The study shows for the first time that we have a built-in neural constraint on our ability to be both empathetic and analytic at the same time. [EurekAlert]
The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace. [Atlantic]
Singapore plans to restrict advertising for “unhealthy” food and drink aimed at children, as countries across Asia grow increasingly concerned about obesity rates. […] About 11 per cent of adults in the island nation of 5.3m are considered obese, compared with an OECD average of 17 per cent and a US figure of more than 35 per cent. […] The government has been working with food stall owners to cut the amount of oil and salt used in cooking and persuade them to use brown rice, considered healthier than polished white rice. It has also introduced a system of early morning “mall walks” designed to encourage shoppers in Singapore’s numerous malls to exercise before stores open. [FT]
Your personality is revealed in the way you speak, according to new research. Introverts tend to use more concrete words and are more precise, in contrast to extraverts, whose words are more abstract and vague.
Humans specifically seek out the eyes of others, rather than just the middle of their faces, according to a new study proposed by an 11-year-old boy that uses characters from video game Dungeons and Dragons. [Cosmos]
Our brains are so adept at detecting faces that we often see them in random patterns, such as clouds or the gnarled bark of a tree. Occasionally one of these illusory faces comes along that resembles a celebrity and the story ends up in the news - like when Michael Jackson’s face appeared on the surface of a piece of toast. A new study asks whether some people are more prone than others to perceiving these illusory faces. […] The key finding is that people who scored high in paranormal belief or religiosity were more likely to see face-like areas in the pictures compared with the sceptics and atheists. [BPS]
Contemplating death doesn’t necessarily lead to morose despondency, fear, aggression or other negative behaviors, as previous research has suggested. [Improbable Research]
This study offers the first combined quantitative assessment of suicide terrorists and rampage, workplace, and school shooters who attempt suicide, to investigate where there are statistically significant differences and where they appear almost identical. Suicide terrorists have usually been assumed to be fundamentally different from rampage, workplace, and school shooters. Many scholars have claimed that suicide terrorists are motivated purely by ideology, not personal problems, and that they are not even suicidal. This study’s focus was on attacks and attackers in the United States from 1990 to 2010 and concluded that the differences between these offenders were largely superficial. Prior to their attacks, they struggled with many of the same personal problems, including social marginalization, family problems, work or school problems, and precipitating crisis events. [Homicide Studies/SAGE]
Which personality traits are associated with physical attractiveness? Recent findings suggest that people high in some dark personality traits, such as narcissism and psychopathy, can be physically attractive. But what makes them attractive? Studies have confounded the more enduring qualities that impact attractiveness (i.e., unadorned attractiveness) and the effects of easily manipulated qualities such as clothing (i.e., effective adornment). In this multimethod study, we disentangle these components of attractiveness, collect self-reports and peer reports of eight major personality traits, and reveal the personality profile of people who adorn themselves effectively. Consistent with findings that dark personalities actively create positive first impressions, we found that the composite of the Dark Triad—Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy—correlates with effective adornment. This effect was also evident for psychopathy measured alone. This study provides the first experimental evidence that dark personalities construct appearances that act as social lures—possibly facilitating their cunning social strategies. [ Social Psychological and Personality Science /SAGE]
When a person moves their head while undergoing fMRI, it looks like the neural activity observed in autism. According to a piece in Nature today, a major line of research about autism might be seriously flawed.
U.S. cellphone carriers took a major step on Wednesday toward curbing the rising number of smartphone thefts with the introduction of databases that will block stolen phones from being used on domestic networks. [Network World]
Lean allegedly came from the Japanese manufacturing model in the 1980s and 90s, yet its governing principles, the ‘Five Ss’, are explained in Frederick Taylor’s 1911 book The Principles of Scientific Management in beautiful detail: Sort – you look at a workspace and you see what is needed for the job; everything else, pictures, food, drinks, anything apparently superfluous, you take out. Then you Set in order, so for example if somebody is right-handed you’d make sure you they were sitting in a right-handed workspace. Then Shine – you take everything off and clean – or shine – the workspace, so that managers can see that you’re doing your job and nothing else. Then you Standardize, so that if you’re in Leicester or Lima it’s the same recognizable corporate space. Then Sustain, always said to be the hardest one – keep it going. Of course Sustain is difficult if you go into a workspace and mess around with it in this way, you generate the Hawthorne effect – a quick peak of interest and then a trough of disappointment, so Sustain is hard. But the psychologically interesting thing is that people still think, ‘It must work.’ We don’t understand psychologically why putting someone in an impoverished space should work, when it doesn’t work for any other animal on the planet. Put an ant in a lean jam jar or a gorilla in a lean cage and they’re really miserable, so why should it work for people? So we started to experiment. […] Every time we’ve experimented, we’ve found well-being and productivity have been inextricably linked. Over eight years, lean has always, without exception, been the worst condition you can put anyone into. [Craig Knight/The Psychologist]