Homicidal sleepwalking, also known as homicidal somnambulism, is the act of killing someone during an episode of sleepwalking. [Wikipedia]
Six studies demonstrate the “pot calling the kettle black” phenomenon whereby people are guilty of the very fault they identify in others. Our findings indicate that to reduce ethical dissonance, individuals use a double-distancing mechanism. Using an overcompensating ethical code, they judge others more harshly and present themselves as more virtuous and ethical. [Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | PDF]
I have heard that higher IQ people tend to have less children in modern times than lower IQ people. And if larger family size makes the offspring less capable, than we are pioneering interesting times. [comment on Marginal Revolution]
Recent astronomical observations can not reject theism, but data are slightly in favor of atheism. [Daniel Schoch, Gods as Topological Invariants | arXiv]
This experiment is designed to test the efficiency of the intuition, that is, the capacity to acquire information that does not require conscious control and intentional mental activity of the person. It investigates the prediction accuracy of anticipatory pupil dilation responses in humans prior to the random presentation of alerting or neutral sounds. The pupil dilation of both males and females predicted alerting sounds approximately 10% more accurately than would be expected by chance, whereas neutral sounds were predicted at the chance level. [SSRN]
In one high profile case, TerrorZone gang members used ticket machines at train stations to launder dye-stained banknotes obtained through cash-in-transit robberies. They purchased cheap fares, paid with high denomination stolen cash, and pocketed the “clean change.” In another example, gang members bought their own music on iTunes and Amazon websites using stolen credit cards in order to profit from the royalties. [Crime and Delinquency | PDF | via MindHacks]
There is no shortage of advice on how to recover from a bad break-up: keep busy, don’t contact your ex, go out with friends… But according to a new study, something important is missing from this list. [Psych Your Mind]
This one particular boy’s goal was to be able to press his lips to every square inch of his own body. [David Foster Wallace]
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” was a phrase made popular by Carl Sagan who reworded Laplace’s principle, which says that “the weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.” This statement is at the heart of the scientific method, and a model for critical thinking, rational thought and skepticism everywhere. However, no quantitative standards have been agreed upon in order to define whether or not extraordinary evidence has been obtained. Consequently, the measures of “extraordinary evidence” are completely reliant on subjective evaluation and the acceptance of “extraordinary claims.” In science, the definition of extraordinary evidence is more a social agreement than an objective evaluation, even if most scientists would state the contrary. [SSRN]
To be honest, if it weren’t for the steady stream of sake and peer pressure from people we understand to be our friends, we probably would not have ordered the cod sperm sacs (tara shirako ponzu) from the specials menu at Hanako on a recent night. [BK | via Tim]
She arrived at the surgery center at 8 a.m., left at 12:30 p.m., and the bill came to $37,000, not counting doctor fees. [LA Times]
New research found a dramatic rise of skin cancer among people under 40, especially women. The researchers speculate that the use of indoor tanning beds is a key culprit.
Life expectancy in China is increasing but the number of young adults is plummeting due to strict birth control policies. China faces ‘timebomb’ of ageing population.
“I keep the negative side on a playful level, in my own way. And I don’t just want to show something, positive or negative. I try to create an image.” [Interview with photographer Dirk Braeckman | ASX]
Multiple viral diseases are spread through vectors, like ticks and mosquitoes, that result in massive health care issues and epidemics worldwide – my question has always been, if the vectors are infected with the virus, are they getting a disease? And, what is in it for the organism? Or, what is driving the vector to spread the viral infection? [Smaller Questions]
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have recently shown that people who experience math anxiety may have brains that are wired a little differently from those who don’t, and this difference in brain activity may be what’s making people sweat over equations. [APS]
Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, both scholars at the MIT, argue that, for the first time in its history, technological progress is creating more jobs for computers than for people. [Spiegel]
Computer scientists have analyzed thousands of memorable movie quotes to work out why we remember certain phrases and not others. [The Physics arXiv Blog]
He says that left-handers’ brains are structured differently in a way that increases their range of abilities, and the genes that determine left-handedness also govern development of the language centers of the brain. Among college-educated people, left-handers earned 10 to 15 % more than their right-handed counterparts. [Wikipedia]
We all know the story: Every few years, millions of lemmings, driven by a deep-seated urge, run and leap off a cliff only to be dashed on the rocks below and eventually drowned in the raging sea. It is a lie. [The Scorpion and the frog]
New findings at the Wonderwerk Cave, in South Africa, suggest that early humans started using fire 1 million years ago, approximately 300,000 years earlier than previously thought. [United Academics]
Whereas Andromeda is a pretty well-adjusted spiral, the Milky Way is an oddball – dimmer and quieter than all but a few per cent of its peers. That is probably because typical spirals such as Andromeda are transformed by collisions with other galaxies over their lifetimes. … The Milky Way must have lived relatively undisturbed. … Perhaps that is why we are here to note the difference. More disturbed spirals would have suffered more supernova explosions and other upheavals, possibly making the Milky Way’s rare serenity especially hospitable for complex life. [NewScientist | via Overcoming Bias]
Only 500 people have been to space, only three people have been to the bottom of the ocean, but no one has ever attempted to journey to the core of an active volcano. Virgin is proud to announce a revolutionary new vehicle, VVS1, which will be capable of plunging three people into the molten lava core of an active volcano. [Virgin]
In December 2004, scientists at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in Pasadena, Calif., estimated there was a nearly 3 percent chance that a 30-billion-kilogram rock called 99942 Apophis would slam into Earth in 2029, releasing the energy equivalent of 500 million tons of TNT. … We considered several strategies. … Just load up the rocket with a bunch of thermonuclear bombs, aim carefully, and light the fuse when the spacecraft approaches the target. What could be simpler? The blast would blow off enough material to alter the trajectory of the body, nudging it into an orbit that wouldn’t intersect Earth. [IEEE Spectrum]
Imagine that you have a big box of sand in which you bury a tiny model of a footstool. A few seconds later, you reach into the box and pull out a full-size footstool: The sand has assembled itself into a large-scale replica of the model. At the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in May — the world’s premier robotics conference — DRL researchers will present a paper describing algorithms that could enable such “smart sand.” [MIT News]
It’s no surprise then that the Great Firewall of China, as it is called, actively blocks access to the Tor network. So an interesting question is how this censorship works and how it might be circumvented. [The Physics arXiv Blog]
Anonymous has hacked hundreds of Chinese government websites. [ZDNet]
Sometime last year computers at the U.S. Social Security Administration were hacked and the identities of millions of Americans were compromised. What, you didn’t hear about that? Nobody did. [Robert X. Cringely]
Jay-Z, Ed Ruscha and Marilyn Minter to Design Water Tanks in New York. Previously in let’s deface NY: Jeff Koons is in talks with Friends of the High Line.
The CIA used American modern art – including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko – as a weapon in the Cold War. [Independent]
After my hopes of having sex with my lesbian friends were dashed, there was a lot of talk about how exactly I would catch and transport my sperm to them for insemination. [Davis Williams/Hippocampus Magazine]
After 5pm, said CEO would walk around the office rambling about “big ideas” while smoking a fat joint laced with cocaine and who knows what else. (He’s been dead for five years). Often accompanying him on the tours was his best friend, a boxer/mob hitman with hair plugs, who casually told us about his kills. [Copyranter/Buzzfeed]
“The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.” “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” There’s just one problem with both these quotations: No one can point to a primary source proving that Keynes ever uttered them.