If I could give one piece of advice as a relationships researcher, it would be this: Relationships take work. […] People who held high destiny beliefs were more likely to disengage from their relationships when they experienced relationship stressors and problems, perhaps because they take these as a sign that the relationship is not meant to be. [Psych Your Mind]
In August 2009, scientists in Israel raised serious doubts concerning the use of DNA by law enforcement as the ultimate method of identification. In a paper published in the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics, the Israeli researchers demonstrated that it is possible to manufacture DNA in a laboratory, thus falsifying DNA evidence. The scientists fabricated saliva and blood samples, which originally contained DNA from a person other than the supposed donor of the blood and saliva. The researchers also showed that, using a DNA database, it is possible to take information from a profile and manufacture DNA to match it, and that this can be done without access to any actual DNA from the person whose DNA they are duplicating. The synthetic DNA oligos required for the procedure are common in molecular laboratories. The New York Times quoted the lead author on the paper, Dr. Daniel Frumkin, saying, “You can just engineer a crime scene… any biology undergraduate could perform this.” Dr. Frumkin perfected a test that can differentiate real DNA samples from fake ones. His test detects epigenetic modifications, in particular, DNA methylation. Seventy percent of the DNA in any human genome is methylated, meaning it contains methyl group modifications within a CpG dinucleotide context. Methylation at the promoter region is associated with gene silencing. The synthetic DNA lacks this epigenetic modification, which allows the test to distinguish manufactured DNA from original, genuine, DNA. It is unknown how many police departments, if any, currently use the test. No police lab has publicly announced that it is using the new test to verify DNA results. [Wikipedia]
Human breast milk has become a new luxury for China’s rich, with some firms offering wet-nurse services. “Adult [clients] can drink it directly through breastfeeding, or they can always drink it from a breast pump if they feel embarrassed.”
Any pet owner or custodian who allows a dog to bark continuously or for an extended period of time in a manner that annoys the neighbors and disturbs the peace and tranquillity of the neighborhood may be guilty of allowing a public nuisance and punishable by a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1000 and/or six months in jail. [LA County]
“You know in a mental institution they sometimes give a person some clay or some basket weaving?” he said. “It’s the therapy of moviemaking that has been good in my life. If you don’t work, it’s unhealthy—for me, particularly unhealthy. I could sit here suffering from morbid introspection, ruing my mortality, being anxious. But it’s very therapeutic to get up and think, Can I get this actor; does my third act work? All these solvable problems that are delightful puzzles, as opposed to the great puzzles of life that are unsolvable, or that have very bad solutions. So I get pleasure from doing this. It’s my version of basket weaving.” [Woody Allen/WSJ]
Just seeing a list of negative words for a few seconds will make a highly anxious or depressed person feel worse, and the more you ruminate on them, the more you can actually damage key structures that regulate your memory, feelings, and emotions. You’ll disrupt your sleep, your appetite, and your ability to experience long-term happiness and satisfaction. If you vocalize your negativity, or even slightly frown when you say “no,” more stress chemicals will be released, not only in your brain, but in the listener’s brain as well. The listener will experience increased anxiety and irritability, thus undermining cooperation and trust. In fact, just hanging around negative people will make you more prejudiced toward others. […] Negative thinking is also self perpetuating, and the more you engage in negative dialogue—at home or at work—the more difficult it becomes to stop. [Psychology Today]
I hate you, Gavril Ardalionovitch, simply because—this will perhaps seem marvellous to you – simply because you are the type, the incarnation, the acme of the most insolent and self-satisfied, the most vulgar and loathsome commonplace. Yours is the commonplace of pomposity, of self-satisfaction and Olympian serenity. You are the most ordinary of the ordinary! Not the smallest idea of your own will ever take shape in your heart or your mind. But you are infinitely envious; you are firmly persuaded that you are a great genius; but yet doubt does visit you sometimes at black moments, and you grow spiteful and envious. Oh, there are still black spots on your horizon; they will pass when you become quite stupid, and that’s not far off; but a long and chequered path lies before you; I can’t call it a cheerful one and I’m glad of it.[Dostoyevsky, The Idiot, 1868-1869]
The process of mechanical acceleration began in the 19th century in conjunction with industrialization. In terms of the time it takes to travel across the world, for example, it has effectively shrunk the size of the world to one-sixtieth of its actual size. Today, mechanical acceleration affects the digital sector in particular. But paradoxically, it also goes hand in hand with an acceleration of the pace of life. Even though mechanical acceleration, by shortening the time it takes to complete tasks, was intended to create more available time for the individual, late modern society does not enjoy the luxury of more leisure time, Rosa writes. On the contrary, individuals suffer from a constant time shortage. The reason for this is our urge “to realize as many options as possible from the infinite palette of possibilities that life presents to us,” he says. Living life to the fullest has become the core objective of our time. At the same time, this hunger for new things can never be satisfied: “No matter how fast we become, the proportion of the experiences we have will continuously shrink in the face of those we missed.” As a result, more and more people suffer from depression and burnout, according to Rosa. [Der Spiegel | Continue reading | thanks Rob]
Scientists Find Link Between How Pathetic You Are, How Fast You Respond To Emails.
“I don’t have a cellphone or a Facebook account. I’ve never sent a text message. I don’t use Twitter,” he said. “I’m not a journalist. I’m not an academic. I’m not a professional writer. I’m not a professional editor. What I am is otherwise unemployed. Superfluous. That’s what I am.” It’s a résumé that would disqualify Summers from working at most magazines. But most magazines aren’t The Baffler, which could be described as the country’s foremost journal of superfluous opinion. [Columbia Journalism Review]
a sampling of a few popular drugs of the day: 2C-P, Bromo-Dragonfly, NBOMe Series, Benzo Fury, MDPV, 5-MeO-DMT.
Recently more human beings have been dying by suicide annually than by murder and warfare combined. Despite the progress made by science, medicine and mental-health care in the 20th century — the sequencing of our genome, the advent of antidepressants, the reconsidering of asylums and lobotomies — nothing has been able to drive down the suicide rate in the general population. […] Worldwide, roughly one million people kill themselves every year. Last year, more active-duty U.S. soldiers killed themselves than died in combat; their suicide rate has been rising since 2004. […] At first, the stress of combat seemed to be the obvious reason for the jump in military suicides — until researchers realized that the rate has also risen among soldiers who were never deployed. [NY Times]
A Japanese economist has studied the mathematics used by air companies to set the prices of flights. According to his research, eight weeks before departure is the ideal timing to buy a travel ticket.
Failure is inevitable. Disks fail. Software bugs lie dormant waiting for just the right conditions to bite. People make mistakes. Data centers are built on farms of unreliable commodity hardware. If you’re running in a cloud environment, then many of these factors are outside of your control. To compound the problem, failure is not predictable and doesn’t occur with uniform probability and frequency. The lack of a uniform frequency increases uncertainty and risk in the system. In the face of such inevitable and unpredictable failure, how can you build a reliable service that provides the high level of availability your users can depend on?