Triple-Decker Weekly, 75

photo by Thomas Prior

A day on the planet Venus is longer than a year on the planet Venus.

It has been conjectured that individuals may be left-brain dominant or right-brain dominant based on personality and cognitive style, but neuroimaging data has not provided clear evidence whether such phenotypic differences in the strength of left-dominant or right-dominant networks exist. [Thoughts on Thoughts]

New surgery trend creates perma-smiles for South Korean women

Woman arrested after restaurant guests covered in soy sauce.

Singapore is inequality on steroids, as you might expect from a high human capital, high information tech, growing financial center. Seventeen percent of the population are millionaires, and that is not counting real estate wealth, which is substantial. The H&M in the shopping district is closing, because the rent was doubled and it is being replaced by luxury retailers. [Marginal Revolution | Part 2]

Kim Jong-un’s ex-girlfriend ‘executed by firing squad for appearing in porn films.’

Former Disney exec’s reputation destroyed after porn-star scandal.

Boulder resident beats raccoon to death as ‘revenge’ for cat’s death.

Researchers Grow 3-D Human Brain Tissues.

Single gene change increases mouse lifespan by 20 percent.

Shaking hands with a cheat or thief, or merely sitting in a chair they used, is likely to make you experience feelings of guilt, according to a new study.

It has been long known that some people have severe difficulties recognising faces – something called prosopagnosia and sometimes inaccurately labelled ‘face blindness’. But more recently, it was discovered that a tiny minority of people are ‘super recognisers.’

Alcohol breaks brain connections needed to process social cues.

Why do we cry when we’re happy? […] [The] almond-sized hypothalamus can’t tell the difference between being happy or sad or overwhelmed or stressed. […] All it knows is that it’s getting a strong neural signal from the amygdala, which registers our emotional reactions, and that it must, in turn, activate the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system (the “involuntary” nervous system) is divided into two branches: sympathetic (“fight-or-flight”) and parasympathetic (“rest-and-digest”). Acting via the hypothalamus, the sympathetic nervous system is designed to mobilize the body during times of stress. It’s why our heart rate quickens, why we sweat, why we don’t feel hungry. The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, essentially calms us back down. The parasympathetic nervous system does something funny, too. Connected to our lacrimal glands (better known as tear ducts), activation of parasympathetic receptors by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine results in tear production. […] I distinctly remember the feelings of sudden, intense relief. Of happiness. Of weightlessness. Of my heart rate slowing and my parasympathetic nervous system taking over. And, apparently, of acetylcholine synapsing onto lacrimal gland receptors, and of tears pouring down my make-up’d cheeks. But from a psychological standpoint—beyond the neurotransmitters and stress and hormones—why do we cry at all? A decade-old theory by Miceli and Castelfranchi proposes that all emotional crying arises from the notion of perceived helplessness, or the idea that one feels powerless when one can’t influence what is going on around them. [Gaines, on Brains]

How Short-Term Stress Boosts Immune Systems.

Learning a new language alters brain development.

In a technical tour de force, Japanese researchers created eggs and sperm in the laboratory. Now, scientists have to determine how to use those cells safely — and ethically.

Here’s Why Mosquitoes Can’t Transmit HIV.

New research demonstrates that triggering an out-of-body experience (OBE) could be as simple as getting a person to watch a video of themselves with their heartbeat projected onto it.

How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists.

While some researchers have claimed that war between nations is in decline, a new analysis suggests it is not.

5 reasons you should be reading the CIA’s online magazine.

The decline of serial killers and rise of the sharing economy.

Impostor uses Facebook and a co-opted photo to befriend California kids.

Some financial lending companies have found that social connections can be a good indicator of a person’s creditworthiness. One such company, Lenddo, determines if you’re friends on Facebook with someone who was late paying back a loan to Lenddo. If so, that’s bad news for you.

What happened to India’s economic miracle?

Here’s what’s in store for India if the rupee continues to crumble.

A scam ad is the industry term for an ad made simply for the purpose of entering it into advertising award shows. It’s made for a client without the client’s consent, and sometimes, the agency or creatives don’t even have that client on their roster.

Bloomberg surpasses Reuters in web traffic for July.

Google patents ‘Scroogling.’

In the two years since Atos Origin, the IT consultancy, declared its intention to become a “zero email” company, other companies introducing restrictions include Volkswagen, which has stopped its servers forwarding email to employees’ BlackBerrys outside working hours, and Ferrari, which clamped down on email, arguing that it is often inefficient. It is not just email. Constant text messaging, Tweeting, checking of social networks can now be seen as a disorder. Last year, “internet addiction” was added to the DSM, the international psychiatric diagnostic manual. Concerned executives from Microsoft, Google, Xerox and Intel got together with academics and consultants some years ago to form the Information Overload Research Group to try to find solutions to the electronic deluge. Basex, the research group, estimated that information overload caused economic losses of $900bn in 2009 alone. [FT]

Skype confirms 3D video calls are under development.

The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam has developed high-quality 3D reproductions of some of its finest paintings, with what it describes as the most advanced copying technique ever seen.

We discuss the idea of building a 2 km high mountain in the Netherlands.

Does Low-Fat Yogurt Make You Fat?

Siri: The Horror Movie.

Rain Room.

Inside the hospital-themed restaurant where meals are eaten in a stylised operating theatre, on a dentist’s chair or in a gynaecologist’s exam room.

This is what’s called a Tetris “line race” (also known as a “sprint”), in this case an attempt to clear 40 lines in the minimum possible time.

Strongest hands in the world.

Strawberry cake.