Triple-Decker Weekly, 86

Romanian Government Pays Subsidy of £400,000 For Farmville Farms.

The artist takes one canned good to multiple supermarkets and re-buys it. This single can of corn has been re-bought from 105 supermarkets for a total of $113.07.

The visual behavior of 320 elevator riders was observed by two experimenters. It was found that about half of all riders gave the confederate a brief visual notice at the beginning of the ride and then refrained from further eye contact.

Despite the research telling us people will like you more if you are warm and hire you more when you are competent–perhaps, it is more important that you are moral.

More young men in California rise in pitch at the end of their sentences when talking, new research shows. This process is known as “uptalk” or “valleygirl speak” and has in the past been associated with young females, typically from California or Australia. But now a team says that this way of speaking is becoming more frequent among men. [BBC]

The new-toilet system can capture feces and prevent odor dispersion by adhering tightly to buttocks. For attaching the device to buttocks, it is necessary to know the position of the anus. [Improbable]

Sharks prefer to sneak up from behind, study shows.

Being bored has just become a little more nuanced, with the addition of a fifth type of boredom by which to describe this emotion. […] The study builds on preliminary research done by Goetz and colleague Anne Frenzel in 2006 in which they differentiated between four types of boredom according to the levels of arousal (ranging from calm to fidgety) and how positive or negative boredom is experienced (so-called valence). These were indifferent boredom (relaxed, withdrawn, indifferent), calibrating boredom (uncertain, receptive to change/distraction), searching boredom (restless, active pursuit of change/distraction) and reactant boredom (high reactant, motivated to leave a situation for specific alternatives). The researchers have now identified another boredom subtype, namely apathetic boredom, an especially unpleasant form that resembles learned helplessness or depression. It is associated with low arousal levels and high levels of aversion. [Springer ]

Psychologists have shown humans are poor judges of their own abilities, from sense of humor to grammar. Why the stupid think they’re smart.

Our IQs are climbing, but we’re not getting smarter.

How to burst the “Filter Bubble” that protects us from opposing views.

Snails high on acid make poor choices, get eaten by predators.

AddictionBlog has an amazing article by a doctor and recovering morphine addict that describes the experience of injection, rush and withdrawal. […] Heroin, by the way, is just the prodrug of morphine. In other words, the heroin molecule just gets broken down into morphine in the body and this is how it arrives in the brain. But because each heroin molecule gets transformed into two morphine molecules (hence the medical name for heroin – diamorphine) the feeling can be a little different because increased concentration can apparently make the high more intense. [Mind Hacks]

Masturbation is good for your health.

UK National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles shows significant increases in the reported prevalence of anal sex, lesbian activity, and female intercourse before age 16.

A study finds men regret missing opportunities to have sex, while women feel remorse for having casual, meaningless sex.

Women’s expectations of the opposite sex are at least as unrealistic as men’s.

Researchers at the University of California Berkeley say that wives are the key player in toning down marital spats. And after a heated argument, she’s the one who needs to calm down to maintain peace.

Heavy Drinking Is Bad for Marriage if One Spouse Drinks, but Not Both.

After touching men’s underwear, women take bigger risks and seek more rewards.

The role of facial hair in women’s perceptions of men’s attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities. [Thanks Tim]

Sony issued patent for ‘SmartWig.’

The science of how we talk to ourselves in our heads.

I believe Google is making a huge mistake in completely banning facial recognition systems for its Glass product.

New algorithm finds you, even in untagged photos.

People often reveal their private emotions in tiny, fleeting facial expressions, visible only to a best friend — or to a skilled poker player. Now, computer software is using frame-by-frame video analysis to read subtle muscular changes that flash across our faces in milliseconds, signaling emotions like happiness, sadness and disgust. With face-reading software, a computer’s webcam might spot the confused expression of an online student and provide extra tutoring. Or computer-based games with built-in cameras could register how people are reacting to each move in the game and ramp up the pace if they seem bored. […] Companies in this field include Affectiva, based in Waltham, Mass., and Emotient, based in San Diego. Affectiva used webcams over two and a half years to accumulate and classify about 1.5 billion emotional reactions from people who gave permission to be recorded as they watched streaming video. […] So far, the company’s algorithms have been used mainly to monitor people’s expressions as a way to test ads, movie trailers and television shows in advance. […] Affectiva’s clients include Unilever, Mars and Coca-Cola. The advertising research agency Millward Brown says it has used Affectiva’s technology to test about 3,000 ads for clients. [NY Times]

Researchers say repeatedly exposing yourself to a negative event may prevent it from affecting you.

New research has shown that people who are not accustomed to holding power are more likely to be vengeful when placed in charge. Experienced power-holders, on the other hand, were found to be more tolerant of perceived wrongdoing.

Tickling yourself is impossible.

Your brain has 2 clocks.

During the past decade or two, there’s been a growing body of work arguing for a special connection between endogenous brain rhythms and timing patterns in speech.

To do everything that it needs to, the brain splits up the stream of visual information into a few different streams. One of these streams is linked to object recognition and representing abstract forms. For companies like Facebook or Google, copying this would be something of a holy grail.

DARPA wants to fix broken brains, restore lost memories.

Experiments showed that a traumatic event could affect the DNA in sperm and alter the brains and behavior of subsequent generations.

Insomnia drugs like Ambien are notorious for their side effects. Has Merck created a blockbuster replacement?

Smart glasses let nurses see veins through skin.

The GER mood-sweater, which uses Galvanic Skin Response, will automatically tell people how you are feeling.

Shapes of things to come: Exotic shapes for liquid drops have many possible uses.

Inventions to detect and prevent annoying phone calls, documents, or people.

Does parody trump copyright?

Photographer wins $1.2 million from companies that took pictures off Twitter.

Banksy’s reps told LAist that the prints are counterfeit reproductions and that they were “dealing” with Walmart about them. [Gawker] Everything at Walmart comes from China. Including their attitudes towards intellectual property rights. [OMG!PONIES!/Gawker]

A typical smartphone could be covered by as many as 250,000 patents. Google says patents are rubbish. Yet it’s accumulating more of them than ever.

Toyota is getting more serious about wireless charging for its electric cars .

3-D printing metal objects is now possible

3-D printing lithium-ion batteries.

If you use the surface as a table then your computer can bring you real objects such as your mobile phone.

With free air cooling and 100 percent renewable electricity, does it make sense to outsource our data to Iceland?

Amazon will need to answer questions about everything from privacy to physical safety if it wants its delivery-drone program to fly.

Australia and China are way ahead of Amazon in the commercial drone race.

Drone tries to sneak contraband into Georgia prison.

21.8% of all online Black Friday sales were made from mobile devices.

The number of homeless people in shelters and living on the streets in Massachusetts has risen 14 percent since 2010.

Multilevel study finds no link between minimum wage and crime rates.

A fake slum for luxury tourists who don’t want to see real poverty.

How can it be that great wealth is created on Wall Street with products like credit-default swaps that destroyed the wealth of ordinary Americans—and yet we count this activity as growth? Likewise, fortunes are made manufacturing food products that make Americans fatter, sicker, and shorter-lived. And yet we count this as growth too.

The Great Divergence of living standards between Europe and Asia had late medieval origins and was already well under way during the early modern period. […] The economic history literature suggests two important shocks coinciding with the turning points identified above around 1348 and 1500. 1) The Black Death – which began in western China before spreading to Europe and reaching England in 1348 – wiped out around one-third of Europe’s population within three years, and more than a half over the following century. 2) Around 1500, new trade routes were opened up between Europe and Asia around the south of Africa, and between Europe and the Americas. […] The Black Death of the mid-fourteenth century had quite different effects in different parts of Europe. The classic Malthusian response to such a mortality crisis is a rise in incomes for those lucky enough to survive because of an increase in the per capita endowment of land and capital for survivors. [Vox ]

A simple explanation of how money moves arounds the banking system.

Chat rooms have become integral tools of the modern trading floor. UBS has become the latest bank to bar multi-dealer chat rooms.

Researchers found 20 million fake Twitter accounts for sale. That would mean almost 9% of Twitter’s monthly active users are fake.

Stuxnet is not really one weapon, but two. It turns out that it was far more dangerous than the cyberweapon that is now lodged in the public’s imagination.

Data gathered from horror movies show there are two strains of zombie infection and that both can be modeled in the same way as influenza.

Heavy metal shows piracy is not killing music, offers new business model.

Forty years after “The Exorcist” premiered, the anniversary of that classic horror movie has led to renewed interest in the 1949  possession case that reportedly inspired it. The boy at the centre of the exorcism case remains anonymous although he was assigned the pseudonym of “Roland Doe” by the Catholic Church.

Going to the movies: The seat choice dilemma.

Netflix has 20,000 customers in Australia—where it hasn’t even launched.

Online Anonymity in a Box, for $49.

For four years, Josh and I were Silicon Alley’s “it” couple. We met in 1996, when he was running the Internet entertainment site Pseudo.com and throwing Warhol-scale parties. […] One morning, as I was putting on my robe, he announced that he was planning to have cameras installed all over the loft–above the bed, behind the bathroom mirror, inside the refrigerator, even in the litter box–and wire them to the Internet in the name of art. Art? More like porn, I said. But Josh calmly explained that we would never do anything that made us uncomfortable, and that he eventually hoped to sell unedited tapes of our lives to a museum. […] As we were gearing up for the November launch, Pseudo tanked, as did the rest of the tech stocks. Josh’s share in Pseudo was now worthless, and the fortunes he made from Jupiter Communications were slashed. Meanwhile, he was sinking over $1 million into Living in Public, hiring me to produce the Web site, manage press and plan a launch party (I was not paid to live in public), and bringing in a team to rip open the walls and fill them with a complex nervous system of wires, cables and cameras. [NY Observer 2/26/01]

How I cured my impostor syndrome.

In September I covered a paper that described the massive amount of bias created in the legal system in parts of the US where forensic laboratories are paid in return for coming to conclusions resulting in guilty verdicts. Another recent paper, published in Psychological Science has found that extraordinary levels of bias can occur even when money is not explicitly involved.

It took them 8 years after publication of the paper—and five after we submitted a retraction and 4 and a half years after we published PROOF of fraud (later borne out by Rutgers’ investigation) for them finally to “retract” a paper now cited 136 times. At long last, disputed dance study retracted from Nature.

Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims.

The experiment that led to the concept of “Thinking Outside the Box.”

Starting next March, New York magazine will print only two issues a month.

Gawker Media has more readers than the top-circulation U.S. magazines.

In traditional print, the distinction is easy: a font was a typeface set at a certain size, weight and style and cast in metal. There was no way to buy just a typeface. Instead you bought a font: Garamond Bold at 13 points.

You’ll learn about litotes, synecdoches, zeugmas, isocolons and the right way to order your adjectives.

12 mistakes nearly everyone who writes about grammar mistakes makes.

‘Because’ has become a preposition, because grammar.

From 1945 onwards, J Edgar Hoover’s FBI spied on Camus and Sartre. The investigation soon turned into a philosophical inquiry…

A guidebook for an Alien language.

Studies suggest red-haired women tend to choose the best passwords and men with bushy beards or unkempt hair, the worst. The gentle art of cracking passwords.

You have only three seconds to decide what to say. An angry soldier in front of you is about to shoot an unarmed prisoner. What words can you use to stay his itchy trigger finger?

I decided that there is literally no non-creepy way to say “Excuse me, do you mind if I place my hands on your breasts?”

Interview with US Defense Attorney turned Tijuana Narcojunior.

Inside the world of the double-crossing fake hitman.

Waiting in Line 3D is a very boring video game about queuing.

Booth has been dedicating his free time to designing and demonstrating a variety of homemade weapons constructed out of items commonly found in airports.

Can mixing up the running shoes prevent overuse running injury?

In a mile-long run, contemporary children would finish a full minute and a half later than their parents did at their age in the 1980s. It’s a sad visual that exemplifies just how unhealthy our lifestyles have become.

Why Aren’t Cities Taller?

Plastic bottles solve Nigeria’s housing problem. The structure has the added advantage of being fire proof, bullet proof and earthquake resistant.

“A friend told him that when the toll booths were unmanned after 11:30 p.m., you could use the road without paying.” Reston man runs up $202,000 bill driving through E-ZPass gates without paying.

Blogger shows how to take travel photos with an imaginary girlfriend.

The art and science of growing snowflakes in a lab

How to escape a sinking car, illustrated.

Gagadoll.

Sargent’s The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit with Velázquez’s Las Meninas.

And the future never arrives. [Thanks Tim]

It’s a dish where a chicken is stuffed into a duck which is then stuffed into a turkey.

Romanian Legs crushing watermelon.