Triple-Decker Weekly, 91

Electric taste is the sensation elicited upon stimulating the tongue with electric current. We used this phenomenon to convey information that humans cannot perceive with their tongue. Our method involves changing the taste of foods and drinks by using electric taste. First, we propose a system to drink beverages using straws that are connected to an electric circuit. Second, we propose a system to eat foods using a fork or chopsticks connected to an electric circuit. Finally, we discuss augmented gustation using various sensors. [Meiji University | PDF | via Improbable]

Woman finds wrong body in mother’s casket at funeral home.

Compared with a brain at rest, a brain listening to music and watching a video is heavier.

Oxytocin and vasopressin are neuro-modulators that, like dopamine, are also produced by the hypothalamus and are stored in the pituitary gland for later release into the blood. These seem to have a role in forming bonds and feelings of attachment to others, particularly in romantic love, and high levels of these are released into the blood stream following orgasm in both men and women. Interestingly, they are also released during child-birth and breast feeding, again showing an interesting link the biology of romantic and maternal love. […] Sexual arousal and romantic love also appear to be coupled with de-activation of regions of the frontal cortex (the front of the brain), which is largely involved in judgement, and this might explain why individuals might engage in sexual activity that they later regret. [Anti Sense Science]

You prefer apples to oranges, but cherries to apples. Yet if I offer you just cherries and oranges, you take the oranges. […] New research shows that sometimes a decision like this, which sounds irrational, can actually be the best one. [Nature]

A life without feelings — unimaginable. Although emotions are so important, philosophers are still discussing what they actually are. Prof. Dr. Albert Newen and Dr. Luca Barlassina of the Institute of Philosophy II at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have drawn up a new theory. According to this, emotions are not just special cases of perception or thought but a separate kind of mental state which arises through the integration of feelings of bodily processes and cognitive contents. [ScienceDaily]

Where in the body do our emotions lie?

In competitions, men make opponents mad in order to win, study shows.

Is it possible that adolescence is most difficult—and sometimes a crisis—not for teenagers as much as for the adults who raise them? That adolescence has a bigger impact on adults than it does on kids?

Systematic evidence of fake crying by a baby

The placebo effect is known far and wide. Give somebody a sugar pill, tell them it’s aspirin, and they’ll feel better. What’s less well-known is that there’s evidence of the placebo effect in domains that go beyond the commonly known medical scenarios. One study found that hotel maids who were told their work was good exercise later scored higher than a control group on a range of health indicators. Another study found that when participants were told athletes had excellent vision, they demonstrated better vision when doing a more-athletic activity relative to a less-athletic activity. Many studies have also shown that placebo caffeine can have an impact. In one experiment caffeine placebos improved cognitive performance among participants who were in the midst of 28 hours of sleep deprivation. Given that caffeine placebos can mitigate the effects of sleep deprivation, Christina Draganich and Kristi Erdal of Colorado College decided to take the logical next step and investigate whether the effects of sleep deprivation could be influenced by perceptions about sleep quality. In other words, could making people think their sleep quality was better or worse influence the cognitive effects of sleep? [Peer-reviewed by my neurons]

The friendship paradox is the empirical observation that your friends have more friends than you do. Now network scientists say your friends are probably wealthier and happier, too. [arXiv ]

We show that easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including: sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age, and gender. […] Table S1 presents a sample of highly predictive Likes related to each of the attributes. For example, the best predictors of high intelligence include “Thunderstorms,” “The Colbert Report,” “Science,” and “Curly Fries,” whereas low intelligence was indicated by “Sephora,” “I Love Being A Mom,” “Harley Davidson,” and “Lady Antebellum.” Good predictors of male homosexuality included “No H8 Campaign,” “Mac Cosmetics,” and “Wicked The Musical,” whereas strong predictors of male heterosexuality included “Wu-Tang Clan,” “Shaq,” and “Being Confused After Waking Up From Naps.” Although some of the Likes clearly relate to their predicted attribute, as in the case of No H8 Campaign and homosexuality, other pairs are more elusive; there is no obvious connection between Curly Fries and high intelligence. Moreover, note that few users were associated with Likes explicitly revealing their attributes. For example, less than 5% of users labeled as gay were connected with explicitly gay groups, such as No H8 Campaign, “Being Gay,” “Gay Marriage,” “I love Being Gay,” “We Didn’t Choose To Be Gay We Were Chosen.” […] Predicting users’ individual attributes and preferences can be used to improve numerous products and services. For instance, digital systems and devices (such as online stores or cars) could be designed to adjust their behavior to best fit each user’s inferred profile. Also, the relevance of marketing and product recommendations could be improved by adding psychological dimensions to current user models. For example, online insurance advertisements might emphasize security when facing emotionally unstable (neurotic) users but stress potential threats when dealing with emotionally stable ones. [PNAS | PDF]

People whose cellphones move at a certain clip across city parks between 5:30 and 8:30 every morning are flagged by Viasense’s algorithm as “early morning joggers.” When you give your smartphone permission to access your location, you may be sharing a lot more than you realize. [WSJ]

If you want hassle-free fame, don’t live in Los Angeles or New York City. It’s hard to feel sorry for stars who bitch about tabloid coverage while lunching at Fred Segal or Nobu. They know perfectly well that paparazzi will be buzzing around these hot spots. Live in a city where the main local paper is struggling and laying off reporters. Believe me, they don’t have the budget to cover anyone you’re sleeping with. […] If you want your fame to be durable, you can’t hate the rich. Never answer your critics. […] The reviewer always gets to answer your complaints, so now he or she has yet another chance to say how untalented you are. [John Waters/W]

Whyte and his acolytes formulated conclusions that were, for their time, counterintuitive. For example, he discovered that city people don’t actually like wide-open, uncluttered spaces. Despite the Modernist assumption that what harried urban people need are oases of nature in the city, if you bother to watch people, you see that they tend to prefer narrow streets, hustle and bustle, crowdedness. Build a high-rise with an acre of empty plaza around it, and the plaza may seem desolate, even dangerous. People will avoid it. If you want people to linger, he wrote, give them seating — but not just benches, which make it impossible for people to face one another. Movable chairs can be better. Also: Never cordon off a fountain. […] Turkle said that her decades of observation are pretty conclusive: “When you watch a mother texting as she pushes a stroller — and I follow that mother for blocks, I walk alongside — you know it. You know that the streetscape used to include mothers who spoke to their children.” [NY Times | Thanks Jane JL!]

Bigger trees grow faster than smaller ones, contradicting previous assumptions that growth rates slowed with age.

How Argentine Farmers Overpowered Monsanto

“anticipatory shipping:” Amazon would consider things like previous orders and searches, wish lists, and the time your cursor spends hovering over a listing to determine what to pre-ship where.

BlackBerry makes an announcement that it just sold 1,000 phones

On a per-consumer basis, a major record label makes more money from streaming services than any other format.

A new mathematical model helps hackers to pick the optimal moment to launch a cyber attack against a victim and inflict the most damage. [more]

Crime study ended after data stolen by thief

Shaun Khubchandani’s 10-week internship at Citigroup […] he was paid a $70,000 annual salary prorated on a weekly basis, or about $1,300 per week. […] a typical day during his internship […] 8 p.m.: Order dinner delivery with other interns and the analysts, courtesy of the bank: Italian on Mondays, Thai on Tuesdays, salads on Wednesdays and tacos on Thursdays. (On Fridays, dine out.) [WSJ]

PhD candidate in sociology explains his experiences working for Facebook

New research led by the University of Melbourne has helped debunk the common belief that a sixth sense, also known as extrasensory perception (ESP), exists. […] “There is a common belief that observers can experience changes directly with their mind, without needing to rely on the traditional physical senses such as vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch to identify it. This alleged ability is sometimes referred to as a sixth sense or ESP. “We were able to show that while observers could reliably sense changes that they could not visually identify, this ability was not due to extrasensory perception or a sixth sense,” he said. [University of Melbourne]

The aims of this paper are to narrate and analyze some psychological phenomena that I have perceived in dead people, including evidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in murdered people. The methodology adopted was “projection of consciousness” (i.e., a non-ordinary state of consciousness), which allowed me to observe, interact, and interview dead people directly as a social psychologist. This investigation was based on Cartesian skepticism. [Australian Journal of Parapsychology via | Mind Hacks] Related: Eight Reasons in Support of God’s Existence […] (II) We have pretty strong evidence that the universe has not existed eternally into the past, but had a beginning a finite time ago. In 2003, the mathematician Arvind Borde, and physicists Alan Guth and Alexander Vilenkin were able to prove that any universe which has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past, but must have a past spacetime boundary (i.e., a beginning). […] But then the inevitable question arises: Why did the universe come into being? […] There must have been a transcendent cause which brought the universe into being – a cause outside the universe itself. [Philosophy Now]

We have identified a Y-chromosomal lineage with several unusual features. It was found in 16 populations throughout a large region of Asia, stretching from the Pacific to the Caspian Sea, and was present at high frequency: ~8% of the men in this region carry it, and it thus makes up ~0.5% of the world total. The pattern of variation within the lineage suggested that it originated in Mongolia ~1,000 years ago. Such a rapid spread cannot have occurred by chance; it must have been a result of selection. The lineage is carried by likely male-line descendants of Genghis Khan, and we therefore propose that it has spread by a novel form of social selection resulting from their behavior. [National Institutes of Health]

Plus: [Genghis Khan lived from 1162-1227 and raped and pillaged from Mongolia to the gates of Vienna. Once he captured a village or town, he would essentially kill all the men and rape the women.] The connection to Genghis Khan will never be a certainty unless his grave is found and his DNA could be extracted. [National Geographic | Audio: Radio Lab, Genghis Khan Episode]

Plus: The location of the tomb of Genghis Khan has been the object of much speculation and research. The site remains undiscovered. […] According to one legend, the funeral escort killed anyone and anything that crossed their path, in order to conceal where he was finally buried. After the tomb was completed, the slaves who built it were massacred, and then the soldiers who killed them were also killed. [Wikipedia ]

How Rich Was Hitler and is someone getting rich off his royalties today?

Here Are the Unretouched Images From Lena Dunham’s Vogue Shoot

Successful comedians display symptoms of psychosis, study says

Lawsuit Accuses Hit Show New Girl of “Blatant Plagiarism” […] In documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, it’s clear Counts and Gold aren’t fucking around. [Defamer]

American Apparel Mannequins Now Sporting Full Bush [and American Apparel Tells Us Why They’re Using Mannequins with Pubic Hair]

His Little Shop of Horrorsin Hackney, London, presents an up-to-date collection of curiosities. Visitors are greeted by more taxidermied beasts, from crows to hyenas; the faint-hearted are advised not to proceed downstairs, into Wynd’s dim and dungeon-like cellar, which contains two-headed babies and antique pornography. (There’s a long tradition of such shock exhibits – guests arriving at the home of the celebrated 18th-century anatomist and collectorJohn Hunter were greeted by the preserved erect penis of a hanged man in his hallway.) [Guardian]

Will Commercial Airplanes Have Parachutes Someday?

Why do some birds fly in a V-formation?

How to open a bottle of wine – without a corkscrew

This chapter might have been called “Introduction,” but nobody reads the introduction, and we wanted you to read this. We feel safe admitting this here, in the footnote, because nobody reads footnotes either. [Other Sociologist]

Chino Otsuka superimposes her adult self into childhood photos

Human skull made of “street sourced” cocaine and gelatin. More: In order to prepare and analyze the purity of the accumulated ‘street’ Cocaine, I contacted pharmacists at a renowned laboratory

Diddo, The Cure for Greed: Intricate mechanical and chemical separation is needed to extract and recover pigment from US currency. The ink is then re-stabilized, divided into individual doses and packaged into medical vials.

HO Scale Train Model Figures: People Mooning and Lady Flashing

Nasty icons

Worst. Urinal. Ever.