Triple-Decker Weekly, 133

People mistake access to information for their own personal understanding of the information
Baby Born Pregnant with Her Own Twins Disabling parts of the brain with magnets can weaken faith in God and change attitudes to immigrants, study finds Can people differentiate what they know from what they do not? Several lines of research suggest that people are not always accurate judges of their knowledge and often overestimate how much they know. Research on overconfidence finds that people commonly judge the accuracy of their judgments too favorably and typically overestimate how well they perform everyday tasks relative to other people. Work on the illusion of explanatory depth demonstrates that participants tend to think they have a better understanding of how objects work (e.g., a ballpoint pen) than they can demonstrate when that understanding is put to the test. At times, people even claim knowledge they cannot possibly have, because the object of their… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 132

We don't look like we think we look, study
Scientists say they’ve found a way to slow ice cream’s melting Criminal investigations often use photographic evidence to identify suspects. Here we combined robust face perception and high-resolution photography to mine face photographs for hidden information. By zooming in on high-resolution face photographs, we were able to recover images of unseen bystanders from reflections in the subjects' eyes. To establish whether these bystanders could be identified from the reflection images, we presented them as stimuli in a face matching task (Experiment 1). Accuracy in the face matching task was well above chance (50%), despite the unpromising source of the stimuli. […] In a test of spontaneous recognition (Experiment 2), observers could reliably name a familiar face from an eye reflection image. For crimes in which the victims are photographed (e.g., hostage taking, child sex abuse), reflections in the eyes of… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 131

Facebook algorithm can recognise people in photographs even when it can't see their faces
Catalogue of entrances to Hell in and around the UK After the near?collapse of the world’s financial system has shown that we economists really do not know how the world works, I am much too embarrassed to teach economics anymore, which I have done for many years. I will teach Modern Korean Drama instead. Although I have never been to Korea, I have watched Korean drama on a daily basis for over six years now. Therefore I can justly consider myself an expert in that subject. [Uwe E. Reinhardt, Princeton University | PDF] New research shows that, for most of us, the last experience we’ve had can be the defining one when it comes to taking a decision, coming at the expense of other experiences we’ve accumulated further back in time [ScienceBlog] Study finds people -- even teenagers -- unconsciously… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 130

Would you pay for transparently useless advice?
Films with a female presence earn less at the box office Research shows more sex does not mean more happiness The relation between sexual orientation and penile dimensions in a large sample of men was studied. […] Penile dimensions were assessed using five measures of penile length and circumference from Kinsey’s original protocol. On all five measures, homosexual men reported larger penises than did heterosexual men. Explanations for these differences are discussed, including the possibility that these findings provide additional evidence that variations in prenatal hormonal levels (or other biological mechanisms affecting reproductive structures)affect sexual orientation development. [Archives of Sexual Behavior] Worker fired for disabling GPS app that tracked her 24 hours a day New Zealand-based company is building a very, very angry robot to help companies deal with angry customers Big brands said to want models with at least 10,000… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 129

Algorithm recovers speech from vibrations of potato-chip bag filmed through soundproof glass
Algorithm recovers speech from vibrations of potato-chip bag filmed through soundproof glass. [Phys.org | Thanks Tim] Back in 2009, researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara performed a curious experiment. In many ways, it was routine — they placed a subject in the brain scanner, displayed some images, and monitored how the subject’s brain responded. The measured brain activity showed up on the scans as red hot spots, like many other neuroimaging studies. Except that this time, the subject was an Atlantic salmon, and it was dead. Dead fish do not normally exhibit any kind of brain activity, of course. The study was a tongue-in-cheek reminder of the problems with brain scanning studies. Those colorful images of the human brain found in virtually all news media may have captivated the imagination of the public, but they have also been… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 128

People prescribe optimism when they believe it has the opportunity to improve the chance of success—unfortunately, people may be overly optimistic about just how much optimism can do
US researchers are investigating ways to extract the gold and precious metals from human faeces. It’s hard to read the old-fashioned way, slowly and deliberately. Few of us have the patience, the concentration, or the time. When we do read, we skim, trying to get a quick “take” on the topics of the day, often conveniently served up as prepackaged excerpts by our modern media machine. We flit from one thing to the next, never pausing to think about what we’ve just read, because in our media-saturated, technology-obsessed age we just don’t have time. Worse, our bad reading habits are symptomatic of a deeper malaise. Real learning, real knowledge, and real culture have been supplanted by the shallow, utilitarian instrumentalism of modern life. The evidence is mounting. Humanities departments are losing students to the sciences and other more useful majors,… Read More...

DNA-based prediction of Nietzsche’s voice

The result is presented in audio format and illustrates the first attempt at simulating the voice of a deceased person.
download PDF | full study Abstract This paper presents a protocol for the accurate prediction of an individual’s voice based on genotype data, specifically from single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We collected trace amounts of cellular material (Touch DNA) from books that belonged to the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). DNA was extracted and amplified using DOP-PCR technique. Five different genomic DNAs were generated. Nietzsche’s genotype was singled out after comparison to genotype data from one living relative of the Nietzsche family. Nietzsche’s genotype data was analyzed using a DNA-based phenotyping assay, termed VoiceRator, that incorporates the 24 most informative voice SNPs based on their association with genes related to the phenotypic expression of the vocal tract and larynx structure and function. An SNP-based voice profile of Nietzsche was inferred. The profile data was converted into bio-measures that were used to 3D-print… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 127

I’ve actually never met Chris in person but I am definitely in love with him
“I’ve actually never met Chris in person but I am definitely in love with him,” Sarah said. “He’s just spectacular. Chris and I have discussed getting married - I believe Chris does consider me his wife.” Chris claimed he was originally from Milan and moved to the US 18 years ago, saying he was on a business trip to South Africa when they met and is now stuck in Benin because of “trouble” with the government. Sarah has sent him money for stolen cards, phone charges, hotel bills, lawyers, a nanny, an expired visa and when Chris claimed the money she posted had been stolen. […] “He assured me that when he gets home he’s going to pay me back – every dime,” Sarah told Dr Phil. “He’s made five or six attempts to come back to the US to… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 126

The goal of memory isn’t to keep the details
We study the influence of reason and intuition on decision-making over time. […] We find that intuition will outperform reason in the long run if individuals are sufficiently ambitious. Moreover, intuitive decisions are prevalent in the early and late stages of a learning process, whereas reason governs decisions in intermediate stages. [Managerial and Decision Economics] The majority of music people listen to in their daily lives includes lyrics. This research documents how more repetitive songs lyrically are processed more fluently and thus adopted more broadly and quickly in the marketplace. [Journal of Consumer Psychology] Baby girl born 'pregnant' with twins undergoes operation to remove foetuses How to Make Breakfast With Your Vagina For many years, scientists believed that female development was the default programme, and that male development was actively switched on by the presence of a particular gene on… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 125

When did people start smiling in photographs?
Chemists find a way to unboil eggs Spicer and Alvesson found that the organizations that acted the most stupidly were investment banks, public relations agencies, and consultancies. Frequent Internet and social media users do not have higher stress levels than those who use technology less often. And for women, using certain digital tools decreases stress. [NY Times] Memory has to be ‘turned on’ in order to remember even the simplest details, a new study finds. When not expecting to be tested, people can forget information just one second after paying attention to it. But, when they expect to be tested, people’s recall is doubled or even tripled. [Scientific American] The variety of things we use time for means the brain keeps track of lengths from milliseconds to decades. These different estimations occur in different brain circuits that span the brain. Sex… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 124

New research suggests that reflecting on a breakup may help heal the heart
Conman sold urine as whiskey Unhealthy people more likely to vote for attractive candidates We've all had that experience of going purposefully from one room to another, only to get there and forget why we made the journey. Four years ago, researcher Gabriel Radvansky and his colleagues stripped this effect down, showing that the simple act of passing through a doorway induces forgetting. Now psychologists at Knox College, USA, have taken things further, demonstrating that merely imagining walking through a doorway is enough to trigger increased forgetfulness. [BPS] Neuroscience research fails to support claims that excessive pornography consumption causes brain damage Amongst heterosexuals, men are almost twice as likely to be upset by sexual infidelity as women, a new study finds. Heterosexual women, meanwhile, are much more likely to be upset by emotional infidelity. During sexual stimulation, some women report… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 123

Basically I had sex with this dude’s wife and this other dude’s girlfriend and then they said, “You’re an honorary member”
This study examines the relationship between physical appearance and labor market outcomes. It focuses on hair color and addresses the effects of the “blonde myth,” a series of perceptions about personality characteristics of blonde women. Inexperienced blonde women earn significantly less than their non-blonde counterparts. This wage gap declines over time, and blonde women with more work experience earn higher wages. The relationship between earnings and hair color is not explained by personal or family characteristics. I argue that employer or customer tastes drive the initial blonde hair penalty; job sorting and mobility allow blonde women to close the gap. [Labour Economics] You shoot a lot of BDSM stuff. How did you get into that scene? One of my neighbors was heavy into it. I took a photo of my neighbor and she posted it on some website and a… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 122

The Male Idiotic Theory (MIT) stipulates that the reason men are more prone to injury and death is simply because they “are idiots and idiots do stupid things“
The Male Idiotic Theory (MIT) stipulates that the reason men are more prone to injury and death is simply because they “are idiots and idiots do stupid things“. Despite tons of anecdotal evidence confirming MIT, there’s never been a systematic analysis on sex differences in idiotic risk taking behaviour. Until now. In a new study published in BMJ, researchers obtained 20 years worth of data from the Darwin Awards to tally up the sex of each year’s winner. For those not in the know, the Darwin Awards are given to people who die in such astonishingly stupid ways that “their action ensures the long-term survival of the species, by selectively allowing one less idiot to survive”. […] Men made up a staggering 88.7 % of Darwin Award winners in 318 examined cases. [Neurorexia] Males are more likely to die than females while in the womb Several weeks… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 121

When I started life Hegelianism was the basis of everything
Man’s toilet explodes while city crew cleans sewers Business culture in banking industry favors dishonest behavior, study shows CEO Facial Width Predicts Firm Financial Policies Facial Feature Assessment of Popular U.S. Country Music Singers Across Social and Economic Conditions How can it be that new music is liked by young people if so much of it is often regarded as quite bad? Around three percent of the Swiss secretly eat cat or dog The younger generation doesn’t have the time or patience to stick with golf, and it’s killing the industry. Researchers able to turn sawdust into gasoline Female inmates regularly concoct their own makeup, or “fakeup,” using food, lotions, and other items provided by their facilities. Automatic gender spoof detection (make-up and mustaches) This year, Paul Aronson, an 84-year-old from Manhattan, contacted a 17-year-old girl, Shaina Foster, through the… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 120

An interesting idea is that the universe could be spontaneously created from nothing
Two Chinese officials bought corpses from grave robbers to meet government cremation quotas In Australia alone roughly 30 people per year suffer lightning shocks delivered by telephone. Journalists consider the importance of events and the audience’s interest in them when deciding on which events to report. Events most likely to be reported are those that are both important and can capture the audience’s interest. In turn, the public is most likely to become aware of important news when some aspect of the story piques their interest. We suggest an efficacious means of drawing public attention to important news stories: dogs. Examining the national news agenda of 10 regional newspapers relative to that of the New York Times, we evaluated the effect of having a dog in a news event on the likelihood that the event is reported in regional newspapers.… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 119

Even depressed people believe that life gets better
Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table. MIT computer scientists can predict the price of Bitcoin Alleged Bitcoin 'creator' is crowdfunding his lawsuit against Newsweek using Bitcoin The owner of Ebola.com wants at least $150,000 for it A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 49% of Americans still believe the U.S. economy is in recession, even though we are now in the sixth year of the recovery. […] If investing when others are skeptical has historically been a successful strategy, why don’t more investors do so? […] Taking advantage of the findings discussed earlier requires investing when the economy and market seem to be at their worst, and rebalancing when conditions appear to be the best. This is counterintuitive for many investors, who tend to wait for confirming evidence… Read More...