Triple-Decker Weekly, 93

yea so if you ever need info about anyone at harvard / just ask / i have over 4000 emails, pictures, addresses, sns
The key way that economists model behavior is by assuming that people have preferences about things. Often, but not always, these preferences are expressed in the form of a utility function. But there are some things that could happen that could seriously mess with this model. Most frightening are “framing effects”. This is when what you want depends on how it’s presented to you. […] One of the most important tools we have to describe people’s behavior over time is the notion of time preference, also called “discounting”. This means that we assume that people care about the future less than they care about the present. Makes sense, right? But while certain kinds of discounting cause people’s choices to be inconsistent, other kinds would cause people to make inconsistent decisions. For example, some people might choose not to study hard… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 92

Put it in the right place and sperm generally knows where to go.
Put it in the right place and sperm generally knows where to go. But researchers who use sperm in experiments have a harder time controlling where these swimmers end up. Put sperm onto a petri dish or glass slide, for example, and it’ll wander off in any direction it pleases. Today, researchers say they’ve worked out a way to control the direction in which sperm swims to keep it on the straight and narrow. Their discovery could lead to new ways of generating a uniform stream of sperm and perhaps even a jet of the stuff. [arXiv] Craigslist sperm donor told to pay child support It is now possible to 3-D print your unborn fetus. Swiss company Algordanza takes cremated human remains and compresses them into diamonds. When Mary Ellis died in 1828, her family buried her in a peaceful… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 91

We have pretty strong evidence that the universe has not existed eternally into the past
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… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 90

Fate of bones and wood in the Antarctic sea
Playing Moderately Hard to Get — Undergraduate college student participants imagined a potential romantic partner who reciprocated a low (reciprocating attraction one day a week), moderate (reciprocating attraction three days a week), high (reciprocating attraction five days a week), or unspecified degree of attraction (no mention of reciprocation). Participants then rated their degree of attraction toward the potential partner. […] The results support the notion that playing moderately hard to get elicits more intense feelings of attraction from potential suitors than playing too easy or too hard to get. [Interpersona] Woman caught sneaking into U.S. in suitcase Man arrested after Google+ sends automated invitation to ex with restraining order. A woman tried to sue her lawyers for negligence because they failed to warn her that finalizing her divorce proceedings would end her marriage. They approached fellow college students of another… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 89

Humans show a natural tendency to discount bad news while incorporating good news into beliefs
Small Alabama town accidentally hires black drag queens to dance in Christmas parade Scientists Successfully Forecast the Size and Location of an Earthquake Evidence that the Lunar Cycle Influences Human Sleep "Grasping the testicle with forceps proved laborious" in most of the animals, the authors write. They also mention using a "two-handed technique" and "moderate traction." Why It's Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo People who tell themselves to get excited rather than trying to relax can improve their performance during anxiety-inducing activities such as public speaking and math tests, study finds. Humans show a natural tendency to discount bad news while incorporating good news into beliefs (the “good news–bad news effect”), an effect that may help explain seemingly irrational risk taking. Understanding how this bias develops with age is important because adolescents are prone to engage in risky behavior; thus,… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 88

Any truly effective damnatio memoriae would not be noticeable to later historians, since, by definition, it would entail the complete and total erasure of the individual in question from the historical record.
'Whatever' rated most annoying word. 11 percent of people shop online naked, survey says. Scientists sent a text message using evaporated vodka. After exclusion of days when Bond was unable to drink, his weekly alcohol consumption was 92 units a week, over four times the recommended amount. Were James Bond’s drinks shaken because of alcohol induced tremor? Distinct Personality Traits Associated with Intake of Coffee, Tea, and Cola Drinks and Smoking Man fined 1.3 million yen for urinating in elevator every day for 6 months. A study on the effect of always agreeing with your wife had to be abandoned after it became intolerable for husband. Girls' brains can begin maturing from the age of 10 while some men have to wait until 20 before the same organisational structures take place, Newcastle University scientists have found. [Telegraph] Men who have… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 87

In real life, coincidence happens all the time. But in fiction
Bots now 'account for 61% of web traffic.’ I have a brother that appreciates curvier women, but is married to an athlete. He purposely positions himself outside of Lane Bryant when waiting for his wife to finish her shopping elsewhere in the mall. His not very subtle passive aggressiveness often works in motivating his wife to get in and out. Hey. It beats tossing yourself over a rail and landing in an Auntie Anne's kiosk. [Really?/Gawker | Context: Man Commits Suicide in Mall After Girlfriend Refuses to Stop Shopping] A Single Exposure to the American Flag Shifts Support Toward Republicanism up to 8 Months Later What if the universe had no beginning, and time stretched back infinitely without a big bang to start things off? That’s one possible consequence of an idea called “rainbow gravity,” so-named because it posits that… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 86

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

Triple-Decker Weekly, 85

THROAT TATTOO with lie-detecting mobe microphone built-in
New Mexico man sues over repeated anal probes by police. A new study suggests it’s less important to be friendly than to be good. Research in recent years has suggested that young Americans might be less creative now than in decades past, even while their intelligence — as measured by IQ tests — continues to rise. But new research hints that the dynamics of creativity may not break down as simply as that. […] Some aspects of creativity — such as those employed in visual arts — are gently rising over the years, while other aspects, such as the nuances of creative writing, could be declining. [University of Washington] Teenagers’ brains are wired to confront a threat instead of retreating, research suggests. The results may help explain why criminal activity peaks during adolescence. [Science News] Our brains perceive objects in… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 84

Increasingly, people expect to get all their social needs met by their spouse or partner. This is a prescription for disaster.
Man arrested after bringing chain saw to bar fight. I study a new explanation grounded in the idea that altruists want to think they are helping. 'Liking' on Facebook may mean less giving. What makes Spinoza’s philosophy unsustainable in Goldstein’s view is the fact that “in its ruthless high-mindedness, it asks us to renounce so many passions. (Among the passions we must renounce is romantic love, which, Spinoza deduces, will almost always end badly…)” Any love that is dependent on something that must inevitably change and cannot truly be possessed — such as another person — Spinoza explains, is asking for trouble. [Salon | Continue reading] Okay, if you want to know... Will my date have sex on the first date? Ask... Do you like the taste of beer? Because... Among all our casual topics, whether someone likes the taste… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 83

Dora had body issues for the bulk of her childhood, but in high school something snapped and she said Fuck. This. Shit.
There’s a lot of bots on twitter. […] A prime example is @StealthMountain, which searches for people using the phrase “sneak peak” and replies with “I think you mean ’sneak peek’”. Effectively, a coder somehwere has used twitter to greatly leverage his ability to be a grammar Nazi. But worse, it appears that the bot exists just to rile people. While most people seem to take this correction in stride, @StealthMountain’s favorites list (which is linked from his bio line) is populated with some of the recipients’ more colorful reactions. You too, dear reader, can laugh at those victims, and their absurd, futile anger towards the machine. At the most outrightly hostile end of the spectrum, we find the now defunct bot @EnjoyTheFilm, which searched for mentions of particular films or television shows, and replied with plot spoilers. [ Aaron… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 82

Lady Gaga‘s Telephone music video was a strange but significant addition to our collection of material that in one or another way signaled a move beyond, post, or after postmodernism. Plus: Miley Cyrus files lawsuit over sex doll.
Unagi Travel, the "Japan Travel Agency for Stuffed Animals." The drink is designed to taste like kissing an older man who has just shaved and smoked a cigarette. A camera that captures scent instead of sights. Miley Cyrus files lawsuit over sex doll [Thanks TG] In basic literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills, the new study shows, younger Americans are at or near the bottom of the standings among advanced countries. Salsa overtakes ketchup as America's No. 1 condiment, tortillas outsell burger and hot dog buns. In Japan, sales of adult diapers exceed those for babies. Washing your hands makes you optimistic. Earlier studies already showed that people that just experienced or recalled an embarrassing situation -- that is a public action that observers could consider as foolish or inappropriate -- often feel motivated to avoid social contact or to repair… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 81

“Brain training makes you more intelligent.” – WRONG
Over the past few years various researchers have made systematic attempts to replicate some of the more widely cited priming experiments. Many of these replications have failed. In April, for instance, a paper in PLoS ONE, a journal, reported that nine separate experiments had not managed to reproduce the results of a famous study from 1998 purporting to show that thinking about a professor before taking an intelligence test leads to a higher score than imagining a football hooligan. The idea that the same experiments always get the same results, no matter who performs them, is one of the cornerstones of science’s claim to objective truth. If a systematic campaign of replication does not lead to the same results, then either the original research is flawed (as the replicators claim) or the replications are (as many of the original researchers… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 80

Adults sag. It doesn’t matter how fit they are. Every decade, an adult sags a little more.
German Groom Forgets Bride at Gas Station. 9-year-old sneaks onto flight without boarding pass, flies to Vegas alone. Google wants a patent on splitting the restaurant bill. Canadian researchers have worked out how to send text messages using chemical spray. I’ve been a massage therapist for many years, now. I know what people look like. People have been undressing for me for a long time. I know what you look like: a glance at you, and I can picture pretty well what you’d look like on my table. Let’s start here with what nobody looks like: nobody looks like the people in magazines or movies. Not even models. Nobody. […] Adults sag. It doesn’t matter how fit they are. Every decade, an adult sags a little more. Cory Doctorow | Thanks Tim] By 1790, the new republic was in arrears… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 79

New study finds that superstitions actually do "reverse" perceived bad fortune
When a healthy person watches a smoothly moving object (say, an airplane crossing the sky), she tracks the plane with a smooth, continuous eye movement to match its displacement. This action is called smooth pursuit. But smooth pursuit isn’t smooth for most patients with schizophrenia. Their eyes often fall behind and they make a series of quick, tiny jerks to catch up or even dart ahead of their target. For the better part of a century, this movement pattern would remain a mystery. But in recent decades, scientific discoveries have lead to a better understanding of smooth pursuit eye movements. [Garden of the Mind] Neuroscientists have identified the location in the brain's visual cortex responsible for generating a common perceptual illusion: Seeing shapes and surfaces that don't really exist when viewing a fragmented background. Madness and hallucination in The Shining. Demon… Read More...

Triple-Decker Weekly, 78

Placenta prints, live tweeting labor: Pregnancy trends gone too far?
Placenta prints, live tweeting labor: Pregnancy trends gone too far? Walk-in vagina installed in Johannesburg women's prison. In 2005, Harry Frankfurt wrote a monograph entitled On Bullshit and this work received a flurry of attention. At its core, Frankfurt argues that while lying is a misrepresentation of the truth, bullshit is a misrepresentation of the self, and an indifference to truth, which in his mind is worse than lying. […] Bullshit is more dangerous to democracy than lying. Unlike a lie, bullshit is destructive of even concern for the truth. Thus, in politics, it creates conditions where it is easier to present a lie as truth, and indifference to truth in public discourse renders public discourse impotent or worse. Even more destructively, it infects thinking. The corruption of language is bad enough, but even worse is the corruption of thinking.… Read More...