Friday, December 9, 2011

A little cooperation here

Yet more research money spent on questions they could have just asked me. I suppose it's being a small difference s why they felt they needed a study. I'm annoyed enough by the lower level of cooperation in all-female groups to notice it. Source:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Multitasking: Another Gender Myth Bites the Dust

This doesn't surprise me in the least. I have always observed that people (myself included, of course) do things poorly or half assed when they try to do multiple things at once, and I know lots of guys who do it as well as it can be done.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Sound, Frequency, and Pitch

This is one of the most entertaining explanations of pitch ever.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust - Women and Shopping

Nope. Most women are Not shopping fanatics. Thin women like shopping, the average for the rest is ambivalence. This doesn't surprise me. I know lots of women who despise shopping and get very colorful vocabularies when the topic comes up.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Fascinating Read: The Masculinity Conspiracy

From the about page:

"The Masculinity Conspiracy is a free online book about masculinity. It argues that nearly every assumption about masculinity in contemporary society is wrong. The result is nothing short of exposing a worldwide conspiracy that has been preventing humanity from reaching its fullest potential."


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Venting Feeds the Flames

Somehow this doesn't surprise me. Mostly what people call 'venting' is really repeating a story and deepening the emotional grooves it inspired.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Amazing Pictures of Amazing Places

If you didn't want to leave home before, you will now.


The Monster Rug

This is just too cool. I'm sure I need one.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Wanna Be Happy? Go Walk In Nature

This is another of those studies that mostly makes one say, "Duh!" but it's worth the reminder. We all know walking in nature feels good, but we greatly underestimate how much. So next time you think a tromp through your local woods or park would be nice, remind yourself that it wouldn't just be nice, it'd be NICE!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Debunking the Chattiness Stereotype Yet Again

Nope. Nope. Nope. Double nope. Any time you see a book or article repeat the claim that women talk three times as much as men, or 20k words to men's 7k, throw out the book or article. The author likely pulled lots of information out of... ahem... the air rather than out of solid research. Numerous experiments have debunked this popular myth of the self-help movement.

"Thus, the data fail to reveal a reliable sex difference in daily word use. Women and men both use on average about 16,000 words per day, with very large individual differences around this mean."


Cartoon: Perpetual Sweeping

Great animated gif. So many appropriate captions come to mind...


Monday, August 8, 2011

Are You Really?

This is a great quote from Steven Pressfield's the "War of Art." How true that the blowhards are usually the ones with the least to brag about.


Correlates in Long-Term Love

Must be the mood I'm in today, but "Wanting to know where the partner is at all times correlated significantly with intense love for men but not women." gives me the creeps. The other correlates, however - thinking positively about the other, being affectionate, etc. All sound lovely.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wanna Eat Carrots? Put Doritos in Your iPod

This is a fascinating bit of research about how we determine crunchiness by sound, rather than by feel. I'm trying to figure out how to hack my crunch addiction. If I play the crunch of chips through my headphones, will I like veggies more?


Art Illuminates Math

We read about artists using various mathematical ratios to make their work pleasing to the eye (math into art). Annelisa Crandall is putting art into math.

Her book, "Viewpoints: Mathematical Perspective and Fractal Geometry in Art," with coauthor Marc Frantz has just moved to the top of my Amazon wishlist.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In Case You Thought You Were Hiding Something...

Since humans are creatures of habit, it doesn't surprise me that this study finds that other people can predict our daily behavior. After all, they witness it all the time. I'd be curious to know how accurate friends are when it comes to the things we keep to ourselves.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beautiful Smoke Detector

I love these!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When to Brag

No surprise here. Bringing up your accomplishments out of the blue is off putting. Feel free to extol your virtues if someone asks about them, though.


Show Your Work

We like our computers to tell us what they're doing. Even if they're slower than systems that just returns results.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

When Something Feels Medically Wrong, Don't Ask Yourself

This one hits close to home for me. The last time I needed emergency medical attention, I didn't relent and go get it for three days. Stubborn? Me? Naaaahhh.

"we're cognitively predisposed, most of us, to believe we're okay. The moment even minor symptoms flare, most of us begin explaining them away, not because they're necessarily unimportant, but because we don't want them to be."


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Amazing Folding Chair

Love the video. If they got 121 in that Mini, I'll bet I could get at least half that in the Smart Car.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Men, Relationships, and Cuddling

I'm always intrigued when researchers say their findings weren't what they expected. Clearly, they didn't ask me, as their results align perfectly with what I've observed.

"Surprisingly, tenderness was more important to men than to women."

I'm sure this links up somehow with the research showing more men than women on the romantic side.


Expect Others to Like You, and They Will

Unless you're stuck in the hell that is the teen years, then all bets are off.


Friday, July 8, 2011

For Smarter Teams, Add Women...Mostly

This is an interesting piece of research that also happens to confirm what I've seen in my personal life and professional career. Mixed teams do better. In fact, it's always felt to me that skewing the ratio too far one way or the other brings out the worst of whichever gender dominates. (There go all my invites to women's groups, eh? :->)

While the smoothed graph does angle up to the right (more women correlating to more social intelligence), I'm more interested in the individual bars. I think there's probably some rich information behind the male-female ratios that produced those top teams on either side of 50-50.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Neuroscientists Redesign the Microphone

I always like seeing knowledge of one area jump over to another. This is one of those things.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gender Dysphoria of Childhood

Personally, I think those moments when I dressed in/played with/pretended to be whatever I fancied without being slapped down by someone telling me it was wrong for someone of my gender to do so would be more accurately classified as "Gender Euphoria of Childhood". How many times did I hear, "It's not ladylike to..." followed by some fun activity the local boys were doing? Looks like Grandma is getting reincarnated in the next edition of the DSM. How exciting! I wasn't a tomboy; I was mentally ill. Oy.


Synaesthesia May Not Be Crossed Senses

I'm fascinated by synaesthesia and have a touch of it myself. I suppose that's an unintended pun, since in my case, it manifests as my fingers feeling what I'm looking at. This article poses the possibility that it's not the senses crossing wires, but concepts. Interesting... I'll definitely have to look for that in my life.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Keys to Why TV Can Dumb Us Down?

This is an interesting finding. I'll be curious to see what other research springs from it.

"media can prime behavior that is in line with the primed traits or concepts (assimilation)"

Sooo... Watching shows about dumb people is like drinking? You should wait for the effects to wear off before driving?


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Conventional Wisdom on Goals is Wrong

This is a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, I'm thrilled to not spend time focusing on all the horrible things that will happen if I don't reach my goal. (Why did anyone think that was a good thing to do on purpose anyway? If I didn't know I'd be better off having reached the goal, I wouldn't have made it in the first place. Duh!) And relying on willpower just makes me crabby, so glad to see that one go. On the other hand, it's fun to think about how much better things will be once I've reached the goal (though I can see how that tends to be mostly discouraging).


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mugprints - Bah ha ha ha!

This picture was shot on my kitchen counter after a long night of guzzling Decaf Sugar-Free Suisse Mocha.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Toast is Funny

This reminds me of my favorite Mark Parisi cartoon.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

GMail Was Right

In the offline world, I'm an organizer. I sort and file and generally arrange my stuff in ways that would make Sesame Street's "One of These Things is Not Like the Others" creators proud. Similarly, I had folders galore full of old emails I might need for reference. So GMail was a major mind shift for me. Turns out, letting the computer do the searching is much more efficient than making the human do it.


If only Outlook's search were as good as Google's, I'd stop foldering my work email too.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Convertible Pool Table

Love this. I'm sure a game of pool would be more productive than 90% of the meetings I've attended. Show up, put your laptop and phone on the floor, crank down the table top, and rack 'em up!


Off-Road Segway

Why does this make me think of the James Bond movie where they case him with snowmobiles?


Knife, Fork, and Chopsticks

These are awesome! I love the idea of a knife and fork that become chopsticks.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just Because It Was Published....

I've been reading a lot of research papers lately, and have noticed that lots of the results make me go Hmmm.... This article (and the articles to which it links) on why so much published research is wrong may explain some of that.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Real You Has Your Best Foot Forward

This seems counter-intuitive to me...

"positive self-presentation facilitates more accurate impressions, indicating that putting one’s best self forward helps reveal one’s true self"


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Take a Notebook, Not Your Laptop, to Class

Much as I'd much rather read notes I've typed than notes I've written, I've definitely noticed that I have a much deeper connection with words I've written than with words I've typed. This study agrees.

"When writing by hand, our brain receives feedback from our motor actions, together with the sensation of touching a pencil and paper. These kinds of feedback is significantly different from those we receive when touching and typing on a keyboard."


Say It With Me... "One More Rep"

Turns out that talking to yourself can increase your sports performance. This particular study says it helps no matter what kinds of things you say, but assisted (I assume that's another person) positive self talk gave the best results.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Space Saver Rooms

I have a thing for small-space design, lofts, hidden storage, etc., so these room designs really strike my fancy.


A Good Excuse For a Get Together

"The amount of time we invest in a relationship is proportionate to its quality. Face-to-face relationships are simply unmatched by online ones. “A touch is worth a 1000 words any day,” says Dunbar. But what online relationships are good for is to stall the decay of a relationship. If you don’t go to the pub sooner or later, it will die.” ~ Dunbar"

Robin Dunbar is the guy behind Dunbar's number, the number of friends one person can sustain.


Adjust Speed to Persuade

Interesting. When trying to convince someone of something they don't believe, talk fast. This must be where we got the fast-talking salesman. Whatever it is, you probably don't need it. :)

"When preaching to the converted, it was slow speech that emerged as the most persuasive."


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yet ANOTHER Reason to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Want to remember something you just learned? Sleep on it.

"These results support the notion that sleep immediately following acquisition, independent of time of day, promotes memory consolidation and that sleep deprivation may disrupt this process depending on the amount of sleep that is lost."


Nike Air Force 1: Official Shoe of Criminals

I'm not sure if this means I should get a pair before knocking over the corner store on the theory that my footprints would match most other criminals in town, or if I should avoid the shoes cuz they'll Make me knock over the corner store...

"the Nike Air Force 1 sneaker is the most often encountered at U. S. crime scenes, turning up in about 17 percent of cases"


The When and What of Background Music

None of this surprises me. "background music disturbs the reading process, has some small detrimental effects on memory, but has a positive impact on emotional reactions and improves achievements in sports."

I also find that background music is detrimental to navigating parking lots. I always have to turn off the music to keep from overloading as I deal with cars going every which way and looking out for a space.


Pain Relief... There's an App for That

This study shows that looking at pictures of a loved one decreases pain. Who would have thought that the photo gallery on your phone could be so useful?


To Extend Your Life, Be Conscientious

This is good news for those of us who aspire to live in accordance with our highest sense of right (assuming we want long lives...).

"Higher levels of conscientiousness were significantly and positively related to longevity"


Pendulum Waves

Really cool video. I can almost hear music along with the movement.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stick Chair That Packs Flat

Wow. This chair is amazing.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Reading Creates Connection

I'm not the slightest bit surprised that readers feel connected to the characters about whom they read. What does surprise me is the statement that "...participants who were more group-oriented in life showed the largest assimilation effects." I would have thought that people who didn't like groups as much in real life would feel more attached to book characters.


Devil's Advocate - Not Really A Good Decision-Making Process

There is at least one study showing that giving people facts that contradict their views makes them hold more strongly to said views. Looks like presenting the opposing position works just as poorly for decision making.

"Devil's advocate was found to stimulate cognitive boistering of the initial position, thus raising concerns about the unintended consequences of techniques such as devil's advocate and the subtle task facing attempts to foster original thought and yet maintain cohesion."


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Grief Lessens, But Doesn't Go Away

I'm happy to see the professional thought fixers recognize that there are things that alter or lighten but don't actually "fix."

" never get over loss. As time passes, the intensity of feelings about the loss will lessen"

"...grief is an emotion that sends a vague alert to help you to remember, rather than to forget. Even so, what most people do with grief is attempt to forget--to get over it--which is quite contrary to the purpose of the emotion. Rather than try to forget, one must attempt to remember and cooperate with what your emotion is trying to convey."

I like this view of grief as an alert to remember and cooperate with your emotion.


Stop-Motion Musical Painting - Amazing!

This is beautiful! I could watch it again and again.


Gut-Level Judgments of People

I found these results comforting. Of course, I still need to work on that whole overriding-the-gut thing...


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Flowers Made of People

These are soooo pretty.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Focus On Function, Not Others' Opinions

"The most powerful influence on women's appreciation of their bodies is how they believe important others view them, the study suggests."

"Efforts by friends and family to encourage a person to lose weight often backfire, Tylka noted, because they tend to place the focus on eating according to arbitrary calorie counts and portion sizes -- external cues -- rather than on what the body really needs -- actual internal hunger and satiety cues."


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mermaid Tail For Amputee

What a great idea!


Personal Rotorcraft...Want That!

I want one.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Dog Eats Better

This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows dog people. Dog owners buy healthier good got their dogs than they do for themselves.


Oh, no. After You...

I'd love to see the actual numbers from this study showing that men say "I love you" first and are happier about hearing it. Is it 52 vs. 48 percent? Or 80 vs 20?

"These studies have demonstrated that saying and hearing "I love you" has different meanings depending on who is doing the confessing and when the confession is being made."

Um... No kidding!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Salt and Social Anxiety

This is kinda like finding out aspirin helps with heart attacks as well as pain. The pretzels on the bar not only come with a nice dose of calming simple carbs, the sodium content also makes you less nervous. Hmmm... calm thirsty beer even less nervous more munchies more beer getting gutsy... Well, you see where this is going.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Amazing Money Sculptures

These are amazing. I'm a big fan of paper art and paper engineering. The added texture and interest of using printed bills is really cool.


Clues to Why Pride Goeth Before a Fall?

Pride leads to hypocrisy, and gratitude doesn't. Hmmm... Can I use this to determine when public figures are lying?

"...participants induced to feel pride showed a similarly high level of moral hypocrisy, but those induced to feel gratitude exhibited little evidence of it."


The Amygdala: Brain Region of Conservatives

While this is really cool research, given how changeable our brains are, I'm concerned that the article makes the correlation sound causal. It would be interesting to do brain scans on people over their lifetimes to see how they change. I'll bet most of us know someone who was very liberal in college and turned conservative when they got older or vice versa.


Being Special to Someone Makes Us Happy

Interesting. They found that relationships make us happy (not terribly surprising) and that it's not just happy people who get into relationships. That one makes me wonder... Why would you want to get into a relationship with someone who isn't happy?


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stop Trying to 'Fix' Me!

Look! Some nice scientific evidence to back up "because it's really annoying."


Great Design: Book Tree

I so want these. They make no sense at all for someone with a giant library, but I still want them.


Friday, April 1, 2011

He Makes Me Laugh...

Yup. Women go for funny guys. This research suggests it's because humor is an indicator of intelligence. So... "He makes me laugh." is really code for "I love him for his mind."?


Being Romantic Does Not Increase Relationship Length

This research shows that romantic people don't have any better chance at a good relationship than non-romantic people. OK, fine. But my question is... What does "romantic" mean? Is it showing up with generic flowers on Valentine's Day or getting up early to make breakfast when your mate has an important presentation coming up?


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Be Crabby for Better Memory

Wow. So... "Being in a good mood has been shown to increase creative problem-solving skills and other aspects of thinking." But it decreases memory... There's a mixed blessing for ya.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wine Screws

I love these things!


Monday, March 28, 2011

More On Why We Need Sleep

"The findings build upon previous research by Walker and his team that shows sleep deprivation shuts down the brain's key planning and decision-making regions -- namely the prefrontal cortex -- while activating more primal neural functions such as the fight-or-flight reflex in the amygdala region of the brain."

If you've ever tried to make a complicated decision on no sleep, this is no surprise.


Nap Your Way Happy

If you've ever said, "Someone needs a nap," you were probably right. This study showed that people are less affected by negativity if they've had a nap. Based on this, I'm compiling a list of people who should never get out of bed. :)


How to Take the Joy Out of Humor

This is so dry, I almost fell asleep. I'm sure the research is interesting, but...


Saturday, March 26, 2011


Let me just start by saying that I love the word 'ooblek'. It's wonderfully Seussian. This is a fun video of how to play with a large quantity of the stuff.


How to Have a Rational Discussion

This chart is wonderful...and explains why I run the other way when I hear certain people starting in on politics.


Finally, A Good Use For Carpet Squares

This is beautiful work. Where can I get an enormous room and a few zillion colors of carpet?


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Write About Comfort Food Rather Than Eating It?

This fascinates me. Should I put pads of paper in the pantry and fridge instead of cookies and Red Vines?


Thursday, March 17, 2011

No, Officer, I Don't Have a Lead Foot. My Car Was Hacked

This is

I predict that this quote - “This took 10 researchers two years to accomplish,” - will go down in history... Soon.


Save the Research Money. Just Ask Enzo

This gets filed under Duh! They could have saved the money for something else and just asked Enzo Ferrari. He knew.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Less Sleep, Worse Ethics

From a recent post, "In a cross-sectional field study examining unethical behavior in a variety of work settings, low levels of sleep, and low perceived quality of sleep, were both positively related to unethical behavior"

Interesting... Think about it. We're a society of sleep-deprived folk with huge corruption problems...


We Regret What We Don't Do and What We Can't Fix

"Results showed inaction regrets lasted longer than action regrets, and that greater loss severity corresponded to more inaction regrets. Regrets more often focused on nonfixable than fixable situations. Women more than men reported love rather than work regrets and, overall, regrets more often focused on romance than on other life domains."


Monday, March 14, 2011

Interesting Musings on Removing 'Masculine' and 'Feminine' From Spiritualilty

While I'm not necessarily taken with all things Integral, I think this writer has a good point. The terms 'masculine' and 'feminine' come with so much cultural baggage that it's nearly impossible to use them without people mixing in stereotypes.


Nice Rebuttal to the Argument That Rise of Women Has Caused Fall of Men

Wow. The points Leonard Sax makes at the end about the Middle East blew my mind. Very interesting.

"Hymowitz and Co want to blame the decline of men on the rise of women. Some parents in Qatar want to put the blame on an all-powerful patriarchy. They are invoking opposite explanations for the same observed phenomenon, namely: girls today have more motivation than their brothers. In fact, neither feminism nor patriarchy is to blame for this phenomenon."


Curvy Wood Flooring

This is soooo cool!


The Flaws in Current/Popular Gender-Difference Research

Nothing like a good shakeup to turn the tide of research. :) She does a great job of explaining basic flaws in some of the polarized and hard-wired gender difference research out there and why it is perpetuated. As the younger researchers incorporate these ideas to create better experiments and do better analysis, it'll be interesting to watch the results shift and become richer..

I've already noticed some of the research blogs incorporating nature and nurture/society as intertwining influences, rather than trying to pin traits or behaviors on one or the other. Interestingly, it seems like many of the guys recognizing the limitations of the studies that have gone before are the same ones looking to redefine masculinity to include who they are rather than dictate to them who they should be. Some nice deep thinking going on out there. Good to see.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Brains in Love

‎"For millions of years, our ancestors lived in the trees. And if you had bad eyesight, you fell out of the tree."

I don't know why, but that just struck me as hilarious. She's got some interesting research.


The online test is fun too.

Toward a New Definition of Masculinity

Blogger William Harryman looks at two views of masculinity and comes up with a third.

"Masculinity is an embodied process of enactment in the relational space between socially constructed notions of gender."

I rather like the idea of gender as a process. Gonna have to chew on that one a while...


The Cognitive Overhead of Making 'Manly' Choices

"...the effort men require to constantly masculinize their preferences for everything from food to shower heads can take a toll on their ability to perform other cognitively demanding tasks."

This research is really interesting. When time crunched, men and women make the same choices. When given time to think, men put cognitive effort into making sure their choices are aligned with cultural norms.


Wired for Snugglies

The article is long, but gives an interesting history of cuddle research.

"Some evolutionary psychologists are now reaching the same conclusion as Hollender: that cuddle-wise, men and women just aren't that different. "I think that the explanations for males doing it are quite similar for the reasons that women do it," said Binghamton University's Justin Garcia, who is trained in both evolutionary biology and anthropology and studies hook-up culture on college campuses. Both just want intimacy and validation, he says—and to feel it in their skin."


Local Compassion Can Lead to World Peace?

"...compassion experienced for one person can instantaneously extinguish punishment for another. In short, the Dalai Lama may just be right - compassion may function to balance social systems so as to prevent escalating tit-for-tat aggression and downward spirals of prosocial behavior. What's more, this radiating ability may explain why sometimes any of us can be more forgiving toward someone than we ever would have predicted."

Interesting stuff.


Wrinkly or Crisp, Your Value Doesn't Change

This is a very sweet article on remembering your intrinsic value through life's ups and downs.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Play With Your Food

Wonderful artwork made with food on plates.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nike Might Be Right

"...healthy adults who received interventions focused on behavior-changing strategies significantly increased their physical activity levels. Conversely, interventions based on cognitive approaches, which try to change knowledge and attitudes, did not improve physical activity."

Personally, I think this is great news. I, for one, am sick and tired of people trying to psych me into joining their eating or exercise programs by telling me all the horrible things in my future if I don't.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We're Better At Helping Others

"I give myself such very good advice. But I seldom follow it..." It's true. We really do think better when helping someone else.

"On average, human-beings make more rational decisions when make them for others rather than themselves."


Make People More Kind and Ethical

This is fascinating. I wonder if it's because children are so black and white in their thinking, so people reconnecting with that choose the white hat over the black. Maybe?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Friendly Chats Help With Problem Solving

"Talking with other people in a friendly way can make it easier to solve common problems, a new University of Michigan study shows. But conversations that are competitive in tone, rather than cooperative, have no cognitive benefits."


Bring on the Veggie Bribes!

So, anyone want to volunteer to bribe me to eat veggies?


We Like Our Light to Come From the Left

This is really wacky. Now that I know we like light that comes from the left, I'd like to know WHY. Seems totally random to me.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

That Bad Boss is Bad For Your Health

I think we've all known this at a gut level for a long time. Always nice to have research confirm the gut, though.


Homophobia's Negative Effects on Heterosexual Relationships

There are lots of articles out there on the ways in which society defines masculine as "not female or feminine." Joe's post is a thoughtful look at the, also prevalent, "not gay" definition.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

The More Invested You Are in Your Job, the More Stress

"The odds of having high stress were greater if workers were managers or professionals, if they thought their poor job performance could negatively affect others, or if they worked long or variable hours."

I'm filing this under "I could have told you that."


22 Uses for an Altoids Tin

The headline says 'manly' 'cuz the blog is called "The Art of Manliness." Personally, I'd call 'em 'crafty'.


Change Your Perspective to Access Your Smarts

This is really timely for me. Just a couple of days ago, I was musing over my tendency to face difficult problems by first assuming they were too much for me, stalling, and then battering through them. Most of the time I end up kicking ass or at least doing OK, so why the pattern?

This research gave me something to chew on.


Lovely Photos by Lissy Elle

These are lovely and very clever.


The Cone of Shame Becomes a Lamp

This would be hysterical in a vet's waiting room.


Cordelia Fine on Gender Research and the 'Straw Feminist'

This is a wonderful piece on the political and social attitudes that color scientific conclusions and reporting. Well worth a read.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Five Myths About Grief

I'm happy to see the researchers questioning the Kubler-Ross' stages of grief. I know firsthand that well-intentioned people wanting to stuff you into the stages just adds to the mental load. I kept thinking I was somehow doing grief wrong when their expectations didn't match my internal experience.


An Interesting Addition to the Legalization Discussion

"Cannabis use appears to be associated with an earlier onset of psychotic illness."

Hmmm... It'll be interesting to see what future research turns up in terms of the link.


Objectifying Gaze Lowers Women's Math Performance

I'm trying to decide whether this should make me feel really bad for having been a female math major with good grades. :)


Testosterone and Empathy

" administration of testosterone under the tongue in volunteers negatively affects a person's ability to 'mind read', an indication of empathy." Interestingly, the additional testosterone has more effect on subjects who got a higher dose of testosterone pre-birth.


Oh. And before everyone jumps on the guys for "testosterone poisoning," the subjects were women.

Interview Strategy

This is very clever. Start your interview by asking them why they wanted to bring you in. They'll keep trying to justify their own high opinion of you as the interview continues. Definitely gonna try it next time I interview.


June Cleaver's Stock Drops

"Domestic skills in a partner plummeted in importance for men."



Do Nothing For Two Minutes: The Website

Here's a nice break from whatever you're up to.


(PS. When I went to the site again to create this post, it yelled at me for moving the mouse up to copy the URL. Bah ha ha ha!)

Not So Green Green Cleaners

" “green” or "natural" household cleaners aren’t any less toxic than regular ones—and in fact, are sometimes more so."

I'm so glad to see someone saying this in public. Back in the old days, the environmentally conscious folks were ape over Simple Green. In my office alone, there were a few of us who had to make a stink to prevent its usage in our vicinity 'cuz it burned our throats and eyes and made us wheeze. I'm all for being nicer to the environment, but let's do it intelligently. After all, lots of really nasty stuff is 'natural'.


More Than a Chemical Reaction

With the phrase "chemical imbalance" so pervasive in the popular vocabulary, this may come as a surprise...

"Contrary to what is often claimed, no biochemical, anatomical or functional signs have been found that reliably distinguish the brains of mental patients." Elliot Valenstein Ph.D., "Blaming the Brain"


Stunning Paper Dragon

Wow. This guy does beautiful work. Love that dragon!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pitfalls of Introversion

I swear this blogger is in my head or following me around or something...

This is a great article on some of the things we introverts aren't so good at.


Awesome Dollar Bill Origami

These are amazing.


The Procrastination Flowchart

This is hilarious.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Amazing Art Made of Salt

Wow. I'll bet these are just as meditative to create as they are to look at.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Powerful Post on the Disease Called Perfection

This is really powerful stuff. As of now, there are over 3400 replies. Think he struck a nerve.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rumors of Monogamy's Demise Are Grossly Exaggerated

Wow. A bad press release led to an article in a national newspaper spouting bad information.


Brene Brown Interview: Imperfection, Vulnerability, and Innovation at Work

Right before the 30-minute break, she hits on some really important issues. Every manager should listen to this.

"Creativity and innovation will never happen as long as shame is a management style."

"For the recipients of shame and fear, intent is not relevant." Smashing someone with the "good" intention of motivating them doesn't motivate them and is just a slam.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Whimsical Art: Sandrine Estrade-Boulet

Love her sense of humor!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Guys, Don't Have High-Pressure Meetings at Starbucks

Interesting that this study showing that caffeine has bad effects on men under stress got wide publicity right before Starbucks announced their new larger-than-the-average-stomachs Trenta size beverages.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Trusting Are Healthier

Not only are trusting people better lie detectors, they're also healthier.


Book Origami

Love altered books. Can't bring myself to actually cut or deface a book, but I love it when other people do. These are amazing.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Photo Like a Charcoal Drawing: 1950 Golden Globes

Nice photo. Looks like pencil or charcoal, doesn't it?


Screen Time Leads to Health Problems (Even If You Exercise)

Wow. This is interesting. Seems like the prevailing wisdom has been that the problem with screen-based entertainment was that people sat and ate, sort of the anti-weight-loss plan. This study shows that the screen time is bad for you even if you're good about getting exercise.


Attitude Determines Salary Altitude

I'm sure Bob Sutton (author of "The No Asshole Rule") is loving this research. Workers with better attitudes get paid better.

"any attempt to raise workers’ earnings potentials should focus not only on the development of their human capital endowments, but also on improvement of their attitudes."


Positive Thinking Not For Everyone

This study shines some light on something I've wondered about for a while. Have you ever known someone who is really into believing that everything happens for a reason and reframing events to emphasize the good, yet is still a bundle of unhappiness and anxiety? Clearly all that cognitive effort is not paying off for them. Turns out they're not alone.


Dim All the Lights Sweet Darlin... 'Cuz Your Body Needs the Dim

Sorry for the `70s flashback. It just popped into my head.

Yet another study has found that exposure to artificial light in the evening hours messes with our proper functioning.

"Results showed exposure to room light before bedtime shortened melatonin duration by about 90 minutes when compared to dim light exposure. Furthermore, exposure to room light during the usual hours of sleep suppressed melatonin by greater than 50 percent."

Given that most of us don't have different lamps for different times of day, is it any wonder we don't get good sleep?


Friday, January 14, 2011

Left Turn Haters Unite

I can't actually say I *hate* left turns, but I certainly don't like them much. Especially the unprotected kind. Turns out there may be good reasons to engineer traffic flows without them.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shoot-Em-Up Typing Game

I remember playing a game like this in the early 90s as part of one of those learn-to-type programs. My mother never let me take typing in school 'cuz, "If you can type, some man will decide it's your job." And she was right. I can't count the number of times the lack of typing skills prevented people from demoting me back when I was an editor. One guy even brought me a printout of a paragraph he wanted added to his manuscript. Ummm... I'm working on the paper in TeX on a computer. You typed the paragraph on a computer. Why don't you just email it to me or send me a file? Nope. This was his moment of power. Get revenge on the person who pointed out all of the grammar mistakes by wasting her time. Sigh.

Once I was free of that workplace full of... Well, let's just say the guy mentioned above was typical, and there were hundreds of them there... And it was clear that the computer was going to be key to my career, I found some floppy disks with fun games like this.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Oven Loungechair

This thing is marvelously awful. And very clever. Man, I hated harvest gold and avocado green. Barf!


Rex the Dog Stop Motion Video

I'm a big fan of animation. This is a very cute stop motion piece.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Clever Design: Milk Bottle

Not sure what I'd do with the contents, but I really want the jar. :)


Pretty Painted Guitars

Lots of color!


Sculptures From Car Parts

This guy's work is amazing! Love the Wall Frog.


Messing With the Circadian Clock Messes With the Mind (and Body)

This is really interesting. Mess with the schedule of the mice, and they get unhealthy. I'd like to know if there are correlations between being functional in our world (which is mostly lark friendly) and being a morning person. (You want me to be in the office by when?!?!) Similarly, what are the stats on obesity on owls forced to work in a daytime world? Oh so many questions...


Dog Breed Infographic From Wired

This would make an awesome poster.


Intelligence and Thinking Speed

Hmmm... This study shows that people who do well on IQ tests (They call those "smart people." Since IQ tests only test certain kinds of intelligence, I'm not so comfortable with making test scores equivalent to smarts. But anyway...).


Dealing With Fear Through Nonjudgmental Acceptance

I can do the acceptance part of what they recommend, i.e., "I have a fear of x." It's the nonjudgmental part that gets me. "I have a fear of x" is usually followed by "and it's stupid and I should just suck it up and get over it." Oh, well. Something else to practice.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sure, I Can Find Central America on the Map

This is hysterical. Wonder how many people think this is accurate...


Thursday, January 6, 2011

We Have Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself

This wonderful infographic shows the world's greatest fears over time. Isn't it interesting how many of them were tempests in teapots?


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Scream: Blocking Out the Scream, Not Screaming

I had no interest in Western history or art when I was in school, so this may be old news to most. "This dehumanised figure, into which viewers project their own neuroses, is not screaming but blocking out the scream of its existence."


PacMan On Overhead Wires

This is so clever. I love the PacMan folk on the wires.


Yet Another Reason to Ratchet Back the ME Culture: Rudeness Causes Brain Damage

Seems like every day I stumble across one more fascinating fact about creatures whose brains develop After birth, also known as human beings. In this article, a neuroscientist talks about how the level of hostility in American society is literally toxic to developing brains.

Random musing... Is there a correlation, and if so how strong is it, between increasing rudeness and increasing waistlines?


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Paint a Song

This thing is so cool! I've wasted tons of time with it. LOL!


Monday, January 3, 2011

The Stewie Burger

Play with your food! Check out this Stewie burger.


Make a Shrimp Out of a Bendy Straw

This is a skill everyone needs. :)


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Half-Real Car: Another Awesome Pencil Vs. Camera

I'm a huge fan of Ben Heine's work, and this one is a favorite. I like cars, I like screaming hot nail-polish pink, and I love the surreal take on the subject.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Trash Bag Trash Can

These are very cool.