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.