Friday, February 11, 2011

Science Cinema

Psyched to Buy, in Groups

New York Times

You might think that this column is about, the white-hot Web site whose coupons save you 50 to 90 percent at local businesses. But it’s not. It’s about psychology.

Leprosy, Plague and Other Visitors to New York

New York Times

When New York City’s health department revealed last weekend that three people had contracted cholera, it was a reminder that the city is not just a world capital of arts, business and the like — but also of exotic diseases.

Animation Nation

Quickly made computer-generated cartoons are attracting millions of viewers online. Now, corporations, advertisers and Hollywood executives are taking notice.
Wall Street Journal

Last fall, television actor Richard Ruccolo sat down to make an animated movie about life in Hollywood. Twenty minutes later, a frustrated actor and a clueless talent agent, played by two cuddly-looking stuffed animals, strolled across his computer screen.

Why does contemporary classical music spurn melody?

Proponents of modern symphonic music cast unhappy audiences as unenlightened. But for most listeners, music elicits emotional rather than intellectual responses. Certainly, classical music should should challenge and evoke. It just shouldn't sound like bus crashes.
By Michael Fedo 
Christian Science Monitor

A few years before he passed, my father and I were discussing contemporary symphonic music. Like most concertgoers, Dad didn't care for it – except he wasn't like most concert-goers. He was a charter member of the Duluth, Minn., Symphony Orchestra, and sat in its French horn section for nearly 40 years.

God at the Grammys: The Chosen Ones

Why do so many musical superstars think that their careers are part of a divine plan?
Wall Street Journal

Music interviewer Neil Strauss finds a surprising common thread that separates the famous from the super famous - a firm belief that a higher power is guiding the wildly successful into glory. He talks about his theory with WSJ's Christina Tsuei.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

State Cyberbullying La A Brief Review of State Cyberbullying Laws and Policies

Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D. and Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D.
Cyberbullying Research Center

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Unemployment 101: Who pays for jobless benefits, anyway?

Employers pay state and federal taxes to cover all those unemployment checks. But with unemployment at 9 percent, those taxes aren't enough, leaving some states in dire straits.
By Ron Scherer
Christian Science Monitor

The Obama administration is trying to change the way the unemployment insurance system is funded.

Cameron's Multicultural Wake-Up Call

The growth of Islamist extremism in the West is something even the politically correct can no longer ignore.
Wall Street Journal


'Multiculturalism has failed," said British Prime Minister David Cameron last weekend in Munich. If anybody thought they had read those words before, it is because they have. Many times. Last October German Chancellor Angela Merkel (sitting onstage with Mr. Cameron when he gave his speech on Saturday) said the same. Finally, Europe's mainstream party leaders seem to be realizing what others have long noticed: Multiculturalism has been the most pernicious and divisive policy pursued by Western governments since World War II.

Working Stiffs: Playing Dead on TV Can Keep a Career on Life Support

Actors Are Sorely Needed for Corpse Duty; A Reporter Gets Shot on 'Law & Order'
Wall Street Journal

"Corpses, hold your breath…and, Action!" the director yelled. I had been slumped in an office chair on a Hollywood set for hours, covered in a gooey mix of corn syrup and medical latex made to look like a messy chest wound.

It's not easy playing dead for a living.

For Federal Programs, a Taste of Market Discipline

New York Times

Wouldn’t it be nice if taxpayers could somehow get a refund for government programs that didn’t work?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Moles: Nature's rototillers are mightier than a machine

Mightier than a tunnel boring machine, moles are always busy making their mountainous hills.
By Lynda V. Mapes
Seattle Times 

Dew sparkles on acres of lush lawn, velvety smooth and green. Except, of course, where molehills pock the perfection. [Graphic]

Jules Verne on Google: Can you find all the hidden treasures?

Google's salute to Jules Verne has lots of nooks and crannies. Did you find the sunken crown? How about the divers?
By Chris Gaylord
Christian Science Monito

Google crafted a loving tribute to Jules Verne today with its interactive logo. The company replaced its homepage banner with portholes, providing a charming view of 20,000 leagues – or at least 1,000 pixels – under the sea.

Brace yourself for the food-price bubble

If the world has a poor harvest this year, food prices will rise to previously unimaginable levels. Food riots will multiply, political unrest will spread, and governments will fall.
By Lester R. Brown
Christian Science Monitor

In early January, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that its Food Price Index had reached an all-time high in December, exceeding the previous record set during the 2007-08 price surge. Even more alarming, on February 3, the FAO announced that the December record had been broken in January as prices climbed an additional 3 percent.

Death Tax Ambush

Many states now have crushing burdens.

Here's some free financial advice: Don't die in New Jersey any time soon. If you have more than $675,000 to your name and you die in the Garden State, about 54% may go to the IRS and the tax collectors in Trenton.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Art Project

Social Scientist Sees Bias Within

New York Times

SAN ANTONIO — Some of the world’s pre-eminent experts on bias discovered an unexpected form of it at their annual meeting.

Going to Great Lengths for Beautiful Hair? Dermatologist Shares Hair Care Tips for Healthy and Damaged Hair

American Academy of Dermatology

NEW ORLEANS (Feb 4, 2011) — While the latest hairstyles and hair colors may look great, dermatologists warn that many women are subjecting their hair to harsh chemicals and heated styling devices that, in turn, can damage the hair. Over time, lustrous hair can look lackluster, become brittle and require a complete hair care overhaul to improve hair health and appearance.

Speaking today at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), dermatologist Zoe D. Draelos, MD, FAAD, consulting professor at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C., discussed the most common sources of hair damage and tips to reverse damage and maintain healthy, lustrous hair.

The Claim: Whispering Can be Hazardous to Your Voice

New York Times

Ever have a bad case of laryngitis? To protect your voice, you may have felt the urge to whisper. But many otolaryngologists advise against this, warning that whispering actually causes more trauma to the larynx than normal speech. Singers in need of vocal rest are often given the same advice: Avoid whispering. It will damage your pipes.

Health benefits of falling and staying in love

By Rachel Saslow
Washington Post

Love may make the world go 'round, but is it powerful enough to lower one's blood pressure, reduce depression and speed the healing of an injury? With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we set out to find the answer and discovered that science says yes.

Most ADHD Kids Have Multiple Conditions, Study Says

Two-thirds face other struggles, such as learning disabilities, anxiety, speech problems, data shows.
By Maureen Salamon

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Two-thirds of American children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder struggle with other mental health and developmental conditions, such as learning disabilities and anxiety, a new study suggests.

Why So Many Rich People Don’t Feel Very Rich

New York Times

Our post last week on whether the salary of Robert Gibbs, who is leaving his post as White House press secretary, is “modest” provoked some interesting reader comments. Several readers chimed in to say that even if it most likely placed Mr. Gibbs comfortably in the top 10 percent of earners, an annual salary of $172,000 probably didn’t feel like a lot of money, given where he lives, similarly educated counterparts in the private sector, etc.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mobile Wallets Poised for European Takeoff


Handbag and wallet makers beware: the day when we will finally be able to leave the house with just our mobile phone is approaching. Contactless payments are being integrated into mobile phones so they can be waved past a mobile reader to pay for our shopping.

An ‘unbeatable’ jockey robot

By Bonnie James
Gulf Times

An Indian robotics research engineer has developed in Qatar a voice command jockey robot system that will save racing camels from whipping.

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