"After she passed, the chimps examined the body, inspecting Pansy’s mouth, pulling her arm and leaning their faces close to hers. Blossom sat by Pansy’s body through the night. And when she finally moved away to sleep in a different part of the enclosure, she did so fitfully, waking and repositioning herself dozens more times than was normal. For five days after Pansy’s death, none of the other chimps would sleep on the platform where she died."—
"Want to Understand Mortality? Look to the Chimps
", by Maggie Koerth-Baker
in the NYT [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Jun 25, 2013 -
Is Psychometric g a Myth?
- "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth
approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g
." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 11, 2013 -
Sian Jarvis, the supermarket’s head of corporate affairs, had undermined her claims to care about the health of her customers and let slip one of the secrets of a multi-billion-pound industry ... she revealed that one in three Asda checkouts “are what we call guilt-free checkouts”. Jarvis insisted “guilt-free” was merely “a term that’s commonly used in retail”. But it was too late, and her “guilt” gaffe quickly invited scorn in the industry and among public health professionals. Whatever the damage, she had already opened a door to the arcane science of supermarket psychology. To the designers of the modern store, shoppers are lab rats with trolleys, guided through a maze of aisles by the promise of rewards they never knew they sought The Secrets Of Our Supermarkets [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 10, 2013 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
The Anternet is always up. On the surface, ants and the Internet don't seem to have much in common. But two Stanford researchers have discovered that a species of harvester ants determine how many foragers to send out of the nest in much the same way that Internet protocols discover how much bandwidth is available for the transfer of data. [more inside]
posted by jquinby
on Aug 29, 2012 -
A chronic public health disaster.
Complex trauma and toxic stress puts children into a state of reflexive fight, flight, or freeze responses to a perpetually threatening world. The traditional authoritative response only serves to reinforce those behaviours and, perhaps worse, has long-term health consequences:
With an ACE score of 4 or more, things start getting serious. The likelihood of chronic pulmonary lung disease increases 390 percent; hepatitis, 240 percent; depression 460 percent; suicide, 1,220 percent.
One doctor describes it as “a chronic public health disaster”. Remediating this problem is going to require listening, kindness, and parachutes.
posted by davidpriest.ca
on May 1, 2012 -
The Brain on Trial.
Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.
"We may someday find that many types of bad behavior have a basic biological explanation—as has happened with schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, and mania." [more inside]
posted by Eideteker
on Jul 15, 2011 -
Anger, Politics and the Wisdom of Uncertainty
- "If there's somebody or even some institution to blame, it turns out people are much more likely to get angry... anger tends to inspire individuals to engage in more political activities than they would otherwise... Without someone to blame, respondents mostly just grow fearful and anxious... A particular danger of anger seems to be closed-mindedness. Research finds that when citizens get angry, they close themselves off to alternative views and redouble their sense of conviction in their existing views. Fear and anxiety, on the other hand, seem to promote openness to alternative viewpoints and a willingness to compromise." (via
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on May 18, 2011 -
Shared social responsibility
- When customers could pay what they wanted in the knowledge that half of that would go to charity, sales and profits went through the roof ... Gneezy describes the combination of charitable donations and paying what you like as 'shared social responsibility', where businesses and customers work together for the public good.
) [also see 1
posted by kliuless
on Jul 28, 2010 -
is widely recognized as a father of the information architecture field, and he serves as an advocate for the critical roles that search and findability play in defining web user experience. His recent project titled Search Patterns
, is a sandbox for collecting search examples, patterns, and anti-patterns; for example spime search
, the ability to query objects in motion and find things in the real world. Morville is also on the editorial board of the new Journal of Information Architecture
posted by netbros
on Jul 31, 2009 -
"Web professionals are often expected to be “always on”—always working, absorbing information, and honing new skills. Unless our work and personal lives are carefully balanced, however, the physical and mental effects of an "always on" life can be debilitating." Burnout: Running On Empty [more inside]
posted by netbros
on May 27, 2009 -
Are you an older sibling? Did you feel unfairly treated compared to your brothers and sisters? Well, now you have science to back you up. According to Games Parents and Adolescents Play
, a new sociology study published in The Economic Journal
, the oldest kid in the family really does bear the brunt of parental strictness, while the younger brothers and sisters generally coast on through. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on May 5, 2008 -
humans are dumber than chimps. These guys
show (at the NY Times level) that human kids will over-imitate every ritualized nuance modeled for them, whereas chimp kids just wanna get the damn cookie out of the box. Their website also describes more
of their studies.
posted by Eothele
on Dec 13, 2005 -
Sarah Elizabeth Witt struggles to convey a word game [direct to quicktime]
that caused her doctor to diagnose her as obsessive-compulsive.
"When I hear a word that starts with the letter U, I immediately gain access to the letter Y!"
posted by odinsdream
on Nov 24, 2005 -
How dogs became man's best friend: Dr Hare's hypothesis is that dogs are superbly sensitive to social cues from people...
His experiment was simple. He presented his animal subjects with two inverted cups. Then he hid the cups behind a screen, put a small piece of food under one of them, and took the screen away. The animal had to choose which cup to look under. If the experimenter gave no cue, both species got it right 50% of the time, as would be expected. However, if he signalled in some way which was the right cup, by pointing at it, tapping it, or even just gazing at it, a dog would choose correctly every time, while a chimpanzee would still do only slightly better than chance.
[More at Harvard Gazette
-- My question: are you able to reproduce his results?
posted by MzB
on Feb 21, 2004 -