For the very first time, the sales of one million sex toys and 45,000 of their reviews have been analysed to reveal what we do in our most intimate and uninhibited moments. Research
by Jon Millward, who also brought us Deep Inside
) [All links NSFW]
McLean Hospital are reporting that xenon gas has the potential to become a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other memory-related disorders.
You are a particle physics researcher. Particle Clicker
is a resource accumulation game in the same mould as Cookie Clicker
- but this time with particle physics research, academics, and funding. Click repeatedly on the Collider to generate data. Turn data into research to gain funding and increase your reputation. Spend your funding on Human Resources and Upgrades - don't forget to buy beer to keep your research students happy, and coffee to keep them awake! [more inside]
Researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Microsoft Research, and Adobe Research have presented a technique
for reconstructing an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. For example, the method can be used to extract intelligible speech from video of a bag of potato chips filmed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass. [more inside]
on a recently-published PLOS ONE
article describing sexual harassment and assault perpetrated on (overwhelmingly young, female) researchers in the field.
In a survey of scientists engaged in field research, the majority — 64 percent — said they had personally experienced sexual harassment while at a field site, and 22 percent reported being the victim of sexual assault.
If you heard the recent NPR's Codeswitch
segment on The Green Turtle
, the first Asian superhero
created in the United States, you heard descriptions of the 1940s comic. But there's more (so much more!) online. Start with the entire run of The Green Turtle
on the amazing Digital Comic Museum
, which hosts public domain Golden Age comics
(late 1930s until the late 1940s or early 1950s). If you want to know more about Chu F. Hing, the artist behind the original Green Turtle, here's an extensively researched biography
on the astounding Chinese American Eyes blog
, which covers "famous, forgotten, well-known, and obscure visual artists of Chinese descent in the United States." [more inside]
Word association time: I say "peat", you say… "Scotland", right? Not necessarily! Peat is found around the world, including in many African countries
. Earlier this year, scientists trekked through a Congo swamp, braving gorillas, elephants, crocodiles, and more. Their reward? Discovery of a peat bog the size of England
. The team estimates
that the bog covers between 100,000 and 200,000 square kilometers (40,000 to 80,000 sq miles), with the peat-layer reaching up to 7m (23ft) beneath the ground.
Jason Mitchell, a scientist in the Harvard Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab
recently published an essay on his website titled "On the emptiness of failed replications"
. In the essay he makes several controversial arguments, the most notable of which may be his assertion that studies designed to replicate previous work have no inherent scientific merit:
Because experiments can be undermined by a vast number of practical mistakes, the likeliest explanation for any failed replication will always be that the replicator bungled something along the way. Unless direct replications are conducted by flawless experimenters, nothing interesting can be learned from them. [more inside]
Facebook scientists, having apparently become bored with optimizing advertising algorithms, are now running social science experiments on the users
Link to the actual paper.
I assume they are already selling this to the advertisers as a way to alter "brand perceptions."
CREW stands for Continuous Review Evaluation and Weeding
, and the manual uses “crew” as a transitive verb, so one can talk about a library’s “crewing” its collection. It means weeding but doesn’t sound so harsh. [more inside]
Equaldex: the collaborative LGBT knowledgebase!
A crowd-sourced, verified, beautifully presented representation of equal rights (and how they are specifically denied) for LGBT folks. [via reddit]
"If the accessories are not expensive, the customer is not worth the effort of even a simple hello" In a paper soon to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Sauder marketing professor Darren Dahl lays out the findings of his research, where he looked at the correlation between the quality of customer service that a shopper receives in a store with their likelihood to return to make more purchases in the future. [more inside]
"Faculty at private schools were significantly more likely to discriminate against women and minorities than faculty at public schools. And faculty in fields that were very lucrative were also more likely to discriminate. So there was very little discrimination in the humanities. There was more discrimination among faculty at the natural sciences. And there was a lot of discrimination among the faculty at business schools." (link to NPR story
and colleagues conducted a field experiment in which professors were contacted by fictional prospective doctoral students and found that "faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from White males, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions."
Computers are providing solutions to math problems that we can't check
- "A computer has solved the longstanding Erdős discrepancy
problem! Trouble is, we have no idea what it's talking about — because the solution, which is as long as all of Wikipedia
's pages combined, is far too voluminous
for us puny humans
to confirm." (via
Ben Goldacre, The Guardian
: "Today we found out that Tamiflu doesn't work so well after all. Roche, the drug company behind it, withheld vital information on its clinical trials for half a decade, but the Cochrane Collaboration, a global not-for-profit organisation of 14,000 academics, finally obtained all the information. Putting the evidence together, it has found that Tamiflu has little or no impact on complications of flu infection, such as pneumonia." [more inside]
Scientists Progress in Quest to Grow Muscle Tissue in Labs
- "The researchers
are now working
on optimizing the growth of human muscle tissue, including finding a way to get blood flow to the tissue, the best source of cells and the best growing medium for the cells."
The worst places to get stung by a bee
"It started when a honeybee flew up Michael Smith’s shorts and stung him in the testicles." Smith's painstaking study adds another dimension to the well-researched Schmidt Sting Pain Index
"Generally speaking, media fandom operates on a labor theory of value—not necessarily in the Marxist sense of the phrase, but in the sense that value derives from work. Fandom's gift economy assigns special worth to "gifts of time and skill" (Hellekson 2009, 115), gifts made by fans for fans. The worth of these gifts lies not simply in the content of the gift, nor in the social gesture of giving, but in the labor that went into their creation." -- Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom's gift economy
by Tisha Turk.
"Armed with Science,"
is a new science-focused TV show developed by two of the Department of Defense's in-house research laboratories and the Pentagon. They have always developed some crazy tech work, like perception tests on their robots
. If Skynet is going to be real, I think these are the agencies that will put the terminators online.
Monsanto Is Going Organic in a Quest for the Perfect Veggie
- "The lettuce, peppers, and broccoli—plus a melon and an onion, with a watermelon soon to follow—aren't genetically modified at all. Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same technology that farmers have been using to optimize crops
for millennia. That doesn't mean they are low tech, exactly. Stark's division is drawing on Monsanto's accumulated scientific know-how to create vegetables that have all the advantages of genetically modified organisms without any of the Frankenfoods ick factor." [more inside]
ISEE-3 seeks the creator.
ICE/ISEE-3 to return to an Earth no longer capable of speaking to it.
"Given the desire for ambitious scientists
to break from the pack with a striking new finding, Dr. Ioannidis reasoned, many hypotheses already start with a high chance of being wrong. Otherwise proving them right would not be so difficult and surprising — and supportive of a scientist’s career. Taking into account the human tendency to see what we want to see, unconscious bias is inevitable. Without any ill intent, a scientist may be nudged toward interpreting the data so it supports the hypothesis, even if just barely." [more inside]
Smells can be very hard to identify and name
, unless you are given some prompting
- or you speak Jahai
, the language of an indigenous group in the Malay peninsula.
Welcome to a tumblr of wonders.
Special Collections, archives, and libraries have many wonderful items, but getting to them all can be a bit like trying to walk into Mordor, unless you have unlimited time and grants. But now, thanks to Tumblr, you too can explore collections around the world, and one of the best comes to us from the University of Iowa. Want a Hamlet quote on a miniature book that unfolds into a tiny Globe Theatre? Of course you do. Actual flying squirrels
? Adventure with Alice
! Get close to illuminations
? Catch a glimpse of hipster frames circa 1504
More awesome librar* tumblrs inside. [more inside]
This Video Will Hurt
A detailed explanation of a fascinating field of science and medicine by the always interesting C.G.P. Grey. [more inside]
I discovered a new species up my nose. It could well be that the Ugandan nostril ticks have yet to spread beyond the particular park where we conducted our research. We now have to return and set traps to catch more. More on Tony Goldberg
that a large international group
set up to test the reliability of psychology experiments has successfully reproduced the results of 10 out of 13 past experiments. The consortium also found that two effects could not be reproduced. [more inside]
"On a sunny day in 1998, Maura Gillison was walking across the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, thinking about a virus. The young oncologist bumped into the director of the university's cancer centre, who asked politely about her work. Gillison described her discovery of early evidence that human papillomavirus (HPV) — a ubiquitous pathogen that infects nearly every human at some point in their lives — could be causing tens of thousands of cases of throat cancer each year in the United States. The senior doctor stared down at Gillison, not saying a word. “That was the first clue that what I was doing was interesting to others and had potential significance,” recalls Gillison."
Human papillomavirus is causing a new form of head and neck cancer— leaving researchers scrambling to understand risk factors, tests and treatments. [more inside]
"People are denied access to research hidden behind paywalls every day. This problem is invisible, but it slows innovation, kills curiosity and harms patients. This is an indictment of the current system. Open Access has given us the solution to this problem by allowing everyone to read and re-use research. We created the Open Access Button
to track the impact of paywalls and help you get access to the research you need. By using the button you’ll help show the impact of this problem, drive awareness of the issue, and help change the system. Furthermore, the Open Access Button has several ways of helping you get access to the research you need right now." [more inside]
When you get a headache, you're faced with the Big Three options for over-the-counter pain relief: aspirin, acetaminophen (paracetamol) or ibuprofen. But which is best, according to the latest scientific evidence? And what's the best for toothache, back pain, period pain or musculoskeletal injuries? A pain specialist explains who the winners are in each main category.
Theoretically sound model for metallic carbon found.
Researchers from Peking University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics employed state-of-the-art theoretical methods to show that it is possible to manipulate carbon to form a three-dimensional metallic phase with interlocking hexagons.
“Unlike high-pressure techniques that require three terapascals of pressure to make carbon metallic, the studied structures are stable at ambient conditions and may be synthesized using benzene or polyacenes molecules."
The new metallic carbon structures may have important applications in lightweight metals for space applications, catalysis and in devices showing negative differential resistance or superconductivity. The research is supported by grants from China and the US Department of Energy.
The Nazi Anatomists.
"How the corpses of Hitler's victims are still haunting modern science—and American abortion politics."
The Rising Cost of Cancer Drugs
: "New drugs could extend cancer patients’ lives—by days. At a cost of thousands and thousands of dollars. Prompting some doctors to refuse to use them."
The Golden Goose Awards
celebrate "the human and economic benefits of federally funded research by highlighting examples of seemingly obscure studies that have led to major breakthroughs and resulted in significant societal impact." The 2012 awardees
The words and phrases that distinguish men and women on Facebook.
A word cloud visualization taken from a new study
exploring personality, gender and age in language used on social media, published in PLOS ONE. [more inside]
Home Truths: Domestic Workers in California
). 2012's groundbreaking National Domestic Worker Survey was conducted in 14 cities; the sample analyzed in this report includes 631 domestic workers (nannies, caregivers, housecleaners) in four metropolitan areas in California: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. [more inside]
Why particle physics matters
[no pun intended]. Physicists from around the world talk about why
we study the nature of the universe. [via
] [more inside]