Archive for the ‘Human Interest’ Category

Meat Eaters mapped

When the world’s population passed seven billion people in 2011 we humans weighed, in total, 350 million tonnes. That weight is rising rapidly as our numbers are still growing and we are getting heavier. Back in 2011 each of us weighed, on average, just under eight stone. Around two billion of us were children then, […]

Square pie charts read best

In comparing how well people read a square pie chart, a circular pie chart, a donut shaped pie chart or a bar chart, it turns out that people do worst on the bar and best on the square pie charts. Source: A Reanalysis of A Study About (Square) Pie Charts from 2009 – eagereyes

Massive open-access database on human cultures created

D-PLACE – the Database of Places, Language, Culture and Environment – is an expandable, open access database that brings together a dispersed body of information on the language, geography, culture and environment of more than 1,400 human societies. It comprises information mainly on pre-industrial societies that were described by ethnographers in the 19th and early […]

Hundreds of Genes Spring Back to Life in the Days After Death

In the first of the two studies, the researchers sought to determine which genes out of about a thousand might still be functioning in zebrafish and mice in the immediate days following death. To their surprise, the researchers found that hundreds of genes sprung back to life. Not only that, the activity of some of […]

Happiness equation: New equation reveals how other people’s fortunes affect our happiness

A new equation, showing how our happiness depends not only on what happens to us but also how this compares to other people, has been developed by UCL researchers funded by Wellcome. The team developed an equation to predict happiness in 2014, highlighting the importance of expectations, and the new updated equation also takes into […]

Chinese loan sharks seek salacious selfies as collateral

The selfies are accepted as collateral for loans up to 15,000 yuan – about US$2,200 – on a whopping 30 per cent rate of interest per week. That may, however, have to do with translation: China Daily says the interest rate is 30 per cent per year. As well as the selfies, borrowers had to […]

The law is nuts: Tinder to stop facilitating under 18s dating due to legal worries

Tinder is discontinuing use of the app for everyone under the age of 18 starting next week, according to a statement from Tinder VP of Communications Rosette.. Source: Tinder discontinues service for users under 18 If you are held responsible for what happens during human interaction because you facilitate the meeting of the humans, there is […]

Unintended consequences of AI: Amazon Echo seems to condition kids to be rude

Alexa will put up with just about anything. She has a remarkable tolerance for annoying behavior, and she certainly doesn’t care if you forget your please and thank yous. But while artificial intelligence technology can blow past such indignities, parents are still irked by their kids’ poor manners when interacting with Alexa, the assistant that […]

Twitter abuse – each gender sends misogynistic tweets as often as the other

A study into abusive tweets sent from UK Twitter accounts suggests large-scale misogyny, with women responsible for half of such tweets. Source: Twitter abuse – ‘50% of misogynistic tweets from women’ – BBC News And men for the other half.

Swarm A.I. Correctly Predicts the Kentucky Derby, Accurately Picking all Four Horses of the Superfecta at 540 to 1 Odds – showing that humans can swarm

Until recently, the human species has been unable to take advantage of this fundamental biological technique, for we didn’t evolve the ability to swarm. Enter Unanimous A.I., a Silicon Valley startup founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneur and researcher Dr. Louis Rosenberg. The core question Rosenberg set out to answer was: Can humans swarm, and […]

France Is Getting Closer To Banning After-Work Emails

The bill would make businesses come up with hours during which employees cannot check or send emails. And it comes as workers are finding it increasingly difficult to detach themselves from work, Socialist MP Benoit Hamon told BBC News. “Employees physically leave the office, but they do not leave their work,” he said. “They remain […]

Heatmap News – view news by location on a map

Heatmap News gives you a quick overview of what is happening in the world right now. It provides a unique perspective by presenting the most important news stories from around the world on a map. Source: Heatmap News

Brain link bypasses spine to control hands

Here we show that intracortically recorded signals can be linked in real-time to muscle activation to restore movement in a paralysed human. We used a chronically implanted intracortical microelectrode array to record multiunit activity from the motor cortex in a study participant with quadriplegia from cervical spinal cord injury. We applied machine-learning algorithms to decode […]

A Student In Iceland May Have Just Saved The Planet

The answer to our world’s plastic pollution problem is here.[…]To show Ari doesn’t just talk a big game, he started studying the strengths and weaknesses of certain substances, eventually landing on a solution to our plastic problem made from algae.[…]If the bottle remains full of water it will keep its shape, as soon as it’s […]

How you are most likely to die, in charts

Charts of the 10 leading causes of death and injury by age group for the US An interesting one is when you look at the unintentional injury chart you can see firearm related deaths high on the list at all ages. And people keep claiming it’s not guns that kill people!

Study finds relationship between knowing you’re under surveillance and the views you post online

Instead, it attenuates the relationship between the opinion climate and voicing opinions except among a small number of participants who believe surveillance is not justified. Those who firmly believe that the govern-ment’s monitoring programs are unacceptable decide whether to share their views entirely independently of both perceived surveillance and the opinion climate. […]Although not directly […]

The size of your pupil shows which letter you are reading

We present a new human-computer interface that is based on decoding of attention through pupillometry. Our method builds on the recent finding that covert visual attention affects the pupillary light response: Your pupil constricts when you covertly (without looking at it) attend to a bright, compared to a dark, stimulus. In our method, participants covertly […]

Want to Learn a New Skill? Faster? Change Up Your Practice Sessions

When practicing and learning a new skill, making slight changes during repeat practice sessions may help people master the skill faster than practicing the task in precisely the same way, Johns Hopkins researchers report. Source: Want to Learn a New Skill? Faster? Change Up Your Practice Sessions – 01/28/2016

Winning a competition predicts dishonest behavior

Winning a competition engenders subsequent unrelated unethical behavior. Five studies reveal that after a competition has taken place winners behave more dishonestly than competition losers. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that winning a competition increases the likelihood of winners to steal money from their counterparts in a subsequent unrelated task. Studies 3a and 3b demonstrate […]

Brain – Computer interfaces could be built from graphene: shown to safely interact with neurons in the brain

Researchers have successfully demonstrated how it is possible to interface graphene – a two-dimensional form of carbon – with neurons, or nerve cells, while maintaining the integrity of these vital cells. The work may be used to build graphene-based electrodes that can safely be implanted in the brain, offering promise for the restoration of sensory […]

Why people think total nonsense is really deep

The precise reasons that people see profundity in vague buzzwords or syntactic but completely random sentences are unknown. Some people might not realize the reason they don’t understand something is simply because there is nothing to understand. Or they might just approach things they hear and read less skeptically. There are also a few characteristics […]

Study finds honesty varies significantly between countries

Beliefs about honesty seem to be driven by psychological features, such as self-projection. Surprisingly, people were more pessimistic about the honesty of people in their own country than of people in other countries. One explanation for this could be that people are more exposed to news stories about dishonesty taking place in their own country […]

To make persuasive political arguments, couple your argument to the opposing moral values

Stanford sociologist Robb Willer finds that an effective way to persuade people in politics is to reframe arguments to appeal to the moral values of those holding opposing positions.[…]Conservative participants were ultimately persuaded by a patriotism-based argument that “same-sex couples are proud and patriotic Americans … [who] contribute to the American economy and society.”[…]”Moral reframing […]

Recruiters think of you as smarter, would prefer to hire you when they hear your pitch than when they read it.

In comparison with those who read the transcripts, the evaluators who heard pitches judged the candidates to have greater intellect (to be more rational, thoughtful, and intelligent), on average. They also liked the individuals more, had a more positive overall impression, and — perhaps most important — were more interested in hiring the candidates. Evaluators […]

Prosthetic hands can now feel

A 28-year-old who has been paralyzed for more than a decade as a result of a spinal cord injury has become the first person to be able to “feel” physical sensations through a prosthetic hand directly connected to his brain, and even identify which mechanical finger is being gently touched.The advance, made possible by sophisticated […]

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