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NPR: Viewer Beware - Watching Reality TV Can Impact Real-Life Behavior.

This is one form of media that may appear harmless, but I think our research provides a little bit of evidence that there can be some negative outcomes as well.

08/25/14 • 11:31 AM • EntertainmentPsychologyScience • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

TechDirt: Why Do Police In Suburban St. Louis Have More Powerful Weapons Than Marines In Afghanistan

What we’re seeing here is a gaggle of cops wearing more elite killing gear than your average squad leader leading a foot patrol through the most hostile sands or hills of Afghanistan. They are equipped with Kevlar helmets, assault-friendly gas masks, combat gloves and knee pads (all four of them), woodland Marine Pattern utility trousers, tactical body armor vests, about 120 to 180 rounds for each shooter, semiautomatic pistols attached to their thighs, disposable handcuff restraints hanging from their vests, close-quarter-battle receivers for their M4 carbine rifles and Advanced Combat Optical Gunsights. In other words, they’re itching for a fight.” Carry lethal weapons that you train with frequently, build skills, never get to actually use them as trained ... the itch gets overwhelming.

08/21/14 • 10:58 AM • Human RightsLawPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Paris Review: What We See When We Read.

Really interesting thought experiment.

08/20/14 • 10:26 AM • ArtsBooksPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Bookanista: Here be sea monsters.

All of them seem to have had breasts, however, by all accounts quite remarkable breasts, though some allowance must be made for the inevitable inventions of lonely sailors.” 

08/20/14 • 09:42 AM • ArtsBooksHistoryPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

The Dish: Calling Out Catcalls.

This brings up a point. If I’m walking on the street, and I see a man or a woman who is dressed so fantastically that I feel the desire to comment appropriately ... is there any method by which one can do so without seeming creeper/stalker/pervert?  I don’t think there is any method anymore for someone to say, “Jeez, you look amazing! Perfect!” and then just saunter on our merry way.

08/19/14 • 11:45 AM • GeneralPsychology • (3) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Pacific Standard: What Has Neuroscience Taught Us About Free Will?

Broadly, they were trying to figure out if all the reasons we think we’ve made a decision are actually just after-the-fact rationalizations. The underlying theory they were testing holds that our brain has a bunch of automatic responses to the choices we face everyday—cream or sugar, left or right, Democrat or Republican, to be or not to be—pre-programmed by our genes and by the environment around us.

08/12/14 • 11:03 AM • PsychologyScience • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

OnStage Mag: Frampton personally enforces “No Camera” Policy.

He flings for the rafters.  Speaking of which, this self-absorbed behavior is getting worse and worse.  Our internationally-famed Canyon Road art galleries are now under siege by Shazam, the music-recognition app. Customers are bulling their way through fragile displays, shoving their cellphones next to speakers, and yelling “I GOT IT! I GOT IT!” for the entire block to hear.

These are not teenagers, in our galleries. These are comfortably middle-aged folks who should behave better.

08/07/14 • 01:39 PM • GeneralMusicPsychologySanta Fe Local • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

ReadWrite: “Web Developer” Is A Job Title That Has Come And Gone.

Durned if I’ll call myself some sort of ‘imagineer.’ And specialization? When you’re a small shop? Death.  I’ll have to stack specialized monikers on my company site.

08/07/14 • 12:12 PM • ProgrammingPsychologySmall Business • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

DiscoverMag: Annals of Bone-Headed Science Communication.

But I have figured out (the hard way) that calling someone an ignorant whack job has not been a very smart or persuasive way to communicate.

08/06/14 • 11:26 AM • HealthPsychologyScience • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

PS Mag: Fictional Stories Are More Moving Than We Predict.

New research finds people mistakenly believe real-life stories will be more emotionally gripping than those that are the products of an author’s imagination.” There are some who eschew all fiction, because biographies ‘tell how real people solved real issues.’ Then they find out how biographers and autobiographers engage fictional thinking and revisionism ...

08/06/14 • 09:52 AM • ArtsBooksPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Globe and Mail.CA: Cultural nostalgia is a human experience.

As we mature, we learn to rationalize our pop cultural passions. We make intellectual arguments for the legitimacy of our tastes, we defend our positions as objectively unassailable, we resist the experiences of other generations as somehow less worthy or enlightened than our own. But what it boils down to is this: We just can’t help it.”  Generously guilty as charged.

08/05/14 • 02:09 PM • EntertainmentHistoryPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Pacific Standard: Violent Video Game Play Triggers Risky Behavior.

In a study that tracked thousands of teens over time, it found strong links between playing mature-rated, risk-glorifying games and a wide range of potentially harmful behaviors, including drinking and cigarette smoking.”  Apparently when you reward risky behavior in virtual space, that translates to real-world behavior.

Day later: 12% of gamers hallucinate sound effects after they stop playing. So, perhaps we now have an idea what might have been going through the shooter’s mind at Sandy Hook?

08/05/14 • 12:54 PM • ChildhoodPsychology • (4) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

The Rumpus: Murder By Danielle Collobert.

Collobert left behind a handful of books, all produced in only twenty years. Like many writers who have chosen to end their own lives, her voice occasionally takes on a gravity that is, if nothing else, alarming, urgent.

08/05/14 • 11:37 AM • ArtsBooksPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

WaPo: Crimes of Passion.

Writing an opera about adultery, in this context, involves a great bait-and-switch, because while adultery was once a crime, love is not. Love, in fact, is supreme in Western culture: we are told that it is synonymous with God, that it conquers all, that it has its own laws, and that in its pure form it is one of the greatest things to which man can aspire. So a story about two adulterers can at once titillate and uplift: the passion outweighs the crime.

08/05/14 • 09:36 AM • ArtsBooksHistoryPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

The New Yorker: Last Call.

Buddhist monk vs. suicide culture: “Sometimes Nemoto tells his attendees to put a white cloth over their face, as is customary with corpses in Japan, while he conducts a funeral ceremony. Afterward, he tells each to carry a lighted candle up a hill behind the temple and imagine that he is entering the world of the dead. This exercise, for reasons he doesn’t understand, tends to produce not tears but a strange kind of exhilaration, as though the person were experiencing rebirth.

07/31/14 • 11:42 AM • PsychologyReligionTravel • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Design You Trust: Little Giant Girl Marches through Liverpool.

Check the children’s faces, versus the adults. Adults are smiling; kids look a bit unsure. Having fantasy ‘come to life’ gives kids pause; ask any performer at Disney World. Or your average seasonal Santa Claus.

07/31/14 • 10:50 AM • ArtsChildhoodEntertainmentPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

The Airship: I Read All of the Harry Potter Books for the First Time Over the Last Month.

Someone had to say it.

07/31/14 • 09:52 AM • ArtsBooksChildhoodPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Paris Review: Emily Brontë’s Boring Birthday.

I’m afraid it’s true. Emily Brontë’s birthday letters are totally dull.” Doesn’t that give more evidence to a fertile imagination?

07/31/14 • 09:48 AM • ArtsBooksHistoryPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Pacific Standard: Are You Really as Happy as You Say You Are?

They built what they call a hedonometer, which is a daily report of the geography and timing of happiness.” Flashback to Woody Allen’s “Orgasmatron” ...

07/30/14 • 09:54 AM • PsychologySocial Media • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Medium: Thirty Things I’ve Learned.

Everyone will enjoy this.

07/30/14 • 09:08 AM • PsychologyWeblogs • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Pacific Standard: The Most Popular Ways to Share Personal News.

Despite all of the technology, face-to-face communication still came out on top as the most popular method of sharing.” Which emphasizes the fact that a social media persona is a fictional construct (not that all personas aren’t constructs; just more fictional than the historical mean).

07/29/14 • 11:40 AM • Home & LivingPsychologySocial Media • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

DiscoverMag: First Impressions Are Mostly Based on Your Face.

For example, mouth shape and area were linked to approachability (for which a smile is a big plus), whereas eye shape and area were linked to attractiveness. Reversing this process, the authors were then able to generate simulated cartoon faces that produced specific, predictable first impressions in observers.” My emphasis. Keeps dentists and plastic surgeons in Ferraris, certainly.

07/29/14 • 11:38 AM • HealthPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Aeon: Can you have self-worth without self-love?

We can learn not to care about display, and not to crave the admiration of others. We could even learn to display fewer selfies.”  A nice tempering of the current personal branding mania.  Worth the read.

07/28/14 • 09:00 AM • InternetPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Paris Review: The Best Medicine.

Can a reader and a character be simultaneously amused?”  Hmmm. Interesting. Conflict tends to drive dialogue, not amusement. I can’t think of a single example of mirthful characters, off the bat. Mercutio’s mirthful wit, perhaps.

07/25/14 • 04:11 PM • ArtsBooksPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

The Airship: Have You Failed as a Writer If You Aren’t Famous?

True failure doesn’t lay in being unknown, but ceasing to write.

07/25/14 • 12:28 PM • ArtsBooksPsychology • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks
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