PacificStandard: What Life Is Like When Having Your Period Means You Are Shunned.
Helping break these taboos would be more rewarding than the usual ‘Eat-Pray-Love’ self-discovery tourism.
Science 2.0: Neuroscientists Discover Brain Circuits Involved In Emotion.
“This latest research has discovered a brain pathway leading from the PAG to a highly localised part of the cerebellum, called the pyramis. The research went on to show that the pyramis is involved in generating freezing behaviour when central survival networks are activated during innate and learnt threatening situations. The pyramis may therefore serve as an important point of convergence for different survival networks in order to react to an emotionally challenging situation.” It may point the way to help for panic disorders.
The Baffler: The Tyranny of Time Management.
“According to a press release by Vanderbilt University, the researchers found that test subjects ‘overwhelmingly viewed the actors using the electronic calendars as being more authoritative.’ Additionally, one of the authors said that ‘actually being able to operate the devices really isn’t all that important, provided you know enough to look reasonably competent. Just possession is 90 percent of the game ...” My emphasis. Via the unquenchable Dr M on Twitter.
NPR: Does Kin Selection Explain The Evolution Of Religion?
“Kin selection turns on the concept of inclusive fitness, the idea that an organism’s biological fitness derives not only from the direct production of offspring, but also from aiding the reproduction of its other relatives.” My emphasis. Good luck with that in these net-connected personally-disconnected times.
Pacific Standard: Frequent Liars Club.
The Mischiefs of Faction: Why Are Conservatives Obsessed with Reagan?
“… people just find it easier to employ with a “great man” view of history. So rather than think about what really happened - the mix of positions that we call modern conservatism gradually emerged from the debates and negotiations among mid-century thinkers - it is easier to just say that Reagan did it.” He did it, alright. And we’re still suffering the fallout.
PS Mag: The Myth of the Artist’s Creative Routine.
“In my sanest moments, I realize how silly this all is. It is not only the routine of any of these artists that made them successful. Not many of them even follow the routines they offer.” ‘Tis true, ‘tis true.
365/2: 106. Struggling for the shot today.
After a day of digging into Expression Engine programming (changing an existing site’s mobile layout through Foundation 5), my brain is just *not* in a creative space. I liked the pattern against the viga crack, and that’s all.
Nautilus: The Curse of the Unlucky Mummy.
NPR: Play It Again And Again, Sam.
“Musical repetitiveness isn’t really an idiosyncratic feature of music that’s arisen over the past few hundred years in the West. [snip] It seems to be a cultural universal. Not only does every known human culture make music, but also, every known human culture makes music [in which] repetition is a defining element.” Synchronicity again. I’d just been wondering about this. I’ve switched to listening to a ‘smooth jazz’ (no comments) station, in my desperation to escape endless loops of Sweet Child of Mine, Radar Love, Hotel California and Oye Como Va Mi Ritmo (the go-to ‘Latino’ rock standard), thanks to Clear Channel owning wide swaths of broadcast space. Hearing the bass-thump of Radar Love again almost makes me murderous … it comes up on commercial stations multiple times a day.
DiscoverMag: Over the Hill? Cognitive Speeds Peak at Age 24.
“It’s not all bad news for those of us on the wrong side of 24, however. Researchers found that older players compensated for their slower cognitive speed by making the game simpler. For example, older players retain their skill by using more keyboard shortcuts to make up for their motor-speed declines.” Makes me feel a little better.
Global Views on Morality: Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project.
The Verge: Gut feelings - the future of psychiatry may be inside your stomach.
“Probiotics’ potential to treat human behavior is increasingly apparent, but will manufacturers one day toss an anxiety-fighting blend into their probiotic brews? It’s a distinct possibility …” Science should map the gut biome before manufacturers start pushing out ‘beneficial’ blends.
WaPo: France didn’t ban people from checking work e-mail after 6. This is why it should have.
ArtDaily: Germany lifts confiscation order on Nazi-era art hoard after more than two years.
“Gurlitt had said in a media interview earlier this year that he had no intention of giving artworks to potential claimants. But the elderly recluse, who is suffering from a number of health problems, has subsequently taken on a new team of advisors and appears keen to burnish his personal legacy.” We’ll have to wait and see; given his history, I am not hopeful.
Pacific Standard: Half of Americans Believe at Least 1 Conspiracy Theory.
“For many Americans, complicated or nuanced explanations for political events are both cognitively taxing and have limited appeal. [snip] A conspiracy narrative may provide a more accessible and convincing account of political events.” ‘Simple answers’, since the 80’s. Before that, shaggy dog stories.
Pacific Standard: Can You Learn to Judge Creativity?
“A new research paper suggests that amateurs can, indeed, be trained to be better judges of creativity — at least when it comes to children’s paintings.” Reminds me of the time when we were using children’s drawings in a particular company’s PR push … the creative director didn’t feel the drawings were ‘right’ and grabbed crayons and drew over the children’s work to ‘improve’ them. I felt that the children’s work should not have been altered, no matter what permissions had been obtained. Bothers me still.
PacificStandard: Study - Enjoy Life More ... Use Facebook Less.
Yale Daily News: Study explores beliefs about free will.
“The study establishes that people have a greater belief in free will after thinking about others committing immoral actions compared to committing morally neutral actions. This finding suggest that belief in free will is a fluid concept ...”
NY Times: ‘The Rise’ and ‘The Up Side of Down’.
“When we surrender to the fact of death, not the idea of it, we gain license to live more fully, to see life differently … [snip] … to walk down paths of my own choosing, which to some might seem like failure.”
PS Mag: Study Casts Doubt on Superiority of Stradivarius Violins.
“Six of the soloists chose new violins as their hypothetical replacement instruments, while four chose ones made by Stradivari. One particular new violin was chosen four times, and one Stradivarius was chosen three times, suggesting those instruments were the clear favorites.”
CNet: Too much Twitter leads to infidelity and divorce, study shows.
“I found it interesting that active Twitter users experienced Twitter-related conflict and negative relationship outcomes regardless of length of romantic relationship.” Probably boundaries and time-suck.
The Daily Beast: Rashida Jones and the Pornification of Pop.
I agree with Ms Jones. Proof? This photo does more for me than any of the current pop-diva video gyrations. Consider what is ‘not said’, the negative space, along with what is patently obvious. Letting the mind indulge in a little fantasy, rather than leaving nothing to imagination and exposing all in technicolor debauchery and hydraulics, would be my choice.
NPR: ‘In Paradise,’ Matthiessen Considers Our Capacity For Cruelty.
“How has civilization — so called — come this far and people are still designing tools to kill each other? For no other purpose than killing. Why are we doing it? Why are we doing it?”
Later: In a strange synchronicity, it seems Peter Matthiessen passed away today. His books always energize me; indeed, I took In The Spirit of Crazy Horse on my honeymoon, and was so irascible after reading, my new wife made me Fedex it back home from Hawaii. RIP, good sir.
Even later: NY Times, Peter Matthiessen’s Homegoing.
BrandeisNOW: Don’t beat yourself up, you’ll live longer.
“The research illustrates how easy it is for stress to build over time and how a seemingly small daily stressor, such as traffic, can impact a person’s health if they don’t have the right strategies to deal with it.” Find your chill pill and take it regularly.