Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Grocery Bags Carry Unintended Consequences

May 12, 2014

Grocery Bags Carry Unintended Consequences
People who bring their own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store to help the environment are more likely to buy organic items … and then buy ice cream and cookies, according to new research. Hey, those folks saved the environment, they deserve a treat, right?

More:

“How Grocery Bags Manipulate Your Mind,” Carmen Nobel, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

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Facebook is Like a Disease, But Recovery is Near

April 3, 2014

Facebook is Like a Disease, But Recovery is Near

“A new study of Facebook has predicted that the social network’s rapid growth will prove unsustainable and that the site will lose 80 per cent of its users between 2015 and 2017.

A group of Princeton researchers has compared Facebook to a highly infectious disease, claiming that after it reaches a certain critical mass of ‘infected’ users, these individuals will ‘recover’ and quit the site.”

— “Facebook is an ‘infectious disease’ and will lose 80% of users by 2017, according to researchers,” James Vincent, The Independent

If you’s like to see how Princeton’s engineers apply an epidemiological model to social media, you can read study here:

“Epidemiological modeling of online social network dynamics,” John Cannarella and Joshua A. Spechler, arXiv

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Free College for the Rich

December 7, 2013

Free College for the Rich

“Most people taking free online courses worldwide are among the best-educated and wealthiest of the population, casting doubt on the idea that the classes will benefit the disenfranchised, a survey showed.

More than half of those taking massive open online courses, or MOOCs, were men and the majority were already employed, according to Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost for Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the authors of the correspondence piece in today’s journal Nature.”

— “Survey: Rich kids reap benefits of online courses,” Nicole Ostrow, Bloomberg via Salon [link added]

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Formula for Perfect Pizza

November 15, 2013

Fornula for Perfect Pizza

“Soggy bottoms and burnt crusts could be a thing of the past for troubled cooks who are making pizzas from scratch at home. A mathematician claims to have come up with the first-ever formula for the ‘perfectly proportioned’ pizza, taking into account factors like the ratio of topping to base.  Dr. Eugenia Cheng said pizza lovers get more topping per bite in a smaller pizza, but a more even spread of bites in a larger pizza.”

— “Formula for the perfect PIZZA revealed: Mathematician creates equation to ensure you don’t burn – or undercook – a margherita,” Sarah Griffiths, Daily Mail (links added)

Dr. Cheng is a visiting Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago through Spring 2014, but we don’t know what she makes of Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza. Frankly, we think it’s a kind of bread bowl cheese fondue. Jon Stewart thinks it’s more like a casserole.

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 Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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The First Painters Were Cave Women

October 19, 2013

The First Painters Were Cave Women

Penn State Professor Dean R. Snow has discovered strong evidence that most early cave painters were women. Dr. Snow measured hand stencils artists traced on painted walls at cave sites in France and Spain and concluded that three-quarters of these were made by women and not men, as had been previously assumed.

More:

“Were the First Artists Mostly Women?” Virginia Hughes, National Geographic News

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Entry-Level Entrepreneurs

August 8, 2013

Entry-Level Entrepreneurs

“Researchers from Germany and Sweden found that … entrepreneurs … have a tendency to display anti-social behavior as teenagers. There wasn’t a link between entrepreneurial tendencies and severe crimes, but those who later founded their own companies were more likely as teenagers to have been truant, ignored their parents’ rules, cheated and shoplifted minor items, compared with others in the sample.

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Lab-Grown Burger

August 1, 2013

Lab-Grown Burger

A 5-ounce hamburger will be served up in London next week at a cost of nearly $400,000. Fries cost extra.

The precious patty of burger meat will be “in-vitro” beef, laboratory- grown from a cow’s stem cells. “Right now, we are using 70 percent of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock,” says meat manufacturer Dr. Mark Post of Holland’s Maastricht University. “You are going to need alternatives. If we don’t do anything, meat will become a luxury food and will become very expensive.”

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Breeding Burpless Bovines

June 23, 2013

Breeding Burpless Bovines

Methane and other greenhouse gasses are heating up the world’s atmosphere, fueling global warming. 18% of those gases come from the burps and farts of the billions of cows in the vast herds feeding the world’s growing appetite for meat. Face it, Earth’s human population isn’t going to go Vegan, and cow-mounted catalytic converters just don’t cut it. What’s to be done?

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Lab-Testing Tattoos

June 13, 2013

Lab-Testing Tattoos

“A study by Swami and Furnham (2007) showed that tattooed women were rated as less physically attractive but more sexually promiscuous. Given that men interpret women’s sexual intent according to their physical appearance, we predicted that women with tattoos would be more favorably approached by men. A temporary tattoo was placed on confederates’ lower back, or not, and all confederates were instructed to read a book while lying flat on their stomach on a well-known beach. Two experiments were conducted. The first experiment showed that more men (N = 220) approached the tattooed confederates and that the mean latency of their approach was quicker. A second experiment showed that men (N = 440) estimated to have more chances to have a date and to have sex on the first date with tattooed confederates. However, the level of physical attractiveness attributed to the confederate was not influenced by the tattoo condition. “

— “Effects of a Tattoo on Men’s Behavior and Attitudes Towards Women: An Experimental Field Study,” Nicolas Guéguen, PubMed

Related: 

Nicolas Guéguen, Université de Bretagne-Sud website

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 Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Cell Phones & High Blood Pressure

May 18, 2013

Cell Phones & High Blood Pressure

The highlight of the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension this week was a study suggesting that mobile phone calls may raise your blood pressure. The study, conducted at Northern Italy’s Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital, found that subjects talking on their telefonini had a significant rise in blood pressure, from 121/77 to 129/82. Frankly, we wonder if BP rose because subjects were irritated when their phone calls were interrupted by blood pressure tests.

More:

“New research shows what raises and lowers blood pressure: Cell phones, salt and saying om,” EurekaAlert

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Image (“Cell Phones & Blood Pressure, after Adriaen Brouwer”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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