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24 July 2014

Word of the Day

Taphophile:

Tombstone tourist (otherwise known as a "taphophile", "cemetery enthusiast", cemetery tourists or "grave hunter" or "graver") describes an individual who has a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries.[1] This involves epitaphs, gravestone rubbing, photography, art, and history of (famous) deaths. The term has been most notably used by author and biographer Scott Stanton as the title of his 2003 book and his former website[2] on the lives and gravesites of famous musicians.

..via Wikipedia

Kindness

Social scientists first started studying marriages by observing them in action in the 1970s in response to a crisis: Married couples were divorcing at unprecedented rates. Worried about the impact these divorces would have on the children of the broken marriages, psychologists decided to cast their scientific net on couples, bringing them into the lab to observe them and determine what the ingredients of a healthy, lasting relationship were. Was each unhappy family unhappy in its own way, as Tolstoy claimed, or did the miserable marriages all share something toxic in common...?

Contempt, they have found, is the number one factor that tears couples apart. People who are focused on criticizing their partners miss a whopping 50 percent of positive things their partners are doing and they see negativity when it’s not there. People who give their partner the cold shoulder—deliberately ignoring the partner or responding minimally—damage the relationship by making their partner feel worthless and invisible, as if they’re not there, not valued. And people who treat their partners with contempt and criticize them not only kill the love in the relationship, but they also kill their partner's ability to fight off viruses and cancers. Being mean is the death knell of relationships.

How to Clean Your House in 10 Easy Steps

Step Three: Toss in some laundry. I hate laundry. Hate isn’t even a strong enough word for it. I have to do 4 loads of laundry every day. Every. Single. Day. Don’t bother sorting. Who cares about sorting. Just toss in as much as will fit in the damn washer, because girl, you are running out of time. Caillou is about to come on and you will lose your shit if you hear that whiney voice belting out of the TV. You gotta hustle and get the next kid friendly distraction ready.

Is it irrational to hate laundry just as much without kids? Or Caillou?

10 July 2014

Shelter


Much more humane idea than installing metal spikes to keep homeless people from having places to sleep. Considering as a society we already like to pretend that all homelessness is due to personal choices and they should be punished for it, it is nice to see a city take even a small measure to make that less of a hardship for the person on the street.

Math Nerd or Bookworm?

Here, teachers are a bit like farmers, Detterman says. And children are a bit like corn. "You have corn plants that do well in certain environments, and don't in others. And the farmer's job is to get the corn plants into the right soil."

Article doesn't really highlight anything particularly surprising, but for that quote, it had to be shared. Make Children of the Corn a much different concept.

05 July 2014

Drone Flying in Fireworks

Definitely a better show than what I watched last night. Plus, you get the 'bonus' of Andrea Bochelli, and who can ever have enough of listening to this song over and over again?

30 June 2014

The Fermi Paradox

We're rare, we're first, or we're fucked.

Just read it. It's compelling. And my money is on rare and fucked. Accidents happen, doesn't mean they turn out well.

Creativity/Intelligence/Mental Disorder

While my workshop study answered some questions, it raised others. Why does creativity run in families? What is it that gets transmitted? How much is due to nature and how much to nurture? Are writers especially prone to mood disorders because writing is an inherently lonely and introspective activity? What would I find if I studied a group of scientists instead?

These questions percolated in my mind in the weeks, months, and eventually years after the study. As I focused my research on the neurobiology of severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and mood disorders, studying the nature of creativity—important as the topic was and is—seemed less pressing than searching for ways to alleviate the suffering of patients stricken with these dreadful and potentially lethal brain disorders. During the 1980s, new neuroimaging techniques gave researchers the ability to study patients’ brains directly, an approach I began using to answer questions about how and why the structure and functional activity of the brain is disrupted in some people with serious mental illnesses.

As I spent more time with neuroimaging technology, I couldn’t help but wonder what we would find if we used it to look inside the heads of highly creative people. Would we see a little genie that doesn’t exist inside other people’s heads?

Really long but interesting article about what links the creative brain to personality/mood disorders. Too small a study to count as entirely applicable across a broad spectrum, but a good start nonetheless.