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  • September 3, 2011
  • 04:00 AM

Tropical Storm Lee Approaches

by Paige Brown in From The Lab Bench

I live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Classes have started, and summer is coming to a close. We know what that means: it is hurricane season down in the Bayou. Talk about needing to be prepared and have a plan for potential dangerous situations. ... Read more »

Holland, G.J. (1993) "Ready Reckoner" Chapter 9, Global Guide to Tropical Cyclone Forecasting. WMO/TC-No. 560, Report No. TCP-31, World Meteorological Organization. info:/

  • September 2, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Don’t ruin the ending for me!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I love to read. Now, I tend to read while driving courtesy of my iPod and recorded books. And when this study first came out, I was appalled. ‘Stories are not spoiled by spoilers’. I knew intuitively that it was not true. I want to be pulled along, drawn in and surprised by a good [...]

Related posts:Voir Dire Tip: Are you ‘transported’ by a good story?
“I can look into his eyes and just tell he is lying”
Faulty Logic: Cannabis, psychosis and fish oil
... Read more »

Leavitt JD, & Christenfeld NJ. (2011) Story Spoilers Don't Spoil Stories. Psychological science. PMID: 21841150  

  • September 1, 2011
  • 03:56 PM

Are tightly-knit communities best for obesity prevention?

by Megan Carter in Verdant Nation

I am re-posting a guest-post that I wrote in June for my friend and colleague, Travis Saunders, on his blog: 'Obesity Panacea'. I was too lazy then to put the whole thing up on my own blog...Alas, I've come back to it as potential thesis material, so have decided to take the two minutes to format it. You can also view the original post here. I am hoping that researchers and the public at large are starting to get past the ‘blame the victim’ perspective of obesity. True, choice and prefe........ Read more »

  • September 1, 2011
  • 02:00 PM

Spare or share? Farm practices and the future of biodiversity

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Farming giveth and farming taketh away. Let’s parse that statement: Farming provides food—that much is obvious. But farming also gobbles up land that would otherwise accommodate endless biodiversity and beneficial ecosystem services. To counter the ecological harm done by farms, we have two options. One is to make farming more ecosystem friendly. Known as land [...]... Read more »

Ben Phalan, Malvika Onial, Andrew Balmford, & Rhys E. Green. (2011) Reconciling Food Production and Biodiversity Conservation: Land Sharing and Land Sparing Compared. Science, 333(6047), 1289-1291. info:/10.1126/science.1208742

  • September 1, 2011
  • 11:36 AM

Guess You Had to be There (Prefer Present Witnesses Over Absent Ones)

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - The recent trial involved two New York City police officers accused of raping a fashion executive, after helping her out of a taxi at the end of a night of drinking. Without physical evidence (the department's search of the apartment yielded nothing, and the accuser herself had showered), the case depended on the credibility of testimony. A key moment came when earlier grand jury statements were entered into the record, as John Eligon of The New York Times describes the........ Read more »

  • September 1, 2011
  • 06:27 AM

Testing the meaning of the Calatagan pot inscriptions

by nath in Imprints of Philippine Science

In my previous post I have presented the ‘tentative’ reading of the Calatagan pot inscription by Guillermo and Paluga [1]. In this post, I write the authors’ test that made them endorse their reading.

The authors think that the reading should be tested by the following: 1) lexical coherence and simplicty; 2) historical emplotment; and 3) sociological mapping or embeddedness.... Read more »

  • September 1, 2011
  • 03:06 AM

Men, Women and Spatial Intelligence

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Do men and women differ in their cognitive capacities? It's been a popular topic of conversation since as far back as we have records of what people were talking about.While it's now (almost) generally accepted that men and women are at most only very slightly different in average IQ, there are still a couple of lines of evidence in favor of a gender difference.First, there's the idea that men are more variable in their intelligence, so there are more very smart men, and also more very stupid on........ Read more »

Hoffman M, Gneezy U, & List JA. (2011) Nurture affects gender differences in spatial abilities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 21876159  

  • August 31, 2011
  • 02:30 PM

Mesopotamian Religion: Prelude to Axial Age

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

Between 800 and 200 BCE, a remarkable series of sages, mystics, and thinkers gave rise to the transcendental traditions that are known today as “world religions.” In 1949, the German philosopher Karl Jaspers identified several themes common to these traditions and described this  six hundred year period as the Axial Age: “These movements were ‘axial’ [...]... Read more »

Jacobsen, Thorkild. (1963) Ancient Mesopotamian Religion: The Central Concerns. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 107(6), 473-484. info:/

  • August 31, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

This is what a good leader does not look like

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Narcissists are often gregarious and social upon first meeting. They make a good initial impression. When I was learning about personality disorders in grad school we used to joke that they are wonderful on first dates, and a nightmare after that. But that good first impression wears thin over time and we find ourselves wondering [...]

Related posts:Being a good bragger (but stopping short of narcissism)
Power, Penises and the Role of the Presiding Juror
Mistrials due to lawyers making faces, ........ Read more »

Nevicka, B., Ten Velden, F., De Hoogh, A., & Van V. (2011) Reality at odds with perceptions: Narcissistic leaders and group performance. . Psychological Science. info:/

  • August 30, 2011
  • 02:05 PM

Climbing Mount Chernobyl

by Southern Fried Scientist in Southern Fried Science

Chernobyl Reactor 4, after the explosion In the last century, humans have made dramatic changes to both local and global ecosystems. Some of these changed have been subtle and remained unnoticed until very recently, while others have be so visible and so destructive that their names are indelibly etched into our collective consciousness. [...]... Read more »

Balonov MI. (2007) The Chernobyl Forum: major findings and recommendations. Journal of environmental radioactivity, 96(1-3), 6-12. PMID: 17493715  

Baker, Robert J., & Ronald K. Chesse. (2000) THE CHORNOBYL NUCLEAR DISASTER AND SUBSEQUENT CREATION OF A WILDLIFE PRESERVE. Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 1231-1232. info:/

Møller, A., Mousseau, T., de Lope, F., & Saino, N. (2008) Anecdotes and empirical research in Chernobyl. Biology Letters, 4(1), 65-66. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0528  

  • August 29, 2011
  • 01:51 PM

Male Rape Victims: Let's Talk About the Men

by Stephanie Zvan in Almost Diamonds

Fewer men are the victims of rape than women (about 10% of rape victims), but the number is still not small. And we know there's at least one important difference when a rape victim is a man instead of a woman: Men are even less likely to report the crime. Aside from that, though, how well do women's descriptions of rape fit men's experience? Aside from not consistently naming men as victims, do women's discussions of rape do any disservice to male victims?... Read more »

Lipscomb, G., Muram, D., Speck, P., Mercer, B. (1992) Male victims of sexual assault. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 267(22), 3064-3066. DOI: 10.1001/jama.267.22.3064  

  • August 29, 2011
  • 12:08 PM

A spin glass model of cultural consensus

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Does your social network determine your rational rationality? When trying to co-ordinate with a number of other people on a cultural feature, the locally rational thing to do is to go with the majority. However, in certain situations it might make sense to choose the minority feature. This means that learning multiple features might be rational in some situations, even if there is a pressure against redundancy. ... Read more »

STAUFFER, D., CASTELLO, X., EGUILUZ, V., & SANMIGUEL, M. (2007) Microscopic Abrams–Strogatz model of language competition. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 374(2), 835-842. DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2006.07.036  

Castelló, X., Loureiro, L., Eguíluz , V. M., & San Miguel, M. (2007) The fate of bilingualism in a model of language competition. Advancing Social Simulation: The First World Congress, 83-94. info:/

  • August 29, 2011
  • 11:48 AM

When Arguing Damages, "Drop Anchor" Even in Murky Waters

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

This blog frequently covers recent psychological or communications research bearing on legal persuasion, and an important question is how well results hold up when leaving the laboratory and entering the courtroom. One example is the phenomenon of damage "anchoring," or the advantage gained when one side offers an ad damnum number as a starting point for jury deliberations. In a long line of studies in laboratory settings, researchers have demonstrated the process of "anchor and adjust," meani........ Read more »

Shari Seidman Diamond, Beth Murphy, Mary R. Rose, & John B. Meixner. (2011) Damage Anchors on Real Juries . Social Science Research Network. info:/

  • August 28, 2011
  • 06:20 PM

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses better

by Fiona Beukes in Ona76

How can you improve your career prospects whilst developing your own learning? Peter Drucker (1999) in his Harvard Business Review article Managing Oneself advocates a lengthy period of reflection on your actions and the resulting outcomes of it. Drucker suggests that through personal Feedback Analysis we can all understand where our strengths lie and work on improving [...]... Read more »

Drucker, F. P. (1999) Managing Oneself. Harvard Business Review. info:/

  • August 27, 2011
  • 03:34 PM

The Zoroastrian Ethic & Spirit of Modernity

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905), Max Weber sought to correct or temper Karl Marx’s view that religion was always a reflection or epiphenomenon of the economic base. Although Marx’s understanding of religion was considerably more complicated and drew heavily on Ludwig Feuerbach’s idealist critique in The Essence of Christianity (1841), [...]... Read more »

Kennedy, Jr., R. (1962) The Protestant Ethic and the Parsis. American Journal of Sociology, 68(1), 11. DOI: 10.1086/223262  

  • August 26, 2011
  • 03:37 PM

Front yards, minus the grass

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

If you were on a quest to rid the world of excess turf grass, the front lawn would be a good place to start. No one does anything with their grassy front lawn except mow it. Back yards are far more amenable to relaxation and play—they’re sheltered from the noise of the street, protected by [...]... Read more »

Nassauer, Joan Iverson. (1993) Ecological function and the perception of suburban residential landscapes. Managing Urban and High Use Recreation Settings, General Technical Report, USDA Forest Service North Central Forest Exp. Sta., St. Paul, MN., 55-60. info:/

  • August 26, 2011
  • 08:50 AM

Penis Spines, Pearly Papules, and Pope Benedict’s Balls

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Author’s note: The following originally appeared as a guest post at A Primate of Modern Aspect and subsequently formed the basis for a technical comment published by Nature co-authored with John Hawks. This post is also notable in that it began my collaboration with artist Nathaniel Gold. There is very little known about the reign [...]

... Read more »

McLean, C., Reno, P., Pollen, A., Bassan, A., Capellini, T., Guenther, C., Indjeian, V., Lim, X., Menke, D., Schaar, B.... (2011) Human-specific loss of regulatory DNA and the evolution of human-specific traits. Nature, 471(7337), 216-219. DOI: 10.1038/nature09774  

  • August 26, 2011
  • 02:50 AM

Does internationalization change research content?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Every linguistics undergraduate student is by now familiar with the fact of linguistic imperialism in academic publishing where the pressure to publish in international journals translates into the pressure to publish in English, leaving researchers from non-English-speaking backgrounds at a … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 26, 2011
  • 01:42 AM

A Whole New World: My Beginnings as a Student of Journalism

by Paige Brown in From The Lab Bench

This week, I started graduate classes for the first time as a student of Mass Communications at the LSU Manship School. Yahoo!
Thus begins my jump from a PhD in Biomedical Engineering to an advanced degree studying science journalism!
... Read more »

PH Longstaff. (2005) Security, resilience, and communication in unpredictable environments such as terrorism, natural disasters, and complex technology. Center for Information Policy Research. info:/

  • August 25, 2011
  • 02:40 PM

Visions of Ruth Benedict

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

When it comes to classic anthropology, Margaret Mead may garner the lionesses’ share of attention but Ruth Benedict remains the matriarch. Although Benedict today is dismissed by some as a quaint relic of the “culture and personality” school of anthropology, such demurrals  underestimate the theoretical sophistication and continuing relevance of Benedict’s work.
Those who understand Patterns [...]... Read more »

Benedict, R. (1922) The Vision in Plains Culture. American Anthropologist, 24(1), 1-23. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1922.24.1.02a00020  

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