If you believed you were drinking the indulgent shake, she says, your body responded as if you had consumed much more.
"The ghrelin levels dropped about three times more when people were consuming the indulgent shake (or thought they were consuming the indulgent shake)," she says, compared to the people who drank the sensible shake (or thought that’s what they were drinking).
Does that mean the facts don’t matter, that it’s what we think of the facts that matters?
"I don’t think I would go that far yet," Crum says. More tests need to be done, she says, to figure out exactly how much influence comes from food and mindset.
Using the labor of dozens of undergraduate students, scientists have built a customized yeast chromosome from scratch.
It’s a milestone in the rapidly growing field of synthetic biology, where organisms can be tailored for industrial use. In this case, the near-term goal is to understand the genetics of yeast, and eventually the genetics of us.
“In an interview with All Things Considered, Rosin tells host Robert Siegel that she had long wondered why statistics show that today’s parents both work more and spend more time with their children than previous generations. She says it has to do with the lack of independence people allow their children these days.”—Kids These Days: Growing Up Too Fast Or Never At All? : NPR
In the West, and particularly in urban centers of the United States, we’ve turned coffee into not just a daily habit, but a totem of conspicuous consumption. They are “rituals of self-congratulation” (a choice phrase I believe I read from…
“POWER: It is. The Chinese chemical industry is currently supplying grey market chemicals, which are used across the U.S. and across the U.K. and the EU. So, we contacted one and we asked them to make it. And it was quite funny actually. They asked me who I was and what I was doing. And so I said that I was a dog medicine manufacturer. I wanted to be as implausible as possible and quite vague in order that they would call me out on it. And it’s because, you know, they knew what I was doing and I knew what I was doing. I was ordering a psychoactive cocaine-like substance from China to be imported into the U.K. So, yeah, we set up our bogus dog medicine company. We commissioned the laboratory to produce slightly different vision of phenmetrazine. We added a couple of different molecules to it, which according to some people that I spoke to would make it slightly less potent but still an active stimulant.”—Inside The Barely Legal World Of Designer Drugs : NPR
“There are a few principles which allowed the web, as a platform, to support such growth. By design, the Web is universal, royalty-free, open and decentralised. Thousands of people worked together to build the early Web in an amazing, non-national spirit of collaboration; tens of thousands more invented the applications and services that make it so useful to us today, and there is still room for each one of us to create new things on and through the Web. This is for everyone.”—Web at 25: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Invention of the Web
“Much of the current debate in the U.S. is over what the NSA should be allowed to do, and whether limiting the NSA somehow empowers other governments. That’s the wrong debate. We don’t get to choose between a world where the NSA spies and one where the Chinese spy. Our choice is between a world where our information infrastructure is vulnerable to all attackers or secure for all users.”—Schneier on Security: Computer Network Exploitation vs. Computer Network Attack
“Richtel points to work by Sevincer et al. that makes the counter-intuitive observation that optimistic language in newspaper articles and presidential addresses is a predictor of poor economic performance. This actually is consonant with research that has shown that fantasies not tempered by realistic assessment of challenges are less likely to yield results. (People who fantasize about the success of their with control program are less likely to loose pounds). Perhaps people who fantasize an imaged outcome imagine that obtaining it will be easy, and thus work less hard. More sober assessment yields better results.”—Deric Bownds’ MindBlog: Optimism correlates with poor results
Three years ago, Kayla Montgomery was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Faced with the prospect of being confined to a wheelchair someday, Montgomery, one of the slower runners on her high school cross country team, told her coach she was short on time and wanted to run faster. Now she’s one of…
"For example, we had this song ‘Lock Down’ by the band 52 Metro," Salganik says. "In one world this song came in first; in another world it came in 40th out of 48th. And this was exactly the same song. It’s just in these different worlds, history evolved slightly different. There were differences in the beginnings, and then the process of social influence and cumulative advantage sort of magnified those small, random initial differences."
Now obviously there are many different things that have an impact on success and failure — money, race and a laundry list of other things — and after this work, which one person in the field described as a seminal paper, Salganik went on to do similar studies with parallel worlds that suggest that quality does have at least a limited role. It is hard to make things of very poor quality succeed — though after you meet a basic standard of quality, what becomes a huge hit and what doesn’t is essentially a matter of chance.
Chance is the thing.
Which makes you think — and not just about the role chance plays in what we consider great art, but also about success more generally in our lives.
The sheng is a free-reed wind instrument dating back to 1100 BCE in China. Using a modern sheng, Li-Jin Lee makes the ancient instrument sound remarkably like Super Mario Bros., including coin and power-up sounds.
And I know the Olympics are over and good riddance and all that, but this Mario Kart speedskating bit is great. Baby Park was one of my favorite tracks on Double Dash.