faye sharman

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Ars Science Q&A: How to deal with science denialists | Ars Technica

People don’t accept scientific information for a lot of different reasons.<p>In my blog post on my 10th anniversary at Ars, I promised to answer …

Scientists discover oldest words in the English language, predict which ones are likely to disappear

The oldest words in the English language include "I" and "who", while words like "dirty" could die out relatively quickly, British researchers said …

Do Skimpy Clothes Force Men's Brains to Objectify Women?

Science can't shut up about how men can't help the fact that they sometimes seem like they might be thinking with their penises because their brains …

Scientists just discovered a key reason why 'jerks' often succeed at work

Most notably, the late Steve Jobs led Apple to become one of the most successful companies in the world, despite being known as someone who shouted and cursed at employees and made derogatory remarks about their work.<p>You might assume that these relatively unlikable people are successful because …

Why Agnosticism Probably Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

Agnostics are often characterized as ambivalent or wishy-washy fence sitters who refuse to make up their minds. But there's much more to agnosticism …

Your Foul Mouth Proves That You’re Smart, Says Science

Fluent use of profanity can be a sign of an articulate nature and a deep intelligence, say researchers from two separate studies. So, the next time you find yourself unleashing a string of f-bombs next to a set of raised eyebrows, take comfort in knowing mom did not (necessarily) create a …

NYU scientists are transforming the way we understand how the brain processes language

The work seems to contradict theories that brains just collect one word at a time.<p>The finding, reported in Nature Neuroscience, plunges the scientists, all of whom are affiliated with New York University, into a long-time roaring battle among linguists, neuroscientists and psychologists about how …

Watch Einstein’s Theory of Relativity explained in a superfun 3-minute cartoon

Today is the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and what better way to celebrate that iconic moment in history than taking …

These Icelandic lullabies are absolutely terrifying

It’s not unusual for lullabies to be a little scary. The well-known English-language <i>Rock-a-bye Baby</i> ends with an infant falling out of a tree, for example. But the lullabies from the remote island of Iceland are on a whole other level.<p>Take, for example, this line, translated by the poet W.H.</i> …

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Down the Rabbit Hole: Delving Into Language Processing in the Brain

<b>Alice in Wonderland is 150 years old this year but the ever-young adventurer recently led Cornell researchers to a part of the brain that helps</b> …

Why We Hurt Each Other: Tolstoy’s Letters to Gandhi on Love, Violence, and the Truth of the Human Spirit

In 1908, Indian revolutionary Taraknath Das wrote to Leo Tolstoy, by then one of the most famous public figures in the world, asking for the author’s support in India’s independence from British colonial rule. On December 14, Tolstoy, who had spent the last twenty years seeking the answers to …

DIY: Dried Vegetables, Colonial Style

An autumn tradition in my family, our annual walk on the “Battlefield Road” retraces the footsteps of Paul Revere from Lexington to Concord. Here, in …

Is It Harmful to Use Music as a Coping Mechanism?

Putting on headphones to regulate emotions may not always be beneficial.<p>Listening to music is aform of emotional self-care that many of us turn to every day, without much conscious thought. The streaming service Spotify, well aware of this, offers a collection of “Mood” playlists, from “Anthems of …

Why Dirty Thoughts Could Improve Your Memory

There are a dizzying number of popular tricks for improving memory, from the classic "memory palace" technique to the Baker-baker method to Franklin Roosevelt's favored technique of imagining a person's name stamped across their forehead. The idea of trying to remember all these memory tricks alone …

Study Skills

When Sacred Texts Say Terrible Things

Many sacred texts contain problematic passages (i.e. passages which endorse morally repugnant ideas and practices). For that matter, so do the founding documents of many secular intellectual traditions. Aristotle was a racist and sexist, for example (<i>Politics</i> 1260a13, <i>Politics</i> 1327b20-33).<p>Some …

Smartphone Use Makes Your Brain More Sensitive to Touch

Swiping fingers across a smartphone screen can make the brain more sensitive to the touch of the finger tips, a new study suggests.<p>The study, …

You Can Quit Thanking Comets for Your Water

There was no shortage of drama when the European Space Agency’s probe Philae set down on a comet last month—the first such landing in history. First …

Is There A Scientifically Valid Way To Interrogate People?

Even if torture were condonable, it doesn't work, says a research psychologist. What does?<p>The release of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program documents the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) against terrorism …

Warning over experimental brain boost

Electrical brain stimulation equipment – which can boost cognitive performance and is easy to buy online – can have bad effects, impairing brain functioning, research from scientists at Oxford University has shown.<p>A steady stream of reports of stimulators being able to boost brain performance, …

How to Live a Long Happy Life — 8 Insights Backed by Research

• One of the reasons young people do such risky things is because they think happiness declines with age so they live it up. They’re only half right: …

Why Rape and Trauma Survivors Have Fragmented and Incomplete Memories

A door opens and a police officer is suddenly staring at the wrong end of a gun. In a split second, his brain is hyper-focused on that gun. It is …

Scarecrow People Are Slowly Taking Over A Japanese Village

There is a Japanese village, deep in the mountains, where residents are slowly being replaced by life-sized scarecrows. Only 35 people remain in the small town of Nagoro, and they are now outnumbered three-to-one by scarecrows.<p>Hundreds of families once called Nagoro home, but over time, people …

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A paper by Maggie Simpson and Edna Krabappel was accepted by two scientific journals

A scientific study by Maggie Simpson, Edna Krabappel, and Kim Jong Fun has been accepted by two journals.<p>Of course, none of these fictional characters actually wrote the paper, titled "Fuzzy, Homogeneous Configurations." Rather, it's a nonsensical text, submitted by engineer Alex Smolyanitsky in an …

Two-Faced Cats: How Do They Get That Way?

At 15 years old, Frank and Louie was famous for its genetic mutation.<p><b>The famous two-faced cat, Frank and Louie (sometimes called Frankenlouie), passed away this week at the ripe old age of 15. The Massachusetts feline held the Guinness Book of World Records title for the longest lived Janus …

Drone Captures Haunting Images Of Ukrainian Town Evacuated After The Chernobyl Disaster

New drone footage paints a harrowing picture of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, close to 30 years after one of the world's worst nuclear disasters.<p>The images give an insight into the decaying Ukrainian city of Pripyat, which has remained completely cut off since the city was engulfed in flames after …

Here's How To Escape New York City During A Doomsday Scenario

It isn't necessarily fun, but Charles believes it's incredibly important to prepare for every contingency possible. This is the type of "game" that all preppers, a subculture made famous by National Geographic's TV show Doomsday Preppers, take part in. A game of chess, says Charles, where winning …

Being powerful literally changes your voice, science says

If you don't have a big stick, don't bother speaking softly.<p>A recent study from the Columbia School of Business found that when people were put in …