Megan Chanowitz

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A sigh's not just a sigh - it's a fundamental life-sustaining reflex

Research reveals that sighing is more than a sign of depression or despair: it’s a reflex that happens several times an hour and helps preserve lung function<p>Californian scientists have identified the source of the sigh. It is not just a response to sadness, depression or despair: it is, also, they …

9 Surprising Facts About Coffee Every Caffeine Addict Should Know

Turns out there is an optimal time to drink it.<p><b>1) Most energy drinks don't contain as much caffeine as a Starbucks coffee.</b><p>Don't believe anyone who tells you those expensive energy drinks have more bang than a cup of coffee. A 16-ounce Monster has about 150 milligrams of caffeine — half the amount …

12 Mind Tricks That Make People Like You And Help You Get Ahead

When you’re working hard and doing all you can to achieve your goals, anything that can give you an edge is powerful and will streamline your path to success.<p>Mind tricks won’t make you a Jedi, but using the brain’s natural quirks to your advantage can have a positive impact on everyone you …

Self-help

How to Stop Feeling Guilty: 5 Secrets Backed by Research

You did something bad. And now you feel terrible. But the feeling won’t go away. It gnaws at you. Even worse, it makes you feel like you’re a <i>bad</i> …

Scientists say people who worry a lot have an important advantage

You may have a leg up on everyone else.<p>Specifically, you may be in a better position to deal with both good and bad news when it finally arrives.<p>That's according to new research led by Kate Sweeny, Ph.D. at the University of California, Riverside, and cited in The New York Times. Sweeny and her …

Psychology

7 Online Classes That Will Make You Smarter and More Interesting

Massive open online courses have opened up classes from top-tier universities to students around the world. Here are some of the more unique offerings.<p>Since massive open online courses, known as MOOCs, exploded on the higher education scene, they've increased the breadth and access of classes in a …

Online Education

Here's How Your Taste In Music Evolves As You Age, According To Science

Exactly how does your taste in music evolve over time? Science now has the answer.<p>In your teens, you blast whatever is considered "popular" at that moment. Then, your interest in current jams falls in your 20s and early 30s before bottoming out around age 33.<p>That's according to a new study that …

The World’s Hardest Country for Women

Even without the threat of Boko Haram, the girls of northern Nigeria lead grim lives and face brutal challenges.<p>ABUJA, Nigeria — At age 14, Amina …

Africa

What would you pay to be happy?

The source of our happiness is closer than ever to being located, measured and commodified. Alex Renton meets the ‘psychoeconomists’ and asks, have they created a monster?<p>The happiest man in the world is a 67-year-old Buddhist monk called Matthieu Ricard. He starts his day sitting in a meadow in …

What we know, don't know about Freddie Gray's arrest

<b>(CNN) —</b> New information released Thursday adds complexity, and even more questions, to the already confusing picture of what happened to Freddie Gray after his arrest.<p>The transport van that carried Gray made a previously unknown stop along its route from where he was arrested to the police station. …

Justice

Inside a 'Game of Thrones' watch party at a Chicago bar

It may have taken less effort to secure a seat on the Iron Throne. For the last two weeks, Donn Gurule had been searching for a Chicago bar that shows "Game of Thrones," HBO's popular fantasy drama.<p>The first bar he visited turned him away because there was no room, Gurule said. The second bar he …

With millennials gaining influence, surveillance reform is inevitable

About a year ago, a thirtysomething sculptor in Los Angeles began working on a bust of<p>Edward Snowden. When he was done, he shipped the bust to his artist friends on the East Coast. Just before dawn April 6, the artists crept under cover of darkness into Brooklyn's Fort Greene Park and installed the …

Surveillance

What 'Food Porn' Does to the Brain

What's the psychological appeal of looking at food that can't be tasted?<p>In the mid-20th century, the Dutch biologist Nikolaas Tinbergen uncovered an odd quirk of animal behavior: Across species, the animals in his experiments seemed to prefer prettier, flashier, more attention-grabbing versions of …

Consciousness
CNN

Why knuckle cracking makes a popping sound, and why it might be beneficial

When muscle joints are pulled apart there forms a tiny cavity filled with gas which then collapses, creating a popping noise.<p>The wince-inducing sound of knuckles cracking is caused by a small bubble building up in the fluid of the fingers then ‘popping ‘, scientists believe, and it could even be …

PAVE

The surprising downsides of being clever

Can high intelligence be a burden rather than a boon? David Robson investigates.<p>If ignorance is bliss, does a high IQ equal misery? Popular opinion would have it so. We tend to think of geniuses as being plagued by existential angst, frustration, and loneliness. Think of Virginia Woolf, Alan …

Psychology

Is the Placebo Effect in Your DNA?

Some people feel better after dummy treatments, while others feel no difference unless the drugs are real. A new paper argues that the difference may come down to genetics.<p>The first real, physical proof of the placebo effect came in 1978. Running a study on patients who had recently had their …

Placebos

Top NASA Scientist: We’ll Find Signs of Alien Life ‘Within a Decade’

Humanity is on the verge of discovering alien life, high-ranking NASA scientists say.<p>"I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years," NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan said Tuesday …

Astronomy

Beyoncé and Rihanna Both Dropped Hot New Singles Over the Weekend

The Easter Bunny wasn't the only busy one this weekend: Both Rihanna and Beyoncé dropped brand-new singles!<p>Beyoncé announced her new song, "Die with …

You Could Eat Fast Food After A Workout To Build Muscle

No need for fancy supplements<p>Whether you’re training for a marathon or pumping iron like Arnold, intense physical activity depletes your muscles’ primary source of energy, glycogen. There’s a whole industry of post-workout supplements designed to help your muscles bounce back as quickly as …

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Has the Most Ferocious Lawyer in America Defending Him

Judy Clarke, the publicity-shy anti-death-penalty attorney, has defended the Unabomber, Susan Smith, and Jared Loughner, and successfully spared them capital punishment. Mark Bowden provides an in-depth portrait of her startling career.<p>We do not often think of a defense lawyer as someone who wars …

What’s the most we can remember?

People with extraordinary memory talents suggest that your mind may be capable of retaining more than you think, says Adam Hadhazy.<p>Unlike digital cameras with full memory cards that cannot snap any more pictures, our brains never seem to run out of room. Yet it defies logic that one adult human …

The Brain

The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things

You don’t have infinite money. Spend it on stuff that research says makes you happy.<p>Most people are in the pursuit of happiness. There are economists who think happiness is the best indicator of the health of a society. We know that money can make you happier, though after your basic needs are met, …

Happiness

Why We Like Food That Makes Noise

The crunch of a chip, the snap of a carrot, or the fizz of a freshly opened beverage may greatly influence just how good we think those foods taste, …

The Neurological Pleasures of Fast Fashion

Research shows that the brain finds pleasure in the pursuit of inexpensive things, and high-street chains and online retailers sites alike are cashing in.<p>In wealthy countries around the world, clothes shopping has become a widespread pastime, a powerfully pleasurable and sometimes addictive …

eCommerce

The hidden tricks of powerful persuasion

Are we always in control of our minds? As David Robson discovers, it’s surprisingly easy to plant ideas in peoples’ heads without them realising.<p>Are we all just puppets on a string? Most people would like to assume that they are free agents – their fate lies in their own hands. But they’d be wrong. …

Psychology

How Patient Suicide Affects Psychiatrists

Mental-health practitioners whose clients kill themselves can face stigma from their colleagues, lawsuits, and a toll on their own psyches—making them less likely to take on suicidal patients who need their help.<p>It’s hard to listen to a psychiatrist who sounds so broken. I expect a mental-health …

Mental Health