The Way People Think And Act Is Affected By Ceiling Height

ceilingIs your mental range of possibility being stifled by the ceiling above you? From a little while ago, via ScienceDaily:

Recent research by Joan Meyers-Levy, a professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, suggests that the way people think and act is affected by ceiling height.

“When a person is in a space with a 10-foot ceiling, they will tend to think more freely, more abstractly,” said Meyers-Levy. “They might process more abstract connections between objects in a room, whereas a person in a room with an 8-foot ceiling will be more likely to focus on specifics.”

The research demonstrates that a higher versus a lower ceiling can stimulate the concepts of freedom versus confinement, respectively. This causes people to engage in either more free-form, abstract thinking or more detail-specific thought. Depending on what the task at hand requires, the consequences of the ceiling could be positive or negative.

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Police Called Over “Homeless Jesus” Sculpture Installed In Wealthy North Carolina Town

Homeless JesusHere’s what would happen if Jesus were to return to Earth and land in the affluent Bible Belt suburbs. Via NPR:

The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes.

The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn’t. “One woman from the neighborhood actually called police the first time she drove by,” says David Boraks, editor of DavidsonNews.net. “She thought it was an actual homeless person.”

That’s right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus. Some neighbors feel that it’s an insulting depiction of the son of God.

“It gives authenticity to our church,” Rev. David Buck says. “This is a relatively affluent church, to be honest, and we need to be reminded ourselves that our faith expresses itself in active concern for the marginalized of society.”

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Philatelists’ Delight? The Gay Bondage Stamps of Finland

Courtesy Itella Posti Oy; original image: Tom of Finland Foundation

Courtesy Itella Posti Oy; original image: Tom of Finland Foundation

You have to hand it to the Finns: they may have singlehandedly created a whole new generation of philatelists. Slate reports on the new gay bondage stamps designed by Tom of Finland:

The United States has some pretty cool stamps and, once the Harvey Milk stamp is released next month, at least one commemorating an openly LGBTQ American. But it’s difficult to imagine a future where America’s stamps are as amazingly, graphically gay as Finland’s. This fall, the country will begin selling stamps that feature the “confident and proud homoeroticism” of Tom of Finland, an artist renowned as “beyond question the most influential creator of gay pornographic illustration.”

Itella Posti Oy, the Finnish equivalent of U.S.P.S., boasts that Tom of Finland—also known as Touko Laaksonen—is “considered one of the most well-known Finnish artists around the world”:

His emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on, for instance, pop culture and fashion.

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New York Measles Outbreak Traced to Fully Vaccinated Woman

Pic: CDC (PD)

Pic: CDC (PD)

“Measles Mary” had been fully vaccinated against the disease, yet still managed to contract it and spread it to others. (They should have know that was going to happen. I mean, her name is “Measles Mary”. Come on…)

Via Science:

Get the measles vaccine, and you won’t get the measles—or give it to anyone else. Right? Well, not always. A person fully vaccinated against measles has contracted the disease and passed it on to others. The startling case study contradicts received wisdom about the vaccine and suggests that a recent swell of measles outbreaks in developed nations could mean more illnesses even among the vaccinated.

When it comes to the measles vaccine, two shots are better than one. Most people in the United States are initially vaccinated against the virus shortly after their first birthday and return for a booster shot as a toddler. Less than 1% of people who get both shots will contract the potentially lethal skin and respiratory infection.

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Montana Man Licks Cop’s Eyeball While Resisting Arrest At ‘Pisser’s Palace’

Pic: Booking photo (PD)

Pic: Booking photo (PD)

Mistake One: Hanging out at a place called “Pisser’s Palace“.

Mistake Two: Calling the cops to report a crime when there’s a warrant out for your arrest.

Mistake Three: Licking the eyeball of the cop who responds to your call. You don’t know where that cop’s been.

Via The Smoking Gun:

Police encountered Hiatt after he called 911 to report a theft. After discovering that Hiatt had an active arrest warrant from a neighboring county, officers sought to arrest him. According to investigators, Hiatt struggled when cops sought to handcuff him.

As officers subsequently tried to stuff Hiatt (seen above) in a patrol car, he allegedly licked one of the cop’s eyes. The licking occurred in front of Pisser’s Palace in Walkerville, a Butte suburb.

Wipe your cryin’ eyes and keep reading. Read the rest

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Is Air Pollution a Risk Factor for Suicide?

PIC: Joseph Herman Bolduc: (PD)

PIC: Joseph Herman Bolduc: (PD)

John Upton writes at Pacific Standard:

Saying “it’s so smoggy I could kill myself” may seem as flippant as uttering “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.”

But it’s not.

Four years ago, Asian researchers reported links between air pollution and suicide rates in South Korea; and between air pollution, asthma, and suicides in Taiwan. Now, University of Utah scientists say they have uncovered similar links in pollution-prone Salt Lake County.

Delegates who have gathered in Los Angeles for the American Association of Suicidology’s annual get-together will hear this evening about the unpublished research, which compared the timing of 1,500 suicides in the Beehive State with air quality data.

Suicide can be difficult to talk about, but it’s America’s 10th leading cause of death. It’s the eighth-leading cause in Utah, home to some of the nation’s smoggiest cities. Earlier this year, the pollution problem prompted a 5,000-person protest outside the state’s capitol building.

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Grave-Robbing Cannibal Brothers Arrested – Again

Pic: PD

Pic: PD

Pakistani brothers Arif and Farman can’t seem to be able to control their ghoulish appetites. They were arrested in 2011 for disinterring and eating parts of 150 corpses, and after a stay in a psychiatric hospital, they’re back at it again. While it wasn’t reported in any of the press, I’ve heard that between feasts they’re doing some modeling for a promising Bostonian artist named Richard Upton Pickman

Via The Express Tribune:

BHAKKAR: Two brothers who were previously found guilty of cannibalism and detained by the police have now returned to eating human flesh and an FIR has been registered against them on the charges of terrorism, Express News reported on Monday.

Arif and Farman, who are from the small town of Darya Khan in Bhakkar district, were first arrested in April 2011 after they were found to have disinterred corpses in the local graveyard for the purpose of eating them.

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The Legacy of The Colbert Report: The Joke’s On You!

Pic: Promotional photo (C) Comedy Central.

As you have most likely already heard, Stephen Colbert will be taking over for David Letterman as host of The Late Show. Some are lamenting this decision, while others are rejoicing. Colbert has said that he will be hosting The Late Show as himself, so as he prepares to retire his much-loved alter-ego at the height of his show’s popularity, perhaps now would be a good time to reflect on the legacy of both the character and the show…

Few there are who seem able/willing to question the wit and integrity of either Colbert or Stewart, which is why this brutal Baffler essay by Steve Almond is so incredibly refreshing! Almond completely eviscerates the two and puts them both in their place, refusing to apologize for what he views as mindless mollification and mediocrity for the masses.

The entire essay is well worth the read, though here are a few highlights that are particularly poignant, resonating with a righteous fury:

Stewart and Colbert’s net effect is almost entirely therapeutic: they congratulate viewers for their fine habits of thought and feeling while remaining careful never to question the corrupt precepts of the status quo too vigorously…We have come to accept coy mockery as genuine subversion and snarky mimesis as originality.… Read the rest

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