Archive | March 3, 2014

Women Subconsciously Try to Outdo Other Women During Ovulation

Pic: Augusto de Luca (CC)

Pic: Augusto de Luca (CC)

A research team at the UTSA College of Business discovered that during ovulation women become more competitive with other women.

Via MedNewsToday:

Researchers have found that during ovulation, women are subconsciously meaner to other females and aim to have a “higher standing” over them.

Furthermore, non-ovulating women were willing to share around 50% of their money with other women, while ovulating women were only willing to share about 25%.

Another experiment required women to make certain product choices. Their choices could either increase their individual financial gain or increase their financial gains in relation to other women.

In one example of this experiment, women were asked to indicate whether they would prefer to have a car worth $25,000 while other women received cars worth $40,000 (option A), or have a car worth $20,000 while other women received cars worth $12,000 (option B).

The investigators found that the majority of ovulating women chose option B because they wanted a car that would give them a “higher standing” over other women.

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Six-Hundred Year-Old Petrified Poop Contains Antibiotic Resistance Genes

PIC: Dr. Graham Beards (PD)

PIC: Dr. Graham Beards (PD)

Once you get over the shock of a perfectly preserved 14th century turd (Dude, what did you eat?), the story is actually pretty interesting: Scientists examining a six hundred year-old piece of human poop have discovered the presence of genes that provide antibiotic resistance.

Via Heritage Daily:

A team of French investigators has discovered viruses containing genes for antibiotic resistance in a fossilized fecal sample from 14th century Belgium, long before antibiotics were used in medicine.

The viruses in the fecal sample are phages, which are viruses that infect bacteria, rather than infecting eukaryotic organisms such as animals, plants, and fungi. Most of the viral sequences the researchers found in the ancient coprolite (fossil fecal sample) were related to viruses currently known to infect bacteria commonly found in stools (and hence, in the human gastrointestinal tract), including both bacteria that live harmlessly, and even helpfully in the human gut, and human pathogens, says corresponding author Christelle Desnues of Aix Marseille Université.

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People Are More Honest In The Morning

PIC: ENCMSTR (CC)

PIC: ENCMSTR (CC)

The next time you go shopping for a car you might want to start at the crack of dawn.  According to results published in the journal of Psychological Science, people appear to be more honest in the morning, but become less so as the day wears on.

Psychological Science:

…the normal, unremarkable experiences associated with everyday living can deplete one’s capacity to resist moral temptations. In a series of four experiments, both undergraduate students and a sample of U.S. adults engaged in less unethical behavior (e.g., less lying and cheating) on tasks performed in the morning than on the same tasks performed in the afternoon. This morning morality effect was mediated by decreases in moral awareness and self-control in the afternoon. Furthermore, the effect of time of day on unethical behavior was found to be stronger for people with a lower propensity to morally disengage. These findings highlight a simple yet pervasive factor (i.e., the time of day) that has important implications for moral behavior.

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The Keystone XL Protest You Weren’t Mean to See

Pic: Casey J. Aldridge (C)

Pic: Casey J. Aldridge (C)

In a mass act of civil disobedience, hundreds of students attempted to chain themselves to the White House fence to protest Keystone XL. Many were arrested, but the mainstream media was MIA.

Via addicting Information:

Hundreds of college students marched through Georgetown and up Pennsylvania Ave. on Sunday, then tied themselves to the White House fence. They were protesting the Keystone XL pipeline and its dark threat to their futures. The group was prepared for 500 activists to be arrested. It could well turn out to be the largest act of civil disobedience by students during the Obama administration. Estimates of the size of the crowd reached as high as 1,000.

The protesters spread a 40 × 60-foot black plastic banner on the sidewalk and out onto Pennsylvania Ave., in front of the White House. The banner represented an oil spill. Some of the students sat on the ‘spill’  and then staged a ‘die-in’ on its surface while others used plastic ziplocs to fasten their wrists to the fence.

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Chicago Police Harassing Non-Criminals Predicted To Commit “Future Crime”

lookingNothing like being threatened and stalked by people with guns – no harm done, right? Cop Block writes:

For 22-year old Robert McDaniel, there was [worry] when a police commander showed up at his house simply to issue a threat that he was being watched by police. McDaniel’s grew up in a gritty neighborhood, but was guilty of no crime, and had no recent interactions with police of any kind. Yet there with this official authority standing there on his porch, issuing a stern warning that he was being watched and there would be severe consequences if he committed a crime.

University professors have teamed up with the Chicago police department to develop a new technology which will allegedly predict violent criminal behavior. A computerized algorithm has now generated a “Heat List” which indexes approximately 400 individuals they see as likely to commit violent crimes in the future. And some of the people on the list are not criminals at all.

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Photographer Snaps Pics of Awesome Battle Between Crocodile and Python

Pic: TNT Corliss via ABC Northwest Queensland (C) -

Pic: TNT Corliss via ABC Northwest Queensland (C) -

While many of us might run like hell if we happened upon a battle between these two Australian alpha predator reptiles, local writer Tiffany McCorliss grabbed her camera instead. There are more pictures – many of which might be potent nightmare fuel for the ophidophobic among you – at the site. Click through for more.

Via BBC News:

Tiffany Corlis, a local author, saw the fight and took these pictures, which have been widely used in the Australian media.

“It was amazing,” she told the BBC. “We saw the snake fighting with the crocodile – it would roll the crocodile around to get a better grip, and coil its body around the crocodile’s legs to hold it tight.”

“The fight began in the water – the crocodile was trying to hold its head out of the water at one time, and the snake was constricting it.”

“After the crocodile had died, the snake uncoiled itself, came around to the front, and started to eat the crocodile, face-first,” she added.

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Need a Smoke? Want a Drink? Grab a Game of Tetris Instead

PIC: Damian Yerrick (CC)

PIC: Damian Yerrick (CC)

If you’re trying to quit smoking or have problems with junk food cravings, you might want to go ahead and install the classic time-waster Tetris on your smart phone or tablet. According to a recent study, playing the game for three minutes may help you to quash those cravings.

Via PsyBlog:

One of the study’s authors, Professors Jackie Andrade, explained:

“Episodes of craving normally only last a few minutes, during which time an individual is visualising what they want and the reward it will bring. Often those feelings result in the person giving in and consuming the very thing they are trying to resist. But by playing Tetris, just in short bursts, you are preventing your brain creating those enticing images and without them the craving fades.”

In the study 119 people — whose natural cravings were measured beforehand– played the computer game Tetris or they were put into a control condition.

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Florida “Psychic Nanny” Helps Children With Paranormal Abilities

Can you afford NOT to give your child the advantage of a nanny who will cultivate their sixth sense? The Mirror on a so-called "psychic nanny":
Single mother Denise Lescano, from Florida, US, is a much needed support for parents of children who show worrying signs of having a sixth sense. Denise uses her psychic abilities to 'speak to' the spirits and instructs families on how to approach life beyond death. Denise, who believes she has been psychic since the age of nine, said: "My biggest mission in life is to get rid of the fear around what I do. This is not a scary thing, this is a very healing and comforting thing." Often Denise is called to determine whether youngsters are seeing spirits or displaying signs of mental illness: "Sometimes the parents don't know how do deal with their children's abilities."
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Science Can Use Your Blood To Determine If Your Death Is Imminent

Blood testDo you really want to know that you’re about to die? If so, this test is for you. Report from GeekoSystem:

You know how you’re supposed to live life to the fullest because any moment could be your last? Turns out, science may have figured out a way to pin that time-frame down a bit for you. With new blood tests, researchers from Finland and Estonia think they can tell whether or not you’re going to live beyond the next five years.

Using a technique called NMR Spectroscopy, these researchers screened 17,000 blood samples, searching for any biomarkers that occurred frequently in the blood of people who died soon after their blood was taken. What they discovered and published in PLOS Medicine journal was that people with elevated levels of four particular biomarkers in their blood (plasma albumin, alpha-1-acid glycoprotein, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particle size, and citrate) had a super-high chance of dying within five years.

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