Bitcoin Basics: Bitcoin is both a virtual currency and an online payment system — one that some people believe will transform the global financial system. But the details of this new technology have remained a mystery to most. By Nathaniel Popper, The New York Times, Nov. 4, 2015 ... more
The Beneficial Bean: Coffee Reveals Itself as an Unlikely Health Elixir: For a historically mistrusted drink, coffee is proving to be a healthy addiction. By Nathan Seppa, Science News, Oct. 2015 ...
Health Tips from BabaMail: There’s a lot to be said about diet and exercise. Every day there are new insights. These vibrant infographics sum up health topics particularly well and give you practical tips for your everyday life. By Babamail, Apr. 24, 2015 ...
Medicating Women’s Feelings: Women are moody. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions. This is basic to our survival and that of our offspring. Some research suggests that women are often better at articulating their feelings than men because as the female brain develops, more capacity is reserved for language, memory, hearing and observing emotions in others. By Julie Holland, New York Times, Feb. 28., 2015. ...
The History of the English Language, Animated: The history of language is intricately intertwined with the evolution of our species, our capacity for invention, our understanding of human biology, and even the progress of our gender politics. From the fine folks at Open University comes this infinitely entertaining and illuminating animated history of the English language in 10 minutes. From Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, Nov. 13, 2013 ...
How Our Minds Mislead Us: The Marvels and Flaws of Our Intuition: Every year, intellectual impresario and Edge editor John Brockman summons some of our era’s greatest thinkers and unleashes them on one provocative question, whether it’s the single most elegant theory of how the world works or the best way to enhance our cognitive toolkit. This year, he sets out on the most ambitious quest yet, a meta-exploration of thought itself: Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction that collects short essays and lecture adaptations from such celebrated and wide-ranging (though not in gender) minds as Daniel Dennett, Jonathan Haidt, Dan Gilbert, and Timothy Wilson, covering subjects as diverse as morality, essentialism, and the adolescent brain. From Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, Oct. 30, 2013 ...
Caffeine: More than 80 percent of American adults consume caffeine regularly. That's no surprise, what with a coffee shop seemingly on every corner and in every supermarket, and tiny $3 bottles of 5-Hour Energy popping up like mushrooms wherever there's a checkout counter. Caffeinated energy drinks have become so mainstream that major players like V8 and Ocean Spray have introduced their own versions to stay competitive. Here's a rundown of what scientists are learning about the world's most popular drug. By David Schardt in Nutrition Action Healthletter, December 2012. ...
What Psychopaths Teach Us about How to Succeed: We can learn a lot from psychopaths. Certain aspects of their personalities and intellect are often hallmarks of success. By Kevin Dutton, Scientific American, October 2012. ...
What is So Good About Growing Old?: Forget about senior moments. The good news is that researchers are discovering some surprising advantages of growing old. By Helen Fields, Smithsonian Magazine, July/August 2012. ...
Is the Web Driving Us Mad?: Tweets, texts, emails, posts. New research says the Internet can make us lonely and depressed—and may even create more extreme forms of mental illness. Tony Dokoupil reports in Newsweek, July 9, 2012. ...
Slideshow: Myths and Facts about Depression
The Scale of the Universe. Move the slider both ways, and explore. ...
10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You
Ancient Sleep in Modern Times: Breaking a night's sleep into two pieces may not be a sign of insomnia but of a natural sleep pattern bubbling to the surface. ...
Food & Addiction: Can some foods hijack the brain? ...
Who's in Control?: How physics and billogy dictate your "free" will. ...
Sleep on It: How Snoozing Makes You Smarter: During slumber, our brain engages in data analysis, from strengthening memories to solving problems. ...
Cardio Quiz: Use Your Head to Protect
Your Heart: By the
age of 40, your odds of having coronary heart disease are one out
of three if you're a woman and one out of two if you're a man. Each
minute, another American will die of a heart attack. ...
take the quiz
Creating Our Own Meaning,
by Michio Kaku: Ultimately, I believe the very existence
of a single equation that can describe the entire universe in an
orderly, harmonious fashion implies a design of some sort. However,
I do not believe that this design gives personal meaning to humanity.
No matter how dazzling or elegant the final formulation of physics
may be, it will not uplift the spirits of billions and give the emotional
fulfillment. No magic formula coming from cosmology and physics will
enthrall the masses and enrich their spiritual lives. ...
So, What Made Me an Addict? by Maia Szalavitz:
Many people think they know what addiction is, but despite non-experts'
willingness to opine on its treatment and whether Britney or Lindsay's
rehab was tough enough, the term is still a battleground. Is addiction
a disease? A moral weakness? A disorder caused by drug or alcohol use,
or a compulsive behavior that can also occur in relation to sex, food
and maybe even video games? ...
ENVY is ...
The Green Glance
ENVY is always most intense when it is experienced laterally,
not, as we would expect, when it is experienced vertically — that
is, when it is inspired by someone we perceived as a peer rather than
someone higher on the economic food chain, whose good fortune stirs only
theoretical forms of resentment. The maid does not envy her mistress
her jewels, she envies the housekeeper her keys. What’s more, envy
is so compartmentalized that one profession seldom envies another: The
lawyer does not envy the physician, the used-car salesman the mail carrier,
the grease monkey the florist. Instead, envy might be thought of as the
opposite of xenophobia, of the hatred of strangers; it is the hatred
of one’s own, of one’s cohorts, one’s brothers and
sisters, Cain’s hate of Abel, Salieri’s of Mozart, Tonya
Hardings’s of Nancy Kerrigan.
—Daniel Harris, essayist and critic, in The Antioch Review
Is There Anything Good About Men? by Roy F. Baumeister: You’re
probably thinking that a talk called “Is there anything good about
men” will be a short talk! Recent writings have not had much good
to say about men. Titles like “Men Are Not Cost Effective” speak
for themselves. Maureen Dowd’s book was called “Are Men Necessary?” and
although she never gave an explicit answer, anyone reading the book knows
her answer was no. Brizendine’s book “The Female Brain” introduces
itself by saying, “Men, get ready to experience brain envy.” Imagine
a book advertising itself by saying that women will soon be envying the
superior male brain! ...
Minding our health, by Katharine Mieszkowski:
If chemo fails, there's always positive thinking, or so we'd like to
believe. Medical historian Anne Harrington looks at our persistent faith
in curing ourselves. ...
Scientists Test New Bipolar Remedies, by Malcolm Ritter: Scientists
are casting a wide net to find better treatments for the crushing depression
and uncontrolled manias of bipolar disorder, and some approaches they're
testing seem pretty surprising. ...
In Obesity Epidemic, Many Now Turn to Surgery, by Jane E. Brody:
Over the course of a decade, despite trying every conceivable healthy
way to lose weight and to keep it off, Sharon Clapp watched with alarm
as her weight soared to 320 pounds from 220. ...
Growing Up to Prozac, by Tina Hesman Saey: Peter Pan
won't be pleased to hear the latest theory about how Prozac works.
A new study shows that the antidepressant stimulates growth of neurons
in the hippocampus and speeds the young brain cells toward maturity.
The maturation process could be the mechanism by which the drug relieves
depression. ... more
The Psychology of Creativity: redeeming our
inner demons ; an interview with Stephen A. Diamond,
Ph.D., by Douglas Eby: Clinical and forensic psychologist,
Dr. Stephen Diamond works with many talented individuals committed
to becoming more creative. "Creativity," he states, " is
one of humankind's healthiest inclinations, one of our greatest attributes." ...