Favourites: Week ending July 28, 2012

According to this recent article in Scientific American, pleasure may be best understood as an interacting circuit. The article ends with a host of applications and some indications of promising future research.

ProCon.org has an article that collects a bunch of studies that indicate that the ‘liberal’ brain is structurally different from the ‘conservative’ brain. It’s more than a difference of opinion–it looks like a lifetime of belief and action has resulted in a brain that is rather different. Something to keep in mind when discussing politics!

The Economist has an article that, surprisingly, shows that Carbon Dioxide–the silent killer–may also have applications to health and healing. Who knew–it’s also a silent healer!

The Economist also has a great discussion about (a) the debate between the role and size of government in the US and (b) how that same debate is, sadly, lacking in depth. I think the same arguments and points have merit here in Canada too in light of our current government’s imbalance of priorities between the economy and society.

According to this piece in Rolling Stone, Paul McCartney’s “Hey Jude” came after he paid a visit to Lennon’s son Julian and his ex-wife. John, though, always figured Paul was singing to him in light of his new romance with Yoko Ono.

CDZA–loads of fun music (mashup, sort-of) videos there produced by a gang of very talented artists.  Worth a trip there just for a few laughs. The most recent one on music for wooing your woman certainly indicates quite a drop in the way popular culture expects men to respect women  :>(  but then again, maybe the early stuff was patronizing and, in its own way, just as disrespectful…

The Wilderness Downtown is an amazing fusion (thanks, Shane C) of the musical talents of Arcade Fire and Google-inspired HTML5 coding talent. You will need to view the site in Google Chrome or Firefox. It will not work in Microsoft Internet Explorer. When entering your home address, be warned that if you come from a rural area, there may not be  enough Google Streetview data for it to work best so you may need to enter an address from some urban area. Maybe, maybe not–the site will tell you.  Take a look!

IO9 has a fascinating piece about how we, as a society, are finally viewing that ‘scale’ we call ‘autism’ in a more enlightened way. As a people we need to stop assuming that a deficit model is always appropriate.

Ahhhhh the boss from hell!  Let ars technica tell you the rest about how arrogant ‘superiors’ are bad bad bad.

All my trees are just a little happier with this remixed video from PBS of Bob Ross.

Business Insider published a fascinating article about a number of cognitive biases we all tend to have. It’s a long read  but well worth it. I think you will find out a lot about your self and the other people in this world.

For you gamers Valve’s head, Gabe Newell, has serious doubts about windows 8, especially as a game platform and is shifting resources over to Linux, according to this article in ars technica. Newell seems to be thinking what everyone else is, namely that Microsoft gets it right/wrong in nice alternates. Consider: win 95/98  win me, win xp, vista, win7 so I guess that means win 8 is red, right?

New Scientist has a piece on a new drug treatment plan for Tuberculosis that seems to be showing promise.

A Blog in Discover points out yet another Whooping Cough outbreak. Scary stuff. Is it because more people are refusing vaccination or is the vaccination simply becoming less effective. Something people need to work on honestly because, as far as I am concerned, both participants in this debate are wearing blinders!

The Atlantic ran a piece about an extreme ice melt in Greenland this year. This last happened around 120 years ago. Made me think–we often thought that Eric the Red named it so when he discovered it in order to entice others to join him in living there. More and more, though, we are learning that, at least at the time, and for a short while, maybe it was green and more lush than we are used to in modern times. Likewise, when Leif Ericson came here 1000 years ago it is likely that the climate was much milder then too.

Forbes has a short piece about drawing out the best of introverted and extroverted traits.  It has its limits but is a fun read.

Biased history is so easy to read and believe. It also undermines the efforts of legions of scholars who seek truth. Read this bit from the Atlantic for more. The comments that follow the article are also quite good.  Lesson: always check the source when you hear opinion.

Jordan Peterson has a campaign on regarding the management of our oceans.

Avoid Decision quicksand. Read this piece from Psychology Today. Just do it!

The Washington Post ran a piece by Valerie Srauss bout taking another look at Kahn Academy. Get past the hype.

It turns out that keeping a watchful eye on Prostate Cancer may be just as effective as aggressive treatment. The NY Times has an article that expands on this. Me–I will still follow my doctor’s advice when and if it is necessary.

Here are two great quotes from Rem Koolhaas

  • It is not possible to live in this age if you don’t have a sense of many contradictory forces.
  •  The areas of consensus shift unbelievably fast; the bubbles of certainty are constantly exploding.

Let’s finish it off with two quotes from Leo Buscaglia:

  • If I don’t have wisdom, I can teach you only ignorance.
  • I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate – it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn.

About Maurice A. Barry

Coordinator: Teaching and Learning Commons, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Parent & Husband. eLearning consultant/coordinator. Program Development Specialist - eLearning (Department of Education; Retired). Writer: over 40 Math/Physics texts/webs. Developer & Manager of web content. Geek. Not into awards but loves comments.
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