Posts Tagged ‘eric margolis

06
Feb
11

Roundup – Nic Cage Loses His Shit

Line O’ the Day:

Computer Repair Store | Charleston, SC, USA

(A customer walks up to the counter with a desktop and sets it down.)

Customer: “Excuse me, are you Catholic?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Well, I think it’s possessed and it needs an exorcism. Do you have any Catholic workers?”

Me: “I don’t think so. Maybe I can take a look at it?”

Customer: “No! You have to be Catholic!” *takes his desktop and leaves*

Needs A Mass Reboot [Not Always Right]

Best of the Best:

Interview: Robert Shiller on Human Traits Essential to Capitalism [The Browser]

My parents raised me as a Methodist, but my Sunday school teacher complained I had a chip on my shoulder. I thought he was a moron, so I wasn’t very good at Sunday school. I didn’t think much of the preachers. But I suppose I have spiritual feelings.

Battle for the Strongest Beer in the World [MadeMan]

Tactical Nuclear Penguin is made using the freeze distillation process three times, and this following a 14-month aging process in double barrels. With an ABV of 27 percent, Tactical Nuclear Penguin was the daddy of all strong beers for a short stretch at the end of 2009. According to the brewers it “should be enjoyed in small servings and with an air of aristocratic nonchalance in exactly the same manner that you would enjoy a fine whiskey, a Frank Zappa album or a visit from a friendly yet anxious ghost.”

My Reply to Krugman on Austrian Business-Cycle Theory [Robert Murphy via The Mises Institute]

I do not claim that the Austrian theory of the business cycle captures every pertinent feature of modern recessions. What I do claim is that a theory — including any of Paul Krugman’s Keynesian models — that neglects the distortion of the capital structure during boom periods cannot possibly hope to accurately prescribe policy solutions after a crash.

Elderly drivers could hold a key to the neurology of depression [Scientific American via io9]

Researchers were able to simulate this decrease in visual area function in younger people, and the volunteers all became far more aware of larger movements in the background of their vision. But there wasn’t any concurrent reduction in foreground vision, meaning the volunteers’ brains had to suddenly deal with far more visual stimuli, which would make paying attention during driving much more difficult. As the researchers point out, similar types of vision and attention problems have been seen among those with depression and schizophrenia.

The Greek engineer who invented the steam engine 2,000 years ago [Alasdair Wilkins on io9]

Hero, or Heron, of Alexandria, on the other hand, had the astonishing bad taste to be born around 10 CE, which made his inventions so far ahead of their time that they could be of little practical use and, in time, were forgotten. If he had been born in, say, 1710, his engineering prowess and incredible creativity might have made him the richest person in the world. As it is, he’ll just have to settle for the posthumous reputation of being the greatest inventor in human history.

Last Call for Dry Sundays: Georgia, One of Only Three Holdouts, Considers Ending a Ban on Alcohol Sales [The Wall Street Journal]

Supermarkets and other opponents have tried for years to change the law in Georgia, one of three states that still prohibits Sunday alcohol sales, a restriction imposed across the U.S. after the repeal of Prohibition. More recently, a coalition of Christian groups, conservative politicians and small liquor store owners have managed to keep Sundays dry.  But a state budget shortfall of as much as $2 billion this year, a lingering hangover from the recession, has persuaded leaders in the Republican-dominated state Senate to seek new revenues, including a seventh-day boost from the so-called sin tax levied on liquor, wine and beer sales.

Sober Thoughts on Afghanistan: Realities on the Ground [Fred Reed]

We are all familiar with the Predator and Raptor drones used to target Al Qaeda suspects in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Pentagon wants to replace the Hellfire missiles fired currently by the drones with the new Mk 48 ADCAP (“Advanced Capability”) missile which, while much more accurate, also has a larger blast radius—meaning that more civilians will be killed. Is it worth it, given the anger aroused among civilian populations by the extra deaths? This is the kind of question that commanders on the ground must decide.

The Fantasy of Democracy: FOXghanistan 2 [Fred Reed]

Some time ago I discovered Fox News (Honest: For the preceding ten years I didn’t have TV). Fox seemed to me politically dangerous, being, as I thought anyway, the voice of a huge, angry, and badly uninformed lower middle class. From such, in times of economic decline, come Brown Shirts.

In Norway, Start-ups Say Ja to Socialism [Max Chafkin on Inc.com]

I also became convinced of this truth, which I have observed in the smartest American and the smartest Norwegian entrepreneurs: It’s not about the money. Entrepreneurs are not hedge fund managers, and they rarely operate like coldly rational economic entities. This theme runs through books like Bo Burlingham’s Small Giants, about company owners who choose not to maximize profits and instead seek to make their companies great; and it can be found in the countless stories, many of them told in this magazine, of founders who leave money on the table in favor of things they judge to be more important.

More troops lost to suicide [John Donnelly on Congress.org]

For the second year in a row, the U.S. military has lost more troops to suicide than it has to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The reasons are complicated and the accounting uncertain — for instance, should returning soldiers who take their own lives after being mustered out be included? But the suicide rate is a further indication of the stress that military personnel live under after nearly a decade of war.

Dealing With Assange and the Secrets He Spilled [Bill Keller on The New York Times Magazine]

This past June, Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, phoned me and asked, mysteriously, whether I had any idea how to arrange a secure communication. Not really, I confessed. The Times doesn’t have encrypted phone lines, or a Cone of Silence. Well then, he said, he would try to speak circumspectly. In a roundabout way, he laid out an unusual proposition: an organization called WikiLeaks, a secretive cadre of antisecrecy vigilantes, had come into possession of a substantial amount of classified United States government communications. WikiLeaks’s leader, Julian Assange, an eccentric former computer hacker of Australian birth and no fixed residence, offered The Guardian half a million military dispatches from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. There might be more after that, including an immense bundle of confidential diplomatic cables. The Guardian suggested — to increase the impact as well as to share the labor of handling such a trove — that The New York Times be invited to share this exclusive bounty. The source agreed. Was I interested?  I was interested.

7 scientific accidents that led to world-changing discoveries [Esther Inglis-Arkell via io9]

Last week, drunk scientists discovered how to make superconductors run faster when they accidentally spilled wine on an experiment. Often science and serendipity often go hand in hand. Here are more accidental discoveries that changed the world.

The Insurgent Bloggers of Iran [Annabelle Sreberny & Gholam Khiabany via io9]

This law effectively reproduced the existing Press Law which had been revised in 2000 to take account of the growing criticism of many semi-independent newspapers and their online versions and required all ‘publishers’ to obtain a license. As was the case in the press law, insulting Islam and religious leaders and institutions, as well as fomenting national discord and disunity and promoting prostitution and immoral behaviours, all figured in the new internet regulations and ISPs and users could be punished for not abiding by these rules.

Did China Try To Pass Off Top Gun As Air Force Footage? [Gizmodo]

The clips in question were reportedly aired during the News Broadcast program on China Central Television, the major state television broadcast company. They supposedly showed a J-10 fighter firing a missile at another aircraft during a practice exercise.  But an internet commenter quickly pointed out that the aircraft the J-10 was shown shooting down was an F-5, an American aircraft, and the very one Tom Cruise guns down in a scene from Top Gun. Comparing frames from the CCTV broadcast (left) and Top Gun (right), well, they’re lookin’ pretty much identical.

The Confessions Of A Former Adolescent Puck Tease [Katie Baker on Deadspin]

In 1999, Katie Baker was a thoroughly self-possessed, hockey-loving 18-year-old headed for Harvard. Or so the older men she met online — and offline — believed.

100,000-year-old human settlement in U.A.E. overturns what we know of our evolution [Science via io9]

The tools discovered during an excavation in the U.A.E., located in the southeastern part of the Arabian peninsula, have been reliably dated to 100,000 years ago. Genetic evidence has suggested modern humans did not leave Africa until about 60,000 years ago, but these tools appear to be the work of our ancestors and not other hominids like Neanderthals.

A history of supercontinents on planet Earth [Alasdair Wilkins via io9]

Pangaea gets remembered because it’s the most recent supercontinent, and because its later days overlap with the birth of the dinosaurs in the late Triassic and early Jurassic. Geologically speaking, it’s easy to look at Pangaea as a counterpart of sorts to the seven continents we live on today, with the twin giant continents of Gondwanaland and Laurasia as a transitional stage between these two extremes. But it’s generally forgotten that Pangaea is just the latest in a line of about half a dozen supercontinents, and Earth will see quite a few more over its final five billion years of life.

How a cat named Zoe earned several advanced degrees and became a psychotherapist [io9]

Zoe’s stunning academic and professional career is actually pretty common. A great number of animals have professional or academic certifications. Most of these were obtained as part of a stunt to shame the organization or to provide evidence for lawsuits or government investigations.

Could a U.S. government crackdown take America off the internet? [Annalee Newitz on io9]

There are a number of laws that protect internet service providers from government control. But that could change very soon. Several bills have been working their way through Congress that would give President Obama “kill switch” control over the internet during a “national cyber-emergency.”…Such a bill would allow the President to order shutdown of the American internet without any checks from the Judiciary.

Are Soccer Fans the Unsung Heroes of Egypt’s Uprising? [Multiple Sources via Gawker]

Chief among these are supporters of the team Al Ahly (“The National”). Al Ahly’s history is intertwined with the protest of oppressive regimes: It was founded as a sports club in 1907, in part to give student unions a place to gather at a time they were organizing against British colonial rule. According to Middle East soccer expert James Dorsey, today’s Al Ahly supporters are notorious for overwhelming police barriers at matches and their general toughness—in other words, they’re well-suited to cut through tear gas in the streets, or to join the human chain protecting the Egyptian Museum from looters.

The Mystery of the Tainted Cocaine [Brendan Kiley on The Stranger]

So what’s the incentive to use a relatively expensive cut of something that makes your customers sick and increases your smuggling risk? Even stranger: The cocaine trade, in both smuggling and production, has fragmented in recent years (more on that in a minute). If there’s no central production, how did hundreds and hundreds of independent shops come to use the same unusual cutting agent?  Nobody seems to know, including experts I spoke with on both coasts of the United States: doctors, scholars, chemists, think-tank fellows, research scientists, federal and state public-health analysts, law enforcement agencies from the Seattle Police Department to the DEA, and even people who work in and around the drug trade. Everyone has theories, but nobody has answers.  It’s a mystery.

Free Burton Snowboard [David Thorne via 27b/6]

Also, I apologise. While the average male height of 5″9 statistically means anything under is considered short, my question was without diminutive intention. I’m sure there are many advantages to being so small. Target carries an excellent range of boys clothing at competitive prices and a lower centre of gravity should, once helped up onto the ski-lift, allow you to snowboardsurf with greater stability. If I were small, I would buy a cat and ride it.

The Last Temptation of Ted [Kevin Roose on The Gentlemen’s Quarterly]

For the first time since we’ve met, Ted isn’t looking directly at me. “Here’s where I really am on this issue,” he half whispers. “I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual.” After a weekend of Ted trying to convince me of his unambiguous devotion to his wife and kids, I’m at first too surprised to say anything.

The Mideast Burns [Eric Margolis via LRC]

The Mideast uprisings are poorly understood by most North Americans. The US media frame news of the regional intifada in terms of the faux war on terror, and a false choice between dictatorial “stability” and Islamic political extremism. Much of what’s happening is seen through Israel’s eyes, and is distorted. Burning Cairo should show how misguided we have been in our understanding of the Arab world.  Platitudes aside, there is little concern in the US about bringing real democracy and modern society in the Arab world. Washington still wants obedience, not pluralism, in its Mideast Raj, and primacy for Israel in the Levant. As with the British Empire, democracy at home is fine – but it’s not right for the nations of the Arab world.

Feeling the Heat: Global Inflation [The Wall Street Journal]

Consumer prices are moving unevenly across the world. Economic growth, supply and demand, currency values and a variety of other factors drive consumer prices up — inflation — or down — deflation. Bars and figures show change from a year earlier in consumer price indexes.  Growth rate, central-bank policy, currency movements and external factors all can be greater influences on price movements than the size of an economy. Based on IMF 2010 estimates.

Why did this frog species suddenly evolve extra teeth? [Evolution via BBC News via io9]

What’s even weirder is that this frog species originally had these teeth, then lost them, and then re-evolved them after 200 million years. It’s some of the best evidence yet for the still fiercely debated question of whether species can re-evolve complex features that they once possessed but then lost.

How pigeons get to be superstitious [Psychologist World via io9]

In one particular case, Skinner decided to go random on his hungry pigeons. He dropped food into the box at completely random times, independent of any behavior on the part of the pigeons. But the behavior of the pigeons, he found, didn’t stay random. After a few drops of the food, the pigeons began exhibiting certain consistent behavior. One circled counter-clockwise, another spun around in circles; seventy-five percent of them exhibited some kind of odd behavior.

Every NBA Slam Dunk Contest Video Visualization [Hoopism]

We broke down every NBA slam dunk contest (1984 to 2010) by dunk, year, and score. You can see video footage of the actual dunk by clicking on the circles in the graph.

Les Carpenter Is A Junket Purist [Big Daddy Drew on KSK]

The success of the Super Bowl always came with balmy afternoons where fans and sponsors could enjoy golf junkets…

Holy shit. Really. REALLY? A Super Bowl is only successful if a corporate sponsor can experience a proper golf junket? I understand that. I remember watching the 2003 Super Bowl and thinking to myself, “You know, this game-winning drive by New England sure is entertaining. But I just can’t quite enjoy it because I don’t know if Papa John was able to get in a quick 18 today in between meetings.” Totally ruined the game for me.

The Super Bowl Week Orgy, Through The Eyes Of An NFL Player [Nate Jackson via Deadspin]

Hype is the spirit of the weekend. You can have fun if you understand this. But if you expect anything novel, you’ll be disappointed. When Sunday rolls around, the partygoers will skip town, tired of laughing at unfunny jokes. They’ll be gone before the game even starts. The game. Oh, yes, that’s what this whole thing was about.

You Could Win More Super Bowls If Your Coach Were Autistic [Big Daddy Drew on Deadspin]

“But I’m a bit wary of watching the game over at Charlie’s. The past time I went there, he snorted Ortho fertilizer and ran around the place throwing knives at the walls. UNPREDICTABLE LIKE BRANDO.”

Nullification: Answering the Objections [Tom Woods]

Anyone who actually reads the book will discover, among many other things, that the Principles of ’98 – as these decentralist ideas came to be known – were in fact resorted to more often by northern states than by southern, and from 1798 through the second half of the nineteenth century were used in support of free speech and free trade, and against the fugitive-slave laws, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and the prospect of military conscription, among other examples. And nullification was employed not in support of slavery but against it.

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13
Nov
10

Roundup – Four Loko

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Line O’ the Day:

“Sarah Palin, the patron saint of lower IQ Americans, has hovered over this sordid contest like an evil Halloween wraith.” – Eric Margolis, Hey Republican Samurai!  You Want More Wars?  Then Pay for Them!  Time for a War Tax [LRC]

Best of the Best:

Birth of a Movement [Wall Street Journal]

In August 2009, Tea Party Patriots was formally incorporated with a four-person board, including Ms. Martin, Ms. Kremer, Mr. Meckler and Rob Neppell, a conservative blogger. But relations quickly deteriorated. At one meeting, Ms. Kremer indicated she had hired her own lawyers and might try to claim ownership of the group’s intellectual property, according to an affidavit from Ms. Martin. A few weeks later, she was voted off the board.  In countersuits filed in a suburban Atlanta county court, Mr. Kremer and Tea Party Patriots are now fighting out who owns what.

U.S. Midterm Elections, Obama and Iran [StratFor]

I am arguing the following. First, Obama will be paralyzed on domestic policies by this election. He can craft a re-election campaign blaming the Republicans for gridlock. This has its advantages and disadvantages; the Republicans, charging that he refused to adjust to the electorate’s wishes, can blame him for the gridlock. It can go either way. The other option for Obama is to look for triumph in foreign policy where he has a weak hand. The only obvious way to achieve success that would have a positive effect on the U.S. strategic position is to attack Iran. Such an attack would have substantial advantages and very real dangers. It could change the dynamics of the Middle East and it could be a military failure.
But the Tea Party’s grassroots members are more hostile to trade agreements than the broader population. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 61% of those who identified themselves as supporters of the movement believe the deals have hurt the U.S., while 53% of all respondents held the same view.But the Tea Party’s grassroots members are more hostile to trade agreements than the broader population. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 61% of those who identified themselves as supporters of the movement believe the deals have hurt the U.S., while 53% of all respondents held the same view.

La Fuente: Slow Afternoon [Fred Reed on FredOnEverything]

The waiter came by on a resupply run with more Corona and I mentioned coming out of Angola on a story for Soldier of Fortune in a DC-3, flying ten feet over the trees to keep SAM-7s from getting a lock. This was this when Cuban soldiers, whom I rather like, were supporting the evil commmie government in Luanda. I didn’t care. The world is complex. I didn’t need to solve all its problems, or take sides.

‘Invalid’ Forms by Supposed Billionaires Skew U.S. Wage Figures [Ryan J. Donmoyer on Bloomberg]

Two people were found to have filed multiple W-2 forms that made them into multibillionaires, an agency official said yesterday. Those reports threw statistical wage tables out of whack and, in figures released Oct. 15, made it appear that top U.S. earners had seen their pay quintuple in 2009 to an average of $519 million.  The agency yesterday released corrected tables that showed the average incomes of the top earners, in fact, declined 7.7 percent to $84 million each.

Is the Religious Right Taking Over the Tea Party? [MyType Blog]

Involving the government in moral prescription is expanding its influence, not scaling back.  Karl Denninger, widely credited as one of the founders of the Tea Party, may have become the spokesman of Tea Party defectors when he recently denounced the movement, saying it has been hijacked by people obsessed with “guns, gays and God”.  Given the religious conservatives’ relative strength in numbers, the current trend will likely continue.  Already they comprise over 23.5% of Tea Party supporters, compared to 17.0% for libertarians.  A little over a year after the birth of the Tea Party, libertarians and other proponents of small government – no moral strings attached – may need to start yet another movement.

Tea Partier Backs Democrat Over Ilario Pantano [Benjy Sarlin via The Daily Beast]

Ilario Pantano shot and killed two unarmed prisoners in Iraq while serving in the Marines and survived charges of premeditated murder before returning to America to run for Congress in North Carolina this year. His opponent, Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre, has been unwilling to raise the issue of Pantano’s war record even as it’s drawn national attention, but a shocking protest against Pantano from a Tea Party leader could provide an opening…he Tea Party Express has put out a harsher condemnation of Johns, sending over a statement saying “she has absolutely no involvement with the tea party activities of the Tea Party Express, nor will she ever in the future.  We find Ms. Johns’ comments towards a proud Iraq war veteran abhorrent and reprehensible,” it continues. “They do not speak for our organization nor reflect our views in any way, shape or form.”

Aokigahara Suicide Forest [VBS News (ed note – video autoplays)]

The Aokigahara Forest is the most popular site for suicides in Japan. After the novel Kuroi Jukai was published, in which a young lover commits suicide in the forest, people started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year. The site holds so many bodies that the Yakuza pays homeless people to sneak into the forest and rob the corpses. The authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis, as the forest sits at the base of Mt. Fuji and is too dense to patrol more frequently.
Koby added that Andy, “wanted to die young. He knew it. Everyone kinda knew it. I think he wanted to be remembered like Elvis. Then, with his boy being born soon, he called and he was like, ‘I take it all back, I take it all back. I wanna be there for my boy.’ Just recently, Andy seemed like he’d been at peace with himself. He said to me, ‘I’ve done everything I wanted to do.'”

The real reason women outlive men: it’s all a matter of breeding [The Independent]

Now the answer to one of the biggest conundrums of human biology may come down to the fact that the female body seems to be better at carrying out the “routine maintenance” that keeps cells alive and ageing at bay – despite the widespread belief in cosmetic circles, based on skin changes alone, that men age more slowly than women.  Professor Tom Kirkwood, a leading gerontologist at the University of Newcastle, believes there is now growing evidence to suggest that men are literally more disposable than women, because the cells of their bodies are not genetically programmed to last as long as they are in females.

Californians say “no” to legal pot but “yes” to pot taxes [John Hoeffel on Los Angeles Times]

With Proposition 19 failing, 54% to 46%, the 10 cities will not be able to approve recreational marijuana and tax it, but most will join Oakland in imposing taxes on medical marijuana sold in dispensaries. Long Beach had proposed the highest tax on legal marijuana at 15%, but several other cities had proposed 10% levies on it.

The Last Patrol [Brian Mockenhaupt via The Atlantic]

“I don’t want my guys going,” Sgt. Andrew Bragg said. “I’ll go for them.” He passed the bottle to Knollinger, one of 2 Charlie’s most aggressive soldiers. “I want revenge,” he said, in a plain, deep-throated speaking style that reminded me of Rocky Balboa. “It’s not worth another casualty, but I personally want to go.” Knollinger passed the bottle to Lachance, who seemed to thrive on the battlefield, exposing himself to enemy fire to call in airstrikes with a surprising calm. “I don’t want to see people get blown up, because that sucks,” Lachance said. “I don’t think that this entire war is worth losing people for, so that sums it up for me.”

How To Win While Losing, And Vice Versa: Zab Judah Says Goodbye [Hamilton Nolan via Deadspin]

And then Michael Buffer read the three judges’ scores. 114-113, Judah. 114-113, Matthysse. 114-113, Judah. A split decision in favor of Zab.  It was the most corrupt thing I’d ever had the privilege of witnessing in person. Before the decision was read I’d thought Zab had lost rather pitifully, a poor showing even for an over-the-hill ex-champ. But of course losing would have been much more dignified than “winning” like that. I never would have watched another Zab Judah fight either way, but at least if he’d lost fair and square the fans could have retained some fond memories of him. It was a disgrace.

Exotic dancer Michele Suszek expects to put on a show in Sunday’s ING New York City Marathon [New York Daily News]

Earlier this year, Carol Suszek’s daughter set a course record on a 10K trail race after dancing the night before. In Michele Suszek’s dreams, she will keep up her high-energy balancing act, bettering her times and breaking 2:30 and getting one of the three spots on the Olympic team. She will become a full-fledged professional, but even then, she won’t stop dancing, or following her passions.

Faces of War [Caroline Alexander via Smithsonian Magazine]

In Sidcup, England, the town that was home to Gillies’ special facial hospital, some park benches were painted blue; a code that warned townspeople that any man sitting on one would be distressful to view. A more upsetting encounter, however, was often between the disfigured man and his own image. Mirrors were banned in most wards, and men who somehow managed an illicit peek had been known to collapse in shock. “The psychological effect on a man who must go through life, an object of horror to himself as well as to others, is beyond description,” wrote Dr. Albee. “…It is a fairly common experience for the maladjusted person to feel like a stranger to his world. It must be unmitigated hell to feel like a stranger to yourself.”
Broadcaster and writer Stephen Fry has tried to establish himself as an unlikely authority on female sexuality, claiming that straight women only go to bed with men “because sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship”.

My Uncomfortable Encounter With An Angry Joe Morgan [Tommy Craggs on SF Weekly via Deadspin]

“He was the perfect Billy Beane player,” says ESPN.com writer Rob Neyer, a Bill James acolyte and co-author of The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers. In fact, Morgan’s career has gotten nothing if not a boost from the statistics crowd, which makes his crusade even more puzzling. “A lot of people, myself included, think Joe Morgan was the greatest second baseman of all time,” Neyer says. “I don’t think, 25 to 30 years ago, anybody would’ve bought into that. I don’t know if people talked about him like that during his career. I suspect that if you had done a poll of the nation’s sportswriters 25 years ago, you would’ve seen a lot of names like Rogers Hornsby, Nap Lajoie, Frankie Frisch. But if you did one now, Joe Morgan would pop up a lot, in part because we have a greater respect for the things he did so well.”

What Alcohol Actually Does to Your Brain and Body [Kevin Purdy on Lifehacker]

Alcohol, like caffeine, has an enormous reputation but loose understanding in popular culture. Learn how it’s absorbed and how fast, why it’s essential to reality TV altercations, its paradoxical sexual effects, and its life-lengthening potential, whether red wine or Bud Light.

The sight of meat lowers human aggression [McGill University via io9]

Instead, the pictures of meat actually made the subjects less aggressive. That certainly suggests the subjects did have some kind of innate reaction to the meat, but not the one the researchers expected. After all, ancient humans would have associated meat with hunting and the competition for and protection of food resources. Those are all tasks where aggression would be a definite advantage, but these results suggest the exact opposite.

The Fascinating Story of the Twins Who Share Brains, Thoughts, and Senses [Maclean’s via io9]

This is one of the most surprising and awesome tales ever told in the history of medicine. These twins are Tatiana and Krista Hogan. Their brains and sensory systems are networked together, but they have separate personalities. Their story defies belief.

Scientists unlock the secrets behind growing giant bugs [PhysOrg via DVICE via io9]

VanderBrooks raised groups of dragonflies, cockroaches, grasshoppers, meal worms, beetles, and other insects in atmospheres with different levels of oxygen. As predicted, the dragonflies and many of the other insects raised in higher oxygen matured more quickly and became larger adults; when these same species of insects were raised in atmospheres with oxygen levels lower than modern Earth’s they grew to be smaller than those reared in modern atmosphere.

Coffin technologies that protect you from being buried alive [Annalee Newitz via io9]

In the eighteenth century, rumors swirled about people accidentally buried alive when they lapsed into a deathlike state from cholera. As a result, the safety coffin was invented. Here’s how it worked.  From those eighteen century fears there arose a thriving cottage industry of inventors who promised to protect the seemingly-dead from being prematurely interred. Above you can see one of the more popular kinds of safety coffin, sometimes called an “escape vault,” because each grave door was built as a hatch that could be opened from the inside.

The Cam Newton Scandal Spirals Into Incoherency [Barry Petchesky on Deadspin]

So now where are we? Gene Chizik says Newton will play this weekend, end of story. The FBI plans to meet with John Bond, to investigate “whether young men are being shopped to colleges.” (They are, obviously; they have been since well before Marcus Dupree.) And sports books are rapidly taking the Auburn game off the board, after some bigtime action appeared for Georgia +8.5. That’s not saying Vegas knows something we don’t. They’re just worried that the pro bettors know something we don’t. Which could be anything. We don’t know a hell of a lot right now.

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But the Tea Party’s grassroots members are more hostile to trade agreements than the broader population. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 61% of those who identified themselves as supporters of the movement believe the deals have hurt the U.S., while 53% of all respondents held the same view.



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