Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cleric blames women’s attire for attacks

Cleric blames women’s attire for attacks
(Sydney Morning Herald)
“If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?” the sheik asked.

“The uncovered meat is the problem.”

“If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab (islamic headdress), no problem would have occurred.”

Hear, hear!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Marketing and Mind Control

Marketing and Mind Control
Psychologists have demonstrated this in the laboratory, time and time again. It’s known as the Ultimatum Game, and its counterintuitive findings are part of a broad new understanding of how the human brain and mind work. As it turns out, we are not very reasonable creatures much of the time, nor are we very aware. Indeed, we are under constant sway of our emotions and intuitions, and most of the time we are not even aware of just how quirky and emotional our everyday decisions are.

You don’t say!

Subliminal Nude Pictures Focus Attention

Subliminal Nude Pictures Focus Attention
(Scientific American)
Nothing focuses the mind’s eye like an erotic picture, according to the results of a new study. Even when such pictures were actively canceled out, subliminal images of female nudes helped heterosexual men find the orientation of a briefly shown abstract shape. Such nudity-driven focusing worked almost as well for women, as long as the image accorded with their sexual preference.

In other news, liminal nude pictures are very distracting.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

From today’s Bizarro

Just to break the textual monotony on the page.

Viking landers may have missed Martian life

Viking landers may have missed Martian life
(New Scientist Space)
The results from Vikings’ onboard experiments are confusing because some tests suggested the presence of organisms capable of digesting organic molecules. But heating the soil with a gas-chromatograph mass spectrometer (GCMS) to release these organic molecules found nothing, causing most scientists to rule out life. Instead they put the soil reactivity down to the presence of peroxides or other reactive substances.

Now, a paper by Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez of the University of Mexico and others demonstrates that the GCMS instrument was incapable of detecting organic compounds even in Mars-like soils from various locations on Earth. This includes Chile’s Atacama Desert, where other tests prove that living microbes are indeed present.

Monday, October 23, 2006

How Borat hoaxed America

How Borat hoaxed America
The British comedian has perfected his act as the apparently naive reporter whose enthusiastic offensiveness either leaves his interviewees in shock or persuades them to reveal a little too much of their own prejudices.

And the result is set to be one of the year’s most popular films.

Jagshemash! I’m an unabashed Borat fan.

Reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kids hang on to dad’s every word

Kids hang on to dad’s every word
(New Scientist)
Children whose father’s vocabulary was more varied when they were 2 years old had more advanced language skills at age 3. Surprisingly, the dads spoke less and asked fewer questions than the mothers, suggesting it was not how much they spoke but what they said and how they said it that resonated with their children.