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Believing You Are Very Good Or Evil Boosts Your Physical Capabilities 192

Research by Kurt Gray, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard, shows that a person's capacity for willpower and physical endurance increases if they perceive themselves as good or evil. "Evil" acts in particular give a person a large boost in physical strength. From the article: “'People perceive those who do good and evil to have more efficacy, more willpower, and less sensitivity to discomfort,' Gray said. 'By perceiving themselves as good or evil, people embody these perceptions, actually becoming more capable of physical endurance.' Gray’s findings run counter to the notion that only those blessed with heightened willpower or self-control are capable of heroism, suggesting instead that simply attempting heroic deeds can confer personal power."

Comment Re:No more one-off prototypes (Score 3, Insightful) 156

By your definition, CERN is not a feat of engineering. Engineering, to me, is about systems. It's about taking many separate things making them function together to create something new. The purpose or application is moot. The real challenge of engineering is to account for the endless variables that can affect your product/system, from material properties to failure points. Engineering is the ability to weave the things and information you have to work with as seamlessly as possible. Yes, engineers make products. But they are also coders who work on simulations and so much more.

Submission + - Final Fantasy marathon fundraiser (

An Onymous writes: Some random gamers (literally) has taken upon themselves to play through all of the Final Fantasy games in one sitting. The purpose of this exercise? Fund raising for a cancer charity. Now, Penny Arcade has been doing fund raising by asking for gamer donations for quite a while, but fundraising by playing the game, webcasting it and asking for charity donations is a rather interesting way of going about it.

Comment Working out the bugs (Score 1) 144

"Critics, though, have always pointed to multiple hurdles - to the cost of launching and assembling large solar stations in orbit, to the losses in efficiency in conversion, and to the safety issues surrounding some wireless transmission methods, particularly those that use microwaves.

Astrium says the latter can be addressed by using infrared lasers which, if misdirected, would not risk "cooking" anyone in their path."

I got a great laugh out of that one. A+ journalism!

Comment It's culture, not medium. (Score 3, Insightful) 157

When you see kids insisting on incorrect spelling/grammar online, it's not necessarily because the medium encourages bastardizing the language in every instance. It's a desire to cool by being anti-intellectual. In their minds, only a nerd and an adult takes out the times to make everything they type in informal settings 'perfect.' We even do it here in sophisticated places like Slashdot. When someone brings up or wants to enforce the subtle differences between affect and effect, we just hand-wave it, call them grammar Nazis, and move on. It's the same thing. So next time you feel like blindly criticizing the next generation, why not try holding that critical lens to yourself as well?

Comment Re:If you want to know what's wrong with "lively". (Score 1) 305

"More lively" does not mean "complete other end of the spectrum." It means "something more engaging and able to garner more public interest, which is the objective of NASA TV," in other words, make it watchable. That's why the submitter mentions Carl Sagan; he was able to mix science, inspiration, and entertainment so that people still watch Cosmos today.

Submission + - Israeli Knesset approves Biometric Database law (

Lord Duran writes: The Israeli Knesset approved a bill tonight that will require every Israeli citizen to submit a visual scan of their face and a biometric scan of their fingerprints to a national database. I, for one, fail to see how this is anything but evil. TFA mentions the Israeli census was breached — I'd like to point out, for comparison, that it's still freely available on your peer-to-peer file sharing network of choice.

Comment Re:That's cool, but... (Score 1) 260

Weeeeeeeeeell, the the Star Trek timeline really diverges from ours drastically from this point. By now we're supposed to have driven Khan into space after the Eugenics Wars which devastated the world and be on the way to WWIII. You could say that the path is very different now.

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