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Submission + - Swearing Provides Pain Relief Say Scientists 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "Scientific American reports that although cursing is notoriously decried in the public debate, scientists have just discovered that swearing may serve an important function in relieving pain. "Swearing is such a common response to pain that there has to be an underlying reason why we do it," says Richard Stephens of Keele University in England. A study measured how long college students could keep their hands immersed in cold water. During the chilly exercise, they could repeat an expletive of their choice or chant a neutral word. When swearing, the 67 student volunteers reported less pain and on average endured about 40 seconds longer. How swearing achieves its physical effects is unclear, but the researchers speculate that brain circuitry linked to emotion is involved. Earlier studies have shown that unlike normal language, which relies on the outer few millimeters in the left hemisphere of the brain, expletives hinge on evolutionarily ancient structures buried deep inside the right half like the amygdala, an almond-shaped group of neurons that can trigger a fight-or-flight response in which our heart rate climbs and we become less sensitive to pain. But cursing is more than just aggression, explains psychologist Timothy Jay who has studied our use of profanities for the past 35 years. "It allows us to vent or express anger, joy, surprise, happiness," says Jay. "It's like the horn on your car, you can do a lot of things with that, it's built into you.""

Comment Re:programming without typing? (Score 1) 124

Forgot an interesting tidbit from the wiki page.

A young Linus Torvalds was given a VIC-20 as his first computer.

Its high accessibility to the general public meant that quite a few software developers-to-be cut their teeth on the VIC-20, being introduced to BASIC programming, and in some cases going further to learn assembly or machine language.


Comment Re:programming without typing? (Score 1) 124

My first program was on a Commodore VIC-20 in 1981, I was 8 years old at the time.

20 GOTO 10

What happened when I ran it just blew my mind and brought me 28 years later where I am now. Instead of wanting to be a fireman or a policeman like every other boys, I wanted to work with computers for a living. Great memories.

I think, a simple interactive language like that is still the best way for a child to learn how to program.



Computers Key To Air France Crash 911

Michael_Curator writes "It's no secret that commercial airplanes are heavily computerized, but as the mystery of Air France Flight 447 unfolds, we need to come to grips with the fact that in many cases, airline pilots' hands are tied when it comes to responding effectively to an emergency situation. Boeing planes allow pilots to take over from computers during emergency situations, Airbus planes do not. It's not a design flaw — it's a philosophical divide. It's essentially a question of what do you trust most: a human being's ingenuity or a computer's infinitely faster access and reaction to information. It's not surprising that an American company errs on the side of individual freedom while a European company is more inclined to favor an approach that relies on systems. As passengers, we should have the right to ask whether we're putting our lives in the hands of a computer rather than the battle-tested pilot sitting up front, and we should have right to deplane if we don't like the answer."

Comment Re:I still say they should get rid of HFC Syrup (Score 1) 793

You're right. Controlled experiments shows that it's not HFCS specifically, but an excess of insulin in your bloodstream that causes obesity. Too much of any carbohydrates too often during the day will maintain your insulin way too high to permit lypolisis.

That's why we get fatter. That's why moderate-carb is healthier.


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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman