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Submission + - 32-Year Study Shows how Geeky Kids Become Happy Adults | GeekDad | (

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists mining over 32 years of data from New Zealand followed about 1000 people from birth to adulthood. The factor that most predicted well being as an adult was social connectedness as an adolescent. Academic achievement was a much weaker predictor of adult well-being.

Submission + - Cyborg Snail Gets Biofuel Cell Implant (

Zothecula writes: Earlier this year we heard that researchers had implanted a cockroach with an enzyme-based biofuel cell that could potentially be used to power various sensors, recording devices, or electronics used to control an insect cyborg. While it may not be the most dynamic of creatures, a team from Clarkson University has now performed a similar feat with a living snail.

Submission + - Sex-Deprived Fruit Flies Turn to Alcohol (

garthsundem writes: "The article writes, "In the study, male fruit flies that had mated repeatedly for several days showed no preference for alcohol-spiked food. On the other hand, spurned males and those denied access to females strongly preferred food mixed with 15 percent alcohol. The researchers believed the alcohol may have satisfied the flies' desire for physical reward."
The finding is similar to this study, which found that monkeys lower in the social hierarchy binge eat their way to the good feeling that monkeys higher in the social hierarchy get naturally.
And so it seems, from fruit flies, to monkeys (to humans?), we need X amount of good feeling in the course of existence...and we can get it beneficial or detrimental ways."


Submission + - Teaching Robot Learners to Ask Good Questions ( 1

garthsundem writes: "I disagree with this article's opening line: "Within a decade, personal robots could become as common in U.S. homes as any other major appliance." Haven't we been promised this since the 50s?
But I'm fascinated by the rest — how do you teach humans to teach robots? Or, more precisely, how can you teach robots to teach humans to teach robots? The idea that designers can put a flexible platform in a robot, that allows users to determine functionality is...more than pretty cool."


Submission + - Berkeley Studies Show Rich People Lie, Cheat, Steal (

garthsundem writes: "A series of studies at Berkeley show that, "relative to the lower class, upper-class individuals are more likely to break the law while driving, more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies, more likely to take valued goods from others, more likely to lie in a negotiation, more likely to cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize and more likely to endorse unethical behavior at work."
Authors cite "positive attitudes toward greed and the pursuit of self-interest" as causes."


Submission + - Kinect Beats Wii and Move in Baylor U. Study of Motion-Sensing Games (

garthsundem writes: "First, Baylor researchers pitted motion-sensing games against stick- and gamepad-controlled games — the motion-sensing games were consistently rated "more enjoyable". Then researchers turned motion-sensing games on each other — Kinect, Wii and Move to be precise. 88 undergrads randomly assigned to play a 3D boxing game on one of the three systems chose Kinect over the other two. Researchers said, "perceptions of naturalness are key to enjoyment.""

Submission + - The (Real) Science of Mindpunking a Perfect First Date (

garthsundem writes: "Northwestern scientists Eli Finkel and Paul Eastwick aid the needy with the science of "smooth operating"; David Givens outs the secrets of body language — from our history as lizards; Gordon Gallup talks sexy — and shows how a gender-specific sexy voice increases the perception of attractiveness. We may not have innate suaveness...but we have science on our side."

Submission + - Computer Programmers Only 5th Most Sleep Deprived Profession (

garthsundem writes: "As described in the New York Times Economix blog, the mattress chain Sleepy's analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey to find the ten most sleep deprived professions. In order, they are Home Health Aides, Lawyer, Police Officers, Doctors/Paramedics, Tie: (Economists, Social Workers, Computer Programmers), Financial Analysts, Plant Operators (undefined, but we assume "factory" and not "Audrey II"), and Secretaries. ."

Submission + - Help With Homework, Hurt Your Child (

garthsundem writes: "Experts and studies agree: the best thing we can do as parents to help our kids' learning at home is to "support autonomy." In fact, playing the role of teacher while helping with homework is almost universally associated with decreased achievement.
This article at Wired represents the rabbit hole of experts I dove down after fabricating my son's kindergarten invention fair project, a powered K'nex conveyor belt designed to transport a picture of our aging Labrador, Gus, through a diorama of our living room.
The gist of this expert advice: explain the directions, carve out time, and then get the heck out of the room."

Submission + - Formula Picks the Best Oscar Films for Men (

garthsundem writes: "I wrote this equation for Esquire, ranking the BEST Best Pictures for guys. The top five: Godfather, Gladiator, Forrest Gump, Patton, Gandhi (all five titled after the iconic male lead). The bottom five: Oliver, Gigi, Broadway Melody, American in Paris and...The Sound of Music. (Though it didn't win, I ran the numbers for Star Wars IV, which would've come in third...) Driving factor is Rotten Tomatoes audience plus critics score...multiplied the how much MORE the audience liked it than the critics (guys tend to prefer movies the critics dislike). Also important is quotability (via IMDB and Wikiquotes) and Oscar nominations for the male lead. Thoughts on the list?"

Submission + - Academics not productive enough? Sack 'em (

ananyo writes: One hundred academics at the University of Sydney, Australia, have this week been told they will lose their jobs for not publishing frequently enough. The move is part of a wider cost-cutting plans designed to pay for new buildings and refurbishment to the university. Letters were posted to researchers on Monday 20 February, informing them their positions were being terminated because they hadn’t published at least four “research outputs” over the past three years. It is unclear which research fields the academics work in. Another 64 academics were told they had a choice between leaving and moving to a teaching-only position, he said.

Submission + - SPAM: Mimic Octopus, this fascinating creature was discovered in 1998 off the coast of

tux1954 writes: The Mimic Octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus, is a species of octopus that has a strong ability to mimic other creatures. It grows up to 60 cm (2 feet) in length. Its normal colouring consists of brown and white stripes or spots.Living in the tropical seas of South East Asia, it was not discovered officially until 1998, off the coast of Sulawesi. The octopus mimics the physical likeness and movements of more than fifteen different species, including sea snakes, lionfish, flatfish, brittle stars, giant crabs, sea shells, stingrays, flounders, jellyfish, sea anemones, and mantis shrimp. It accomplishes this by contorting its body and arms, and changing colour.
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