Sunday, 15 February 2015

Entertainment stuff from the week 9-15/2/15

Alright, moy luvvers?

Unfortunately for me, i've come down with some kind of rhinovirus, in the last week. And just look at my avatar - i have plenty of nose, to get infected :-D

If this week's post looks even less worked-on than usual, then that's why, LOL

It seems Singles Awareness Day has come around again.

So that's that...

Oh alright, here's some luvvy-duvvyness related research:

According to the UC College of Business, people make mistakes by buying more specific gifts for their friends/lovers, the closer they are to them, emotionally. They say they've observed this backfiring, because people appreciate more versatile gifts, even when they're very emotionally close with someone. A more honed-to-the-receiver gift is actually more likely to be wrongly chosen, or non-useful, or just plain inappreciable.

Yet another study has found that 'being real' helps when you're constructing dating profiles, on websites. This is medium-level Game Theory, here: what you're trying to do, is to create an impression of yourself that is both attractive to other people, and also attractive to people that you will find attractive. But if you're going for people who don't want anyone vaguely like you, then you'll construct a profile that is dangerously misleading, and the consequent interactions are bound to lead to failure. Don't waste your time trying to fake your personality - honesty genuinely works better. If you're a grumpy git, then you should want someone else who wants a grumpy git. Stands to Reason, doesn't it?

According to a GIT researcher, who followed 1000 people's tweets, on Twitter, people's behaviour changes after getting engaged, and getting married. After getting engaged, tweets with the words "I" or "me" dropped by 69%, to be replaced with "we" and "us", as the individuals tried to see themselves as conglomerated entities. They also noted that these newly-conjoined peoples would use the future tense more, fantasising about their futures as inextricable homogenised entities. This, of course, can be dangerous, as no two people genuinely do have all the same life goals, and marriage certainly can't fix that disparity. The GIT researchers also noted that men and women use different words. Men are more "physical" and women more "emotional" as men describe their partners as, for example, "beautiful" and women describe their partners as "wonderful". I suppose male astronomers are more likely to call the universe 'beautiful' and female astronomers to call it 'wonderful', and this says something about fundamental division in the human psyche, too? Nah - i'm not sexist :-P

'Dating Advice From The Animal Kingdom - A Week in Science'

In other news:

A man who claimed Barack Obama was an alien punched his mother at her home in Telford, Shropshire, because she laughed about it, a court heard on Friday. Hmmmm... :-D

The discovery of fossils of two interrelated ancestral mammals, in modern-day China, have pushed the original diversification of arboreal and subterranean mammals to more than 160 million years ago. With claws for climbing and teeth adapted for a tree sap diet, Agilodocodon scansorius is the earliest-known tree-dwelling mammaliaform; and Docofossor brachydactylus is the earliest-known subterranean mammaliaform, possessing multiple adaptations similar to African golden moles such as shovel-like paws. Docofossor also has distinct skeletal features that resemble patterns shaped by genes identified in living mammals. You can see some artists' imagery, and a video, at the link:

Here's yet another human superstition: is it true that there's a curse of the Oscars? No, it isn't. The idea of the Oscars curse, is that as soon as someone wins one, their career takes a dramatic downturn. And that's what's wrong. Oscar winners appear, on average, in more films following their wins than Oscar nominees and other actors. The costs of winning an Oscar are the same as winning any international award: the pressures of scrutiny, and enhanced expectation. Neither of these are peculiar to the Oscars themselves.

But this isn't a superstition: cricket players genuinely do play more cautiously, when approaching the 50-run mark, and the 100-run mark. When they're batting, obviously. They do this because the arbitrary numbers '50' and '100' are quasi-real prizes within the game of cricket. So batters play more cautiously to avoid getting 'out' before they reach either of them. Afterwards, they play more wildly, maybe in jubilation, and so they're much more likely to get 'out' in the period directly after a 50 or 100 has been reached. Interestingly, this cautious attitude is beneficial to the individual (in that they get a numerologically arbitrary prize) but because it wastes balls and time, it's costly to the team, overall. So if cricketers abolished the notions of '50s' and '100s' maybe the standard of play would improve? Marginally. Maybe.

Researchers have found the top 100,000 of the most frequently used words across 10 languages from a wide range of sources, and then asked 5 million speakers of those languages to rate whether the words were "happy" or "sad" on a 1-9 scale. What they found, is that the emotional content of the most popular words are skewed towards happiness, in every single language studied. Given that language is crucial to the way we think about the world around us, this linguistic optimism could enact a positive feedback relationship with cultural, and thereby personal optimism, too. Optimism can be very dangerous, because it leads to ebullience with superstition and arrogance with prejudice. People who are optimistic are overly-confident in their ideas, which means they cultivate themselves a world of error and division. Optimism might be a very human trait, but i wonder whether it, and superstition itself, have a commonality in archaic evolutionary motives? But i extemporise too much. I don't know the strength of this researched correlation, nor its statistical significance.

I'm slightly late with this story, and i don't know whether it's 'finished' or not, but there's been a measles outbreak in Disneyland, California, and it looks to have been caused by vaccine negligence. Of the 42 out of 50 cases at Disneyland, known by the time of this article, 34 were unvaccinated, 3 were partially vaccinated, and 5 were fully vaccinated. Is it worth getting vaccinated to protect you from lethal/mutilating diseases like measles? Absolutely. Unfortunately, due to the superstition-determined actions of vaccine-refusers, the world is made more dangerous for everyone else, too. No-one can be made perfectly safe from any disease, but the numbers are clear that vaccination makes you much safer.
{This story is the reference to two-weeks-ago's Onion post: 'I Don’t Vaccinate My Child Because It’s My Right To Decide What Eliminated Diseases Come Roaring Back'}

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'Why a 28% Effective Influenza Vaccine Matters'
Following straight on from 'In other news'

'Genetic Modification -- science vs belief'
Potholer! Finally in >480p... but only superficially :-D

'Shining Light Through Walls - Sixty Symbols'

'The Amazing Heptadecagon (17-gon) - Numberphile'

'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Marketing to Doctors (HBO)'This is a big problem that Ben Goldacre has written about, too.

'The One Ring Explained. (Lord of the Rings Mythology Part 2)'

'Allah's QC 1.2: Heaven (And Virgins?)'
Is the ultimate reward, promised by Islam, really 72 virgins? Jog on...

'Good Thinking Investigates: Chiropractic'
Bloody hell! Steer clear of quackery, please, folks!

'Halley's Fish - Objectivity #6'

'Hawaiian Food! ft. Aloha Cafe - JK Food Adventures'

'The 'superweapon' that almost won Hitler the war!'

'Flesh-Eating Hydrofluoric Acid - Periodic Table of Videos'

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: callipygian -- possessing beautifully shaped buttocks

Misquoted Proverb Of The Week: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" - Proverbs 16:18 (The Bible) The truncated misquote is, of course 'pride goes before a fall'.

Scientific Quote Of The Week: "To every complex question there is a simple answer... and it is wrong." - H.L. Mencken

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

'Amazing illusion'

'These 22 Pics Show Exactly How Creepy Post-Mortem Photography Was In The 19th Century'

'The Chase Amazing player cash builder and Epic Final Chase 2010'

'The Chase (ITV): The Fixed Final Chase?'

I demand a slow-mo replay!

'25 Most Ridiculous Questions On Yahoo Answers'

'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Bloopers and Fails Compilation - Epic Game Show Fail Edition'
Never has the retort "i'm sorry" been abused more, than by Meredith Vieira on the USA's version of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' :-D

'First Letter in English Alphabet'
A sketch has to be this well-written to vie with reality :-D

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