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Lull in Summer Rain (1916) Dedicated to the Exploring and Tracing of Quotations. Studying the Brain Can Help Us Understand Our Unscientific Beliefs. Editors’ Note: Portions of this post appeared in similar form in a December, 2009, piece by Jonah Lehrer for Wired magazine.

Studying the Brain Can Help Us Understand Our Unscientific Beliefs

We regret the duplication of material. Last week, Gallup announced the results of their latest survey on Americans and evolution. The numbers were a stark blow to high-school science teachers everywhere: forty-six per cent of adults said they believed that “God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years.” Only fifteen per cent agreed with the statement that humans had evolved without the guidance of a divine power. What’s most remarkable about these numbers is their stability: these percentages have remained virtually unchanged since Gallup began asking the question, thirty years ago. Such poll data raises questions: Why are some scientific ideas hard to believe in? Ray Bradbury on Space, Education, and Our Obligation to Future Generations: A Rare 2003 Interview.

By Maria Popova “Anything that puts a sense of the miraculous in you… Anything that makes you feel alive is good.”

Ray Bradbury on Space, Education, and Our Obligation to Future Generations: A Rare 2003 Interview

After this morning’s remembrance of Ray Bradbury through 11 of his most memorable quotes, here comes a rare archival gem: On August 22, 2003, SCVTV news man Leon Worden conducted a short but wide-ranging interview with the beloved author, in which he discusses such timely subjects as future of space exploration, what’s wrong with the education system, and where technology is taking us, exploring ideas as broad and abstract as the possibility of alien life and as specific and concrete as tackling the 40,000 highway deaths that take place every year. The interview is now available online, mashed up with images from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory — highlights below. In commenting on the cultural impact of mainstream media, Bradbury echoes David Foster Wallace’s lament: The Self Illusion: An Interview With Bruce Hood. Muerte de Ray Bradbury: los consejos del escritor a los jóvenes.

Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D.: Why Weird Experiences Boost Creativity. Creative people think differently.

Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D.: Why Weird Experiences Boost Creativity

The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction. C. S. Lewis on "School Stories" and Media Distortion as a Greater Fiction Than Fiction. How To Stay Cool Under Pressure. Tuesday, May 29, 2012 Cognitive scientist Sian Beilock writes: “Our performance is often linked to financial incentives.

How To Stay Cool Under Pressure

But not everyone responds to financial incentives in the same way. While some thrive when the proverbial carrot is dangling out in front of them, others choke. Why? New research published last week in the journal Neuron provides some answers to this question. Weighing the words of our different inner voices. Excuse me while I try to get a word in edgewise.

Weighing the words of our different inner voices

I have someone in my head at the moment, and she’s talking very loudly. It’s Wobbly Wendy doing her thing in my left lobe. She natters away, worrying about Mayan prophecies and the cancer that’s surely the reason for the pain in my right knee. Molecular Gastronomy in Aisle 6: Kits for the Modern Cook. Equal parts periodic table and Gourmet Magazine, Molecule-R has an Apple-like flair for design.

Molecular Gastronomy in Aisle 6: Kits for the Modern Cook

Photo: Molecule-R “Where can I find the maltodextrin?” It’s a question that’s likely to result in a blank stare from your local grocer’s stock boy. But the scarcity of such ingredients is a real problem for molecular gastronomy enthusiasts. Co-Nectar. Social-Cognitive Deficits in Normal Aging. Joseph M.

Social-Cognitive Deficits in Normal Aging

Moran, Eshin Jolly, and Jason P. Mitchell. Why we're better at predicting other people's behaviour than our own. Psychologists have identified an important reason why our insight into our own psyches is so poor.

Why we're better at predicting other people's behaviour than our own

Emily Balcetis and David Dunning found that when predicting our own behaviour, we fail to take the influence of the situation into account. By contrast, when predicting the behaviour of others, we correctly factor in the influence of the circumstances. Social ecology of similarity. Big schools, small schools and social relationships Abstract Social ecologies shape the way people initiate and maintain social relationships.

Social ecology of similarity

Settings with much opportunity will lead to more fine-grained similarity among friends; less opportunity leads to less similarity. We compare two ecological contexts—a large, relatively diverse state university versus smaller colleges in the same state—to test the hypothesis that a larger pool of available friendship choices will lead to greater similarity within dyads. To 'think outside the box,' think outside the box. Want to think outside the box?

To 'think outside the box,' think outside the box

Try actually thinking outside of a box. In a study to be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers had students think up solutions to problems while acting out various metaphors about creative thinking and found that the instructions actually worked. The authors of the new paper were inspired by metaphors about creativity found in boardrooms to movie studios to scientific laboratories around the world and previous linkages established between mind and body.

5 things you didn't know about the beginning of a relationship. Why Love Matters More (And Less) Than You Think - Umair Haque. By Umair Haque | 6:14 PM February 14, 2012 So, how was your Valentine’s Day? Me? Taming the Wandering Mind. This lovely Hanif Kureishi piece on the often misguided drive to tame the wandering mind struck a chord with me. This is familiar: My son, who can skip and sing, found it difficult, for a long time, to read and write at the level of others his age. Friedman_foerster2001. Less thinking biases in a foreign tongue. Creativity Happens When You Least Expect It. It's well known that there are circadian or daily rhythms in basic physiological functions like body temperature or digestion. Interestingly, these circadian rhythms extend to our psychological abilities too.

Simply put, we tend to have more brainpower at our peak circadian arousal time, which leads to success on activities that require us to concentrate and mentally 'buckle down.' Morning types (i.e., people who are most alert in the morning) excel on a whole host of cognitive tasks when they complete these tasks early in the day. This is especially true for tasks that require working memory , like systematically reasoning through a problem or juggling numbers in your head. Both Convergent and Divergent Thinking are Necessary for Creativity. 0Share Synopsis What happens when the IQ test taker is suddenly asked to be the IQ test constructor? The relationship between intelligence and creativity has long been debated and studied. One of the hallmark tests of "general intelligence" is the Raven's Progressive Matrices Test. Study of literature under attack? A Stanford scholar to the rescue.

The Fatal Flaw of the Storyteller. Camille Seaman Photography - Earth Series: Part I, Ger , The Last Iceberg, The Last Iceberg Series II , Dark Ice, A Penguin's Life, This Other World, The Big Cloud. Official Website. Prismatic blog - Prismatic Blog - Clustering Related Stories. Under the Namibian Sky - The Movie. The 'If' Moment: A Brief History of Alternate Histories.

Peter Norvig - The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data. How Titanoboa, the 40-Foot-Long Snake, Was Found. Geneticist Runs Personalized Medicine Superstudy On Himself. Time-Lapse Starscape Videos Show Heavens in Motion. America, the Beautiful (And Nutty): A Skeptic's Lament. Luc Sante, Author of Low Life, on the Benefits of Self-Editing. Rise of the Neuronovel. Learn Science at Nature. Welcome To Alexander Street Press.