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Why We Cry: The Science of Sobbing and Emotional Tearing

Why We Cry: The Science of Sobbing and Emotional Tearing
by Maria Popova Why it’s easier to prevent a crying spell than to stop one already underway. The human body is an extraordinary machine, and our behavior an incessant source of fascination. In Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond (public library), psychology and neuroscience professor Robert R. Provine undertakes an “analysis and celebration of undervalued, informative, and sometimes disreputable human behavior” by applying the lens of anthropologically-inspired, observational “Small Science” — “small because it does not require fancy equipment and a big budget, not because it’s trivial” — to a wealth of clinical research into the biology, physiology, and neuropsychology of our bodily behaviors. Take, for instance, the science of what we call “crying,” a uniquely human capacity — a grab-bag term that consists of “vocal crying,” or sobbing, and “emotional tearing,” our quiet waterworks. Photograph via Flickr Commons Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr

Tanzanian Reflections David Ndambuki, "The Maasai," oil on canvas, 2006. Courtesy Real African Art Gallery It was an odd feeling going on my first-ever safari during my recent trip to Tanzania. Odd because even though I had never been on one, I already had a fairly well-formed idea — a fantasy really — as to what that experience would be like. It was an equally odd feeling finally going on this trip to Tanzania because of my intention of getting a sense of the local contemporary art scene — odd because my vision of what such contemporary art might look like was decidedly unformed going in. One of the paintings that proved remarkable to me during my time in Arusha was a decidedly ordinary canvas. Street vendors in Arusha and Zanzibar selling Maasai paintings. Once I came to terms with this strange repetition of the hand-painted Maasai canvas, I could not help but read them collectively as an ironic, contemporary sign of the durable legacy of the modernist celebration of the primitive and the naïve.

The Process Of Cosmic Self-Destruction at the Speed of Light A theory pondered over often by scientists is whether the annihilation of the universe would be as easy as pushing a button. Furthermore, the process of cosmic self-destruction would wipe out everything, including life, so efficiently that the known form of the universe may never exist again. The theory has recently been explained further in a video, which gives more insight on how self-destruction comes down to energy levels and stability. According to science explainer Kurzgesagt, there is more energy in a system when the level of energy is higher. However, objects throughout the universe are becoming more stable because they are trying to shed energy to attain their ground state. As per to the explanation given in the video, the ground state theory is true in the bizarre arena of quantum mechanics that oversees how the universe works on the subatomic scale. “If you feel slightly worried now, don’t be,” the video explains to cheer things up.

Limits Of The Human Body: How Much Sleep Deprivation, Radiation & Acceleration Can We Survive? By: Natalie Wolchover Published: 08/13/2012 09:21 AM EDT on Lifes Little Mysteries One hears epic accounts of people surviving bullets to the brain, 10-story freefalls or months stranded at sea. But put a human anywhere in the known universe except for the thin shell of space that extends a couple of miles above or below sea level on Earth, and we perish within minutes. Many of the boundaries within which a typical human can survive have been fully established; the well-known "rule of threes" dictates how long we can forgo air, water and food (roughly three minutes, three days and three weeks, respectively). Experiments over the decades — some intentional, others accidental — have helped stake out the domain within which we, literally, live. How long can we stay awake? Air Force pilots have been known to become so delirious after three or four days of sleep deprivation that they crash their planes (having fallen asleep). But at what point would he have died? How much can we accelerate?

The 50 Best Social Psychology Books Have you ever wanted to be more persuasive, convincing, or if nothing else, understand how others try to influence you? …Of course! Who hasn’t? In all honestly, the more you know about social psychology and social influence, the better. Not only will you be more prepared when trying to convince others, but you’ll also be aware of when others are trying to unethically convince you! If this is your goal, reading a healthy selection of world renown psychology books is a must. Fortunately, there are many out there, and they cover a wide variety of topics (social influence, marketing, persuasion, social constructs, etc.) and all of them are very approachable: these aren’t boring science papers, they were written for the typical person interested in psychology. As an aid to you in your journey, I’ve prepared this extensive list of 50 solid social psychology books to add to your bookshelf. The Importance of Reading Oh no, it’s like 3rd grade all over again! Think about that! About the List 1.) 2.) 3.)

Scientists have found a bizarre similarity between human cells and neutron stars If you were to compare yourself to a neutron star, you probably wouldn’t find very many things in common. After all, neutron stars – celestial bodies with super strong magnetic fields – are made from collapsed star cores, lie light-years away from Earth, and don’t even watch Netflix. But, according to new research, we share at least one similarity: the geometry of the matter that makes us. Researchers have found that the 'crust' (or outer layers) of a neutron star has the same shape as our cellular membranes. This could mean that, despite being fundamentally different, both humans and neutron stars are constrained by the same geometry. "Seeing very similar shapes in such strikingly different systems suggests that the energy of a system may depend on its shape in a simple and universal way," said one of the researchers, astrophysicist Charles Horowitz, from Indiana University, Bloomington. D. You can see the ER structures (left) compared to the neutron stars (right) below:

Study: Proof That We Sexually Objectify Women - Lindsay Abrams We look at women the same way we look at houses and sandwiches: as composites of attractive parts. Jason Lee/Reuters PROBLEM: Few would argue that the objectification of women is a real thing -- and a real problem -- but as yet there's been no cognitive explanation for it in a literal sense. METHODOLOGY: Images of average, fully clothed individuals (read: no supermodels in bikinis) were quickly flashed before the eyes of participants. RESULTS: Regardless of gender, participants consistently recognized women's sexual body parts more easily when presented in isolation. CONCLUSION: The cognitive process behind our perception of objects is the same that we use when looking at women, and both genders are guilty of taking in the parts instead of the whole. The full study,"Seeing women as objects: The sexual body part recognition bias," is published in the European Journal of Social Psychology .

Milankovitch cycles is the calculated daily-averaged insolation at the top of the atmosphere, on the day of the summer solstice at 65 N latitude.— Benthic forams and — Vostok ice core show two distinct proxies for past global sealevel and temperature, from ocean sediment and Antarctic ice respectively. The vertical gray line shows current conditions, at 2 ky A.D. The Earth's axis completes one full cycle of precession approximately every 26,000 years. At the same time, the elliptical orbit rotates more slowly. The combined effect of the two precessions leads to a 21,000-year period between the astronomical seasons and the orbit. Earth’s movements[edit] Orbital shape (eccentricity)[edit] Circular orbit, no eccentricity. Orbit with 0.5 eccentricity. Orbital shape and Temperature[edit] As the semi-minor axis is decreased with the eccentricity increase, the seasonal changes increase.[4] But the mean solar irradiation for the planet changes only slightly for small eccentricity, due to Kepler's second law.

Physicists just discovered electrons behaving like light in graphene... but better Just when you thought graphene couldn't get any more awesome, physicists have for the first time spotted electrons in this atomically-thin material behaving like particles of light... only better. This strange behaviour was first predicted in 2007, but has never been reproduced experimentally until now - and the phenomenon could lead to a whole new way of making super-efficient electronics. In the new study, the electrons displayed negative refraction - which means they'd changed their path as they crossed a boundary between two regions of graphene. That meant they could be manipulated in graphene using optical devices like lenses and prisms. "The ability to manipulate electrons in a conducting material like light rays opens up entirely new ways of thinking about electronics," said lead researcher Cory Dean from Columbia University. "For example, the switches that make up computer chips operate by turning the entire device on or off, and this consumes significant power," he adds.

Disappearing mothers Why would a woman put a picture of her child’s face – instead of her own – as her profile picture on Facebook? ©Salem Krieger If, from beyond the grave, Betty Friedan were to review the Facebook habits of the over-30 set, I am afraid she would be very disappointed in us. By this I mean specifically the trend of women using photographs of their children instead of themselves as the main picture on their Facebook profiles. You click on a friend’s name and what comes into focus is not a photograph of her face, but a sleeping blond four-year-old, or a sun-hatted toddler running on the beach. Here, harmlessly embedded in one of our favourite methods of procrastination, is a potent symbol for the new century. Many of these women work. These Facebook photos signal a larger and more ominous self-effacement, a narrowing of worlds. You notice that at another, livelier corner of the table the men are not talking about models of strollers. Facebook was pioneered for a younger generation, of course.

Say Something Nice (View it larger on YouTube) | Subscribe to our YouTube channel Produced by Charlie Todd and Matt Adams / Music by Tyler Walker For our latest mission we constructed a custom wooden lectern with a megaphone holster and an attached sign that read, “Say Something Nice.” The lectern was placed in public spaces around New York and then left alone. We wanted to see what would happen if New Yorkers were given the opportunity to amplify their voices to “say something nice.” Say Something Nice was produced by Improv Everywhere as part of the Guggenheim Museum exhibition stillspotting nyc. This is our second collaboration in the series, the first being The Mute Button. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our report below. Agent Alex Young building the lectern Improv Everywhere is most well known for our missions involving hundreds or even thousands of people. Agents Jason Eppink and Keith Haskel played the “movers.” “I love my friend here in the red shirt!” Crew photo

Johns Hopkins psychedelics research keeps finding medical uses / Boing Boing Johns Hopkins is among several institutions challenging a key tenet of outlawing psychedelics: that they have "no medicinal use." Baltimore Magazine examines the progress made by key researchers Roland Griffiths and Bill Richards. Snip: Ten years ago, Hopkins researchers, led by Griffiths and Bill Richards, a 76-year-old clinical psychologist whose work with psilocybin dates back to the heady days of psychedelic research in the early ’60s, published their first paper on their new pilot studies. • The Existential Medicine (Baltimore) Image: Jake Cook report this ad Ballistic gel "farts" after a bullet passes through it Ballistic fart This Imgur video shows a bullet of unknown caliber passing through a block of ballistic gelatin, “a testing medium scientifically correlated to swine muscle tissue”) followed by a mysterious explosion within the gelatin (one Imgur commenter says it’s just “the fire tetrahedron of, oxygen, fuel & heat” trapped in the gel) which produces […]

Top five regrets of the dying There was no mention of more sex or bungee jumps. A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. And among the top, from men in particular, is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware: 1. "This was the most common regret of all. 2. "This came from every male patient that I nursed. 3. "Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. 4. 5.