The Marvelous Piraha Some months after writing the rest of this chapter I came across the work of Daniel Everett, a linguist who has spent more than a decade studying the language and culture of the Piraha.i The Piraha, a small tribe of hunter-gatherers in Brazil, have resisted, with breathtaking consistency, all the developments in linguistic abstraction, representational art, number, and time described above. While this tribe has been in contact with other Brazilians for two centuries, for some reason they have maintained an extreme degree of linguistic and cultural integrity, remaining monolingual to this day. Significantly, in not just one but all the areas described in this chapter, they exhibit very little of the separation implicit in modern symbolic culture. They do not impose linearity onto time. They do not abstract the specific into the generic through numbering. They do not usually genericize individual human beings through pronouns. Even colors do not exist in the abstract for Piraha.
What would Earth's skies look like with Saturn's rings? Posted By Jason Davis Topics: pretty pictures, art Illustrator and author Ron Miller specializes in, among other things, incredible visualizations of other worlds. Now, Miller brings his visualizations back to Earth for a series exploring what our skies would look like with Saturn’s majestic rings. We'll start with Washington, D.C. and work our way southward. Ron Miller Rings over Washington D.C. From Washington, D.C., the rings would only fill a portion of the sky, but appear striking nonetheless. Rings from Guatemala From Guatemala, only 14 degrees above the equator, the rings would begin to stretch across the horizon. Saturn's rings from Earth's equator From Earth's equator, Saturn's rings would be viewed edge-on, appearing as a thin, bright line bisecting the sky. Equinox at the equator At the March and September equinoxes, the Sun would be positioned directly over the rings, casting a dramatic shadow at the equator. Tropic of Capricorn, midnight See other posts from June 2013 Facebook!
25 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer It’s easy to forget that we have access to a virtually limitless resource of information, i.e. the Internet. For a lot of us, this is even true at our fingertips, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and an ever-increasing push for online greatness by tech engineers all over the world. As a result, there are countless websites out there that are geared to make you smarter and more brilliant for either a low or no cost. Here are just 25 killer websites that may just make you more clever than ever before. 1. This isn’t the first time I’ve recommended this language-teaching website (and app), and it certainly won’t be the last. 2. Have you ever wanted to pick up a subject you’re not well-versed in, but you didn’t have the money to invest in a college course? 3. Guitar is one of the few instruments out there that’s actually pretty easy to learn if you’re a little older, making it one of the most accessible instruments. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23.
Internet troll personality study Medioimages/Photodisc In the past few years, the science of Internet trollology has made some strides. Last year, for instance, we learned that by hurling insults and inciting discord in online comment sections, so-called Internet trolls (who are frequently anonymous) have a polarizing effect on audiences, leading to politicization, rather than deeper understanding of scientific topics. That’s bad, but it’s nothing compared with what a new psychology paper has to say about the personalities of trolls themselves. The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others). E.E.
It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas: The Neuroscience of Our Nostalgia | Frontiers for Young Minds, Scientific American Blog Network The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Traditional cookies ever bring back your childhood memories? Science knows why (credit: Amanda Baker) Have you ever smelled something so familiar that it felt like you were transported back through time into one of your earlier memories? Have freshly baked cookies, your grandmother’s chili sauce, or a specific brand of sunscreen after a long winter actually affected the way you feel? It turns out that science can explain this link between important memories and the smells associated with them. Researchers have long known that episodic memories – the memories you have of particular events – are made up of the combined information from all of your senses (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch). By looking at the structure of the brain, researchers have found that olfactory (smell) information takes a different path through the brain than input from the other senses. Further Reading Images
Blue streetlights believed to prevent suicides, street crime TOKYO — Blue streetlights are believed to be useful in preventing suicides and street crime, a finding that is encouraging an increasing number of railway companies to install blue-light-emitting apparatus at stations to prevent people from committing suicide by jumping in front of trains. Although experts are split over the effectiveness of the blue lights, railway companies that already have installed the lighting say they have played a successful role in preventing suicides. Glasgow, Scotland, introduced blue streetlighting to improve the city's landscape in 2000. The Nara, Japan, prefectural police set up blue streetlights in the prefecture in 2005, and found that the number of crimes decreased by about 9 percent in blue-illuminated neighborhoods. Keihin Electric Express Railway Co. changed the color of eight lights on the ends of platforms at Gumyoji Station in Yokohama, Japan, in February. According to the company, a few people attempt to commit suicide every year at the station.
Homosexuality Might Develop in the Womb Due to Epigenetic Changes Credit: Shutterstock/Anton Gvozdikov; University of California. According to a newly released hypothesis, homosexuality might not lie in DNA itself. Instead, as an embryo develops, sex-related genes are turned on and off in response to fluctuating levels of hormones in the womb, produced by both mother and child. This benefits the unborn child, however if these epigenetic changes persist once the child is born, and has children of its own, some of these offspring may be homosexual. The scientists published their findings in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology. Evolutionary geneticists propose that this is the reason why homosexuality didn’t fade away due to evolutionary pressure. Homosexuality isn’t just tied to the human species. Testosterone doesn’t explain everything. Epigenetic changes involve alterations in the proteins that bind together long strands of DNA and can be handed down to offspring. [via ScienceNOW]
Operant conditioning Diagram of operant conditioning Operant conditioning separates itself from classical conditioning because it is highly complex, integrating positive and negative conditioning into its practices; whereas, classical conditioning focuses only on either positive or negative conditioning but not both together. Another dubbing of operant conditioning is instrumental learning. Instrumental conditioning was first discovered and published by Jerzy Konorski and was also referred to as Type II reflexes. Mechanisms of instrumental conditioning suggest that the behavior may change in form, frequency, or strength. Operant behavior operates on the environment and is maintained by its antecedents and consequences, while classical conditioning is maintained by conditioning of reflexive (reflex) behaviors, which are elicited by antecedent conditions. Historical notes Thorndike's law of effect Main article: Law of effect Skinner Main article: B. B.F. Tools and procedures See also
Science & Environment | Can you see time? Imagine if you could see time laid out in front of you, or surrounding your body. And you could physically point to specific dates in space. Important dates might stand out - birthdays, anniversaries. And you could scan a visible timeline - to check if you were available - whenever you made plans. No actual diary necessary. According to Julia Simner, a psychologist from the University of Edinburgh, there is a reasonable chance you can. Dr Simner studies synaesthesia - a condition caused by an unusually high number of connections between two areas of the brain's sensory cortex, making two senses inseparable. Synaesthetes, as they are known, have experiences that might seem extremely strange to any non-synaesthete. The extra connections might be between the brain area that processes colours and the area that processes language. "One of the most common variants is called grapheme-colour synaesthesia," says Dr Simner. "People with this variant know the colour of letters of the alphabet.