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A Brief History of Timekeeping
"For millennia, humans have sought to make sense of time, to visualize it, to ride its arrow, to hack it, to understand biological connection to it. 'Time is the very foundation of conscious experience,' writes Dan Falk in 'In Search of Time: The History, Physics, and Philosophy of Time.' And yet that awareness has a long history of friction -- to mark and measure the passage of time has proven re... posted on Aug 06 2012, 8,658 reads

 

The Science of 'Social Jet Lag'
"'Six hours' sleep for a man, seven for a woman, and eight for a fool,' Napoleon famously prescribed. (He would have scoffed at Einstein, then, who was known to require ten hours of sleep for optimal performance.) This perceived superiority of those who can get by on less sleep isn't just something Napoleon shared with dictators like Hitler and Stalin, it's an enduring attitude woven into our soci... posted on May 20 2012, 14,718 reads

 

How 17 Equations Changed the World
When legendary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was setting out to release A Brief History of Time, one of the most influential science books in modern history, his publishers admonished him that every equation included would halve the book's sales. Undeterred, he dared include E = mc^2, even though cutting it out would have allegedly sold another 10 million copies. The anecdote captures the ... posted on May 08 2012, 12,883 reads

 

The Northern Lights in Action
Few things take our breath away so easily, so seamlessly as images of our world -- Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. Sit back for the next two minutes and let the spectacle of our cosmos fill your senses. The deep emotional relationship we feel to our planet is evident.... posted on Apr 28 2012, 7,325 reads

 

10 Points on the Science of Spreading Good
"Good deeds are contagious. We naturally imitate the people around us, we adopt their ideas about appropriate behavior, and we feel what they feel. Acts of charity are no exception. In our 2010 generosity experiment, we showed that every extra dollar of giving in a game designed to measure altruism caused people who saw that giving to donate an extra twenty cents. Furthermore, the network acts lik... posted on Mar 21 2012, 33,989 reads

 

Profit vs. Principle: The Neurobiology of Integrity
Let your better self rest assured: Dearly held values truly are sacred, and not merely cost-benefit analyses masquerading as nobel intent. Neuroscientist Greg Berns of Emory University and colleagues posed a series of value-based statements to 27 women and 16 men while using an fMRI machine to map their mental activity. Test participants were asked if they'd sign a document stating the opposite of... posted on Feb 29 2012, 14,957 reads

 

High Schooler Devises Potential Cancer Cure
17-year-old Angela Zhang's after school project may change the world. Zhang has been making headlines recently after taking home a check of $100,000 from the national Siemens science contest, and now it has been suggested that her research could lead to a potential cure for cancer. "I created a nanoparticle that's kind of like the Swiss Army knife of cancer treatment in that it can detect cancer c... posted on Feb 18 2012, 15,141 reads

 

The Neuropsychology of "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
"In 1988, Bobby McFerrin wrote one of the most beloved anthems to happiness of all time. On September 24 that year, 'Don't Worry Be Happy' became the first a cappella song to reach #1 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart. But more than a mere feel-good tune, the iconic song is brimming with neuroscience and psychology insights on happiness that McFerrin -- whose fascinating musings on music and the brai... posted on Dec 22 2011, 30,086 reads

 

5 Ways of Spending Time -- toward Happiness
Our search to understand what makes us happy goes back centuries. As does our enduring belief that if we just do the right thing, happiness will follow. Researchers at Stanford and UPenn have recently shown how happiness is indeed a consequence of the choices people make. So what can people do to increase their happiness? Their answer is surprisingly simple: spend your time wisely. But some of the... posted on Oct 31 2011, 35,530 reads

 

Why Do Some People Learn Faster
Why are some people so much more effective at learning from their mistakes? A new study by Jason Moser at Michigan State University is premised on the fact that there are two distinct reactions to mistakes, both of which can be reliably detected using EEG. The first reaction is called error-related negativity (ERN). It appears about 50 milliseconds after a screw-up and is mostly involuntary. The s... posted on Oct 19 2011, 11,335 reads

 

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