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Humans Find Meaningful Patterns in Meaningless Data

Why do people see faces in nature, interpret window stains as human figures, hear voices in random sounds generated by electronic devices or find conspiracies in the daily news? A proximate cause is the priming effect, in which our brain and senses are prepared to interpret stimuli according to an expected model. UFOlogists see a […]

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WATCH: You Can Make Dry Ice At Home

Making dry ice is easier than you thought! All you need is a pillow case, some gloves and a fire extinguisher. Watch below! 

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Spending Money On Others Makes You Happier

In their book Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton draw on years of quantitative and qualitative research to explain how money can buy happiness, but only if we spend it in certain ways. The key lies in adhering to five key principles: Buy Experiences (research shows that material purchases are less […]

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Eating Chocolate Can Improve Math Skills

Eating chocolate could improve the brain’s ability to do math, a new study suggests. Mental arithmetic became easier after volunteers had been given large amounts of compounds found in chocolate, called flavanols, in a hot cocoa drink. They were also less likely to feel tired or mentally drained, the findings, presented at the British Psychological […]

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Sad Songs Make You Happy

New research shows that sad songs actually create positive emotions. According to a new study, it’s because, in fact, sad songs create positive emotions. Researchers at the Tokyo University of the Arts and the RIKEN Brain Institute had 44 participants listen to different musical excerpts and then choose from 62 emotional words to describe their feelings. […]

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A Town In Alaska Has A Cat Mayor

Mayor Stubbs has been at the helm of the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska for 15 years – an impressive feat for any elected official, but even more so considering Stubbs is a cat. Mayor Stubbs has been at the helm of the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska for 15 years – an impressive feat […]

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6 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Airplane Crashes

It hasn’t been a good week for airlines. Or for airline passengers. A day after Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, killing two people and injuring 180 others, all nine passengers and a pilot died in remote Soldotna, Alaska, when their air taxi crashed after takeoff. And on Monday, a Japan Airlines 777 […]

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People Love Bad News

Many of us frequently complain about the negativity of the news, particularly now in the economic downturn. The conga line of bruising news blankets consumers in a headline bombardment that is probably making the problem worse. Why do we have this attraction for bad news? Jim Lehrer’s NewHour economics correspondent Paul Solmon did an interesting […]

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Homework Has Little Academic Value

New research has found that homework is of little value to primary school children, and students are regularly given too much. Australian academics Richard Walker and Mike Horsley’s new book Reforming Homework says homework for young primary school children is of little or no value when it comes to academic achievement. The book reviews international […]

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Doodling Helps You Pay Attention

A lot of people hate doodlers, those who idly scribble during meetings (or classes or trials or whatever). Most people also hate that other closely related species: the fidgeter, who spins pens or reorders papers or plays with his phone during meetings. (I stand guilty as charged. On occasion, I have also been known to […]

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