Thirty Three Things (v.6)
1. An Apologetic Duel in Poetry
(Via: Thabiti Anyabwile)
Most dog owners go into a panic if their pet makes a lunge for the candy bowl --- but is this worry really necessary?
Theobromine, a bitter chemical found in cocoa beans, is the molecule in chocolate tied to illnesses in canines. But how much theobromine is there in most chocolate? And how much theobromine would it take to kill household pets? It turns out, you might be more likely to die by chocolate than your dog.
Researchers originally attributed the cohabitation effect to selection, or the idea that cohabitors were less conventional about marriage and thus more open to divorce. As cohabitation has become a norm, however, studies have shown that the effect is not entirely explained by individual characteristics like religion, education or politics. Research suggests that at least some of the risks may lie in cohabitation itself.
7. Weird News of the Week: Why You Shouldn't Walk and Text: A Wild Bear Appeared!
I got up this morning from helicopter noise and I was trying to see what was going on," Terdandenyan told KTLA.
"I was texting my boss that I would be late for work because something is going on, and I'm coming down the stairs and I see the bear coming up the stairs toward me."
"I turned back and I ran for my life. I guess running for a marathon came in handy because I was in shape to run away!"
Steve's idea was to do a Willy Wonka with it. Just as Wonka did in the movie, Steve wanted to put a golden certificate representing the millionth iMac inside the box of one iMac, and publicize that fact. Whoever opened the lucky iMac box would be refunded the purchase price and be flown to Cupertino, where he or she (and, presumably, the accompanying family) would be taken on a tour of the Apple campus.
Steve had already instructed his internal creative group to design a prototype golden certificate, which he shared with us. But the killer was that Steve wanted to go all out on this. He wanted to meet the lucky winner in full Willy Wonka garb. Yes, complete with top hat and tails.
Along the DMZ, golf is not a sport for the faint of heart. The golf course at Camp Bonifas, just south of the Korean demilitarized zone, boasts just one hole, but what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in hazards. Live land mines line the course, and bizarre animals stumble out from the woods.
12. Animal Video of the Week: Puppy and Parrot Fight Over Yogurt
"Sears was so powerful and so successful at one time that they could build the tallest building in the world that they did not need," says James Schrager, a professor of entrepreneurship and strategy at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. "The Sears Tower stands as a monument to how quickly fortunes can change in retailing, and as a very graphic example of what can go wrong if you don't 'watch the store' every minute of every day."
Teachers who make classes stop chewing gum might be right --- it can mess with your mind, research suggests. As it turns out, walking and chewing gum at the same time might be more difficult than we ever suspected.
Hayes didn't sleep through the opening of the Civil War, but he might as well have. The Pennsylvania native had instead spent 15 of the most important months in American history --- from July 1860 to October 1861 --- looking for the North Pole between and above Greenland and Canada.
Because telegraphs and mail didn't run that far north, Hayes had no idea that the United States had been torn in two during his absence. He heard rumors of the conflict on his way home, but it wasn't until he finally anchored in Boston Harbor in late October 1861 that the war's terrible realness stopped him cold. Within moments of stepping ashore, Hayes realized that "the country which I had known before could be the same no more." Quoting the Book of Exodus but also presaging the title of Robert A. Heinlein's sci-fi classic, he wrote, "I felt like a stranger in a strange land, and yet every object which I passed was familiar."
With representative samples comparing three generations at the same age, this was the best data available to settle the Me vs. We question - and these items had never been analyzed in their entirety before.
So we dug into the data. The results for civic engagement were clear: Millennials were less likely than Boomers and even GenXers to say they thought about social problems, to be interested in politics and government, to contact public officials, or to work for a political campaign. They were less likely to say they trusted the government to do what's right, and less likely to say they were interested in government and current events. It was a far cry from Howe and Strauss' prediction of Millennials as "The Next Great Generation" in civic involvement.
22. HistoricalLOL of the Week
We require calories and nutrients -- 40 to 50 separate substances that our bodies cannot make, we must get from food. Because these interact, studying one at a time gives results that may well be misleading.
Early nutrition scientists got "volunteers"-- in quotes because study subjects often were prisoners -- to consume diets depleted in vitamin C, for example. They waited until the subjects began to develop scurvy, a sign of vitamin C deficiency. Then they fed the subjects the smallest amount of vitamin C that would eliminate symptoms.
Because individuals vary in nutrient requirements, scientists used this data to estimate the range of nutrient intake that would meet the needs of practically everyone.
For the visually impaired community, the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 seemed at first like a disaster -- the standard-bearer of a new generation of smartphones was based on touch screens that had no physical differentiation. It was a flat piece of glass. But soon enough, word started to spread: The iPhone came with a built-in accessibility feature. Still, members of the community were hesitant.
But no more. For its fans and advocates in the visually-impaired community, the iPhone has turned out to be one of the most revolutionary developments since the invention of Braille. That the iPhone and its world of apps have transformed the lives of its visually impaired users may seem counter-intuitive -- but their impact is striking
Lifting less weight more times is just as effective at building muscle as training with heavy weights, a finding by McMaster researchers that turns conventional wisdom on its head.
28. How-To of the Week: Become a Backyard Astronomer
They already guide blind and disabled people; now dogs are to be trained to help people with dementia. The duties of these "guide dogs for the mind" will include reminding their owners to take medication, as well as encouraging them to eat, drink and sleep at regular intervals.
Why can't we see? I've always assumed that, in my case, it's because my parents both have bad eyes. But according to a new paper in The Lancet, genetic factors can't explain why increasing numbers of people need glasses. Studies in places like Singapore of people of a variety of backgrounds---Chinese, Malay, India, in this case---show that genetic heritage doesn't impact rates of near-sightedness. It's impossible to explain the boom in bad eyes without looking at how people spend their time.
33. Just How Small is an Atom?