Entries tagged “research”

Nate Silver at FiveThrityEight looks at when U.S. cities get to work, and New York is the latest.

These cities break down into three rough categories. First are those like New York, San Francisco and Boston, which are home to a lot of young, creative professionals. Next are college towns such as Ithaca, N.Y. (Cornell University); Lawrence, Kan. (the University of Kansas); and Logan, Utah (Utah State University). Finally are cities such as Atlantic City, N.J., Orlando, Fla., and Miami, whose economies are associated with recreation, tourism and gambling. A quarter of the workforce in Atlantic City doesn’t begin its workday until 11:26 a.m. or after.

I like how Nate claims to not be a morning person, but the article was posted at 7:01am. I’m going to assume it was a scheduled post. For the record, my work day officially starts at 9:30am, and if I do a quick shower and half a shave, I can get out of bed at 8:00am and be at work with time to spare — assuming the MTA has the 4, 5, & 6 trains running well.

A new study has found that humans may be able to distinguish up to 1 trillion different odors.

To find out how many odors we can distinguish, researchers asked 26 participants to put their noses to the test. During each experiment, study participants were asked to smell the contents of three vials that the scientists had mixed themselves using 128 different odor molecules. Two of the vials contained the same mixture, while one did not. The participants’ task was to identify the odd mixture. Then, using the statistics obtained during the tests, the researchers were able to determine that people can distinguish two odors when their components differ by more than half.

Based on the smells of the homeless in the NYC subway, I’m guessing we can perceive much more than 1 trillion.

Researchers believe that dogs became domesticated much earlier than originally thought.

The authors concluded that dog domestication most likely occurred in Ice Age Europe, between 18,800 and 32,100 years ago — much earlier, and much farther north, than previously believed.


“The initial interactions were probably at arm’s length, as these were large, aggressive carnivores,” said senior study author Robert Wayne, an evolutionary biology professor at UCLA. “Eventually though, wolves entered the human niche. … Maybe they even assisted humans in locating prey, or deterred other carnivores from interfering with the hunting activities of humans.”

Of course, there are those who disagree with the findings. What I want to know is, when did dogs become cute?

Researchers find that high-fat/high-sugar foods like Oreos may be as addictive as cocaine or morphine.

Researchers also looked in the nucleus accumbens, or the brain’s pleasure center, and measured how much c-Fos, a protein marker that signals brain neuron activation, was expressed. In simple terms, they were looking at how many cells were turned on in response to the drugs or Oreos.

The researchers saw that Oreos activated significantly more neurons than cocaine or morphine.

I had a pack of Oreos yesterday and was extremely disappointed when I opened the pack, so I can see how valid this research may be.

Researchers believe that chewing popcorn at the movies during the advertisements makes them ineffective.

The reason why adverts manage to imprint brand names on our brains is that our lips and the tongue automatically simulate the pronunciation of a new name when we first hear it. Every time we re-encounter the name, our mouth subconsciously practices its pronunciation.

However, according to the study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, this “inner speech” can be disturbed by chewing, rendering the repetition effect redundant.

For me, watching the movie pretty much makes me forget any advertisements and previews.

A man, who claimed he was not touching alcohol, was getting spontaneously drunk. Doctors found a yeast infection in his gut, which was creating ethanol.

So the team searched the man’s belongings for liquor and then isolated him in a hospital room for 24 hours. Throughout the day, he ate carbohydrate-rich foods, and the doctors periodically checked his blood for alcohol. At one point, it rose 0.12 percent.

I’ve heard of doctor’s transplanting gut fauna to treat ailments and assist in weight loss, but this may accelerate that practice.

A study by Nikelodeon UK has found that men don’t mature until they are about 43:

A whopping 46 per cent of women said they’ve been a relationship where they felt more like a mother than a partner.

On the home front, women were twice as likely as men to feel that they were the “grown up” one in their relationship, and three out of 10 women have ended a relationship with a partner due to his perceived immaturity.

They didn’t actually need to do a study to find that out, everyone knows that men are immature!

I have about 3 years till maturity, so here’s how I compare to their top 30 list:

  1. Finding their own farts and burps hilarious: Guilty
  2. Eating fast food at 2:00am: Not guilty
  3. Playing videogames: Guilty
  4. Driving too fast or ‘racing’ another car at the lights or on the motorway: Not guilty
  5. Sniggering a bit at rude words: Guilty
  6. Driving with loud music: Not guilty
  7. Playing practical jokes: Guilty
  8. Trying to beat children at games and sport: Guilty
  9. Staying silent during an argument: Not guilty
  10. Not being able to cook simple meals: Not guilty
  11. Re-telling the same silly jokes and stories when with the lads: Guilty
  12. Don’t like talking about themselves/having proper conversations: Not guilty
  13. Hating books/reading because of short attention span/they’re boring: Not guilty
  14. Doing crazy dance moves: Not guilty
  15. Mum still doing their washing: Not guilty
  16. Having their Mum still make them breakfast/any meal: Not guilty
  17. Wearing trainers to night clubs: Not even sure what that means, but I’m pretty sure I’m not guilty
  18. Owning a skateboard or BMX: Not guilty
  19. Not eating vegetables: Not guilty
  20. Changing jobs regularly: Not guilty
  21. Getting too excited over stag do’s: Not guilty
  22. Sometimes trying to do wheelies/stunts on their bike: Not guilty
  23. Driving a modified car or one with a loud exhaust/boy racer: Not guilty
  24. Showing off about how girls are attracted to them: Guilty
  25. Wearing pyjamas, specifically cartoon pyjamas: Not guilty
  26. Using dodgy chat-up lines: Not guilty
  27. howing off about protein shakes/weight-lifting/how much they ‘lift’: Not guilty
  28. Littering: Not guilty
  29. Wearing saggy-crotched jeans: Not guilty
  30. Having a cartoon bedspread: Not guilty (but really do want one)

7 out of 30 sounds pretty high on the maturity meter to me.

Joshua Katz, a Ph. D student in statistics at North Carolina State University, published visualizations of the regional dialect variation in the continental USA. Business Week whittled the 122 down to the 22 most interesting.

It’s amazing how wrong the rest of the country pronounces some words.

Archaeologists from the University of Leicester have used DNA evidence to identify remains believed to be Richard III “beyond reasonable doubt”.

Speaking at the press conference at the University of Leicester, Dr Turi King, project geneticist, said there had been concern DNA in the bones would be too degraded: “The question was could we get a sample of DNA to work with, and I am extremely pleased to tell you that we could.”

She added: “There is a DNA match between the maternal DNA of the descendants of the family of Richard III and the skeletal remains we found at the Greyfriars dig.

“In short, the DNA evidence points to these being the remains of Richard III.”

Researchers may have figured out how homing pigeons get back home.

In 1969, a Cornell biology professor gave a talk to geologists at the school about the mystery of the lost homing pigeons. If the pigeons were taken to almost any locations, they headed straight home with amazing accuracy. But at one location, called Jersey Hill, the pigeons got completely lost, with each taking off in a random direction. At two other locations, the birds consistently headed in the same wrong direction. On a few trips, the birds would miraculously make it home, but then get lost the next day. [ The 10 Weirdest Animal Discoveries ]

United States Geological Survey geologist John Hagstrum heard the talk, and the question nagged at him for years. In the 1990s, he discovered that birds in European pigeon races were going astray on clear-weather days, when the Concord, the supersonic plane, was in the area. That led him to wonder whether the sonic boom from the Concorde plane disrupted pigeon navigation by interfering with the sound waves.

Not a big fan of pigeons.