What is it about cats that creates internet page-view gold?
"But why have cats specifically been so successful at soliciting our attention? One hypothesis is that there is a fateful link between cats and human babies that explains their Internet stardom. According to Michael Newall, a philosopher of art at the University of Kent, our inordinate interest in cats may derive from their formal resemblance to our offspring—their big eyes, smallish noses, and dome-shaped heads trigger the evolutionary nurturing instincts that we have evolved toward babies. There may even be a multiplying “superstimulus” effect at work: Newall posits that the exaggerated proportions of cats’ baby-like features prompt an exaggeratedly intense, and involuntary, response in people."
- Perry Stein, “Why Do Cats Run the Internet? A Scientific Explanation”
Photo courtesy of New York Times
Would an end to Newt’s political career see a return to his past?
"In its incongruous mix of wide-eyed futurism and partisan invective, Window captured the tension that has always made Gingrich an interesting politician: He is a man whose inner geek is perpetually at war with his inner hack. When Window was published, Gingirch the hack was just beginning to feel out his niche as the Republican Party’s preeminent human flamethrower. But it was in Gingrich the geek that Baen and the other science fiction buffs saw something special.”
—Charles Homans, “Freaks and Geeks: The rise and fall of Newt’s inner nerd.”
Is your Kindle weighing you down?
A scientist demonstrates that when you fill your Kindle with digital books, it actually gets heavier.
Via The Telegraph:
Using Einstein’s E=mc² formula, which states that energy and mass are directly related, Prof Kubiatowicz calculated that filling a 4GB Kindle to its storage limit would increase its weight by a billionth of a billionth of a gram, or 0.000000000000000001g.
This is roughly equivalent to the weight of a small virus, while the equivalent number of books – about 3,500 – would weigh approximately two tons.
So now we know.
Photo courtesy of the Guardian.
Does a cross-cultural study of daily mood rhythms within the average person (conducted via analysis of the Tweets of 2 million people in 84 countries) prove a universal biological rhythm that transcends culture and environment?
Some think not: “Tweets may tell us more about what the tweeter thinks the follower wants to hear than about what the tweeter is actually feeling. In short, tweets are not a simple reflection of a person’s current affective state and should not be taken at face value,” says Dan Gilbert, Harvard Psychologist.
Check out these graphs of Twitter activity worldwide at the New York Times, and decide for yourself!
Photo courtesy of Luc Latulippe