Skeptikai Notices (June27) – News, psychology, Japan, & more

News:

Suicidal Chinese boy tries to jump off bridge and gets a surprising rescue – A Chinese boy was about to kill himself when the quick thinking of a complete stranger led to him to change his mind. How did she do it? She kissed him. It was caught on camera.

After Same-Sex Marriage, Same-Sex Divorce – The fact that there was ever a debate about gay marriage still bothers me, but New York finally legalized it, and Americans are for the most part pleased with it. And with the pros come the cons, though it’s a negligible price to pay for basic equal rights. The announcement came just in time for the Gay Pride Parade, which apparently had record numbers, according to Slate, who also explain in a recent article why this is a good thing for straight women too.  Also, out-celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris have been rejoicing ever since.

War crimes court issues Gaddafi arrest warrants – It’s about time this maniac is put to justice. All though I’m guessing he’s not going to turn himself in like Julian Assange.

Psychology:

A First Step Toward a Prosthesis for Memory – Scientists are beginning to look at ways in which we may be able to put computer chips in our brains in order for us to remember better. The first step is to improve the rudimentary memory systems of rats, which is now a success.

The Brain on Trial – Is it really a criminal’s fault if they commit violence because of a brain abnormality such as a tumor? What about those individuals whose abnormal thoughts and compulsions go away alongside the removal of such brain abnormalities? Perhaps we are asking the wrong question altogether. This lengthy but very interesting article takes you on a tour of abnormal psychology as it pertains to the real world.

Friday fun: Psychology songs – I found this interesting list of songs that someone put together. The author matches songs with the psychological phenomenon/term that the lyrics pertain to. It’s such a clever idea, I would never have thought of it.

Sleep Psychology – Lots of people are curious about sleep, but – perhaps because being bored is associated with sleep – we’re not usually motivated to go out of our way to get that information. So this link is for the lazy, because it’s a great 24-minute video of sleep psychologist Shelby Harris, answering various questions from insomnia to sleeping hygiene. It serves as a great primer to sleep psychology.

Misc:

Economy of sex: It’s cheap these days – Who has it easier when it comes to the economy of sex, men or women? This may give you something interesting to think about if you’re playing the field, or if you just want to know more about it.

Skepticism’s Oldest Debate: A Prehistory of “DBAD” (1838-2010) – This article shows the history of skeptics basically saying “Don’t be mean to people who believe in nonsense.” If you consider yourself a skeptic, you owe it to yourself to watch Phil Plait’s now (in)famous “Don’t Be A Dick” speech, which I think is truly amazing and inspiring. In fact, I linked to it in my first post on Skeptikai, and I’m glad I could watch it before I began my blogging adventure.

Dating website dumps 30,000 for not being beautiful enough – So there’s this website, and you’re essentially only allowed to be on if you’re deemed “beautiful” enough. Sound stupid? Yep, and now thousands of people are upset by being booted off the site. In my opinion, if you are really upset by not being considered “beautiful” enough, maybe you shouldn’t be sending your picture on the internet. So quit whining about it and pick a less superficial way to interact. Besides, this isn’t the first time this website has gotten exposure for the exact same thing. So if you want to get back at them, don’t bitch about it, just ignore it. They love the attention; it’s the perfect publicity stunt. And they have every right to boot someone for not living up to their superficial standards.

The 100 longest entries in Wikipedia – #100 is Hitler. You’ll never guess #1. …But you might laugh if you know what it is.

Japan:

Japan Plant Starts Treating Radioactive Water – They have now set up an elaborate water-filtering device at the damaged power plants “designed to cleanse water of radioactive materials, sea salt and oil, so that it can be recycled as reactor coolant.” This is a big step in the right direction for Japan, and good news for everyone, since we might not have to worry about the possibility of dumping radioactive water into the sea anymore.

Madame Tussauds and Legoland to enter Japan – Japan welcomes two new attractions.  Madame Tussauds will be ready in Tokyo in October this year, whereas Legoland may be ready in spring 2012.

Want Half-Price Luxury Rooms? Come to Japan – Japan’s getting desperate for foreigners, so there are lots of sales for travelers.

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