Archive for March, 2011

NCBI ROFL: A scientific analysis of kids in a candy store.

By ncbi rofl | March 31, 2011 7:00 pm

Cartoon music in a candy store: a field experiment.

“An experiment on consumers’ behavior was carried out in a new field context. According to a random assignment, 60 customers from ages 12 to 14 years who entered a candy store were exposed to Top Forty music which was usually played in this store, music from cartoons (Captain Flame, Candy, Olive & Tom, etc.), or no music. Read More


Weight-Loss Supplement Has Teensy Potential Side Effect: You Might *Get Mad Cow Disease*!

By Valerie Ross | March 31, 2011 4:44 pm

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hGC), a hormone produced during pregnancy, is isolated from the urine of pregnant women and used to treat infertility. Since the 1950s, however, it’s also been used as a weight-loss aid—and still is, even though there’s no solid evidence showing it works.

But taking hCG could be worse than just ineffective: A new study shows that doses of the hormone can transmit prions, the misfolded proteins that cause mad cow disease and its human equivalent, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an invariably fatal form of dementia that riddles the brain with holes (photo).

That’s right: There’s a potential risk of contracting deadly, brain-destroying illness by injecting yourself with proteins taken from other people’s urine—and you won’t even lose weight.

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NCBI ROFL: What do Republicans dream about? (Hint: it's not sex.)

By ncbi rofl | March 30, 2011 7:00 pm

Incidence of having dreamed and conservative political attitudes.

“The association of political attitudes of conservatives and reports of their having had a dream was investigated. 48 female graduate students in counseling psychology were given the KJP Dream Inventory and the Kerlinger Social Attitude Scale II. Read More

NCBI ROFL: Shocking study finds it's hard to learn without a brain.

By ncbi rofl | March 29, 2011 7:00 pm

Unsuccessful reinforcement of a discrete action in paramecia, P. caudatum.

“Previous research into the possibility of learning in paramecium in this laboratory has shown that these organisms can learn to remain in a specific location based on cathode shock reinforcement. The present experiment was designed to assess whether paramecium could learn a discrete action as opposed to remaining in a specific area, using cathode shock as a reinforcer. Read More

What Every Lonely Guy Needs: A Fake Facebook Girlfriend

By Patrick Morgan | March 29, 2011 11:25 am

Some guys only dream of having a Facebook girlfriend; others are willing to pay a company to create one for them. Soon, lonely dudes with extra cash may feel better about themselves as they interact with a “virtual girlfriend,” convincing their friends that they actually are dating material.

A startup called Cloud Girlfriend plans to provide a service that would post messages on your Facebook wall from a virtual girlfriend (or what they call your “social network girlfriend”). The process is simple: “Step 1: Define your perfect girlfriend. Step 2: We bring her into existence. Step 3: Connect and interact with her publicly on your favorite social network. Step 4: Enjoy a public long distance relationship with your perfect girl.”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Sex & Mating, Technology Attacks!

NCBI ROFL: New weight loss plan: drink crappy wine.

By ncbi rofl | March 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Fine as North Dakota wine: sensory expectations and the intake of companion foods.

“Taste expectations can influence taste evaluations. It is not known, however, whether the environmental cues that influence taste expectations–such as suggestible names and brand labels–can have a referred impact on the intake volume of companion foods. Adult diners who ordered a prix-fixe restaurant meal were given a complimentary glass of wine that had been relabeled to induce either favorable (“new from California”) or unfavorable (“new from North Dakota”) taste expectations. Read More


Time (Eats) Flies: Clock Powers Itself by Catching & Eating Bugs

By Patrick Morgan | March 28, 2011 11:03 am

Cat clocks. Cuckoo clocks. Grandfather clocks. Often times, clocks are named after the objects, animals, or people they resemble. Not so the fly clock: This mechanical wonder is billed as the first-ever carnivorous clock, sucking energy from decomposed fly carcasses (giving new meaning to the phrase “eating up time”).

The mechanics are quite elegant: Unsuspecting flies get stuck on the clock’s flypaper, which is rigged as a corpse-carrying conveyor belt. A blade on the clock scrapes the catch into a microbial fuel cell. As it digests the fly, the fuel cell extracts electrons to power the LCD screen. As flypaper keeps trapping and the wheels keep turning, you have yourself an Earth-friendly, critter-ridding timepiece the likes the world has never seen.

UK engineers got the idea of a carnivorous clock from Chris Melhuish at the Bristol Robotics Lab, whose team previously developed another fly-powered robot, according to MSNBC. But the idea of carnivorous robots goes back at least a decade, to the aptly named Slugbot.

Related Content:
80beats: Video: Fluorescent Bacteria Keep Time Like a Clock
The Loom: The Clock That Breeds
80beats: Men Have a Biological Clock, Too
Science Not Fiction: Fringe Doomsday Clock

NCBI ROFL: Men's Preferences for Women's Breast Morphology in New Zealand, Samoa, and Papua New Guinea.

By ncbi rofl | March 25, 2011 7:00 pm

“Sexual selection via mate choice may have influenced the evolution of women’s breast morphology. We conducted an image-based questionnaire quantifying and comparing the preferences of men from Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, and New Zealand (NZ) for images of women’s breast size, breast symmetry, areola size, and areolar pigmentation. Read More

How to Protect World Cup Crowds From Blazing Sun? Carbon-Fiber Flying-Saucer Clouds

By Patrick Morgan | March 25, 2011 12:02 pm

Picturing yourself at the 2022 World Cup, surrounded by Qatar’s (as-yet-to-be-built) state-of-the-art stadium sounds like a soccer-fan’s dream, but there’s one problem: In the summer, when the event is traditionally held, this desert country’s temperatures can easily top 115 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s hard to enjoy soccer when you’re suffering a heat stroke, which is why engineers are developing a flying-saucer-like carbon-fiber cloud that will float above soccer-eyed spectators and automatically reposition itself to block the sun, cooling them from the sizzling heat.

As Saud Ghani, head of Qatar University’s  Mechanical and Industrial Engineering group, told CNN, this giant iPhone-shaped robotic cloud could potentially drop temperatures by 10 degrees Fahrenheit. It does this by shielding the pitch from sunlight (a simple-enough concept). So how does it stay aloft, and stay in the right place to block the sun?

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

NCBI ROFL: If I could date myself, I would.

By ncbi rofl | March 24, 2011 7:00 pm

How do I love thee? Let me count the Js: implicit egotism and interpersonal attraction.

“From the perspective of implicit egotism people should gravitate toward others who resemble them because similar others activate people’s positive, automatic associations about themselves. Read More


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