Archive for March, 2011

Sex Increases Risk of Heart Attack by 2.7X—Significantly Less Than Its Fun Multiplier

By Patrick Morgan | March 24, 2011 3:39 pm

There are certain things you’re not supposed to do during sex and having a heart attack is one of them. We’ve known for a while that bursts of moderate to  intense physical activity—including sex—increase heart attack risk, but a few scientists have now put number on that risk. And especially for out-of-shape folks, the diagnosis doesn’t look good (unless you’re aiming for death by sex, of course).

Studying death and sex is a tricky subject: Scientists can’t just round up volunteers, watch them make love, and then note which ones die. So instead they analyzed data from 14 different studies to single out connections between sex, exercise, and the risk of cardiac death or heart attacks.

As the researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Acute cardiac events were significantly associated with … sexual activity.” When exercising, you’re 3.5 times more likely to get a heart attack, and when having sex (or immediately after sex), you’re 2.7 times more likely.

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NCBI ROFL: This research is, like, so helpful for like, interviews and stuff.

By ncbi rofl | March 23, 2011 7:00 pm

Interviewees’ overuse of the word “like” and hesitations: effects in simulated hiring decisions.

“This study examined the use of hesitations and discourse markers such as “uh” and “like,” sex of an interviewee, and professional or student participants on hiring decisions of job interviewees. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: duh, NCBI ROFL, rated G, told you so

NCBI ROFL: Yes, dung beetles do have favorite flavors of poop.

By ncbi rofl | March 22, 2011 7:00 pm

Innate olfactory preferences in dung beetles.

“The effects of insect larval diet on adult olfactory responses to host-plant or food volatiles are still debated. The induction of adult host preferences has been studied in insects with diverse ecologies, including parasitoids, flower-visitors and phytophagous species. We investigated this question for the first time in a coprophagous insect species. Larvae of the French scarab dung beetle Agrilinus constans were reared on four different artificial substrates containing dung from cattle, horse, sheep or wild boar, and responses of imagos to dung volatiles were then behaviourally tested in an olfactometer. Read More

Vets-in-Training Plunge Their Hands Into Rectal Simulators to Learn Their Craft

By Patrick Morgan | March 22, 2011 6:46 pm

When you have your hand up a cow’s behind for the first time, you’re literally groping in the dark. Unable to see what you’re touching and armed with only textbook knowledge of cow anatomy, it’s easy to make a wrong move, which in your first rectal class can mean misdiagnosing a cow pregnancy or not even feeling your first uterus. That’s all changed with the advent of rectal simulators.

Dubbed Breed’n Betsy, this metal-framed simulator with a latex back-end and internal organs allows students to perfect their pregnancy-testing, artificial-insemination, and embryo-transferring techniques before they touch a living cow. After you put on your lubricated glove, you just plunge your hand into the cow and feel around to learn the positions of latex uteri, ovaries, and cervixes. There are also upgrades: A water-filled acrylic tube simulates real-cow temperatures, and you can switch out the latex organs for real ones from your local slaughterhouse (oh goodie!). So after you’ve grown comfortable performing rectal exams on this Frankensteinian mishmash of organs, you can confidently do the same to a living, breathing bovine.

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Finally, a Spy Robot That Does Floors…

By Patrick Morgan | March 22, 2011 8:03 am

As every covert agent knows, it’s hard to keep up with housework when you’re always lurking behind corners, evading double agents, and thinking of ever more complex ways of mixing martinis. With the new robotic spying vacuum, life just got easier.

Dubbed the Tango View, Samsung’s latest robotic vacuum model is like a mixture of one of James Bond’s gadgets and the Jetsons’ Rosie the robot: In vacuum mode, it automatically maneuvers around your home, making your floors (nearly) spotless just like a Roomba; in surveillance mode, you can guide the robot via remote control and have it live-stream video to your smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets. Thanks to its microphone and low-light camera, you can drive the robot around your house and secretly listen and watch your friends and family. (We’re not condoning this kind of paranoid behavior, by the way.)

So at the convenience of your couch, you can check on the family pet, see what your kids are up to, or just snoop around unbeknownst to anybody else (it’s “just vacuuming,” after all). From asking your spouse a question in another room to investigating things that go bump in the night, this secret agent vacuum can act as your eyes and ears when you’re too lazy or scared or on-another-continent to look yourself.

If you live in Korea, the Tango View could be yours for $700, which may seem like a hefty price considering it has a major flaw: It cannot spy and vacuum at the same time. Even a robotic spy isn’t perfect.

Related Content:

Discoblog: Disarmingly Cute: 8 Military Robots That Spy, Fly, and Do Yoga
80beats: Autonomous, Snooping Robots Almost Ready for the Front Line
Discoblog: The Creepy Robot That Hears You Breathing Through a Wall
Discoblog: Microbot Can Grab and Move Tiny Objects…Not to Mention Fly

Image: Samsung

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

NCBI ROFL: Manipulation of fractured nose using mallet and champagne cork.

By ncbi rofl | March 21, 2011 7:00 pm

“We describe an alternative method of manipulating fractured nasal bones using a surgical mallet and a champagne cork. Read More


NCBI ROFL: Colombo and the clitoris.

By ncbi rofl | March 18, 2011 7:00 pm

“In 1559, the Italian anatomist Realdo Colombo (1515/6-1559) claimed to have “discovered” the clitoris. Closer scrutiny reveals that whilst he certainly emphasized the role of the clitoris in female sexuality, his claim to priority is unfounded. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: NCBI ROFL, old-skool, penis friday

U.S. Government Writes Software to Enable Squads of Propaganda Comment Trolls

By Patrick Morgan | March 18, 2011 11:45 am

It sounds like the deranged words of a conspiracy theorist: The U.S. military is (not so) secretly creating software that’ll generate phony online personae in order to subtly influence social media conversations and spread propaganda. But what may sound like wacky theory is actually wacky reality, or at least will soon be, depending on whether it’s already in the works.

Dubbed the “online persona management service,” this technology would enable a single soldier to assume upwards of 10 different identities. As United States Central Command Commander Bill Speaks told The Guardian, “The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US.”

Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command. [The Guardian]

Said to be part of the Operation Earnest Voice (OEV) program, a psychological warfare weapon first used in Iraq to counter al-Qaida’s online followers, the goal of this latest project is twofold: To argue against extremist propaganda and to make sure “the world according to the U.S.” is heard. As General James Mattis told a Senate committee: “OEV seeks to disrupt recruitment and training of suicide bombers; deny safe havens for our adversaries; and counter extremist ideology and propaganda.” He added that Centcom was working with “our coalition partners” to develop new techniques and tactics the US could use “to counter the adversary in the cyber domain”. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

Weird App Morphs Music to Match the Picture on Your iPhone

By Patrick Morgan | March 17, 2011 11:28 pm

Imagine flipping through pictures on your iPod as you listen to the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, but instead of hearing the Fab Four’s familiar tune, something slightly different tickles your eardrums—and it changes with each snapshot. The tempo slows when you view a Rembrandt still life, the volume goes up with the blurred image of a headbanger, and creepy laughter resounds as you look upon a dark, moonlit landscape. This is more or less what a new iPod and iPhone software application aims to do, filtering and slightly modifying songs depending on what’s showing on your screen.

As Apple explained in a patent it published last week, they’ve developed an algorithm that looks at image data and determines “one or more characteristics,” such as “sharpness, brightness, motion, magnification, zoom setting,” and others. Next, an audio processor translates these photo observations into variations in tempo, volume, and pitch—adding its own sound effects to boot. The end result is a music experience that’s fully integrated with your photo album (and some would argue, as gratuitous, stupid, and insanely fun as Apple’s Photo Booth software). And it doesn’t stop there. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

NCBI ROFL: Germans prefer looks over wallet size.

By ncbi rofl | March 17, 2011 7:00 pm

Results of an explorative empirical study on human mating in Germany: handsome men, not high-status men, succeed in courtship.

“Recent research on human mating depicts men as searching for physical attractiveness (PA) and women as searching for status. To identify the mechanisms which lead to universal, biologically interpretable structures in social processes, we focused on the proximate causes for inter- and intrasexual differences in human mating preferences, attraction, and tactics.We collected data on 180 young singles (mean age 26.9 years) without a steady relationship. A questionnaire and a video sequence (20-30 seconds) of each subject was taken. Next, each video sequence was rated by approximately 20 individuals of the opposite sex, who also participated in this study. Read More


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