Archive for June, 2011

NCBI ROFL: Guns, bumper stickers and road rage.

By ncbi rofl | June 30, 2011 4:34 pm

Naturalistic studies of aggressive behavior: aggressive stimuli, victim visibility, and horn honking.

“Three studies extended laboratory research on aggression to a naturalistic setting which involved horn honking from drivers as a measure of aggression… The results from a survey (Study 1) of 59 drivers suggested that they were frequently irritated by and aggressive toward other drivers. A second study (using a 3×2 factorial design with 92 male drivers) indicated that manipulations of a rifle in an aggressive context and victim visibility (dehumanization) both significantly influenced horn honking rates subsequent to obstruction at a signal light. Read More


Where the Ladies At? There's an App for That

By Veronique Greenwood | June 30, 2011 2:12 pm


Here’s a good use for augmented reality: directing clubgoers to the bars that have the best odds for meeting persons of their preferred gender. And how do you figure that out? Well, a start-up company called SceneTap is doing it with facial recognition.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Sex & Mating, Technology Attacks!

Sexy Ad Campaign Targeting Monkeys Makes A Splash

By Veronique Greenwood | June 30, 2011 1:21 pm

spacing is important

“Advertising for monkeys” is just too good a phrase to pass up.

Even since ads created for a study investigating whether monkeys respond to billboards debuted at the Cannes Lions ad conference, the headlines have been flowing freely. We learn Yale primatologist Laurie Santos and two ad executives came up with the idea at last year’s TED, after Santos gave a talk on her experiments showing that monkeys that learn to use money are as irrational about it as we are.

Ad firm Proton has now developed two billboards to hang outside capuchin monkeys’ enclosures, and the researchers plan to see whether they will prefer one kind of food, or “brand,” over another when it is shown in close proximity to some titillating photos, including a “graphic shot” of a female monkey exposing her genitals and a shot of the troop’s alpha male with the food.

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NCBI ROFL: What does a generic Mormon look like? The answer probably won't surprise you…

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

On the perception of religious group membership from faces.

The study of social categorization has largely been confined to examining groups distinguished by perceptually obvious cues. Yet many ecologically important group distinctions are less clear, permitting insights into the general processes involved in person perception. Although religious group membership is thought to be perceptually ambiguous, folk beliefs suggest that Mormons and non-Mormons can be categorized from their appearance. We tested whether Mormons could be distinguished from non-Mormons and investigated the basis for this effect to gain insight to how subtle perceptual cues can support complex social categorizations.
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The Head-Butting Champ of the Animal Kingdom

By Valerie Ross | June 29, 2011 4:30 pm

Stegoceras “Steel Skull” validum

It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves, watching nature “red in tooth and claw”: Which animal, in all evolution’s bounty, would win in a head-butting fight?

We don’t have to wonder anymore. In a new study, researchers have rounded up the likely contenders for head-butting champ, living or dead, ranging from long-extinct domeheaded dinosaurs to modern-day musk oxen. Since some animals had an obvious advantage, what with being currently alive, the scientists settled for a virtual throwdown. They used CT scans to suss out the precise shape and size of each creature’s noggin, then relied on computer models to see how they’d hold up when the animals went head to head.

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Silver Pen Lets You Draw Your Own Circuits

By Veronique Greenwood | June 29, 2011 1:05 pm

Circuits drawn with the pen make LEDs light up and give a 3D antenna its juice.

Gel pens, beloved by middle-school girls, are good for decorating cootie catchers, evading laboratory ink analysis, and not much else. But if you replace that metallic ink with real silver, you get something quite remarkable: a pen that can draw functioning circuits on paper.

Engineers at the University of Illinois have built such a device and used it to put together several clever electronic doodads. Silver is a conductor, so it ferries electrons from a power source, like a battery, to an outlet, like an LED light, even when it’s just a line on a piece of paper instead of a wire. Once the silver ink dries, it’s as good as wire or printed circuits at conducting electricity, and it survives all kinds of mangling—researchers had to bed the paper back and forth 6,000 times to get the ink to begin to crack and flake off, in fact—so it could be used in situations where flexibility is key. And, of course, just to make cool stuff. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

NCBI ROFL: What your lips reveal about your orgasms.

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

Vaginal orgasm is more prevalent among women with a prominent tubercle of the upper lip.

“Introduction.  Recent studies have uncovered multiple markers of vaginal orgasm history (unblocked pelvic movement during walking, less use of immature psychological defense mechanisms, greater urethrovaginal space). Other markers (perhaps of prenatal origin) even without obvious mechanistic roles in vaginal orgasm might exist, and a clinical observation led to the novel hypothesis that a prominent tubercle of the upper lip is such a marker. Aims.  To examine the hypothesis that a prominent tubercle of the upper lip is associated specifically with greater likelihood of experiencing vaginal orgasm (orgasm elicited by penile-vaginal intercourse [PVI] without concurrent masturbation). Read More

NCBI ROFL: Hey baby, your snot trail really turns me on…

By ncbi rofl | June 27, 2011 7:00 pm

Male discrimination of female mucous trails permits assortative mating in a marine snail species.

“Recent research has shown the potential for nonallopatric speciation, but we lack an adequate understanding of the mechanisms of prezygotic barriers and how these evolve in the presence of gene flow. The marine snail Littorina saxatilis has distinct ecotypes in different shore microhabitats. Ecotypes hybridize in contact zones, but gene flow is impeded by assortative mating. Earlier studies have shown that males and females of the same ecotype copulate for longer than mates of different ecotype. Here we report a new mechanism that further contributes to reproductive isolation between ecotypes in the presence of gene flow. This mechanism is linked to the ability of males to track potential partners by following their mucous trail. Read More


Fore! Golf Game Lets You Frolick on Saturn's Moons

By Veronique Greenwood | June 27, 2011 12:29 pm

enceladusThis takes location golfing to a new level.

If 18 holes on Kauai or Tenerife is old hat, grab your clubs and head to Saturn’s moons.

The NASA team behind the Cassini orbiter periodically release troves of gorgeous images of Saturn and its dozens of moons, revealing the gouges on Enceladus and the lakes of Titan. The drool-worthy vistas just beg to be explored, and you can now do just that with a nifty little Flash game developed by Diamond Sky Productions called Golf Sector 6. The game takes players through several 9-hole courses across a variety of Saint-Exupéry-esque moons, whose cratered surfaces are patched together from Cassini’s images. As Saturn drifts by in the background, you can relax, put your feet up, and bat a small pink ball toward the hole with your mouse. But beware of that pesky escape velocity: it’s different on every moon, and it’s way, way less than Earth’s.

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NCBI ROFL: Bicyclist's vulva: observational study.

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

“Many chronic injuries related to athletic bicycling are now recognised: cyclist’s nipples,1 neuropathic syndromes,2 and skin problems caused by the saddle. We have seen a new clinical problem in female high level cycling competitors: bicyclist’s vulva. Read More


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