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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday links

Sonar-Generated Image of a 19th Century Shipwreck Near the Golden Gate Bridge.

People with low blood sugar stick twice as many pins into voodoo dolls representing their spouses. 

H.G. Wells Interviews Joseph Stalin in 1934; Declares “I Am More to The Left Than You, Mr. Stalin”.

At what speed would you have to drive for rain to shatter your windshield?

This 1976 Planned Parenthood/Amazing Spider-Man mashup comic is a hoot.

This Guy Is Trying to Collect Every Single Copy of the Movie Speed on VHS.

ICYMI, Monday's links are here, including dog grooming fails, vintage video beauty tutorials, and scientific permission to drink a bottle of wine per day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

People with low blood sugar stick twice as many pins into voodoo dolls representing their spouses

Sounds like a chocolate deficiency to me.

A quick candy bar may stave off more than hunger. It could prevent major fights between husbands and wives, at least if a new study that used voodoo dolls is right.

That's because low blood sugar can make spouses touchy, researchers propose. In fact, it can make them "hangry," a combination of hungry and angry.

Brad Bushman, slightly famous as the author of Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder: People who think they are drunk also think they are attractive*, has published a new study entitled Low glucose relates to greater aggression in married couples, by Brad J. Bushman, C. Nathan DeWall, Richard S. Pond, Jr., and Michael Hanus, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, epub April 2014.  The authors explain: 
“Intimate partner violence affects millions of people globally. One possible contributing factor is poor self-control. Self-control requires energy, part of which is provided by glucose. For 21 days, glucose levels were measured in 107 married couples. To measure aggressive impulses, each evening participants stuck between 0 and 51 pins into a voodoo doll that represented their spouse, depending how angry they were with their spouse. To measure aggression, participants competed against their spouse on a 25- trial task in which the winner blasted the loser with loud noise through headphones. As expected, the lower the level of glucose in the blood, the greater number of pins participants stuck into the voodoo doll, and the higher intensity and longer duration of noise participants set for their spouse.” 
The researchers studied 107 married couples for three weeks. Each night, they measured their levels of the blood sugar glucose and asked each participant to stick pins in a voodoo doll representing his or her spouse. That indicated levels of aggression.

The researchers found that the lower the blood sugar levels, the more pins were pushed into the doll. In fact, people with the lowest scores pushed in twice as many pins as those with the highest blood sugar levels.

After the 21 days, the couples then took part in a lab experiment in which they competed with their spouse in a computer game - they had to see who could press a button fastest when a target square turned red.

The winner of each of the 25 trials was once again given an opportunity to express their aggression towards their partner.

This time, they were allowed to blast the losing spouse with up to 5 seconds of an extremely unpleasant noise up to 105 decibels loud. The noise was the combined sound of a smoke alarm, dentist's drill and fingernails scratching down a blackboard.

The researchers found people's average glucose level - calculated from the 21-day study - had an influence on what happened.

"People with low glucose gave their spouse louder and longer noise blasts," says Bushman.

He says the study controlled for relationship quality.

The study procedure also raised [an unusual] problem. Bushman had to handle a call from his credit card company, which wanted to make sure it was really he who had spent $5,000 to buy more than 200 voodoo dolls.

via  More here, here and here.

*SciAm article: Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I need this! Drone chases animals from garden, returns to its base to recharge

Wired has an article on garden tech which includes this excellent idea for those (like moi) plagued by deer (and/or whatever) eating their way through the garden. 

Unfortunately it appears to be only a prototype from 2012 - it's not clear whether it went further than that, but you can buy the drone and modify it yourself, if you have the skill:
It's a Parrot AR. Drone ($300) linked to infrared motion detectors and a computer-vision nav system on an Arduino microcontroller board. When invaders trip the detectors, the drone executes a defensive pattern, then returns to its base to recharge. DIY instructions at

Monday, April 21, 2014

Video: Rhett & Link's "It's My Belly Button" (which is now totally stuck in my head)

Just posted today:

They have a bunch of things that I love, but I think my favorite still has to be Rub Some Bacon On It:

The Fast Food Folk Song is up there, too:

And the worlds weirdest commercial for transmission service:

Here's a list of their videos in order of popularity - explore!

Check out the 1976 Spider-Man Planned Parenthood special issue

In 1976, Stan Lee presented a special Planned Parenthood edition of The Amazing Spider-Man, in which your friendly neighborhood webslinger battled the Prodigy, an evil alien from the planet Intellectia who planned to brainwash teenagers into having babies “left and right,” so he can harvest their offspring as child slave labor for his home planet:
“In a plot to gain a large crop of new child laborers for his home planet, The Prodigy, an alien in human disguise, attempts to convince teenagers to have unprotected sex. Using his power of vocal persuasion, which will convince teenagers to listen to his every command, the Prodigy denounces information about the risks and consequences of teen pregnancy and venereal disease.  Spider-Man steps in before the Prodigy's teenage victims can fall for his ploy, and stops The Prodigy from speaking by shooting webbing down his throat.”
The cover, and some of the panels:

Check out the platform shoes:

The rest is available at Retronaut, and the Marvel wiki has some information on the issue.

Monday links

British Pathé, the U.K. newsreel archive company, has uploaded its entire 100-year collection of 85,000 historic films in high resolution to YouTube.

Go Ahead And Drink A Bottle Of Wine A Day, Says Alcohol Scientist.  Hey, it's science!

21 Dogs Whose Groomers Took Things A Little Too Far

Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day; here's the co-founder who killed then composted his girlfriend.

Excellent set of charts and graphs that illustrate some of the basic painful truths of everyday life in the Western world.

9 Vintage Video Beauty Tutorials.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, including the 1973 Turkish Captain America movie in which he fights evil Spider-man, a Rube-Goldberg-esque wine bottle opener and pourer, and an excellent photoessay: Victorian Prudes and their Bizarre Beachside Bathing Machines.

Go Ahead And Drink A Bottle Of Wine A Day, Says Alcohol Scientist

Dr. Poikolainen, who has examined decades of research into the effects of alcohol, has written a book about the positive health impact. He was previously Research Director at the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies, with a focus on the causes and consequences of alcohol intake.

Bacchus, God of Wine, 
Intoxication, and Ecstacy
He believes drinking only becomes harmful when people consume more than around 13 units a day—most bottles of wine contain 10. "The weight of the evidence shows moderate drinking is better than abstaining and heavy drinking is worse than abstaining - however the moderate amounts can be higher than the guidelines say," he said, according to the Daily Mail.

via Gothamist - they include links to several previous stories on related topics:
Previously in scientific reports on alcohol consumption: drinking alcohol will make you less tired, although it will also destroy your memories, and it's really cool with kids and people who like to have sex, although it may give you cancer, or at least ruin your dancing abilities, but hey, you might live forever if you don't die first.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Infographic - Easter Eggs: Hidden Gems Of The Internet

The other kind of Easter Egg -  an intentional inside joke, hidden message, or feature in a work such as a computer program.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday links

Gallery: Pizza in the Wild

The other Captain America movie - this 1973 Turkish version in which he teams up with a Mexican wrestler and fights evil Spiderman.

Vintage creepy Easter Bunny Photosvideos of violence done against marshmallow peeps, including peeps vs. .50 Caliber Rifle, Parts 1 and 2, and 16 Delicious Facts About Marshmallow Peeps.

This photoessay wins my vote for blog post of the week: Victorian Prudes and their Bizarre Beachside Bathing Machines.

Excellent Rube-Goldberg-esque engineering: the ultimate wine bottle opener and pourer.

Fashions of the Future as Imagined in 1893.

ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here, and include dissecting the timeline of Paul Revere’s ride, the McDonald's Monopoly Fraud, and a gallery of extremely happy animals.

Videos of violence against marshmallow peeps, including peeps vs. .50 Caliber Rifle Parts 1 and 2

Peeps vs. .50 Caliber Rifle Part 1, from last year:

Part 2:

10 Ways to Kill Marshmallow Peeps (Microwave Included!):

Peeps in a vacuum chamber: