Link Collection

March 14, 2009

LOTD for March 14

Filed under: Uncategorized — gokamoto @ 3:44 pm

Researchers have found that the fear response in people can be permanently reduced by using the beta-blocker propranolol, which could mean that anxiety disorders and phobias could be cured! For example, people who have a fear of spiders can have that fear eliminated via propranolol:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090311103611.htm

Study calls into question the reliability of witnesses, as simple psychological techniques were found to be able to create false memories in people in a wide variety of circumstances. For example, 85% of soldiers could not identify the correct person who interrogated them and instead were tricked into accusing someone who wasn’t even around them during the interrogation:
http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/02/falsememory.html

Babies who gesture more end up learning words sooner, and later in life they have better vocabularies than babies who gesture less:
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1879269,00.html

Kentucky families were fortunate when their Amish neighbors were able to be so helpful when an ice storm took out their electricity. The Amish were not affected by the electrical outage, of course, and they brought coffee, drinking water, hot meals, and lanterns to their neighbors:
http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/feb/05/kentucky-amish-help-neighbors-through-storm/

San Diego middle school is offering AP Spanish to their 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students who are native Spanish speakers who speak Spanish at home. They are doing this to give the students confidence…but is it really teaching them anything? It costs $10k for them to offer this elective:
http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/feb/23/1m23aplemon23354-dialect-confidence/?zIndex=57010

Microsoft accidentally overpaid 25 employees in their severance checks, but decided to let them keep the money after they received a negative public reaction to the letters they sent out asking for the money to be returned:
http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/techtracks/2009/02/23/microsoft_lets_25_laid-off_employees_keep_severanc.html

This 68-year-old woman has been married *23* times and is looking for her 24th husband:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4796811/Grandmother-is-most-married-woman-after-tying-the-knot-23-times.html

US teens who have a cell phone average 2,272 text messages per month and 203 phone calls per month, with all the texting leading to concerns over a decrease in focus and a decline of face-to-face conversations:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/21/AR2009022101863_pf.html

The global economic decline has led to a huge drop in railroad shipments, so the 5 largest railroads in the US have put more than 30% of their boxcars into storage. If those 206,000 boxcars were put end-to-end, they would stretch from New York to Salt Lake City!
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123535033769344811.html

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