You did that on purpose
"So you're sitting at a bar, and some guy shoves your arm as he walks past, causing you to spill your cocktail," Tom Jacobs writes for Miller-McCune magazine. "You can respond in one of two ways. Shrug it off and order another, or get angry, exchange heated words and risk escalating a minor incident into a violent confrontation. The key factor in making that choice is how you view the incident: Was it an unfortunate accident or a deliberate provocation? It turns out your answer to that question depends largely on whether you're on your first drink, or your fourth. That's the conclusion of a French study just published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. It reports intoxicated people are more likely to assume an ambiguous act is intentional rather than accidental."
Hot for bargains
"Shopping has a similar effect on the brain to watching pornographic films, a study has indicated," The Daily Telegraph reports. "Consumers offered discounts or other promotions on a range of consumer goods showed a mental response resembling that of sexual arousal, the researchers found. Having wired up 50 volunteers, the scientists from the University of Westminster monitored their eye movements and emotional responses to the products and graded them on a scale of one to 10. … [A]score of between five and seven is the kind of excitement a body has to erotic images such as pornography. One Marmite promotion, to get a free audiobook featuring the children's character Horrid Henry, registered a score of up to 5.8 among the consumers." The research was commissioned by the Institute of Promotional Marketing.
Need more sleep?
Six signs you do, from The Huffington Post website:
- You're not hungry for lunch. (A lack of sleep throws off your internal clock, which results in abnormal feelings. That's why so many people lose or gain weight during periods of sleeplessness.)
- You've looked at three other websites in the last five minutes and checked your e-mail twice. (A lack of sleep can make focusing seem impossible.)
- You can't remember where you put your car keys. (Your short-term memory may be impaired by not getting enough shut-eye.)
- You can't carry on a conversation.
- You're drowsy at the wheel.
- You feel sick but usually you never get sick. (Your immune system repairs and strengthens while you sleep.)
Selfishness? It helps yeast
"Listen up, do-gooders: Your selfish counterparts, often relegated to the lower rungs of society, can actually benefit the group, a new study suggests," Jeanna Bryner reports for LiveScience.com. "While the results are based on lab experiments [with]yeast cells, the researchers suggest similar dynamics may play out in humans. Their message: Scientists should not take for granted the long-held assumption that co-operation is best for everyone." British scientists worked with two strains of yeast, "cheaters" and "co-operators." After giving sucrose to the yeast, the researchers found the populations that included a mix of both givers and takers grew more than those with only the straight shooters. Having cheats around makes resources more scarce, keeping the co-operators from wasting their food. The same may hold for us, said study researcher Laurence Hurst of the University of Bath. The study will be published next week in the online journal PLoS Biology.
Renovation goes wrong
"A family abandoned their bathroom, fearing it had been possessed by the devil after an image of Satan appeared overnight - in a tile," Orange News U.K. reports. "Laszlo Csrefko spent a fortune renovating the room at the family home in Bekasmegyer, Budapest, with a new bath, shower and tiles. But after taking her first shower, horrified wife Andrea, 47, fled from the bathroom when she spotted the horned head of the devil in one of the tiles. 'I was naked coming out of the shower and I could suddenly see his eyes staring into me. I just screamed and ran,' she said. Husband Laszlo, 52, explained: 'We can't clean it off and it wasn't there when we put the tiles up. It just appeared overnight and nothing can move it. The room is always ice cold no matter how high we turn the heating up and we've just stopped using it because it's too spooky.' " The couple are planning to call in an exorcist for help, or else they'll seal off the room forever.
Thought du jour
"Thought when sober, said when drunk."