Aug 04

Social 20-year-olds are more satisfied at 50

Posted by: Administrator in News |

http://www.futurity.org/social-20-year-olds-966552/

Courtesy Colleen KlevenBonnie Paquette, Colleen Kleven and Collette Caza on "chick night"  

The quantity of social interactions a person has at 20—and the quality of social relationships that person has at age 30—may increase well-being later in life and perhaps help people live longer.

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Aug 04

The Future of Food Finance

Posted by: Administrator in Business & Economy |

http://online.barrons.com/articles/the-future-of-food-finance-1437807165

The way people produce and eat food is changing in major ways, presenting both risks and opportunities for those invested in the sustenance sector. 

 

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Aug 04

The U.S. court system is criminally unjust

Posted by: Administrator in Politics |

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/07/20/why-the-u-s-court-system-is-criminally-unjust/

How your weight and the time of day can decide the outcome of your court case.

We like to believe that decisions made in U.S. courts are determined by the wisdom of the Constitution, and guided by fair-minded judges and juries of our peers.

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Aug 03

Investor optimism on Twitter linked to stock market bull runs, ECB says

Posted by: Administrator in Business & Economy |

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/investor-optimism-on-twitter-linked-to-stock-market-bull-runs-ecb-says-1.3164764

Trying to figure out what the stock market is going to do? Keep an eye on what people are saying on Twitter, a study released recently by the European Central Bank says. 

In a policy paper, the ECB attempted to determine the predictive powers of new technologies on gauging the short-term trading direction of the stock markets. One of the main things the paper looked at was Twitter, the popular social network founded in 2007 that currently boasts more than 300 million active members.

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Aug 03

Looks as good as it tastes? Why an attractive plate makes for a tastier dinner

Posted by: Administrator in News |

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2015/jul/21/food-presentation-dinner-food-enjoyable

Thoughtful presentation leads to a more enjoyable meal. So should we learn to make similar efforts at home – particularly when feeding small children?

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Aug 03

This kind of suspense makes horror movies scary

Posted by: Administrator in Entertainment |

http://www.futurity.org/horror-movies-960542/

To find out how horror movies create spine-tingling suspense, researchers measured the electrical activity coming from viewers’ sweat glands.

nosferatu on stairs

The goal is to give the media industry an evidence-based framework for the construction of suspense for scenes in feature length films, video games, movie trailers, and experimental digital story experiences.

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Aug 02

6 trends that corporations are paying attention to

Posted by: Administrator in Style & Trends |

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/6-trends-corporations-paying-attention/

How do companies anticipate the trends that reshape their business and our culture? Economics correspondent Paul Solman talks to long-term trend spotter DeeDee Gordon about what's gaining traction now, from gender fluidity to virtual reality. Gordon has been trend-spotting since the late ’90s, when she was profiled in The New Yorker and later featured in a “Frontline” documentary as a cool hunter. What is that going to mean for the workplace? What is that going to mean for automotive? What is that going to mean for when you go out and eat with your family on a Sunday night?

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Aug 02

How a Virginia physicist can predict the Tour de France’s outcome from 4,000 miles away

Posted by: Administrator in Sports |

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/07/25/how-a-virginia-physicist-can-predict-the-tour-de-frances-outcome-from-4000-miles-away/


The pack of riders compete in heavy rain during the 8th stage of the 101st Tour de France cycling race, over 161 km from Tomblaine to Gerardmer La Mauselaine, in France, 12 July 2014.

He's swift, adaptable, and getting better every year. Stage by stage, he takes on the world's most brutal bike race, complete with grueling climbs and punishing flats. But this Tour de France star isn't a cyclist, and he doesn't do his work in a jersey. He's John Eric Goff, a physicist who uses Newton's laws and a painstakingly developed model to predict how many minutes and seconds each stage of the race will take cyclists to complete - even though he's never seen the race in person.

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Aug 02

Study: Early clue to why some children may have reading woes

Posted by: Administrator in News |

http://www.komonews.com/news/health/Study-Early-clue-to-why-some-children-may-have-reading-woes-315019211.html

New research suggests it may be possible to predict which preschoolers will struggle to read - and it has to do with how the brain deciphers speech when it's noisy.

Study: Early clue to why some children may have reading woesScientists are looking for ways to tell, as young as possible, when children are at risk for later learning difficulties so they can get early interventions. There are some simple pre-reading assessments for preschoolers. But Northwestern University researchers went further and analyzed brain waves of children as young as 3.


How well youngsters' brains recognize specific sounds - consonants - amid background noise can help identify who is more likely to have trouble with reading development, the team reported Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology.

If the approach pans out, it may provide "a biological looking glass," said study senior author Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory. "If you know you have a 3-year-old at risk, you can as soon as possible begin to enrich their life in sound so that you don't lose those crucial early developmental years."

Connecting sound to meaning is a key foundation for reading. For example, preschoolers who can match sounds to letters earlier go on to read more easily.

Auditory processing is part of that pre-reading development: If your brain is slower to distinguish a "D'' from a "B'' sound, for example, then recognizing words and piecing together sentences could be affected, too.

What does noise have to do with it? It stresses the system, as the brain has to tune out competing sounds to selectively focus, in just fractions of milliseconds. And consonants are more vulnerable to noise than vowels, which tend to be louder and longer, Kraus explained.

"Hearing in noise is arguably one of the most computationally difficult things we ask our brain to do," she said.

The new study used an EEG to directly measure the brain's response to sound, attaching electrodes to children's scalps and recording the patterns of electric activity as nerve cells fired. The youngsters sat still to watch a video of their choice, listening to the soundtrack in one ear while an earpiece in the other periodically piped in the sound "dah" superimposed over a babble of talking.

Measuring how the brain's circuitry responded, the team developed a model to predict children's performance on early literacy tests. Then they did a series of experiments with 112 kids between the ages of 3 and 14.

The 30-minute test predicted how well 3-year-olds performed a language-development skill and how those same youngsters fared a year later on several standard pre-reading assessments, the team reported. Time will tell how well those children eventually read.

But Kraus' team also tested older children - and the EEG scores correlated with their current reading competence in school, and even flagged a small number who'd been diagnosed with learning disabilities.

Oral language exposure is one of the drivers of reading development, and the study is part of a broader push to find ways to spot problem signs early, said Brett Miller, who oversees reading disabilities research at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which helped fund the work.

But don't expect EEGs for preschoolers any time soon. While the machines are common among brain specialists, this particular use is complicated and expensive, and further research is necessary, Kraus cautioned.

Her ultimate goal is to test how a child's brain processes sound even younger, maybe one day as a part of the routine newborn hearing screening.

Aug 01

Why gold is losing its luster for investors

Posted by: Administrator in Business & Economy |

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/why-gold-losing-its-luster-investors

People tend buy gold in times of uncertainty, as it’s supposed to be a safe haven and a hedge against inflation. But inflation fears are now down and – from Greece to Iran – uncertainty appears to be easing. Additionally, U.S. interest rates are expected to rise, which also puts pressure on gold.

 

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