I’ve been saving up a few links in my tabs, and it’s time to clear ’em out. To get started…
— A Saskatchewan, Canada photographer had the opportunity of a lifetime when a tornado photobombed her shoot. The photo of the happy couple kissing is equally awesome. This couple can never, ever get divorced.
— Science magazine (abstract here) has published the results of a study that found people are so uncomfortable being alone with nothing but their thoughts that they will actually subject themselves to a nasty electric shock just for the distraction. Wait, did I say people? I meant men. Only 25% of women in the study shocked themselves, but 67% of the men did. Here’s the best part:
…every participant had already received the shock before the trial. And every one had said they would pay to not experience it again. Hard cash.
“What is striking,” the investigators write, “is that simply being alone with their own thoughts for 15 minutes was apparently so aversive that it drove many participants to self-administer an electric shock that they had earlier said they would pay to avoid.”
This is amusing until you think about the people that US prisons have held in solitary confinement for weeks, months, and even years.
— You have GOT to listen to this one-minute audio clip and hear the “sound illusion” for yourself. Don’t read the text first. Just listen to the clip. Here is what will happen: You will hear an artificially garbled bit of speech, which you will be utterly unable to understand. Then you will hear the actual speech. Then you’ll hear the garbles again, and this time…you’ll understand. Which is impossible, because it’s exactly the same recording. What has changed is that now your brain expects to hear certain patterns, and so it does. It’s a beautiful illustration of how our brains use previously-learned information to make sense of sensory input.
— Check out this cool NASA prototype for a new exploratory rover. It’s designed to operate underwater and even cling to the bottom of ice, because the places in our solar system most likely to house any kind of life are those with liquid bodies, frozen or otherwise. Europa, here we come!