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Health

Bunny-ears hat may be silly, but the science behind it isn’t

Well, here’s a hat (fascinator?) no one was wearing at the royal wedding last week.
It’s call a necomimi, and as reported Thursday by Olivia Solon in Wired UK, it’s a “hair band that is worn in the normal way but features sensors that pick up on

Education matters in choice of spouse, study finds

With a royal marriage in the news today, I thought I’d pass on the findings of a recent study that sheds new light on why all of us — even the rich and famous — tend to choose spouses with similar levels of education.
As Danish eco

When facts fail: UFO cults, ‘birthers’ and cognitive dissonance

More than 50 years ago, University of Minnesota social psychologist Leon Festinger and two colleagues wrote these words in the opening to “When Prophecy Fails,” their groundbreaking case study on cognitive dissonance:A man with a conviction is a har

How to avoid ‘incidentalomas’

If you’re like me, you’re hearing an increasing number of stories from people who have undergone a medical imaging test for one set of symptoms, only to have the scan reveal “something suspicious” that’s not related at all to the symptoms.
Only aft

Judges’ decisions may be influenced by hunger, study finds

In a recent posting in his “Not Exactly Rocket Science” blog (now at Discover magazine), British science writer Ed Yong reports on a fascinating, but kind of depressing, new study about how judges’ rulings can be influenced (unconsciously, of course

What science says about science deniers

Minnesota’s measles epidemic has now reached 20 confirmed cases (twice as many as occurred during all of the previous 10 years), including 13 hospitalizations.
And, as has been reported here and elsewhere, a misguided fear of vaccines — pa

Suicide rates rise and fall with the economy, say CDC researchers

Suicides rates in the United States tend to rise and fall with the economy, going up during recessions and going down during expansions, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last week.
Furthermore, people in th

The meaningfulness (or not) of dreams

Scientific American has launched a new series this year called “Too Hard for Science?” It involves interviews with scientists “about ideas they would love to explore that they don’t think could be investigated.”
The interview on Monday was with Rob

Have we been told the whole truth about sugar?

Science writer Gary Taubes has written a must-read article in this week’s New York Times Magazine that asks the question, “Is sugar toxic?”
I don’t know if this article will get the same kind of attention (and nasty pushback) as Taubes’ 2002 Times