Author Archives: Ken Stange

2014-04-11—SEX DIFFERENCES

Perhaps the biggest sex difference of all is between how men and women interpret research about sex differences. It would be foolish to venture an opinion as to whether that difference of interpretation is primarily because of nature or nurture. … Continue reading

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2014-04-04—THE BIG THREE OF NEW TECH

Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg are three geeks that have changed the world. It is difficult to find an unbiased evaluation of them and their companies. Apple fans are not Android fans (although they use Google’s search engine), … Continue reading

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2014-03-28—EMOTION DETECTION

We often misinterpret what other people are feeling. Sometimes it is because we are projecting our own feelings onto them, as when you assume someone is as eager to have sex as you are. Sometimes it is because some physical … Continue reading

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2014-03-21—WHAT IF

One characteristic common to both art and science is the question “What if?” In science it tends to be “What if I do this?” In the arts it is “What if this were…?”  Scientists answer the question by doing and … Continue reading

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2014-03-14—UNFREQUENTED TOURIST DESTINATIONS

There is something paradoxical about travel. Tourists travel to visit places very different from those at home, but those places are the destination of most tourists. But tourists don’t like to go to places that are full of tourists! Here … Continue reading

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2014-03-07—INTO THE ABYSS

The abyss may be dark and seemingly hostile, but it is full of incredible wonders. And as Robert Ballard points out in his TED talk, we haven’t even begun to explore 2/3rds of our planet just miles away from us. … Continue reading

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2014-02-28—THE IDEA OF TRAVEL

The Holiday Inn used to have an ad promising “no surprises”, and one has to wonder why they thought that would have any appeal. The joy and pleasure of travel is largely in the surprises, even if some are less … Continue reading

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2014-02-21—WHERE TO READ

Books are unquestionably the most portable of resources for entertainment and enlightenment. And they’ve become even more portable with the introduction of the eBook, which allows you to easily carry a huge library with you. But it’s interesting that we … Continue reading

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2014-02-14—ENVIABLE UNCOMMON SENSES

It is easy and natural to assume everyone and every creature perceives the world the same way we do, but of course, this is not true. A lot of apparently inexplicable animal behaviour can only be understood if we realize … Continue reading

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2014-02-07—EVERYTHING CAN BE FAKED

How do you find reliable evidence of anything at all? Memories are notoriously unreliable, and there is plenty of scientific research showing that eyewitness evidence is not to be trusted. (For example, see the studies by Elizabeth Loftus.) YouTube has … Continue reading

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2014-01-31—UNPLEASANT TRUTHS

Social psychologists have a bad rep, which is sometimes justified. This is the field to look into if you want to find research with dubious ethics. Part of the problem is that their scientifically rigorous experiments often have to involve … Continue reading

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2014-01-24—PAY ATTENTION!

It could be said that everyone has ADD (attention deficit disorder), because we all sometimes fail to focus and keep our attention on what matters or what we intend. For example, most memory problems have nothing to do with memory … Continue reading

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2014-01-17—UTILIZING INTERNET CROWDS

What is called ‘crowdsourcing’ is an amazing idea, and an important application in a world now so incredibly connected through the Internet. There has always been power in numbers, but at no time before the Internet has there existed such … Continue reading

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2014-01-10—PUBLIC TRANSPORT INNOVATION

In this age of traffic congestion and parking problems, ideas are needed for making public transportation more attractive. SUBWAYS Subways don’t have to be ugly, damp and dingy tunnels through the earth. They can be art galleries—or even be works … Continue reading

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2014-01-03—SCIENTIFIC SCARE WORDS

Science frightens many people. This may be partially caused by the fear of the unknown, for people aren’t being educated in the fundamentals of science. Furthermore, power is inherently frightening, and demonstrations of the power of science include some horrific … Continue reading

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2013-12-27—FOOD EXTREMISTS

We are fascinated with the experiences of those who are willing to go to extremes. That is why so many people enjoy (although usually only vicariously) extreme sports. I’m not sure if eating could be considered a sport, but there … Continue reading

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2013-12-20—CRIMINAL BUSINESS MODELS

Many people think that big business is criminal. As Bertolt Brecht remarked, “It is easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up a bank clerk.” But organized crime may be the ultimate big business. And often … Continue reading

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2013-12-13—REASONS TO READ

You would think reading needs no justification. Its value should be self-evident, but clearly it isn’t for many people. A large survey in 2012 revealed that one-quarter of Americans over the age of 16 hadn’t read even a single book … Continue reading

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2013-12-06—THE END: FIRE OR ICE OR US?

Ideas abound regarding how the world will end. Robert Frost’s poem “Fire and Ice” begins with the lines, “Some say the world will end in fire, / Some say in ice.” FIRE The ultimate fire is nuclear.  And we could … Continue reading

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2013-11-29—HEARING VOICES

It seems the reason chimps can’t talk may have more to do with the structure of their mouths and the location of their vocal chords than with their brains. There is plenty of evidence that they can communicate words, perhaps … Continue reading

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