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I'm so rich, I'm allergic to money.

If I had a nickel for every time I had an allergic reaction to nickels, I'd... be really miserable (that is, if I were one of these poor cashiers who have actually developed an allergy to nickels). I've heard of bakers becoming allergic to wheat, but cashiers becoming allergic to money is a new one to me. What are you going to tell me next, that doctors are becoming allergic to latex gloves? Oh wait... that's also real.
Allergy to coined money: nickel contact dermatitis in cashiers.

2013-05-13 17:00:44

Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes

Your ancestors' lousy childhoods or excellent adventures might change your personality, bequeathing anxiety or resilience by altering the epigenetic expressions of genes in the brain.

2013-04-23 03:00:00

Update: The Battle Over Who Gets to Name Planets

Last Thursday, a team of scientists working with NASA's Kepler space telescope described three intriguing new planets circling distant stars. They are just slightly larger than Earth and orbit in the "habitable zone" where temperatures could be right for liquid water and for life. The names of these amazing worlds? Kepler 62f, Kepler 62e, and Kepler 69c. Not to be confused with other much-celebrated recent discoveries like Kepler 64b, Kepler 22b, or Gliese 581g.
Alan Stern, a former NASA

2013-04-21 21:13:27

Penis Size Matters More to Men's Attractiveness Than Previously Thought

Sorry, fellas: Size does matter, according to science.
The size of a human penis is more closely correlated to sexual attractiveness than previous studies indicated, according to findings published online today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The new research, which took into account other traits associated with attractiveness, also suggests that female preferences about penis size may have influenced how human male genitalia evolved.
The subjects of the study were

2013-04-08 21:02:34

Pretty great tits make better mothers

As anyone in Europe knows, pairs of great tits aren't hard to find. They're really everywhere, if you keep an eye out for them — great tits can be found from the northern coast of Africa all the way to western central Russia, and in between. Bouncing around without a care in the world, great tits are one of the most popular and well known birds in the world. Yes, I'm talking about the birds, guys. The pretty, charismatic, if not slightly murderous birds.
Great tits have become a wonderful r

2013-04-06 02:10:26

We're All Jonah Lehrer Except Me

Jonah Lehrer's Sin - Telling Stories?
So the fallen star of popular neuroscience, Jonah Lehrer, is back. Kind of. Lehrer's made headlines for giving a talk apologizing for the plagiarism, fabrication of facts and quotes, etc. that ended his career when they were found out last year. His impressive portfolio of books, articles, blogs and lectures turned out to be a house of cards.
But many people are arguing that there was a deeper problem with Lehrer's journalism than the fact that it was

2013-03-01 13:18:29

Vladimir Lenin's Stoney Brain

There's been a lot of discussion lately about Einstein's brain.
Less well-known but equally fascinating is the case of Lenin's cerebrum - for just like Albert, the founder of the Soviet Union was fated was to end up as a series of preserved slices.
Lenin died of a series of strokes at the young age of 53. By the age of 50, he was suffering from the onset of cognitive decline, usually seen in much older people. The legendary orator began to struggle to find the words to express himself.

2013-02-25 22:17:52

Spinoza: genius is as genius does

This morning in Slate I encountered a rather peculiar piece, The Original Jewish Genius: How the Gaon of Vilna helps explain Jewish intellectual achievement. The reason I found this piece peculiar is that it strikes me as something of a rewriting of the conventional historical narrative for anyone who is not what we today term an Orthodox Jew. The Gaon of Vilna may have been a luminescent mind, but a figure such as Moses Mendelssohn, also an Ashkenazi Jew of approximately the same period, is

2013-01-29 08:32:50

Faith and Epistemological Quicksand | Cosmic Variance

Alvin Plantinga
Thomas Nagel
are well-known senior philosophers at Notre Dame and NYU, respectively. Plantinga, a Christian, is known for his contributions to philosophy of religion, while Nagel, an atheist, is known (nevertheless) for his resistance to purely materialist/naturalist/physicalist theories of the mind (e.g. in his famous article, “
What is it like to be a bat?
Now Nagel has
reviewed Plantinga’s most recent book in the
, giving it a much more sympathetic reading than most naturalists would offer. (For what it’s worth, Plantinga is a supporter of Intelligent Design, and Nagel has often spoken of it approvingly, while not quite buying the whole sales pitch.)
Jerry Coyne
offers a reasonable dissection of the review.
I wanted to home in on just one pa

2012-09-17 18:49:56

On Jonah Lehrer | Gene Expression

Since Jonah Lehrer came up in the
open thread
last week, I’m going to mention it. First, I’ll preface this by saying that my interactions with Jonah, who I labeled the “boy king of cognitive neuroscience” jokingly at one point, were all positive. Since Jonah quoted me in
The Wall Street Journal
I received an email from a fact-checker asking me about this. He didn’t misquote me, and on the contrary, he was punctilious about correcting a misspelling of my name. I liked what I knew about Jonah as a person, and the whole episode has left me rather depressed.
Plagiarism, fabulism, whatever you call it, what he did was horrible. But what really sent me over the edge was
the possibility that Jonah threw an editor under the bus
, casting blame elsewhere to cover up

2012-08-08 08:32:21

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