Apologies for posting a day late – real life events were particularly demanding on Saturday. First, I spent the whole day cleaning… then, my family learned that the son of a friend (fifteen years old) had just died. Of mono. This was the third death due to illness of a kid under 16 in my community this week… that I know of. There have probably been others. First I hear about another tenth grader at another school dying of meningitis, then a toddler at my parents’ church of the same, and now this friend of ours losing a son to mono of all things. It’s just so sad.
On that depressing note, here are this week’s links, and there are a lot of them.
Best of the Week – It’s a TIE! Politics/Psychology: The Ideological Animal (Psychology Today)
Similar (but not plagiarism) to an article in the New York Times a couple of months ago. Basically, political orientation isn’t a decision… it’s a lifestyle. Psychologists discovered that liberals and conservatives actually act and think differently, even from their preschool years. Dems and GOPs have completely different personality types. Consensus? The more open-minded and less fear-ridden, the more liberal. Seriously.
AND - Neurology: The Five Biggest Neuroscience Developments of the Year
Yes, neurology. I’ve recently developed a great interest in neurology, but I assure you this article isn’t purely esoteric on my part. It’s worth a read for anyone. Some of these developments are just crazy… some plain scary. Mind-reading, morality, sexual orientation, vegetative consciousness, AI… it’s all there. Go read it.
Web 2.0: Welcome to the Blogosphere (Discover Magazine)
This is just COOL. Discover Magazine has a 3-D “map” of the blogosphere, based on links, with labels and explanations… this is definitely a must-see.
Genetics: Gene Explains Why People Are Night Owls (UK Telegraph)
People who consider themselves “night owls” may in fact suffer from a genetic mutation called the “after-hours gene”. The article isn’t very clear about its role in humans, but it does say that the gene causes mice (humans too?) to run on 27-hour days instead of the normal 24 hours. Hence, with the internal clock lengthened, they become night owls. Interesting.
FUNNY: The Official Winner of the “Not My Job” Contest
A picture. This must be the laziest guy on Earth
Productivity: Six Tips for Tackling a Dreaded Task
They’re actually very, very helpful.
Financial/Business: 15 Ways Stores Trick You Into Spending (MSN Money)
Some of these you might not have suspected… some you may have already noticed. The article also offers advice on how to counter them.
Intelligence/Psychology: A Wealth of Smarts Does Not Guarantee Actual Wealth (Scientific American)
A new study shows that there is no correlation between wealth and IQ. To be clear, the article assures us that intelligence does often lead to more earning power, but not to wealth when wealth is defined as “the difference between a person’s assets and liabilities… income plus home value plus investments (plus fun, valuable stuff like stamp collections) minus mortgages, credit card debt and other debts.”
Education: Mathematics Set Chinese Test (BBC)
Wow – this article offers a comparison between math questions on a university entrance exam in China and math questions at a first-year British university. I hope us Westerners are ready to cope with this.
Interesting: Which Are The World’s Cleanest Cities? (Forbes)
My city is #10, which says something baaaaad about the rest of the world… Vancouver is actually very dirty, especially downtown and East-anything. If it’s both downtown and an East-something, you’ll probably be tripping over homeless people and used needles just walking up the street. No, really.
Gender/Psychology/Sociology: The Male Privilege Checklist
Um, this depresses me.
Web 2.0: The Latest on Virginia Tech, From Wikipedia (New York Times)
Okay, this was pretty cool. If you’re tired of hearing about Va. Tech in the news, well, this isn’t about Va. Tech. It’s about Wikipedia’s awesome coverage of the event, and how it always had the breaking information first. (Wikipedia was actually the first place I turned after I learned about the shootings that day… they had the most complete information at the time.)
Politics/Literature: Books by Presidential Candidates (New York Times)
What the books by the 2008 presidential candidates tell us about their personalities… a very good article, albeit long.
Education: Young, Gifted, and Not Getting Into Harvard (New York Times)
This just came into my feed reader just this afternoon. A Harvard alumnus writes about his experiences trying to help future generations get into his alma mater, and the changing standards for admission. “Some take 10 AP courses and get top scores of 5 on all of them. I took one AP course and scored 3.”
Psychology/Genetics (?): Sex ID: Brotherly Love (Psychology Today)
I stumbled on this one by accident, but I thought it was interesting. Apparently, there’s a correlation between having many older brothers and being gay, if you’re male.