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Non-mainstream religions and statements like 'spiritual but not religious' have all correlated to a shift in confidence away from mainstream religions.  While outright atheism is slightly more popular (which could be cultural acceptance of atheism making it more known) a la carte belief systems are much more so.  Bring on the ghost hunters, psychics and astrologers too.
Mystic tourism, the basis for William Burroughs’ The Yagé Letters, is becoming big business in the Amazon.
Sorry, guys, but it's been scientifically proven that a woman can now blame her anger and aggression on her genes. Scientific research found that some women are genetically programmed to be angry and aggressive by a serotonin receptor gene. The good news is that not every woman carries it.

What does this mean for you? Not only is anger and aggression in a woman the fault of her genetics, but it may be passed down to your daughters, too. Yikes.

Bad enough, but why are men so darn attracted to bitchy types?

Dr. Wendy Walsh has the answers at

It sounds perfect.  Turn garbage into energy. 

Proposals for new or expanded waste-to-energy (WTE) incinerators, which combust trash (i.e. municipal solid waste) to generate electricity and produce steam to heat buildings, are all the rage these days.  There's just one problem in this alternative energy; studies show they emit higher rates of lead, mercury, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide than the coal-fired plants we are told to hate.

We're already losing billions in taxpayer money on wasteful solar company placebos, let's not add hundreds of millions for these incinerators as well.
A calcium-to-zinc imbalance, yeast, dysbiosis, low zinc, heavy metal toxicity and abnormally high levels of aluminum, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, silver, tin, titanium and selenium.  You name it, and Dr. Anjum Usman diagnosed it regarding a child with autism

The treatments he used include dietary restrictions; nearly three dozen vitamin, enzyme, mineral and other dietary supplements; two antifungal drugs; four chelators or detoxifying drugs; a hormone suppressor, and hyperbaric oxygen treatments, in which the child is shut inside a pressurized bag filled with extra oxygen.

'Alternative treatments' that turn out to be uncontrolled experimentation on children? What a shock.
Conservative Republican Governor Bobby Jindal can't like why his state is in the news today; a Democrat state representative has spearheaded a successful effort to damage stores like...Goodwill?

District 44 Representative Rickey Hardy co-authored House bill 195, which says people who deal in 'second hand' goods can longer accept cash.   Why?  Apparently the government thinks the second-hand 'buying stolen goods' problem by Goodwill and pawn shops and other small businesses is so severe it needed to be legislated out.  Oh, and those flea markets are commonly regarded as real hotbeds of crime too.
Even fans who weren't born yet know about the Ice Bowl - the 1967 conference playoff game between Dallas and Green Bay to determine who would go to the Super Bowl. With a game-time temperature of −15°F and no heating system, the field was as smooth as ice and it snowed the whole time.

But Green Bay is not the worst city for football weather - and by worst I mean the best because football in the snow is just plain better.  If you are a football fan, you probably know what city is the worst; Buffalo, New York, which Jonathan Erdman of the Weather Channel gives a 'worst weather score' of 85.9, far ahead of Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Green Bay.
One in six cellphones in Britain may be contaminated with fecal matter that can spread E. coli, likely because so many people don't wash their hands properly after using the toilet, according to  researchers at the London School of Hygiene&Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London.

The findings also suggest that many people lie about their hygiene habits. The study authors went to 12 cities and collected 390 samples from the cellphones and hands of volunteers, who were also asked about their hand-washing habits.

Why compute Pi, that pesky mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, out to 10 trillion digits?  Because climbing mountains is hard and plenty of people have already done that.

But Pi?  No one else has done this.  ja0hxv wrote yesterday that he had reached that ridiculous number after starting on October 10, 2010 - but 191 days of actual computing time due to his machine crashing.  Luckily he had a modern computer.  If he even did one calculation per second on paper it would have taken him over 310,000 years.
Neuroscientist Bradley Voytek recently got asked why a person can't individually control their toes.  Well, I never thought about it before - I don't have great need to use individual toes in some prehensile fashion but perhaps that is only because I can't.

Voytek says the primary motor cortex is the issue and shows us all about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to boot.

Edward O. Wilson is arguably the world's most famous myrmecologist - he studies ants, but most people have not heard of myrmecology.  They may have heard of entomology and almost certainly have heard of evolutionary biology.

Wilson has long held that his study of ants can tell us about people and that hasn't been without controversy.  His acrimony with paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, who likewise extrapolated his knowledge into the social working of mankind, never ended, even after Gould died.
We've all heard of politicizing science, like when tobacco companies cast doubt on the scientific evidence for a connection between tobacco and lung cancer or environmental groups try to cast doubt on the benefits of GMO foods.

But in the case of Yucca Mountain, the reverse happened: Government officials "scientized" politics. They made decisions that were largely political but cloaked them in the garb of science.
Paul Allen knows a thing or two about computers; he built the company that is the definition of the operating system for modern PCs.

He's as optimistic about the power of technology and its ability to shape culture as anyone can be but, like us, he is more skeptical that it will translate into actual human evolution.  Like us, he notes that Ray Kurzweil's Law of Accelerating Returns is just an optimistic black box based on a 'law', like Moore's Law, that is not a law at all, it is simply matching past topology to an idea and extrapolating it into the future.
Long ago, in a galaxy very, very near (because it was this one) we all talked like Yoda from "Star Wars", one hypothesis suggests.

The original "proto-human language", linguists contend, used subject-object-verb (SOV) ordering, with some variation.  So when prehistoric men met prehistoric women, he likely said, "Make out with me you will."

The researchers came to their conclusion after creating a language family tree, which shows the historical relationships between all the languages of the world.

The Original Human Language Like Yoda Sounded by Natalie Wolchover, Life's Little Mysteries
Add Steve Jobs to the list of famous people who died treating terminal diseases with woo rather than with medicine.

It turns out Jobs had been treating his pancreatic cancer with a special diet prescribed by the alternative medicine promoter Dr. Dean Ornish instead of opting for early surgery. 

A Lesson in Treating Illness by Brian Dunning, Skeptoid
If you're in the life sciences, you have like heard of The Scientist.  After 25 years of making a go of it, they announced they are closing the doors.

It's a tough market out there, as we can attest.  If we had 2008 advertising rates and 2011 traffic, we would be making pretty darn good money.  I have no idea how companies with expensive midtown Manhattan offices do it.   Well, they have a sales force and we don't, and multiple publications.   But you get the idea.  It's always a difficult market for science; Henry Donahue, former CEO of Discover, once said to me over coffee, "I think media buyers went into that business because they hate science."
Americans sometimes believe things have to be expensive, from science to technology.   Yet getting adopted by the masses is the road to long-term success so a country that can make a microscope out of bamboo for $4 is now putting a tablet computer in reach for its poorest people - a fraction of what the hyper-priced iPad retails for.
Pity Pittsburgh. The Steelers are not having a good year and don't even get me started on the Pirates.  I got to wear my baseball jersey out of pride rather than defiance for the first time since Barry Bonds left for free agency - and then the first week of August arrived and they remembered they were the Pirates.

It's not even great to be a bridge in the Steel City which, since there is really no steel any more, is more accurately a City of Bridges.

Outside the city, in North Beaver township, thieves just stole a 50-foot-long bridge.  The whole thing.  It was a private bridge and made of corrugated steel.  Value?  About $100,000.
Can the Nobel prize be fair today?  I am not talking about the Peace prize, those are always something of a running joke (given the dates of the nominations, for example, and the awards, Pres. Barack Obama seems to have gotten a Peace prize for his inauguration speech) but the actual prizes based on merit and not simply not being George Bush.
Sarah Churman: “I had an implant put in 8 weeks ago called The Esteem Implant by Envoy Medical. I was born deaf and have worn hearing aids from the age of 2, but hearing aids only help so much. I have gotten by this long in life by reading lips. This was taken as they were activating the implant.”

Her husband recorded the moment her hearing implant is activated: