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How do you make a restaurant great if the food is bad?

You have an owner who is such an astute purveyor of psychology, the human condition and interpersonal relationships, so good at it that she knows who you would most like to talk with - and can make it happen.

The social scene was the hallmark of Elaine Kaufman, who ran her namesake Elaine's restaurant for 48 years before dying in December.    It didn't just apply to celebrities, any person who walked in alone would be introduced to someone.    Over time, regulars would know many other regulars, which is what made them...regulars.   Celebrities, athletes and a substantial local clientèle would return despite the spotty food.
New Democratic Party Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz seems to think abortion and being female are interchangeable.   At a breakfast roundtable with reporters, Newsweek scribe Paul Bedard notes that Wasserman Shultz said Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and Title 10 funding for clinics that perform abortions was proof that "their record is anti-women, their record is a war on women and it's a priority for them."
Beware of making bold claims about what your research might be able to accomplish when you need funding - a group of Italians have discovered society can look down on you even for claims you don't make. 

Judge Giuseppe Romano says Enzo Boschi, the president of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), and six others can face trial on charges of manslaughter because of the  earthquake that struck the central Italian town of L'Aquila April 6th, 2009 and killed 308 people.
Maybe prisons in totalitarian, communist regimes get a bad rap.   In America, citizens have to pay to play World of Warcraft and similar games but, at least in China, they have prisoners doing it and not paying anything at all.

Oh wait, maybe it isn't that great.  Leave it to the Chi-Com to take the fun out of video-gaming.   The Guardian lists the story of "Liu Dali", a pseudonym for a prisoner from 2004 to 2007, who was forced to play video games in 12 hour shifts to generate game 'currency' the guards would then sell for cash.
You may have been baffled when The Walt Disney Co. filed a trademark application on "SEAL Team 6" shortly after the Navy special operations unit killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and took his stash of porn.

How does a company trademark an American military unit, you may have asked?    If they can do that, imagine what they could do to Science 2.0.  Well, it turns out that they realized they can't and being ridiculed across all media for their shameless cultural profiteering did not help matters much.   They have withdrawn their application since the Navy moved to block it.
Tatiana and Krista Hogan, age 4, are joined at the head — medical term craniopagus — a 1 in 2,500,000 event only a few survive.    But they have something that makes them even more distinct, even in the annals of medical literature; brain images show an attenuated line stretching between their two brains, what Dr. Douglas Cochrane of British Columbia Children’s Hospital called a thalamic bridge, because he believes it links the thalamus of one girl to the thalamus of her sister.

The thalamus is a kind of switchboard, a two-lobed organ that filters most sensory input and has long been thought to be essential in the neural loops that create consciousness.
50 years ago, Alan Shepard became the first American in space and President Kennedy challenged science, engineering and US citizenry to do what most thought to be impossible - put a man on the Moon.   They succeeded and that and successive space achievements spurred their interest in science and engineering among young people education.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Ramos has denied a motion by lawyers for the Huffington Post to dismiss the lawsuit by Democratic political consultants Peter Daou and James Boyce that they brought the idea of the Huffington Post to subsequent co-founders Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer in 2004 and were cut out of the deal after money was raised to launch and develop the site.

Huffington and Lerer said said the claims were "pure fantasy" but the judge did not agree.

NYC judge allows lawsuit against Huffington Post
Toni Vernelli thinks babies are not very eco-friendly.  She doesn't want to kill the planet but killing a baby seems to be okay.   Still, she's going to get some cultural flak for having an abortion because she thinks children are bad for the environment, and appearing in a news article despite that takes some courage.
10 papers outlining psychological research on how a simple (nonsexual) touch can increase compliance, helping behavior, attraction, and signal power.
 
To get around in the world, we mainly rely on our eyes and ears. Touch is a sense that's often forgotten.

But touch is also vital in the way we understand and experience the world. Even the lightest touch on the upper arm can influence the way we think. To prove it, here are 10 psychological effects which show just how powerful nonsexual touch can be.


In 1,993 responses to a Sex Survey questionnaire, responses consisted of 1,351 males and 642 females.   Progressives were over-represented (N=973), while Conservatives were under-represented (N=395).
These days, there are only two types of pirates that are important: Somali pirates and the "Pirates Of The Caribbean." As many teachers warn their students, Somali pirates are nowhere near as lovable as Captain Jack Sparrow and the seafaring renegades he bandies with. But if you look past their machine guns and grenade launchers (though you probably shouldn't), Somali pirates are often dressed just as interestingly as those pirates with a Hollywood costume designer
If you haven't seen "Thor", I am not spoiling the movie for you if I tell you Natale Portman's character is an astronomer.   So what, you ask?   Indeed, Jodie Foster was an astronomer in "Contact", I wasn't aware there was any particular dearth of female astronomers in cinema, or in astronomy, but if you are a culture blogger who masquerades in science, and there are less than 50% of women in a field, then it's cause for concern.
What does writing amount to?   To writers, the question is irritating because the implication is 'doing' something is better than writing about it.    If we write about the physics of climate change on Science 2.0, or idiotic non-solutions to climate change like hybrid cars, ethanol and cap-and-trade schemes, we are not doing as much as someone who plants a tree or buys a Prius or whatever.

Shakespeare is an exception, argues Stephen Marche of National Post.  In fact, he is the most influential man who ever lived, he says.
Don't like Guantanamo?   In the mid-East, detention centers are the norm rather than an exception.   Dorothy Parvaz got a look inside Syria's secret prisons because her luggage had the misinfortune of containing a satellite phone and an internet hub.   And that was with an American passport and an Al Jazeera-sponsored visa.   You can imagine how Syrians get treated.  

Most of the our days were spent listening to the sounds of young men being brutally interrogated – sometimes tied up in stress positions until it sounded like their bones were cracking, as we saw from our bathroom window (a bathroom with no running water, except for one tap in a sink filled with roughly 10 cm of sewage).
Data mining is nothing new but a group of former math majors who started an online dating site think the maths can tell them something about people.

The founders of OkCupid say it can - they claim 7 million visitors per month and every six weeks,the writers create a blog posting there they sort members' online interactions and then make dating suggestions based on the results.

"It's our version of an advice column," says Sam Yagan, OkCupid's chief executive. "We love the fact that our own data tell us what works on a date."
 
As Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, devolved into a one-trick crusade against America in general, and George W. Bush in particular, he ironically began to do the one thing he did not want to do; he validated the Bush approach of using 'enhanced interrogation' on terrorists by documenting the instances so historians can see how much it helped.

The detainment approach, and Guantanamo Bay, have been shown by 765 illegally-obtained Wikileaks documents to actually be a crucial part of one of the most successful intelligence operations in history.  Oops.
Randy Savage, the "Oh Yeaaaah!" Macho Man with the unnatural tan and the gravelly voice, died in a car accident in Seminole, FL.   Savage, 58, apparently had a heart attack while driving and hit a tree.   If you ever heard him during a television broadcast, you likely thought he was having a heart attack at the time.    His neck was always bulging and virtually nothing he said was without hyper-exaggerated emotion.
Unless you have culturally been living under a rock, you have heard of Area 51 - Roswell, New Mexico.   Supposedly an alien spacecraft came down there in 1947 and a vast government conspiracy sprung up to build the thing and keep it secret for nearly 70 years.

Annie Jacobsen, journalist and contributing editor at the LA Times (they are thrilled about that plug) says the UFO was just a Soviet spy plane that came down due to weather.    But that isn't the end of it.    The Soviets, no strangers to eugenics, had staffed it with genetically engineered pilots, 'alien-like' children aged 12 or 13 and Stalin hoped to cause some panic in the U.S., a la the Orson Welles radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds" in 1939.
Evan Longoria is giving an interview to a reporter when a foul ball flies his way.  Because his Spider Sense tingles when a ball is in play, Longoria snatches it out of the air bare-handed.  

In my title, I used 'grab' and then 'catch' but catch, in the second instance of course, means a gimmick or trick, so I was being clever.