Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Women's Hockey Star Fighting to Grow the Game

Richard T Gagnon/Getty
When she was just 2 years old, Kaliya Johnson knew figure skates wouldn’t cut it. “I was obsessed with Julie in D2: The Mighty Ducks,” says Johnson. “She was the only girl on the team … I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
For the next six years, Johnson followed in Julie’s footsteps. With no girl’s youth hockey club within an hour of her home in LA, she played with the boys. But once her mother, Kelli, a former collegiate basketball player, realized hockey was more than a phase, road trips became part of the family rhythm. “I knew she was serious when she gave up all her other sports,” Kelli tells OZY. “She was an amazing soccer player and was on her way to a black belt in Hapkido, but she gave that up.”

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Via: OZY

10 of the Most Covered Songs in Music History

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
"Unlike movies, where it's rare that a second (or third) attempt at remaking a film can ever match—let alone top—the original, music is different sort of creative beast. Just because The Beatles did a bang-up job on one song doesn't mean that Joan Baez or Elvis Presley couldn't do the same tune justice in their own unique way. Which is a very good thing, as The Beatles's catalog is one of the most copied in music history. While not an exhaustive list, here are 10 of the most covered songs."

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Via: Mental Floss

Monday, November 27, 2017

What If Consciousness Doesn't Drive the Mind?

It’s easy to assume that these contents of consciousness are somehow chosen, caused or controlled by our personal awareness – after all, thoughts don’t exist until until we think them. But in a new research paper in Frontiers of Psychology, Peter Halligan & David A Oakley argue that this is a mistake.

They suggest that our personal awareness does not create, cause or choose our beliefs, feelings or perceptions. Instead, the contents of consciousness are generated “behind the scenes” by fast, efficient, non-conscious systems in our brains. All this happens without any interference from our personal awareness, which sits passively in the passenger seat while these processes occur.

Put simply, we don’t consciously choose our thoughts or our feelings – we become aware of them.

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Via: Real Clear Science

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Serial-Killer Detector

"Thomas Hargrove is a homicide archivist. For the past seven years, he has been collecting municipal records of murders, and he now has the largest catalogue of killings in the country—751,785 murders carried out since 1976, which is roughly twenty-seven thousand more than appear in F.B.I. files. States are supposed to report murders to the Department of Justice, but some report inaccurately, or fail to report altogether, and Hargrove has sued some of these states to obtain their records. Using computer code he wrote, he searches his archive for statistical anomalies among the more ordinary murders resulting from lovers’ triangles, gang fights, robberies, or brawls. Each year, about five thousand people kill someone and don’t get caught, and a percentage of these men and women have undoubtedly killed more than once. Hargrove intends to find them with his code, which he sometimes calls a serial-killer detector."

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Via: The New Yorker 

Getting a Dog May Save Your Life

Having a dog can bring a lot of love into your life. It could also make it last a little longer. A group of academics from Uppsala University in Sweden analyzed the health records of 3.4 million people in that northern European country, where databases contain detailed information on everyone’s hospitalizations, medical history and even whether they own a dog. Such detailed records made it relatively easy to suss out the impact of having a canine companion. People in possession of a pooch were less likely to have cardiovascular disease or die from any cause during the 12 years covered by the research, according to the study published in Scientific Reports.

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Via: Bloomberg

Monday, November 20, 2017

10 Things That Will Put Hair on Your Chest

In the link below Brett McKay, creator of the Art of Manliness, highlights ten of the most common things we were told as boys would put hair on our chests (but actually don’t). We hope it will help further the tradition of benign parental cons (i.e., Santa Claus, tooth fairy, “your face will stay that way if you make it for too long,” etc., etc.).

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Via: Art of Manliness

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Hidden Science and Tech of the Byzantine Empire

Byzantium was a pragmatic and down-to-earth culture—it developed sophisticated systems for taxation, justice, administration, and military deployment—and it also exhibited prowess in science and technology. In his new book, A Cabinet of Byzantine Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from History’s Most Orthodox Empire, Anthony Kaldellis aims to capture this side of the Byzantines.

Byzantine military inventors perfected Greek Fire, a combustible liquid like napalm that could be hurled at enemy ships (or lobbed against land armies as hand grenades); a Byzantine philosopher made two synchronized clocks, placing one at the frontier and one in the capital, so that messages could be sent across Asia Minor via a network of fire signals, each message keyed to the time of day or night that it was sent; and Byzantine theologians included ancient Greek science within the basic curriculum of learning that aspiring religious thinkers had to master.

Follow the link to read about six notable successes (and failures) of Byzantine science and engineering.

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Via: Nautius