1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18  |  19  |  20  |  21  |  22  |  23  |  24  |  25  |  26  |  27  |  28  |  29  |  30  |  31  |  32  |  33  |  34  |  35  |  36  |  37  |  38  |  39  |  40  |  41  |  42  |  43  |  44  |  45  |  46  |  47  |  48  |  49  |  50  |  51  |  52  |  53  |  54  |  55  |  56  |  57  |  58  |  59  |  60  |  61  |  62  |  63  |  64  |  65  |  66  |  67  |  68  |  69  |  70  |  71  |  72  |  73  |  74  |  75  |  76  |  77  |  78  |  79  |  80  |  81  |  82  |  83  |  84  |  85  |  86  |  87  |  88  |  89  |  90  |  91  |  92  |  93  |  94  |  95  |  96  |  97  |  98  |  99  |  100  |  101  |  102  |  103  |  104  |  105  |  106  |  107  |  108  |  109  |  110  |  111  |  112  |  113  |  114  |  115  |  116  |  117  |  118  |  119  |  120  |  121  |  122  |  123  |  124  |  125  |  126  |  127  |  128  |  129  |  130  |  131  |  132  |  133  |  134  |  135  |  136  |  137  |  138  |  139  |  140  |  141  |  142  |  143  |  144  |  145  |  146  |  147  |  148  |  149  |  150  |  151  |  152  |  153  |  154  |  155  |  156  |  157  |  158  |  159  |  160  |  161  |  162  |  163  |  164  |  165  |  166  |  167  |  168  |  169  |  170  |  171  |  172  |  173  |  174  |  175  |  176  |  177  |  178  |  179  |  180  |  181  |  182  |  183  |  184  |  185  |  186  |  187  |  188  |  189  |  190  |  191  |  192  |  193  |  194  |  195  |  196  |  197  |  198  |  199  |  200  |  201  |  202  |  203  |  204  |  205  |  206  |  207  |  208  |  209  |  210  |  211  |  212  |  213  |  214  |  215  |  216  |  217  |  218  |  219  |  220  |  221  |  222  |  223  |  224  |  225  |  226  |  227  |  228  |  229  |  230  |  231  |  232  |  233  |  234  |  235  |  236  |  237  |  238  |  239  |  240  |  241  |  242 

April 13, 2011

Science: Free Porn Lowers Rape Rates

Free Porn Lowers Rape Rates | Dollars and Sex | Big Think
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report has recently released the preliminary statistics for 2010. The incidence of violent rape in US has declined once again, this time by 6.2% between June 2009 and June 2010. The most recent decline is not an anomaly; rape rates have been falling since their peak in the early 1990’s (see the figure I have included below which uses annual data from the FBI). Over the same period internet access in the US has skyrocketed; in 1997 (the first year that the current population survey collected this information) only 18.6% of American’s had internet access in their homes. Today that number is above 71%. It may seem like the relationship between internet access and rape is spurious, but evidence suggests that even after controlling for known determinants of rape rates (such as policing, urbanization, poverty and the age distributions), a 10% increase in internet access coincides with a fall in rape rates of 7.3%. * With 88,097 rapes in the US in 2009, this suggests that if 81% of US homes had internet access 6,437 fewer women would report being raped every year. Once you take into consideration unreported rapes that figure will be much higher. The argument given in this particular paper is that porn and rape are, in the economic sense, substitutes. Two "goods" are substitutes when the price of one good falls, the demand for that good increases relative to the other good. The price of porn had fallen dramatically over the past twenty years and the evidence suggests that as that has happened men have substituted away from rape to the now relatively cheaper porn.
(via Violet Blue)

April 12, 2011

Drilling for Natural Gas pollutes more than burning coal

There have been a lot of calls in the media recently to step up our natural gas extraction in America. But it has some pretty heinous downsides, not the least of which is that it tends to irrevocably pollute the water table. (Seriously, watch the documentary GASLAND for more about this.) Fracking pollutes more than burning coal, study finds - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports -
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When companies use hydraulic fracturing to drill for natural gas, the resulting energy production contributes as much -- and maybe more -- to global warming as coal-fired electricity, according to a scientific paper due out this week. Researchers at Cornell University warn that their findings contradict the conventional wisdom that natural gas could become a "bridge fuel" to help the nation transition from coal to wider use of alternative and renewable sources. "We need to look at the true environmental consequences of shale gas," said Robert Howarth, a Cornell ecology professor and lead author of the study. Howarth and two colleagues calculated estimates of the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas produced using advanced techniques to release gas reserves from shale formations deep underground. Then they compared those estimates to greenhouse impacts from coal and oil, based on energy content of the fuels. . . .

April 11, 2011

Treating Depression with Psilocybin

Psychedelic drug cuts brain blood flow and connections - health...

April 07, 2011

A barcode scanner for zebras

One Per Cent: Barcode scanner for zebras
Ever thought that the zebra's black-and-white striped markings resemble a biological barcode? Well now a team of US computer scientists and biologists have come up with a scanner, allowing them to identify individual animals from a single still photo. The system, dubbed StripeSpotter, only requires a small amount of human input. Users draw a rectangle around the zebra's side, then this part of the image is automatically sliced into a number of horizontal bands and each pixel is made fully black or fully white, creating a low-resolution version of the zebra's stripes. Each band is then encoded as a StripeString, a sequence of coloured blocks with particular lengths - for example, white for two blocks, black for three, white for one - and the collection of StripeStrings forms a StripeCode, the zebra equivalent of a barcode.