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Study finds that the internet is not isolating us, but rather bringing us together

Internet gear isn't isolating us, study says This is probably obvious as social networking sites are the huge thing and the internet has realized that other people are the killer app. But it's still nice to bust the myth that all of us here in webland are isolated misfit misanthropes.
Fears that the Internet and other personal technologies are making Americans socially isolated are unfounded, according to a Pew Research Center report released Wednesday. The study comes to the opposite conclusion: that people who use the Internet, instant messaging, mobile phones, photo sharing sites and social networks benefit from being more likely to have a larger, more diverse core of close confidants. American Internet users are also more likely to frequent public places like parks or coffee shops instead of withdrawing from society, according to the new study by the Pew Center and the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication

November 04, 2009

Dolphins are smarter, meaner than you possibly imagined

Why dolphins are deep thinkers | Science | The Guardian
At the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, Kelly the dolphin has built up quite a reputation. All the dolphins at the institute are trained to hold onto any litter that falls into their pools until they see a trainer, when they can trade the litter for fish. In this way, the dolphins help to keep their pools clean. Kelly has taken this task one step further. When people drop paper into the water she hides it under a rock at the bottom of the pool. The next time a trainer passes, she goes down to the rock and tears off a piece of paper to give to the trainer. After a fish reward, she goes back down, tears off another piece of paper, gets another fish, and so on. This behaviour is interesting because it shows that Kelly has a sense of the future and delays gratification. She has realised that a big piece of paper gets the same reward as a small piece and so delivers only small pieces to keep the extra food coming. She has, in effect, trained the humans. Her cunning has not stopped there. One day, when a gull flew into her pool, she grabbed it, waited for the trainers and then gave it to them. It was a large bird and so the trainers gave her lots of fish. This seemed to give Kelly a new idea. The next time she was fed, instead of eating the last fish, she took it to the bottom of the pool and hid it under the rock where she had been hiding the paper. When no trainers were present, she brought the fish to the surface and used it to lure the gulls, which she would catch to get even more fish. After mastering this lucrative strategy, she taught her calf, who taught other calves, and so gull-baiting has become a hot game among the dolphins. . . .

October 31, 2009

Photo Gallery: Sperm Whales Eating a 30-foot Giant Squid

RARE PHOTOS: Giant Squid Eaten by Sperm Whale

October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween: Bats Raw Up Funky Sexing It!!!

I just left a brown-bag lunch about genetics where the...

October 28, 2009

Is vegetarianism necessary to save the planet?

Vegetarian diet is better for the planet, says Lord Stern | Environment | The Guardian These cows (and a few environmental scientists) think it might just be.
Eating meat could become as socially unacceptable as drink-driving because of the impact it has on global warming, according to a senior authority on climate change. Lord Stern of Brentford, former adviser to the government on the economics of climate change, said people will have to consider turning vegetarian to help reduce global carbon emissions. "Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world's resources. A vegetarian diet is better," Stern said. Farmed ruminant animals, including cattle and sheep, are thought to be responsible for up to a quarter of "man-made" methane emissions worldwide.

October 27, 2009

Science: The pain of torture can make innocent people seem guilty to observers

Pain Of Torture Can Make Innocent Seem Guilty
Participants in the study met a woman suspected of cheating to win money. The woman was then "tortured" by having her hand immersed in ice water while study participants listened to the session over an intercom. She never confessed to anything, but the more she suffered during the torture, the guiltier she was perceived to be.

October 24, 2009

Attention All Canadian Mojonauts: Get Picked for this Deal, and We'll Pretty Much Publish Whatever You Write About It!

Yeah, it's a simulation, but it's simulated AWESOME! Volunteers Wanted...