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Locke's "Very Strange Doctrine" of the Natural Right to Punish

If Morris Hoffman is right that "evolution built us to punish," this could be the evolutionary basis for John Locke's argument that in the state of nature everyone has a natural right to punish offenses against the law of nature. When...Show More Summary

Lomekwian Stone Age: Stone Tools Predate The Genus Homo by 800 Thousand Years

3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, KenyaAuthors:Harmand et alAbstract:Human evolutionary scholars have long supposed that the earliest stone tools were made by the genus Homo and that this technological development was directly linked to climate change and the spread of savannah grasslands. Show More Summary

Birth of a word

Memorial service for Walter Rathenau (Wikicommons - German Federal Archives). His assassination introduced a new word into French and, shortly after, into English. A reader has written me about my last post: It is extremely unlikely that "racism" is an attempt at translating something like Völkismus. Show More Summary

Marriage O'Quality

Tweeted by Graeme Orr: Marriage O'Quality. Comhghairdeas Éire! #marriageeqaulity — Graeme Orr (@Graeme_Orr) May 23, 2015 Clicking on "View Translation", Graeme was fascinated to learn that his combination of neologism and Gaelic is actually… Romanian!

Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones

Mexican Jays (Aphelocoma wollweberi) distinguish between heavier and lighter peanuts without opening the nuts. The birds do it by shaking the nuts in their beaks, which allows them to 'feel' nut heaviness and to listen to sounds produced by peanuts during handling.

Saturday assorted links

1. This one has something to with Richmond, otherwise I don’t know how to title it. 2. Do innovators find it easier to justify bad behavior? 3. Are New Jerseyans more flammable than other people?  Or something else? 4. Erik Angner, Well-Being and Economics; among other things, a good look at how cardinal utility and […]

From chicken to dinosaur: Scientists experimentally 'reverse evolution' of perching toe

A unique adaptation in the foot of birds is the presence of a thumb-like opposable toe, which allows them to grasp and perch.  However, in their dinosaur ancestors, this toe was small and non- opposable, and did not even touch the ground, resembling the dewclaws of dogs and cats. Show More Summary

Generation Z – Replacing the Millennials

The Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are often described as a generation of sociable, multi-tasking and confident people. They are team-oriented, have an advanced use of technology and they are one of the four work forces that collide together with their different ideas, values and behaviors. There have been a number of labels used […]

5 Steps to Become Conversationally Fluent in Spanish

Spanish is the language that started off my lifelong obsession with language learning, so it holds a special place in my heart. Thanks to Spanish I was able to discover what what holding me back from becoming fluent in any language.Show More Summary

How Do Clouds Form?

As someone who loves looking at clouds, and may have a somewhat scientifically directed brain, I’m fascinated by the shapes and structures of clouds. Where I live, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, provides endless examples of them. I write about them a lot, but I don’t think I’ve ever explained just how clouds form. Show More Summary

Medieval panels looted from Devon church found

Two 15th century painted oak panels ripped out of Holy Trinity Church in Torbryan, Devon, almost two years ago have been recovered by police. A sharp-eyed and damn decent collector spotted them in an online sale and notified the authorities who traced them in a property in south London. The place was raided by detectives [...]

This Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Has a Few Concerns

Increasingly rapid advances in AI have given Stuart Russell's concerns heightened urgency. The post This Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Has a Few Concerns appeared first on WIRED.

Space Photos of the Week: A Star Named Nasty

Space Photos of the Week, May 17-23. A beautiful shot of the Medusa Nebula and a star named Nasty. The post Space Photos of the Week: A Star Named Nasty appeared first on WIRED.

A History of metal detecting in 3 flyers

Heritage Action, 'A History of metal detecting in 3 flyers', The depressing cul-de-sac that is Britain's portable antiquities policy can be deduced from just three flyers. With one to print out and distribute yourself.

Psychology Around the Net: May 23, 2015

This week’s Psychology Around the Net covers mental health and the workforce, dating with a mental illness, how pets can help your mental health, and more! May Is Mental Health Awareness Month — Here’s Why Companies Should Care: Does your company realize the crucial impact […]

The Felch Quarry brachiosaur skull

A couple of months ago, Darren (the silent partner in the SV-POW! organisation) tweeted this photo … … describing it as “Skull of the Morrison Formation Brachiosaurus at Denver Museum of Nature & Science”. Well. As Darren knows well (but didn’t have have space to explain in the tweet), it’s not quite as simple as that. […]

Link feast

Our pick of this week's 10 best psychology and neuroscience links:The Last Day of Her LifeWhen psychology professor Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself....Show More Summary

OK Google

On Thursday, I gave a talk at the Centre Cournot on the topic "Why Human Language Technology (almost) works" ("Pourquoi les technologies de la langue et du discours marchent enfin (ou presque)"), and for the introduction, I tried giving Google Now a few questions and instructions on my Android phone. In case you're not familiar with this […]

Spike activity 12-05-2015

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: No, there is no evidence for a link between video games and Alzheimer’s disease, reports HeadQuarters after recent media bungles. We’re still waiting to hear on SimCity and Parkinson’s disease though. The American Psychiatric Association has a new corporate video that looks like a […]

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