Learning! Roundup: Seaweed saves the day, Dollar Street, monkey tools, conformity, and more!

Learning! Roundup: Seaweed saves the day, check the implications of wealth on Dollar Street, the Asch Conformity Experiments, and more!

Seaweed + Cows = Less Greenhouse Gasses?

While I am very suspect of any suggestion that we feed animals anything other than the food they evolved to eat, this is at least an interesting development: adding a small amount of seaweed to a cow's diet can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 99%.

Dollar Street

Want to better understand the lives of people all over the world, from the poorest to the richest? Dollar Street visited 200 homes in 50 countries, documenting the homes and lives of the families that lived there, and then lining them up by income. It's an interesting tour of the world, wealth, culture, and people.

A New Meaning to the Monkey Wrench

You know how humans are the best because we made tools first? Welllllllll... Turns out that some of the tools early humans used may have actually been first invented by monkeys. Yup, we may have started out our tool-making careers by playing with the tools that monkeys dropped out of trees.

Walking for Happiness

I love a good placebo effect, but it's possible that I love even more when something works despite its potential placebo effects. Take, for example, this new study showing that peoples' moods lift after walking. This effect was shown regardless of where the person walked, and whether they expected the walk to be positive or not (the condition that primed them to expect a negative outcome was called "walking dread" - ha! Scientists are funny!)


Listen, we all like to think that we're lone wolves of individual, unique, valour who follow our hearts and minds above all. We're totally not. We are a bunch of sheeple, packing together as we roam the countryside.

There is a classic psych experiment that proves this: the Asch Conformity Experiment. In this experiment, a subject is shown a series of lines of different lengths and asked to identify the one that matches the example. Pretty straightforward. And yet, when in the presence of confederates that give wrong answers, most people conform and give the obviously wrong answer.

I came across this great exploration of the Asch experiments, and explanations on why we so easily conform (it's really not entirely stupid of us). Read and learn!

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