Learning! Roundup: Help Standing Rock, research on racism, reminiscence, sexy parasites, and priorities

Learning! Roundup includes how to help Standing Rock, research on calling out racism, the reminiscence bump, parasites that change your sexy fantasies, and getting our (wifi) priorities straight
Standing Rock Postcard. Photo Credit: The Boston Public Library 

How to Help Standing Rock

Want to do something to help the water protectors at Standing Rock? Me too! I wanted to buy one of those t-shirts (I really like this one), but couldn't find any evidence that the money from those sales actually goes to help the cause and the last thing I want to do is give my money to someone profiteering off a cause. Instead, here is a list of things that can be done to actually help, including donating money (like maybe the money I would have spent on a t-shirt, which isn't on the list).

What Research Says about Racism

Right now we're living in the age of the call out. When someone is being racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, they get public attention, and shame, brought upon them. There is very little research out there so far on what will change peoples' attitudes, but what is borne out in the evidence is that calling someone a racist is the worst way to stop them from being racist. Empathy, on the other hand, is effective.

The Reminiscence Bump

In a rarely uncontested psychological phenomenon, humans remember things best when they happened between the ages of 15-25. It's called the "reminiscence bump". What isn't agreed upon is the reason it happens: is it because those ages are full of many life "firsts" (kiss, date, graduation, apartment)? Because that is a culturally-defined period of significance in one's life? Or, as new research suggests, is it because this is an age where we lay down memories that define who we are for the rest of our lives - a "crystallization period"?

Sexy Parasites

Okay, the parasites aren't sexy at all. But it seems that people who have the toxoplasma gondii parasite are more likely to be interested in more "adventurous" sexual practices, like bondage, zoophilia, and fetishism. However, the higher interest didn't actually lead to a higher likelihood to practice these things. It's a parasite of sexy fantasies, not follow-through.

Keep Your Genitals, Give Me Wifi

A new study shows that people would rather have wifi than sex, chocolate, or alcohol. I'm sure there will be tons of people sharing this, and commenting on how we are so addicted to our phones that we have misplaced our values (because obviously sex should always be the most important thing in our lives). To me this just means that we value interconnectedness, communication, entertainment, and productivity. Those are all pretty great things on their own, and combined, are kind of vital.


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