Friday, March 17, 2017

Learning! Roundup: Our place in the universe, planning problems, antidepressant yogurt, dark matter, and more

Learning! Roundup: the most detailed map of the universe ever, why things take longer than you expect, probiotics as antidepressants, dark matter, sexism at work, and more!

The Most Detailed Map of the Universe to Date

This stunning video depicts, and explains, what we have mapped so far in the universe, including where we are and where we're going (because we are on the move).


Everything Takes Longer Than You Think

This is a constant source of mini-arguments between my boyfriend and I: he assumes that everything will take WAY LONGER than it does (like that we need a whole afternoon to prepare and cook a lasagna) and I assume everything will take way less time than it will (like we can turn around a lasagna and bring it to a potluck in 45 mins). Turns out that my error is so common there's a name for it: Planning Fallacy.

The nice way of looking at it is that people like me are really optimistic. I suppose the less-nice thing would be to say that we are poor planners or inconsiderate. Sigh. Either way, I'm working on it! In the meantime, if my boyfriend and I both give you estimates of when we'll get something done, it's best to assume reality will fall somewhere in the middle.

This is Why Ladies in Yogurt Commercials Are So Happy

New research shows that mice experiencing anxiety, stress, and depression symptoms were lacking in the probiotic lactobacillus. They even found that symptoms got better just by adding the probiotic back in! Bonus, this probiotic is found in many yogurts!

Of course, this is ONE study, so don't go throwing away your Paxil in favour of Activia, but keep an eye on the research. And in the meantime, there's no harm in adding some yogurt to your diet (unless you're lactose intolerant).

Understanding Dark Matter

A beautiful and simple explanation of (what we know of) dark matter by Astrophysicist Janna Levin.


How to Get Rid of Sweat Stains

Here's an easy guide to scrubbing out sweat stains. Because some of us sweat, okay?

One Secret to Success

When we feel like we're doing well, we sometimes stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to perform. Maybe that's a good thing if you need to relax, but if you need to put in a stellar performance, then you need to stay motivated. Measuring your performance against a higher benchmark, one that shows you are "not there yet" will drive you to work harder.

Sexism and Job Performance

Two coworkers, one male, one female, ran an accidental experiment: they switched email accounts so customers thought they were switched. Suddenly, the man encountered difficulty and questions from the clients he'd never encountered before. Meanwhile, she had the most productive week of her career, because customers trusted and listened to her. More evidence of sexism! The man, Martin R. Schneider, tweeted about it.


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