Learning! Roundup: Mindful choirs, jerk-time, leisure time, and planet-ruining second cars

Photo source: Eglin Air Force Base

Make a Mindful Noise

Singing in a choir is good for you. Researchers have known this for a while, but they didn't know why. One reason that has emerged may be that choral singing boosts mindfulness, and as we all know, mindfulness is the wellness-catch all of the decade!

Why We Are All Jerks

This is my favourite quote about science: "Research also shows that technology has increased the 'asshole problem.'" Apparently people are getting jerkier because of technology. Well, crap.

It's Sort of Like Fish in a Barrel

If you're a penguin and you want to eat some fish, but you don't have a barrel to put them in and make things easier for yourself, you just team up with some friends and herd the fish all together into a ball near the surface. Then you eat your fill. Clever, clever penguins.

How Leisure Time Transformed Us All

As much as I am reticent to read any article that begins with a photo of Hugh Hefner (it is sad when any human person dies, and this fact does not make him a good man), this article on the emergence of leisure time is fascinating. Suddenly having free time created needs for new businesses and more involvement in politics - for those privileged to have leisure time.

Loss of Smell as Early Warning Sign

We may have another early warning sign of dementia: new research has shown that elderly people who could not identify common odours were more likely to develop dementia in the next five years.

The Second Car Problem

Thanks to psychology, we know that when people do good things we tend to think that earns us the moral space to do something selfish. This applies to car purchases, among other things. Those who bought hybrid or electric vehicles are more likely to buy a gas-guzzler for a second car as well as drive more. Let's all say it together: "No good deed gives me the right to do bad things. We are trying to make the world better, not even it out."

Tsunami Transformations

Tsunamis do more than destroy cities. They are bringing new species of sea life to our coasts, like Japanese sea stars showing up in Oregon.


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