Leaning! Roundup: Some placebo, musician superiority, breathing on mars, and more!

Photo by Nomao Saeki

Insomnia Placebo Effects

I love the placebo effect. It's so awesome that our minds are so powerful they can basically replicate the effects of medicine all on their own. It's like magic! Well, unsurprisingly, our beliefs can also harm us. In this research, people who believed themselves to be poor sleepers had the same negative health effects of insomniacs. On the other hand, poor sleepers who didn't identify it as a problem had none of the anxiety, depression, or other negative effects of insomnia.

Musician Memory

Musicians are obviously already superior to the rest of us because of their sexiness and increased intelligence. Now we also know that their short term and working memories are stronger than the rest of us non-musician chumps.

Oxygen on Mars

Mars is mostly carbon dioxide. So to live up there, apparently, all we need to do is split it into breathable oxygen (for survival) and carbon monoxide (for fuel to get home). Well, that seems easy and I'm sure there are no further complications. Let's do it!

Placebo Creativity

For more fun with the placebo effect, try sniffing a "creativity enhancing substance" and then watch yourself turn into the next Picasso! Okay, the interview specifically says you will not become the next Picasso. But it did show that people displayed a significant increase in creative thinking when they sniffed a cinnamon-smelling placebo that they were told increases creativity.

New Planet Homes

It looks like we may have found 20 planets that are capable of hosting life and not too far away! One even orbits its sun in only 18 days. Imagine how well we will all age with 18 day years.

Racial Bias in Plea Bargains

Here's more evidence for the bias facing black Americans in the legal system: white people get better plea bargains than black people.

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