Learning! Roundup: Imagine yourself full, money and awe, peak human, universal basic income, and more!

Photo by Peter Hershey.

Imagine Yourself Full

Add this one to the body of research on how we can imagine ourselves into physical states: a new study shows that people who imagine the feeling of being full subsequently opted for smaller food portions. This could be the funnest way to bring portion control into our lives.

Money Buys (Different) Happiness

Wealth may impact (to a degree) how happy you are, but it also impacts what makes you happy. People who are richer tend to get more joy from their accomplishments and status, whereas those with less money enjoy their relationships more and have greater experiences of awe. Of course, this is correlational: do people who are happier with things and status seek more wealth? Or does having wealth change what makes you happy?

Peak Human

Researchers now think that we may have reached the pinnacle of human ability. All that's left are computer upgrades!

Universal Basic Income

I'm a big fan of the notion of universal basic income. Here's a video explaining the concept:


Fasting Diets

As much as we are all loathe to prove smug people on trendy diets right, it looks like fasting may actually improve brain power. An experiment with mice showed that those who fasted every other day (but ate overall the same number of calories as the control mice) had increased levels of brain chemical BDNF that enables increased brain connections.

Emotional Diversity

Sure, most people want to be happy all the time, but it turns out that life doesn't tend to foster one consistent emotional state and experiencing a diverse array of emotions is actually healthy for us. This article brings evidence for how this is most important in children, especially boys who are later socialized to express very few emotions.

Gendering the Environment

Here's MORE evidence that gender norms are screwing us over: men are less likely to participate in "green" behaviours because they are perceived as more feminine.

Diet and Age

Another round of evidence is coming up on the benefits of eating vegetables: the more plants on your plate, the healthier your brain will be as you age.

Breath Printing

Once I wrote a sci fi story where instead of doing retinal scans or fingerprints to get into spaces, people had their breath pattern analyzed. I took it out because it sounded dumb, but it turns out that I was right! The sound of our breath is actually unique and can identify us.


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