Learning! Roundup: Lunar Stress, Family-Style Meal Negotiations, Bias Reminders, and More!

A roundup of recent research, including the fact that the moon may have stress-induced quakes and family-style meetings make you better at negotiating.
Photo by Mike Petrucci.

The Moon is Stressed

The moon is still largely a mystery to us, with astronomers only mostly agreeing on how it likely formed. (Are there enough qualifying statements there?) It also might have seismic activity caused by changing temperatures and stress from being close to the earth's gravitational pull.

Family Style

When you share a meal with someone family style, where you both serve yourselves from the same dishes of food, can lead to more successful negotiations. It's like a little practice session!

Bias Reminders

Unconscious bias is a real thing, and it can have a serious impact on teachers whose jobs depend on student evaluations. Women systemically receive lower evaluations, even when their teaching is rated just as good as their male counterparts. It turns out that simply reminding students that gender bias is a thing can be enough to counteract it - at least for as long as it takes to fill in the evaluation.

Houses with Books

Growing up in a house full of books, even if no one was reading them, is still good for your intellectual life. This is a dangerous thing to tell some of my friends who already can't walk through a bookstore without buying a handful of new books.

High Tech Wood

Researchers have created a new kind of wood by removing lignin (a part of the cell walls in trees) from it, leaving behind mostly cellulose. This wood is nearly as strong as steel and reflects heat away, and so would reduce home cooling costs.


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