Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting a Tattoo, Eugenie Scott, Meditiation helps Visual Perception, The Ship of Theseus, Life Expetency and Marriage, Watching TV makes you smarter!

First on a light note we have a flow chart on how to decide whether or not to get a tattoo.

Then an hour long lecture given at SkeptiCal by the awesome Dr Eugenie Scott talking about how science and scepticism are related.

From UC Davis comes a study suggesting visual perception is heightened by meditation training. Unfortunately they don't seem to include a control group in the study which seems shouldn't have been too difficult, just send the control on a holiday for the same amount of time, so I don't know that I'm particularly confident in the results.
Edit: There was a control group, mea culpa.

When reading a paper this week I came across an idea from philosophy that discusses the ship of Theseus. It asks about at what point Theseus ship stops to be Theseus' ship whilst you are replacing parts of it (the paper was comparing this to when a genome is made up of a significant amount of LGT). While reading a bit more about it I found an article that suggests the average age of the cells in your body is ten years. It's a somewhat disconcerting thought that there may be a time before which I was made up of completely different set of cells.

From Barbara comes a link about a study from the Max Planck Institute that finds the greater the age difference between a wife and her partner the shorter her life expectancy.. Interestingly the result doesn't also hold for men.

There was an article published by the New York Times that argues watching TV makes you smarter. Although I will say that at the time of writing this post I haven't read the entire thing yet.

Edit: I seem to have omitted an article. The Russians have suggested a solution for the major oil slick in the gulf of mexico: nuke the bastard!

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