Everything you ever wanted to know about Bitcoin, explained in a 3-minute motion graphics piece. Also see Felix Salmon on why Bitcoin is “the best and cleanest payments mechanism the world has ever seen.”
Human scabs serve as inspiration for new bandage to speed healing
Human scabs have become the model for development of an advanced wound dressing material that shows promise for speeding the healing process, scientists are reporting. Their study appears in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Shutao Wang and colleagues explain that scabs are a perfect natural dressing material for wounds. In addition to preventing further bleeding, scabs protect against infection and recruit the new cells needed for healing. Existing bandages and other dressings for wounds generally are intended to prevent bleeding and infections. Wang’s team set out to develop a new generation of wound dressings that reduce the risk of infections while speeding the healing process.
more at EurekAlert
The governor’s decision to allow Bibles at Georgia state park cabins has prompted an atheist group to offer a generous donation.
One night evolution had a vision of a world where things were perfect. Life coexisted peacefully with other life; nobody fought or died or ate each other’s entrails. There were no monsters in the ocean, only leafy sea dragons, fluttering calmly back and forth to keep everyone safe. It was a world of serenity, a world of quiet splendor, where everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
Have you noticed the Mosquitos are already out! Here is a homemade trap to help keep you and the kiddos from being a blood donor!!!
HOMEMADE MOSQUITO TRAP:
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 gram of yeast
1 2-liter bottle
1. Cut the plastic bottle in half.
2. Mix brown sugar with hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.
3. Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.
4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired.
5. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)
Human brain recognizes and reacts to race, UTSC researchers discover
The human brain fires differently when dealing with people outside of one’s own race, according to new research out of the University of Toronto Scarborough.
This research, conducted by social neuroscientists at U of T Scarborough, explored the sensitivity of the “mirror-neuron-system” to race and ethnicity. The researchers had study participants view a series of videos while hooked up to electroencephalogram (EEG) machines. The participants – all white – watched simple videos in which men of different races picked up a glass and took a sip of water. They watched white, black, South Asian and East Asian men perform the task.
Typically, when people observe others perform a simple task, their motor cortex region fires similarly to when they are performing the task themselves. However, the UofT research team, led by PhD student Jennifer Gutsell and Assistant Professor Dr. Michael Inzlicht, found that participants’ motor cortex was significantly less likely to fire when they watched the visible minority men perform the simple task. In some cases when participants watched the non-white men performing the task, their brains actually registered as little activity as when they watched a blank screen.
“Previous research shows people are less likely to feel connected to people outside their own ethnic groups, and we wanted to know why,” says Gutsell. “What we found is that there is a basic difference in the way peoples’ brains react to those from other ethnic backgrounds. Observing someone of a different race produced significantly less motor-cortex activity than observing a person of one’s own race. In other words, people were less likely to mentally simulate the actions of other-race than same-race people”
The trend was even more pronounced for participants who scored high on a test measuring subtle racism, says Gutsell.
“The so-called mirror-neuron-system is thought to be an important building block for empathy by allowing people to ‘mirror’ other people’s actions and emotions; our research indicates that this basic building block is less reactive to people who belong to a different race than you,” says Inzlicht.
However, the team says cognitive perspective taking exercises, for example, can increase empathy and understanding, thereby offering hope to reduce prejudice. Gutsell and Inzlicht are now investigating if this form of perspective-taking can have measurable effects in the brain.
The team’s findings are published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
“Daniel C. Dennett favours the theory (first suggested by Richard Dawkins) that our social learning has given us a second information highway (in addition to the genetic highway) where the transmission of variant cultural information (memes) takes place via differential replication. Software viruses, for example, can be understood as memes, and as memes evolve in complexity, so does human cognition: “The mind is the effect, not the cause.” (…)
Daniel Dennett: “Natural selection is not gene centrist and nor is biology all about genes, our comprehending minds are a result of our fast evolving culture. Words are memes that can be spoken and words are the best example of memes. Words have a genealogy and it’s easier to trace the evolution of a single word than the evolution of a language.”
See also: ☞ Daniel C. Dennett on an attempt to understand the mind; autonomic neurons, culture and computational architecture, Lapidarium notes (via amiquote)