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Articles posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Are Warnings About the Side Effects of Drugs Making Us Sick?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Category: Health

From blogs.plos.org

You can think of the nocebo effect as the evil twin of the placebo effect — the body’s healing response to the act of taking a pill or receiving medical care, even if the pill itself is inert. The most familiar example of the placebo effect is what happens in trials of experimental drugs.

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How politicians are using BlackBerry to sidestep transparency

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Category: Politics

From www.nydailynews.com

f aides can’t talk in person or by phone, they are told to use the BlackBerry PIN-to-PIN messaging system — a function that leaves no lasting trail because it bypasses data-saving email servers. It allows users to connect directly through their devices using Personal Identification Numbers.

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Computers, Education, and Comparative Advantage

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Category: Education

From econlog.econlib.org

Computers have a comparative advantage in repetition, distribution, and data retrieval and storage. Humans have a comparative advantage in interpersonal skills. Lectures are a very weak teaching method.

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Language Log

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Category: Language

From languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu

Looking at the decade-by-decade ratio of counts of "communal" words to counts of "individualistic" words, it′s hard to see any serious recent trend. (Though the numbers are big enough that the increasing ratio over the past three decades (in favor of "communal" words) could probably be argued to be "statistically significant", in some sense of that so-often-meaningless phrase.

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Where Does the Endowment Effect Come From?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Category: Behavior

From peerreviewedbymyneurons.wordpress.com

One of many notches on the belts of Richard Thaler and Daniel Kahneman is the “Endowment Effect” — the tendency to place a higher value on things you own. Technically, it’s when the price you’re willing to pay for something is less than the price you’re willing to sell it for.

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What would disprove evolution?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Category: Science

From whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com

A list of seven observations that, if repeated and confirmed, would disprove parts of the theory of evolution described above. This shows that it is a scientific theory in the Popperian sense of being falsifiable.

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How Anne Hathaway Overcame Michelle Pfeiffer Fear For Catwoman

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Category: Entertainment

From www.mtv.com

The main reason for Hathaway′s surprise was how synonymous Catwoman had become with Michelle Pfeiffer′s take on the character from Tim Burton′s "Batman Returns," but Kyle wouldn′t be the first character reimagined for the Nolan Batman films.

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And Sometimes, the Island Is Marooned on You

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Category: Odd

From www.nytimes.com

Island Pond′s island has been floating for as long as anyone can remember, buoyed by a mat of sphagnum moss and gases from decomposing plants. It is a curiosity and sometimes a nuisance for the 20 or so homes around the shoreline of this nine-acre pond in Springfield, Mass.

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Man of War - Charlie Schroeder - historical reenactment

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Category: America

From failuremag.com

In the South they are still fighting the Civil War. Not to mention the Vietnam War, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and battles from countless other historical conflicts. In fact, all over the world, battles large and small, famous and obscure, are being recreated by groups of devoted enthusiasts, who apparently enjoy spending their weekends dressing up in period-authentic uniforms and marching with real (or replica) weaponry, at least until they are felled by foam-tipped arrows, hacky sack “rocks,” baby powder-filled mortars and the like.

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