August 30th, 2007


Our Minds

The Hormone That Helps You Read Minds

We've long accepted that hormones can make you amorous, aggressive, or erratic. But lately neuroscience has been abuzz with evidence that the hormone oxytocin -- which also acts as a neuromodulator -- can enhance at least one cognitive power: the ability to understand the gist of what others are thinking. Jennifer Bartz and Eric Hollander, two leading researchers in this area, review the many and surprising ways in which oxytocin seems to influence both our openness to others and our understanding of them.

  • Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

Quote of the Day

We are here on Earth to do good to others. 
What the others are here for, I don't know.


W. H. Auden (1907 - 1973) 



  • Current Mood: good good

The Secret Base

Did Hitler have a base in the Antarctic?

The Nazis, some believe, established a secret base in Antarctica to which they spirited Hitler at the war's end, fought off British special forces and an American military taskforce, partly by shooting down US planes using flying saucers. The Americans eventually destroyed the base with nuclear weapons in the 1950s. Since then, various governments have striven to conceal this. In this light, it's no effort to re-imagine Antarctic explorations proposed under the aegis of IPY. 

  • Current Mood: amused amused

Joke of the Day

Q: Why do women wear black underwear?

A: They are mourning for the stiff they buried the night before.

  • Current Mood: amused amused

What’s So Funny?

Laughter is Simply how we Connect

Why do we have this unconscious propensity for something as frivolous as laughter? Jared Diamond wrote a short book with the provocative title Why Is Sex Fun? that suggests an evolutionary answer to the question of why tickling is fun: It encourages us to play well with others. In his book, Provine suggests that feigned tickling can be thought of as the original joke, the first deliberate behavior designed to exploit the tickling-laughter circuit. 

  • Current Mood: happy happy