hemispheric seating

British Psych. SocietyOur bodies appear symmetrical on the outside, but our brains are lop-sided. For example, the brain is better at controlling one hand than the other.

And right-handers prefer to sit to the right at the movies.

By sitting to the right of the screen, the film is predominantly processed by the right-hemisphere and the suggestion is that, without realizing it, right-handers are choosing to sit in an optimal position for their brain to digest the movie.

And see here. We trigger our ‘brain bias’ in other ways too:

This new research comes after a past study showed that adults with a more artistic, less analytic thinking style (associated with the right hemisphere) were more likely to sit on the right-hand side of the classroom; and another that showed people are more likely to exhibit the left side of their face (controlled by the right hemisphere) when asked to express emotion in a family photo, but to show their right profile when asked to pose as a scientist.

power increases hypocrisy

Kellogg School of Management:

  1. Powerful people – many of whom take a moral high ground – don’t practice what they preach.
  2. The ‘powerful’ condemn the cheating of others while cheating more themselves.
  3. The powerful impose rules and restraints on others while disregarding these restraints for themselves.

The facts are in.

marriage warrior

Sara Libby:

Karl Rove, the architect behind using gay marriage as a wedge issue to drive the Christian right to the polls, has just gotten a divorce in Texas, ending his 24-year marriage.

No one should really be surprised by the hypocrisy.

extensive financial resources

Doug Glanville……in the athletes’ world, relationships can get crafted around their whims:

It is amazing how easy it is, if you are not careful and grounded, to start seeing women as another accessory in your life.

But it isn’t rooted in good practices; it’s more like, “flash your badge and they will come.”

selling unreasoning

Dana Blankenhorn:

Is gravity real? The reporter asks the question, and finds one person who will say it’s not, at which point it becomes an open question.

Conservatives have learned to use this laziness to create hosts of false controversies, destroying good people and good ideas because reporters are afraid to call a lie a lie.

Death panels are a lie. Obama’s Kenyan roots are a lie. The tea party’s charges are lies.

FDR, No FearWhen large political movements are built on lies, reporters do not have a duty to give them equal time. They have a duty to call them out.

They have a duty to call the liars liars, and to stop using them as sources, to exile them from their newsrooms. Instead these self-created assholes are called upon again-and-again.

It has gone on too long.

ignirance income


The political action committee behind the Tea Party Express paid almost two thirds of its spending on the Republican consulting firm that created the PAC in the first place.

Of $1.33 million, a total of $857,122 went to Sacramento-based Tea Party organizers.

instinct to attack

Levi Johnston, in a sworn statement:

I know that public scrutiny will simplify this matter and act as a check against anyone’s need to be overly vindictive, aggressive or malicious, not that Bristol would ever be that way, nor that I would.

But her mother is powerful, politically ambitious and has a reputation for being extremely vindictive.

So, I think a public case might go a long way in reducing Sarah Palin’s instinct to attack.

Johnston said he didn’t want to hurt or embarrass his son — or Bristol. He thinks Sarah Palin, not Bristol, is acting with “sheer malice”.

industrial bacteria

The overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals has led to a plague of drug-resistant infections that killed more than 65,000 people in the U.S. last year – more than prostate and breast cancer combined.


America’s farmers give their pigs, cows and chickens about 8 percent more antibiotics each year… 13 percent of the antibiotics administered on farms last year were fed to healthy animals to make them grow faster.

Antibiotics also save as much as 30 percent in feed costs among young swine.

Sloppy. Sloppy. Sloppy.

quite simple really

Mark Thoma:

Honest and transparent are not adjectives that come easily to mind when looking at our modern financial system and events over the last decade.

This issue is in fact the lynch pin to modern capitalism.

Business interests are dominant in Washington, and these powerful interests will do what they can to resist constraints on their behavior no matter what lessons the rest of us may have learned from their actions in the past.

scams in all 50 states

More than $16.5 billion disappeared like smoke in 2009.

  1. The FBI opened more than 2,100 securities fraud investigations in 2009, up from 1,750 in 2008. The FBI also had 651 agents working in 2009 on high-yield investment fraud cases, which include Ponzis, compared with 429 last year.
  2. The SEC this year issued 82 per cent more restraining orders against Ponzi schemes and other securities fraud cases this year than in 2008, and it opened about six per cent more investigations. Ponzi scheme investigations now make up 21 per cent of the SEC’s enforcement workload, compared with 17 per cent in 2008 and nine per cent in 2005.
  3. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed 31 civil actions in Ponzi cases this year, more than twice the 2008 amount.

More than 150 Ponzi, or pyramid, schemes collapsed in 2009, compared with about 40 in 2008.

grip glucose

University of Alabama:

Calorie-intake restriction can benefit longevity and help prevent diseases like cancer linked to aging.

Restricting consumption of glucose, the most common dietary sugar, can extend the life of healthy human-lung cells and speed the death of precancerous human-lung cells, reducing cancer’s spread and growth rate.

unseen inner us

The basic makeup of inner life varies substantially from person to person.

Psychologists have many ways to get inside our heads: they can give us questionnaires, track our eyes, time how long we take to respond to cues and measure the blood flow to our brains.

But how close can these methods get to the texture of our inner lives?

Dr. Russel Hurlburt:

My research says that there are a lot of people who don’t ever naturally form images, and then there are other people who form very florid, high-fidelity, Technicolor, moving images.

Some people have inner lives dominated by speech, body sensations or emotions, and yet others by ‘unsymbolized thinking’ that can take the form of wordless questions such as, “Should I have the ham sandwich or the roast beef?”

Inner speakers tend to be more confident, for example, and those who think in pictures tend to have trouble empathizing with others.

Maybe it’s a defensive maneuver on my part, but my rationale is that I don’t want to infect myself with some theory about how the world is. I would like to see the way the world is without having a theory about it.