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Episode 049

9:50 – National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine conducted a study that finds that due to doctors’ sloppy handwriting, over 7,000 people are killed every year and 1.5 million are injured due to unclear abbreviations in dosage indications on prescription pads

Episode 051

24:28 – Department of Medicine and Microbiology at NYU School of Medicine released a new study - took 3 guys, 3 girls and swabbed the forearms, found that human skin had an average of 182 species of bacteria – 8% which they have no idea what it is

Episode 093

33:09 – University of Texas study reports that college students drink larger amounts of alcohol on football gamedays

Episode 094

25:01 – UCLA has just finished a study and concluded that teenage drivers are often distracted while driving a car filled with teens

Episode 095

5:52 – Cornell University study concludes that more college students take courses that are considered to be easier or will be easier to get a very good grade in

Episode 125

39:27 – Report in upcoming issue of Medical Journal, “Alcoholism: the Clinical and Experimental Research,” a professor from Vanderbilt has discovered that both coffee and cigarette consumption is very popular among AA attendees

Episode 126

6:48 – Johns Hopkins University researchers claim that rise in personal listening devices will cause 1 in 3 adults to suffer in recognizable degree in hearing loss. Could have a future generation of deaf people. Jah remembers everyone saying that about Walkmans when we were kids, and thinks that the physics of in-ear headphones allow people to listen to lower volumes, so this isn’t necessarily going to pan out

37:22 – Harvard researchers claim that eating even a half-serving a day of soy-based foods could significantly lower a man’s sperm count. Jah says he can attest to the change in male ejaculate when one has turned vegan. He claims it gets much thinner and also doesn’t taste as bleachy. Seth wants to know how he attests to the second. Jah: “None of your biz dude.” Seth: “None of your jizz.”

Episode 133

56:25 – Researchers have studied the data, ratings and top lists of the website. They found that all men, no matter where they are rated in the scheme, believe they have a chance with the most highly rated attractive women on the site

Episode 134

5:49 – New study finds that the average automobile contains almost 400 kinds of different bacteria. Turning on the car’s heat will incubate and send potent fungi and germs around the automobile

Episode 135

43:34 – New study in Journal of American Medical Association found that Tuesday of the presidential election there is an 18% increased chance of dying in a car crash. The combo of more cars and pedestrians flocking to the polls makes this possible

Episode 137

15:39 – A study will be presented next week at the American College of Emergency Physicians annual meeting, that when performing CPR, the perfect rhythm is 100 compressions per minute – or the 1970s hit “Stayin’ Alive” by the Beegees, which is 103 bpm

23:55 – A study in the Journal of Fish Biology has scientists confirming the second case of a virgin birth in a shark. DNA testing showed there was no genetic material from a male nor any male sharks at the aquarium

27:50 – Researchers at Rutgers University did a study on freshmen college girls. The “Freshman 15” is a myth – it’s actually the “Freshman 7”

Episode 139

23:23 – A study published in the Journal of Science said that people who held a cup of hot coffee for 10-25 seconds warmed to a perfect stranger. People holding a cup of iced coffee had the complete opposite effect.

Episode 142

42:43 – A new study claims that pregnant moms should drink some alcohol only if they’re having a boy. Three years of tests show babies did better with behavior in cognitive tests when their moms drank booze

Episode 144

27:48 – Recent findings published in the Journal Nature detailed a microscopif fungus named aspergillis fumigatus. Humans inhale them through their nostrils over 200 times a day. Up until recently they were thought to reproduce asexually, but it’s been found that they have reproductive sexual organs. So the fungi and its babies bone down and eat tissue from inside our nostrils

31:53 – Researchers at Cornell University Food Lab studied Chinese food lunch buffets all across the U.S. They have found out that heavier, more obese people, used larger plates, used forks instead of chopsticks, they left less food, they made more trips to the buffet and just ate more in general

Episode 145

40:52 – Scientists have concluded that due to the overwhelming presence of chemicals in our environment, the male gender is in danger. Research has shown that chemicals have feminized males in every class of vertebrate animals from fish to people – baby boys born to women exposed to common household chemicals in pregnancy are born with smaller penises and feminized genitals. More than 1,000 new gender-bender chemicals have been introduced to the world in recent years

Episode 146

41:28 – A new study says that romantic comedies create unrealistic expectations about relationships and ultimately make it harder to find a mate and leave people less satisfied with their love life

Episode 148

16:59 – The January issue of Pediatrics will contain an article from the Johns Hopkins School of Health that says teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as teens who don’t promise abstinence. They are also more likely to engage in riskier sex (anal) and less likely to use birth control

18:43 – There is also research coming out in said issue from the Massachusetts General Hospital that describes how tobacco smoke and its contamination can linger much longer after a cigarette has been extinguished. Over 250 different toxins become embedded in clothes, hair, furniture, microphones, hard drives, iPods, iPhones, etc.

Episode 150

50:01 – Researchers at Wake Forest University have authored a report in Chest – the Journal of American College of Chest Physicians. The report says that parents of children under age 2 should not use Vicks Vapor Rub on their sniffling, coughing, sick children. Use of the product on kids that young was found to increase mucus production and inflammation. Studies found no health benefits for people of any age

Episode 151

17:11 – A new study by psychologists at the University of Michigan says that living in urban environments impairs our basic mental processes. The brain is a limited machine and the overwhelming incessant stimuli of the city exhausts the brain and puts a strain on memory, concentration and calmness

Episode 153

1:49 – A new research study shows that women have more nightmares than men and men dream about sex more than women

21:52 – According to research by a team at University of Pittsburgh and Harvard medical schools, the more time teenagers spend in front of the television, the more likely they will be depressed as adults

23:54 – The February issue of Archives of Pediatrics in Adolescent Medicine say teens who go out with friends are more likely to use marijuana than teens who have fewer friends

Episode 154

56:43 – The Center for Disease Control has issued a study on teen smokers – 52% prefer Marlboros, while 21% prefer Newports. However, 75% of black teens prefer Newports and 13% prefer Camels.

Episode 156

31:36 – According to the Pew Research Center, a cross-section of Americans were polled, asking them if they would rather live in a neighborhood with more McDonald’s or more Starbucks. 43% said more McDonald’s, 35% said more Starbucks and 22% didn’t have a preference.

Episode 159

7:15 – A new study says that people who drink more than 7 cups of coffee a day are more likely to see ghosts. Jah thinks he might drink the equivalency of that each day, and he’s maybe seen a few ghosts.

Episode 160

29:26 – According to market research group Experion, 43% of 6- to 9-year-olds are already using lipstick or lip gloss. 38% are using hair styling products. 12% use adult cosmetics.

Episode 162

36:38 – A study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific convention in Orlando found that sudden deaths were twice as high in participants of triathlons as they were with participants of marathons.

Episode 164

19:23 – Four new studies in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggest that watching TV can drive away feelings of loneliness and rejection. Just thinking about a favorite TV program bufferered subjects against drops in self esteem. A viewer’s fictional bond with the TV characters can help ease the need to connect with real people. When Seth watches COPS he gets that way. Jah thinks he maybe felt that way about The Wonder Years.

27:44 – A study presented at the annual meeting of experimental biology last week in New Orleans done by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine took 108 students ages 13-16. They gave half the students sugar-free gum to chew, and the other half no gum. The students who chewed gum had a 3% increase in standardized math scores. They also seemed to require fewer breaks, could sustain attention longer and remained quieter. The study was sponsored and paid for by the Wrigley Science Institute.

49:02 – A telephone survey conducted by the Opinion Research Group had a breakdown of responses to the question, “If your house were burning down, and you could take only one thing with you, what would it be?” 50% said photo album, 20% said money, 13% said laptops, 7% said pets, 2% said jewelry. Jah thinks the answers are bogus and wants the Wrigley Science Institute to redo the survey.

Episode 164

40:42 – The National Institute of Health have given $400,000 in taxpayer money in the form of a grant to the New York Psychiatric Institute, who are to conduct a 2-year study in which researchers will pose as homosexuals and cruise six popular gay bars in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to find out why gay men engage in risky sexual behavior while drunk. They hope their findings will be applicable to the United States.

Episode 167

26:46 – The National Institute of Health is spending $178,000 to try to better understand out why drug-abusing prostitutes in Thailand are at a greater risk for HIV infection. The two-year project is also going to focus on kathoey, which are transgendered prostitutes in Thailand, who are widely accepted there – having something to do with their karmic idea of Thia Buddhism. They have especially high HIV and drug use rates, so they really want to dig in there.

33:47 – A new study by the Water Quality and Health Council says that 17% of people that will go swimming this summer in both public and private pools, admit that they have and will pee in the pool. 78% of the people suspect that the pool they are swimming in has human urine in it.

53:06 – According to a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine, a bowl of whole-grain cereal is just as good as an electrolyte sports drink for a full recovery after an intense physical exercise/workout. The research was paid for by the General Mills Institute of Health and Nutrition.

Episode 168

31:06 – The National Institute of Health will spend another $2.6 million in a study that will fund Chinese prostitutes, to teach them how to drink less alcohol while having sex on the job. It’s a five-year program; they will visit more than 100 whorehouses in China, collect data on over 700 different prostitutes and there will be 150 pimps and madames involved in the study as well.

Episode 169

4:39 – Hot new research straight out of Harvard shows that drunk teens have more sex than sober teens.

36:24 – According to new social research that has come out, the overall size of your social network stays about the same, but when it comes to close friends you lose about half and replace them with new friends every seven years. The title of this study was “Where Friends Are Made: Context, Contacts and Consequences.”

Episode 170

23:10 – A recent MTV/Associated Press survey says that 42% of college students feel down, depressed or hopeless.

29:39 – At the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., researchers have figured out how to delete rodent memories. SUNY researchers initially teach the rats to negotiate a chamber that shocks their feet if they choose the right path. Then, after the rats have learned the right path to take, their brains are injected with a drug called Zip. The chemical neutralizes the PKMZeta, a molecule that plays a crucial but not wholly understood role in memory retention. Once injected, the rats quickly forget their hard-earned knowledge regarding safe routes through the chamber. Every step they take offers a potential shock.

Episode 171

42:30 – Zagat polled 6,100 people in a new survey of their favorite, best fast food. Best Burger went to In-N-Out (only has stores in California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona). Best Fries went to McDonald’s. Best Coffee went to 1) Starbucks, 2) Dunkin’ Donuts, 3) Peet’s and 4) McDonald’s. Best Pasta went to The Olive Garden. Best Steak went to Outback Steakhouse.

Episode 172

1:08 – The annual survey of frequent flyers by found that U.S. airlines American, United and U.S. Airways have served the worst in-flight food, had the most uncomfortable seats and the rudest flight attendants.

4:14 – The National Institute of Health will spend $423,000 investigating why young heterosexual men don’t like to use condoms. It will be a two-year, two-phase study involving a Q&A and labwork. It will be led by researchers at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute.

Episode 173

2:14 – A study was done in 1995 where women who were not on the pill were asked to sniff men’s shirts. The women preferred the scent of a man who had different genes than their own. This relates to the HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigens) – on a biological level, couples with different HLAs stand to inherit a greater variety of potential immune responses and will therefore be more resistant to diseases, so their kids get the benefits of that.

10:35 – According to a study in the latest issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, there is much more consensus among men about who and whom they find attractive then there is among women. More than 4,000 subjects ranged from 18 to 70 years old rates photographs of 18- to 25-year-old men and women, and in rating them, men had a much narrower vision of attractiveness than the women did.

13:30 – According to new findings from the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (NPREC), American prisoners report that more rapes are committed by guards than by other prisoners.

39:51 – According to a survey by the non-profit advocacy group Common Sense Media, about 40% of high school students surveyed said they’ve used cell phones to cheat in school at least once. Also, around 38% said they’ve copied text directly from the web and turned it in as their own work. Other forms of cheating that today’s high school students are using include storing notes on your cell phone, using camera phones to take pictures of tests and sending them to other classmates’ friends, etc. … Seth researched some other ones, including writing on a stretched-out rubber band, writing on the nutritional label of a 20-ounce Pepsi and girls folding answers within pleated skirts … Roughly 25% of students said this was not cheating at all; it was completely ethical.

Episode 174

3:46 – According to a new study, women will spend almost one year of their lives deciding what to wear. Between choosing outfits for work, nights out, dates, holidays, parties, the gym, errands, etc., the average woman will spend close to 365 days of their adult life (16-60) engaged in this act.

Episode 175

3:18 – A team of global health researchers at the UC-San Diego School of Medicine found that male clients of female sex workers in Tijuana had a higher percentage of unprotected sex and a higher percentage of meth use than other men in their 20s and 30s

50:56 – According to a study done by researchers at the University of Minnesota and published in the Journal of Psychological Science, although we are told to count our blessings, it might be more useful to count your money. Researchers asked a group of participants to count out 80 $100 bills, while another group counted out 80 useless pieces of paper. The group that counted the actual money had lower social distressed when they were excluded from a group computer game. They felt less pain when holding their fingers in hot water and also rated themselves as feeling “strong. Much stronger than the paper-counting group.”

Episode 176

12:42 – Research that has been published in the July issue of the Journal of Developmental Psychology suggests that babies can understands dogs. When shown a picture of two different dogs, one with an aggressive stance and one with a friendly stance, the babies showed no real interest in either. Then a two-second sound clip of the dogs barking accompanied the two photos (one friendly and one aggressive). The six-month babies would look in the direction of the correct photo when they heard the corresponding audio clip of the bark.

32:22 - The National Institute of Health has given $3 million to the University of Illinois-Chicago Nursing School to do a five-year study investigating why American lesbians drink alcohol.

Episode 177

13:49 – According to U.S. Pharmacology and Health Care Consultancy Group, 50% of American doctors admit to using Wikipedia to get medical information.

34:46 – Evolutionary psychologists have come to the conclusion that women are getting more attractive while men at best are staying the same because there’s less pressure on men concerning their looks. Regardless of the attractiveness of men, they have the same amount of children. In contrast, these new, more beautiful women, have more children than their plainer counterparts. Also, there’s a higher proportion of their children being female. In turn, those girls grow up even more attractive and repeat the cycle. … Jah agrees with all of this, and says that American men are worse than any other country.

1:03:56 – A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine says that red wine will increase a woman’s sexual desire.

Episode 178

30:36 – Two researchers have released a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry concerning the number of Americans taking antidepressants. In 1995, there were 13 million people on them. In 2005, the number has increased to 27 million. It is a $10 billion-per-year industry.

43:57 – The American Psychological Association has released a 138-page report that says programs that attempt to change gays to straight absolutely have not worked. Exodus International, which has over 250 ministries that they say reach out to men and women affected by “unwanted same-sex attraction” claims they have thousands of converts that claim otherwise. Jah thinks they teach you to lie better at those clinics.

58:39 – A social researcher who has studied lying for the last 25 years says that when people meet each other for the first time, they will lie 3 times in the first 10 minutes.

Episode 179

27:51 – The National Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, has published a study in the September issue of Pediatrics highlighting the huge increase of injuries suffered by American schoolchildren in the nation’s gym/P.E. (Episode 002, 29:02; Episode 008, 37:00; Episode 041, 43:24; Episode 082, 10:54) classes. In the last 10 years, we have seen a 150% increase, with up to 62,000 kids being injured each year. They believe the cause is a lack of adult supervision, larger class sizes, decline in school nurses and lack of physical education teachers. U.S. hospitals report seeing deep cuts, bruises, broken bones and heat stroke. Jah’s theory is that all of these kids are wicked out of shape and can’t do anything physical without breaking or injuring something.

39:47 – According to results of a study published in the Journal of Human Nature, men are not as picky as women when it comes to choosing a partner for a one-night stand. 900 college students were asked to judge pics of the opposite sex as slightly unattractive, moderately attractive and definitely attractive – then were asked to rate the chances of going out on a date, going to the person’s apartment and going to bed with them on a scale of 0-100 – 0 being Definitely Not or 100 being Definitely Yes. Regardless of the person’s looks, men were way more likely to accept all three. As for sex, 4% of women said yes while 50% of the men did. … Jah explains that men can flip the “boner switch” much easier than women can.

Episode 180

21:13 – The Center for Disease Control has released updated figures concerning the average age of a woman when she has her first child. In 1970, the average age was 21. In 2006, the average age was 25. The lowest age average was found in Arkansas in 1970, which was 20 years old. The lowest age average in 2006 was Mississippi (22).

52:20 – According to the Journal of Psychological Science, insults are taken better while lying down rather than sitting upright. Brain activity is more prevalent during this time while the subject heard slurs.

Episode 181

37:03 – New study says the average man spends up to 43 minutes of his day looking at at least 10 different women for longer than he should.

52:12 – A study was released to the Journal of Abnormal Psychology concerning the mindset of of people when on alcohol. They took 60 ungrads, gave 30 of them vodka tonics and gave 30 of them plain vodka with lime. The people that were drinking alcohol tended to ignore reality and would have grandiose ideas when high on alcohol of what they could and would do for a variety of things. The next morning after they sobered up a little bit, their plans from the previous night were all but forgotten. They called it “alcohol myopia.”

Episode 182

1:04:41 – A new study in Journal Science says that nitris oxide, a.k.a “laughing gas” or “wah-wah” to Jah, is the biggest man-made destroyer of earth’s ozone layer, making up about 40% of the depleting emissions.

Episode 183

5:23 – A new study in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology says that men who spend even a few minutes in the company of an attractive woman perform less well in tests designed to measure brain functions compared to men that performed after spending time with a woman they did not find attractive. Researchers says that men use up excess cognitive resources in trying to impress the woman. The same study had absolutely zero effect on women.

Episode 184

36:34 – The most overused words and phrases, according to research conducted by finance staffing firm Accountemps, who surveyed over 150 senior executives from the nation’s largest companies, and they cited these 10 problem words and phrases: 10) leverage, 9) reach out, 8) it is what it is, 7) viral, 6) game changer, 5) disconnect, 4) value-add, 3) circle back, 2) interface and 1) cutting edge. Seth mocks each one of these in a jackass voice.

Episode 185

25:47 – A Cornell University gerontologist has conducted numerous studies and has found an alarming increase in elderly-on-elderly violence, certainly in nursing homes. It’s due to the fact that older people lose their inhibitions anyway and tensions are flaring and it’s on. 58:10 – A new study to be published in the Journal of Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research says that the age at which a person takes a first drink may influence genes linked to alcoholism, making the youngest drinkers more apt to problems.

Episode 186

56:46 – According to Psychology Today, there were 50 books written in the year 2000 on the subject of happiness. In the year 2008, book stores carry 4,000 new books on the subject.

Episode 187

6:09 – A recent study in the journal, Addiction, suggests that people who abstain from alcohol are at a significantly higher risk of both depression and anxiety disorders.

13:30 – 36% of women surveyed in Chicago said they would give up sex for a year rather than give up their cell phone.

52:39 – The Annals of Improbable Research and Science Humor magazine handed out at their 19th annual IG Nobel prizes, that honor the real science “that first makes people laugh and then makes them think.” Dr. Donald L. Unger, 83, a Thousand Oaks allergist, won this year’s medicine award. It’s inspired by children’s warnings he’d gotten from his mother that his habits of cracking his knuckles would lead to arthritis. He spent 70 years cracking his knuckles on his left hand twice a day and has never cracked the knuckles on his right hand. There is not the slightest sign of arthritis in either hand. Seth and Jah recall that both their mothers told them that old wives’ tale. Seth says he hasn’t used a Q-Tip once since they talked about the negative effects of them (Episode 131, 8:53; Episode 137, 4:52; Episode 138, 31:47).

Episode 188

12:15 – According to JD Power and Associates, they’ve managed to cull around 475,000 online conversations via Facebook, Blogger, LiveJournal and Myspace with the hopes of findout what brands early careerists (22-29-year-olds) are talking about. In quick service restaurants, the #1 and #2 most-talked about chains are 1) Arby’s and 2) Cold Stone Creamery. Jah then references Cold Stone Forearms (Episode 072, 30:21; Episode 169, 53:06).

Episode 189

8:39 – Researchers at Stanford and UC-Santa Cruz have found that coin flips are not a 50-50 chance, but that they favor the side facing up between 51-60% of the time.

18:27 – The October journal of Nervous and Mental Disease claims that just 15 minutes of total sensory deprivation can bring on full-scale hallucinations in sane adults. The lack of sensory patterns forces a natural tendency to superimpose our own sight and sound from our brain’s resources.

30:46 – Scientists published a paper in the annals of Internal Medicine where they took the econic cookbook The Joy of Cooking and compared 18 recipes which have appeared in each edition from the book’s inception in 1931 up until the 2006 copy, and found that some recipes in the 2006 edition had calorie counts on average of 384 per serving today compared to 268 in the 1930s. Jah says people are fat. He can’t go into a 7-11 without staring at a beverage container and not be able to consume any of them. Seth thinks he should consider Myoplex.

Episode 190

2:33 – Researchers have done a study claiming that cleanliness fosters morality. They took two rooms, one scented with fresh citrus, the other unscented. During this day-long study, the subjects were given $12 and told it came from their anonymous partner who was in another room. The partner trusted them to divide it up fairly but it was up to them. In the scented rooms, the people on average kept $6.67 for themselves and gave the anonymous partner $5.33. In the unscented room, the people kept $9.19 and only gave $2.81 on average. Another experiment featured the subject of Habitat for Humanity, and the subjects were asked if they might want to give money. In the scented rooms, 22% said they would donate, and in the unscented rooms, 6% said they would donate.

19:37 – New research just published in an online science journal documents sexual behavior never before seen in any non-human adult animal species. Female Chinese fruit bats regularly engage in oral sex with their male fruit bat partners.

39:28 – A recent study was presented at the Society for Neurosciences annual meeting. They gave one set of rats healthy food and they gave the other set of rats unlimited amounts of junk food that included cheesecake and bacon. After a while the obese junk food rats were sleeping all day and loving it and eating it nonstop, while the others were completely healthy. They realized using the brain scan imagery that it’s the same as with heroin addicts. To show the power of that, they let the healthy rats eat the junk food, but once they gave them the junk food, they shocked them electronically. The healthy rats realized they didn’t want it that bad and went back to the health food, while the junk food rats just laid there eating it and wouldn’t stop no matter how many times they were shocked.

Episode 191

29:16 – Published by the Science Journal Biology letters, another very rare sexual theme – this time involving insects. Female fiddler crabs will have sex with their male neighbors in exchange for protection against other wandering male intruders. Male crabs have been observed defending female crabs in exchange for sex, protecting them in their burrows.

30:12 – Jah corrects his sexual observations of the animal kingdom from last week (Episode 190, 19:37), because oral sex has been observed in many other species but only in adolescent versions of the animal. The fruit bats are doing it as adults.

31:03 – According to a study published in the Journal of Mammalogy, black bears in Yosemite have developed a taste for minivans more than any other car model. Research has shown that minivans made up 29% of the 908 vehicles bears broke into for food between the years 2001 and 2007. It only made up 7% of the cars that visited the park. Jah thinks he knows why – because fatty slobs drive minivans and keep open packaging so their cars smell like old Doritos all the time.

45:52 – Two neuroscientists at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix began collaborating with magicians to study peoples’ brains while watching magic. They put headgear on the test subject to track his brainwaves and brought a magician in to do sleight of hand. The graph showed how the magician manipulated where you look and what your brain thinks you’re seeing. The subject was always constantly looking in the wrong place.

Episode 192

32:58 – A sudden diagnosis of cancer can be a very difficult strain on a married couple. According to new research, when a wife gets news of a possible life-threatening diagnosis, her husband is six times more likely to leave her than if the tables were turned and the man received the bad news – 3% to 21%

39:35 – Researched published in the Journal of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research confirms long-held belief that alcoholics – even those who have long abstained – have a tendency to misread emotional cues. Sometimes taking offense when none was intended, or failing to pick up on a loved one’s sadness, joy or anger. The misunderstandings can result in more drinking, and then more deterioration of all close relationships. It raises the question, “Did alcoholism blunt emotional insensitivity, or did emotional insensitivity lead to the alcoholism?”

Episode 195

3:17 – A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that lonliness is contagious. People with a negative lonely vibe can spread that vibe merely by coming into contact with other people.

Episode 196

7:04 – Researchers from the University of Minnesota surveyed more than 20,000 kids and found that 15% of U.S. teens expect to die young. This leads to increased drug use, suicide attempts and sexually risky behavior. Seth didn’t think he’d die young, but now he’s going to die mad old.

37:54 – A group of scientists set out to do a study on the effects of pornography. They wanted to compare men who regularly watch XXX movies with men who didn’t. Unfortunately for them, they could not find a single man in his 20s who had not been regularly exposed to it.

Episode 197

22:19 – According to perplexing new research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, women of all ages, across all ethnic groups and economic strata, including single/married/family or not, all women have experienced a steady erosion in happiness since the 1970s. Jah attributes this to men.

30:28 – Research has shown most parents put off the “birds and bees” talk with their kids for as long as possible. A new study in the journal Pediatrics showed that most adolescents had some kind of sexual encounter before their parents got around to discussing it with them.

45:56 – According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans sent 2.1 billion texts in December of 2003. By December of 2007, that figured jumped to 48 billion. In December of 2008, that number jumped to 110 billion.

50:00 – A recent survey about where people text found that 13 percent of Americans admitted to texting while in a house of worship.

Episode 198

7:12 – According to a recent study in the Journal Science, the Centers for Disease Control say that people in sunny states are the happiest.

26:03 – According to Contraception magazine, couples who use the “pull-out” method get their partners pregnant 4% of the time, which is about the same rate as those that use condoms.

Episode 199

9:40 – New research in the January 2010 issue of the journal Microbiology says that new lab studies confirm a bacterium called “Pseudomonas aeruginosa” can adapt adapt and beat both disinfectants and the superdrug Cipro.

13:03 – In a study talking about the happiest states, Florida, “The Sunshine State,” was called the happiest.

55:56 – Researchers report in the January issue of the journal Sleep that adolescents who reported sleeping 5 or fewer hours per night were 71% more likely to be depressed and 48% more likely to have thoughts of committing suicide, compared to young people reporting 8 hours of sleep nighly.

57:18 – A survey of college cafeterias is finding that turkey, meatloaf and pho are topping the national list of favorite dishes. In the Midwest, carved roast beef and macaroni and cheese are very popular. In the southwest, fish tacos are popular. In the mid-atlantic, chicken pot pies are big.

Episode 200

55:48 – According to the nonprofit group The Conference Board, just 45% of Americans are happy at their jobs. In 1987, when the group first began collecting this data, the number was 61%. Just 56% of Americans like their coworkers as opposed to 68% in 1987.

Episode 201

40:27 – A Study done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics says that 3 out of every 25 juveniles who are in U.S. Correctional Facilities have experienced at least 1 incident of sexual victimization. Six centers had rates of 3 out of every 10.

41:57 – The 2010 issue of The Statistical Abstract was just published. It comes out annually by the Census Bureau and gives the country hard data numbers including sex. Among U.S. men 15-44 years of age, the median number of lifetime sexual partners is 5.4. Among women, the median number of lifetime sexual partners is 3.3. Jah says he would be hard-pressed to think of any man he knows who has not forced their way into double digits.

53:13 – New research in circulation in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that each hour a day spent watching television was linked to an 18% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, an 11% greater risk in all kinds of death and a 9% increased in death from cancer. If you watch more than 4 hours a day, it puts the number at 80% for cardiovascular and 46% for all kinds of death. Jah says this is a little bit out of context because most people doing this are fat fucks who don’t do anything.

58:23 – According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, between the years 1992 and 2008, the percentage of sexual harassment charges filed by men being harassed by other men doubled from 8% to 16%.

Episode 202

2:24 – A new study says that the United States’ overall internet speed did not qualify for a spot in the top 10 list of countries with the fastest internet in the world, and our average overall decreased by 2.4% from 2008 to 2009. The top 2 are 1) South Korea and 2) Japan.

14:47 – New research in the Journal of Epidemiology: Community Health suggests walking away or letting things pass may be an unhealthy way to deal with unfair treatment on the job. Men who reported using such covert strategies were more than twice as likely to have heart attacks or die from heart disease.

40:10 – Band-Aid studies were conducted in which 65 medical students had Band-Aids placed on their upper arms, ankles and hands. Volunteers then did either a quick yank or a slow peel. The subjects then ranked their pain level. Fast clearly hurt less. That’s what Jah always tells the ladies.

Episode 203

0:58 – According to a new Pew Research Center study, in 2007, 22% of husbands had wives who made more money than they did, compared to just 4% in 1970. However, according to the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based thinktank, in 2008, women earned 77 cents for every $1 a man made.

51:18 – Psychological scientists Emily Balcetis from New York University and David Dunning from Cornell University conducted a set of studies to see how our desires affect perception. In the first experiment, particpants had to estimate how far a water bottle was from where they were sitting. Half of the volunteers were allowed to drink water before the experiment while the others ate salty pretzels, thus becoming very thirsty. The results showed that the thirsty volunteers estimated the water as being closer to them than the volunteers who drank water earlier. Our desires for certain objects may also result in behavioral changes. In a separate experiment, volunteers tossed a bean bag toward a bean bag toward a gift card worth either $25 or $0 on the floor, winning the card if the bean bag landed on it. Interestingly, the volunteers threw the bean bag much farther if the gift card was worth $0 than if it was worth $25. That is, they underthrew the bean bag when attempting to win a $25 gift card because they viewed that gift card as being closer to them. These findings indicate that when we want something we actually view it as being physically close to us. The authors suggest that these biases arise in order to encourage perceivers to engage in behaviors leading to the acquisition of the object. In other words, when we see a goal as being close to us, literally within our reach, it motivates us to keep going successfully to attain it.

Episode 204

34:37 – According to a new study, a woman’s biological clock is ticking faster than we previously thought. By the time a woman hits 30, nearly all of her ovarian eggs (90%) are gone for good. They lose 97% of them by the age of 40.

39:46 – According to the Pew Research Center, 67% of Americans say 2010 will be a better year than 2009.

43:12 – A Consumer Reports new study tested 208 new bagged salads found in supermarkets. They concluded that 39% of them contained too high a level of fecal bacteria.

Episode 205

3:12 – Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign directed 36 test subjects – half using cell phones and half using iPods – to walk on a treadmill in an environment that simulated a busy city street. They published their findings in the Accident Analysis and Prevention Journal that cell phone users were much more distracted; they crossed the street much more slowly and didn’t look around nearly as much as the subjects who used iPods.

5:23 – According to Pew Research Firm, the 10 most religious states in the USA are: 10) Kentucky, 9) Georgia, 8) Texas, 7) Oklahoma, 6) South Carolina, 5) Tennessee, 4) Louisiana, 3) Arkansas, 2)Alabama and 1) Mississippi.

14:28 – According to a recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 7% of Americans attend religious services in someone’s home. “House church,” it’s called, is a response to mega-churches that allows for a closer connection to Jesus.

37:50 – A team of ornithologists have determined that the Salt Marsh Sparrow – a bird living in the marshes of Connecticut – is the world’s most promiscuous bird, with extreme levels of multiple mating.

Episode 206

4:33 – Number of text messages sent and received by the average American teen every month according to the Nielsen company – 2,272, or almost 80 texts a day.

12:32 – A new national survey published in the journal Pediatrics says the number of children with food allergies is increasing. It now encompasses 4% of all US kids. Research suggests this isn’t just parents hearing or reading about food allergies on the news or on the internet and thinking their children have them – it’s that they actually have them. Reasons are unclear but a prominent theory is the hygiene hypothesis – based on the notion that today’s children are less exposed to germs and other disease-causing substances than previous generations and it prevents their immune systems from strengthening, which forces it to overreact to harmless substances. Marcia agrees with this – everyone is so germophobic that they don’t have a chance to build up an immunity to anything.

25:00 – Researchers at the University of Kentucky have developed a chewing gum that they hope will help replace toothpaste and a toothbrush by using an antimicrobial named KSL – which is an anti-adhesive and abrasive agent that disrupts and helps dissolve plaque. Known as the Military Gum Project because it was designed to help soldiers in the field battle trenchmouth, they hope it will also help children in poor countries. Marcia said she’d use that herself.

Episode 207

3:21 – According to a new survey from Career Builder, 67% of employees say they see no need anymore to hide their office relationships – up from 54% five years ago.

4:43 – According to a study published in the journal Psychological Science, people’s online social networking site profiles actually do reflect and represent their true selves. They tend to be an efficient medium for expressing real personality and those people are kept honest by their friends – and the fact they’re there as well.

11:29 – Researchers at the Salk Institute in La Joya, Calif., have taken out the unhealthy liver of a lab mouse and replaced it with a liver that is 95% human

32:51 – An article in Newsweek talks about how dating sites can still be racist because people can specifically exclude an entire race in their profile and it’s totally normal. According to a study by sociologists at the University of California at Irvine, they studied Yahoo! dating profiles and discovered that 93% of white women with racial preferences excluded Asian males. White men with racial preferences included Asians and excluded blacks. They think the choices are influenced because the media portrayals of Asian woman as being hypersexual is what had them included and black women being bossy had them excluded.

38:58 – The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a policy statement that hot dogs, due to their choking hazards, should be “redesigned.” The hot dog shape lends itself to choking.

Episode 208

1:40 – A new study in the Journal of Obesity finds that little kids who are looked after by grandparents part-time showed a 15% higher risk of being overweight compared to children being taken care of full-time by their parents. Children who were looked after full-time by their grandparents showed a 34% greater risk of obesity.

24:15 – According to a recent survey, 70% of HR directors questioned said that they have not hired a worker because of something they found on one of their social networking sites.

43:35 – According to researchers at the University of New Hampshire, the average U.S. kid sees his first pornographic image at age 11. 90% of children between ages 8-16 have now viewed pornography.

48:46 – According to a survey commissioned by the National Telecommunications and Information Adminstration, almost one-third of U.S. citizens do not have the internet. The most common reasons cited for not having the internet was that 1) It was too expensive (26%); 2) They do not feel as through it was needed (38%)

1:00:25 – According to new research conducted at the Kinsey Sex Institute at Indiana University, when people say they “had sex,” what really transpired is anyone’s guess. Male and female participants aged 18-96 were questioned. 5% of respondents do not consider penile vaginal intercourse as having sex. 11% say it’s not sex if there’s no ejaculation. 50% of men in the oldest age group (65 and up) do not consider anal intercourse as sex. 33% of women from the oldest age group agree that anal sex does not count as sex.

Episode 210

8:19 – Two recent studies have been published concerning women. One claims that women who drink alcohol don’t seem to gain as much weight in mid-life as those who abstain. Also, women who took the birth control beginning in 1968 lived longer than those never on the pill. The women generally took the pill for around four years.

9:40 – According to internet data from Hitwise, of all web traffic last week, Facebook accounted for 7.07% of all web activity – for the first time beating Google, at 7.03%.

Episode 211

33:44 – A study published in the journal Sex Roles says that men who harass women are actually harming their entire gender. Researchers asked 114 female undergraduate students to watch a video where a man made a sexist remark to a woman or simply greeted her. In the video of the sexist comment, the women reported feelings of anxiety, depression, fear and anger and disappointment in men in general.

54:29 – According to a study published by Bayer Healthcare, 1,000 women between the ages of 20-40 were asked how soon they slept with their new boyfriends. 39% of the women said they slept with a new boyfriend by the third date, 73% within the first month, 11% admitted they slept with them on the first date and 13% said they waited three months.

Episode 212

50:08 – Researchers at Wayne State University looked at photos of 230 baseball players who began their professional careers before 1950. They were separated into three categories after looking at their photos from their baseball registries: big smile, no smile and partial smile. The study, published in the journal Psychological Science. found that the players with no smile lived to be 73 years old on average. The players with partial smiles lived to be 75 years old, and the players with big smiles lived to be 80 years old.

Episode 213

3:33 – The National Sleep Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit that promotes sleep health, released its annual “Sleep in America” poll. It for the first time examined how ethnic groups differ in their sleep habits. The poll was of 1,000 Americans aged 25-60 who were asked to identify themselves as white, black, Hispanic or Asian. It was meant to examine how cultural differences push the psychological boundaries for how much sleep we need. The percentage of ethnicities that use the internet in the hour before bed every night or almost every night: Blacks - 20%; Hispanics – 20%, Whites – 22%, Asians – 51%. … Use sleep medication at least a few nights a week: Whites – 13%, Hispanics – 8%, Blacks – 9%, Asians – 5% … Rarely or never have a good night’s sleep: Blacks – 15%, Hispanics – 14%, Whites – 20%, Asians – 9% … Have sex every night or almost every night: Blacks – 10%, Hispanics – 10%, Whites – 4%, Asians – 1% … Usually sleep with a pet: Whites – 14%, Asians – 2%, Hispanics – 2%, Blacks – 2%. Jah thinks the polling demographic is skewed because they probably only polled about 3 black 25-year-olds. He also knows some Asians who get mad laid.

Episode 214

14:53 – A study published in the journal Cortex suggests that old people might be happier than young people because older adults remember the past through what they call “rose-tinted glasses.” They recorded brain activity using MRI scans while both young and old adults viewed pictures with positive and negative themes. The older brains showed a much stronger connection in the emotion-processing regions of the brain, known to be important in the formation of memories.

46:08 – After several years of studies, a paper was just published by researchers who said veterinarians are four times as likely as an average citizen to commit suicide. Seth thinks this is entirely believable. Jah and Seth disagree on the fact that they are doctors.

53:41 – A study published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that atrazine, a commonly used weed killer, can turn male frogs into female frogs and it is one of the chief suspects in the decline of amphibians across the world.

1:03:02 – According to a study on, looking at sick people can boost your immune system. In the study, called “The Psychological Immune System,” young adults were asked to watch 10-minute slide shows containing pictures of people who looked ill in some way or control pictures of people brandishing guns. The subjects’ blood samples were then tested for levels of Interleukin 6, which is produced by the immune system and indicates reupping to fight infections.

Episode 215

11:38 – Research just released in the Archives of Dermatology says that as many as 1 in 3 people who use indoor tanning facilities may be addicted. Knowing all of the dangers, these people are having parts of their brain triggered by the ultraviolet light that is similar to those of a drug addict with drugs. Combined with the warmth and relaxation tanning gives you, it’s also deadly.

36:52 – Dr. Elizabeth Brooks, a biological science professor at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, conducted a much-quoted two-year study on public makeup testers when she was with Rowan University in New Jersey about five years ago. She says, “We went to department stores, specialty stores, drug stores. Everywhere.” Her researchers found staph, strep, and even e coli bacteria in the makeup testers. Her other quote: “Whenever you see e coli, you should just think, e coli equals feces.” She says that when they tested the makeup on Saturdays, the days when most traffic at cosmetic counters is up, the percentage of tainted makeup was 100%. You can also get herpes and pink eye from it, and the FDA has confirmed the research.

52:35 – A 1992 survey of 5,000 U.S. librarians was withheld by a now-defunct journal, but the man who did the study has now published them on his website. The study said 1 in 5 of the librarians had engaged in some kind of sexual act in the library they worked at in between the stacks. 51% of the librarians were willing to pose nude for money. 61% had rented an X-rated film. 22% of the librarians believed condom dispensers in the bathroom would be a good idea.

54:33 – The journal Biology has a study involving children with a rare genetic disorder called Williams Syndrome in which the kids are “hypersocial.” They lack the normal social anxieties such as jitters, nervousness or inhibitions that seem to affect all kids including them, and in turn they show no racial biases. However they do show pronounced gender biases and gender stereotyping.

1:00:59 – According to the Pew Internet in American Life Project, an average American teen girl sends 80 texts per day and 87% of teens sleep with or next to their cell phones so that they can answer their phones or text during their sleep.

Episode 217

8:58 – According to Edison Research, who have done annual reports on Twitter since its inception, black people represent 12% of the general population but 25% of all Twitter users. The median age for black Americans is 30 and the median age for white Americans is 37. Twitter is most popular among 25-34-year-olds.

53:53 – According to a survey by consumer electronics shipping and review site called “Retrevo,” 10% of people under 25 years old think it’s perfectly OK to text while having sex.

57:04 – A new study in the journal Sleep finds an unequivable link between the chances of a premature death if you get less than six hours of sleep a night.

Episode 218

40:02 – According to a national poll by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, people in their 20s, or “The Odyssey Years,” 86% of unmarried people are sexually active during that time. Of all the people polled, 24% of respondents believe that wearing two condoms provides double protection against accidental pregnancy.

Episode 219

55:06 – Researchers at the University of Kansas hospital did a 14-month study and found patients gave their doctor significantly higher marks for satisfaction when he/she sat with them rather than stood. They also thought the doctors spent more time with then when they sat even when they spent less time. Current hospital rooms are not designed for a doctor who wants to sit with the patient. Sometimes the doctor had to improvise by sitting on a windowsill or at the foot of the bed or by grabbing a chair or removing clothes/flowers from a chair in order to make a place to sit down.

Episode 220

38:23 – An article on talks about a psychologist named Milton Rokeach. He worked at a state mental hospital in Ypsilanti, Mich. In 1959 he took three schizophrenic dudes who all believed they were Jesus Christ and had them live together to see what would happen. He wanted to study identity. He invented messages and imaginary characters and put them in all of their lives. They all stayed there until they died. He wrote a book in 1964 called The Three Christs of Ypsilanti.

Episode 221

32:52 – Researchers from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research presented the findings of a study they did in Boston at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Psychological Science. It shows that American college students are not as empathetic than people their age were 20 or 30 years ago. They attribute this to a marked increase in exposure to media and a heavy reliance on the new norms of social media sites. Jah believes this but he also believes that college students will be more empathetic than we are now in 20 or 30 years. He says it’s an anomaly because of the college kids right now and the age they were at when they were exposed and the reactions it caused them. Jah says it will be the exact same as it was for our parents telling us about when they didn’t have the television. Jah’s mom went to the movies to watch the news. She saw a banana for the first time at 5 years old and still hates the flavor of artificial banana because it was around so much when she was younger.

38:49 – Consumer Reports did a study revealing that Myoplex and Muscle Milk contain extremely dangerously elevated levels of arsenic, cadmium and mercury. Seth was living on this shit and now he’s done.

54:40 – A study published in the journal of the American Medical Association found that 14% of fathers in the U.S. experience some form of depression during their partner’s pregnancy. Prenatal depression comes around the first trimester and postnatal can last for the baby’s first year of life.

Episode 222

49:15 – According to a study in Newsweek, the percentage of internet users who have entered their own name into a search engine is 57% (Episode 114, 7:00).

Episode 223

32:19 – A paper published in the journal Science claims that tiny meteorites found in ultra-pure Antarctic snow – which contain the building blocks of life – may have come from within our own solar system rather than the far reaches of space.

34:05 – New research published in the Applied Research and Quality of Life Journal suggests that people’s happiness levels after a vacation very dramatically and quickly go away once they return from vacation, go back to work and resume the normal day-to-day stresses of their lives. The research showed people got the biggest boost in the time before their vacation – up to 2 months of positive mood increase and anticipation of the upcoming vacation.

39:42 – According to a new Gallup Poll, an average American – someone making less than $90,000 a year – will spend on average, $59 per day.

42:01 – According to a poll in ESPN: The Magazine, 100 Major League Baseball players were surveyed, and they voted Jim Joyce – the ump who cost a Tigers’ pitcher a perfect game – the best umpire in baseball. C.B. Bucknor was voted the worst. In 2003, Sports Illustrated surveyed 500 players, and C.B. Bucknor was picked the worst. In 2006, SI did a 3-year update and Bucknor was still the worst.

45:35 – Good Housekeeping tested 3D glasses for movie theaters. They tested 7 pairs – both wrapped and unwrapped. They found a bunch of germs including staph, sepsis, food poisoning germs, pneumonia, etc.

Episode 224

9:47 – A new poll from the Pew Research Center at the Smithsonian Magazine found that 41% of Americans polled said that they believe Jesus Christ will return within the next 40 years. Seth thinks if he’s not back by the end of this show he won’t be back within the next 40 years.

11:55 – According to recent reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture called “Expenditures on Children by Families,” the total cost for a middle income family’s parents to raise a child from birth to 18 years old is, on average, $220,360. Jonathan wonders how much his parents spent on him if that was the average, then erupts in laughter and declares his love for mom and dad.

59:26 – A two-year study by True Car – a Santa Monica-based auto pricing information company – that looked into more than 13 million U.S. vehicle registrations found that Volkswagen’s Beetle was the car most likely to be purchased by a woman. Jah knew at least one guy who owned the new Beetle.

Episode 225

2:04 – New data released from Partnership for a Drug Free America shows that U.S. teen girls are drinking more alcohol than U.S. teen boys

53:48 – According to a statistic published in the July issue of Playboy 15 years ago, the average bra size in America was a 34B. Today it’s a 36C.

Episode 226

7:00 – A study in the proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences reports a group of scientists who took several mice and set up a fight club-style tournament of UFC-style cagefighting. They found clear evidence of “the winner effect” in which a mouse that has just won a fight maintains elevated levels of testosterone and aggression and is therefore more likely to win his next bout. The winner effect was strongest in mice that were fighting in their own cages, thus the home-field advantage.

32:29 – David Freeman wrote a book called “Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us and How to Know When Not To Trust Them.” He claims that as much as 90% of a physician’s medical knowledge has been found to be substantially or completely wrong. Jah says that this sounds about right.

Episode 228

1:01:33 – Clemson University food scientist Paul Dawson has concluded after intensive food experiments that the 5-second rule concerning dropped food is totally bogus and we should be urging a 0-second rule immediately.

Episode 229

12:49 – In the latest issue of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, they’ve done a study at a boarding school in Rhode Island that has teens starting school 30 minutes later – at 8:30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. This has led to more alertness in class, better moods, less tardiness and even healthier breakfasts. Schools in Minneapolis and Iowa have also had similar results.

28:48 – Lab tests commissioned by a nonprofit group formed to protect human health and and the environment called the EWG found high levels of the endocrine-disrupting chemical BPA on 40% of receipts received from major U.S. businesses and services – including McDonald’s, KFC, Whole Foods, CVS, Safeway, the USPS and Wal-Mart. BPA is a plastic hardener and a synthetic estrogen that has been linked by scientists to a very long list of health problems.

58:03 – A study just released by researchers at UCLA says that 1 in 5 Californians say they need some sort of mental healthcare. They say around 1 million Californians meet the criteria for “serious psychological distress.”

Episode 230

35:44 – According to a just-released poll, the number of cyberchondriacs (hypochondriacs that regularly go online for their health information) has leaped from 22% in 2009 to 32% this year.

48:57 – According to numbers from the Stalking Resource Center, 3.4 million people over the age of 18 are stocked in the U.S. each year.

Episode 231

20:18 – A new paper just released in the journal Pediatrics suggests that the average age of breast development – marking the onset of puberty in females – is continuing to fall. Twenty-five percent of African American girls, 15% of Latina girls and 10.4% of White/Caucasian girls are starting their breast development at 7 years old.

1:02:03 – State fair goers wait in long lines at state fairs for deep-fried craziness, but will they donate their children’s fingernails, blood droplets for free ride tickets and a string backpack. Genetic researchers at the University of Minnesota hope that the answer is yes. During the first week of the fair, researchers will invite 500 children and their parents to answer health questions, agree to height, weight and blood pressure measurements and provide DNA samples through saliva, blood droplets or fingernail clippings. The ultimate goal of the “gopher kids” is to study and map the genetic makeup of normal healthy children and thereby identify the genetic defects that predict chronic diseases and health problems.

Episode 232

12:12 – According to Newsweek, 30% of American couples who dated from 2007-2009 met online.

21:29 – Women whose saliva has high levels of alpha amylase – a marker of stress – are 12% more likely to get pregnant than women who have low levels of it.

25:29 – There was another study done with a genetically modified apple that created its own pesticide. It was a regular version of the apple, the genetically modified apple and the regular apple sprayed with the insecticide that the genetically modified one now produced on its own. Out of the three, the only one that actually developed problems in the animal was the genetically modified one.

31:56 – A study by the American Psychiatric Association found that in 1997, 11% of college students took some form of psychiatric medication. Last year the number was 24%.

51:04 – A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association said that 20% of teens have some sort of hearing loss at this point.

Episode 233

5:37 – There is a study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project that says 43% of teenagers chat on their phones while driving. Meanwhile, 61% of adults do. Seth then mentions that Heidi Montag’s plastic surgeon was killed while texting while driving.

Episode 234

13:02 – A new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, says that heavy drinkers outlive non-drinkers. Seth thanks them for that study and decides to go die 12 years earlier than everyone else who’s having a party.

Episode 235

5:11 – Psychiatric researchers in Los Angeles have reported data on 12 patients in a pilot study dealing with the ramifications of receiving a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Twelve test subjects ranged from age 36-58. They all had advanced stages of cancer and were given psilocybin “magic mushrooms.” Studies show they have been proven instrumental in improving mood, reducing anxiety and lessening depression. The researchers say it has also aided the patient’s interpersonal functioning for as long as six months after – allowing them to spend their last days with much more peace.

11:13 – According to a recent Marist poll, two-thirds of Americans believe in the concept of “soul mates” – two people who are destined to be together.

46:48 – The Justice Department has released a study that says that more than 4 percent of prison inmates have reported being a victim of sexual assault by another inmate or staff member.

53:35 – Married people share a lot of similar personality traits, studies show. But is that because their personalities blend over time, or did they have similar personality traits at the beginning. A new study suggests, quite convincingly, that people tend to choose their future spouses based on similar personalities. Researchers at Michingan State University analyzed data from 1,296 married couples – one of the largest studies of its kind. The couples who had been married an average of 19.8 years took personality assessment tests. The scientists examined whether personality traits of couples were more similar the longer the couple had been married. The study showed that couples did not become more alike the longer they had become married. The one personality trait that seemed to be an exception to this overall conclusion was aggression. The longer the couple had been married, the closer their scores on an aggression scale. It is possible that individuals might reinforce one another’s aggressive tendencies due to hostile, interpersonal exchanges, the authors wrote in the study, which was published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences.

Episode 236

14:01 – Pew Research analysis of data from the Census Bureau shows that the number of U.S. children being raised primarily by their grandparents rose sharply to 2.9 million.

21:50 – A new study says that the annual household income needed to make Americans happy is $75,000. Jah completely agrees. Earnings above that have no further effect on contentment whatsoever.

Episode 237

14:33 – A new survey was conducted to gauge America’s acceptance of gay couples. It found that 30% felt that pets would count as family but that gay couples would not count as family. Jah doesn’t understand this. Of all the people he deals with on a regular basis, gays are so low on the list of people who bother him. Seth thinks gays expedite the process during the course of a day.

17:53 – An article in Scientific American by a research psychologist forecasted adult sexual orientation in a child. It cited some studies.

46:46 – A recent observational study showed that 93% of U.S. women wash their hands in public restrooms. For men it was 77%.

Episode 238

20:20 – A study that will appear in the 2011 issue of Journal of Consumer Psychology presented 934 participants with various foods – spanning from vice foods to cheeseburgers and cheesecake to virtue foods like salads. When volunteers were shown a bowl of chili with cheese, the average estimate of the total calories that were in it were 699 calories. When volunteers were shown the same chili and cheese with a small salad on the side, the average estimate of total calories was 656.

23:48 – A study done by compiled the U.S. cities with the most DUIs reported from insurance companies. The top 5 cities for drunk driving are: 5) Columbus, Ohio; 4) Phoenix, Ariz.; 3) Charlotte, N.C.; 2) San Jose, Calif.; and 1) San Diego, Calif.

30:10 – A survey of 700 teens for State Farm Insurance found that teenagers think that texting while driving is not as dangerous as driving drunk. 55% of them believe they could be killed if they drink and drive, while only 36% feel the same way about texting. Jah admits that he texts a lot while driving. He wonders if this is violating his probation in North Carolina.

36:15 – A study in Psychological Science reported that women apologize more frequently than men in a given day (“That’s because they fuck up more,” says Jah). A second study looked at social situations that would warrant an apology and they found that women consistenly rated these petty offenses as way more severe than men did.

48:31 – A new study shows that female managers in the United States make 81 cents for every $1 that their male counterparts make.

51:52 – Researchers at UCLA have begun a study of people suffering from MdDS (Mal de Debarquement syndrome), or disembarkment syndrome. It is a rare condition that occurs usually after a cruise. It is marked by a constant swaying sensation, dizziness, headaches, cognitive impairment, a constant feeling of intense seasickness. The symptoms can last for three months to three years.

Episode 239

8:21 – A study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior found a surge in traffic on internet porn sites by men who live in states that helped elect the president. In both 2004 and 2008 elections, porn searches jumped significantly in the night and following week that the state voted for the winner.

36:22 – A new study concerning volunteers who participate in clinical trials and medical research studies that involve x-rays, CT scans or MRIs is showing that 40% of the study volunteers learned about a potential health problem that was completely unrelated to the purpose of the study.

38:02 – Among the oft-repeated predictions of Albert Einstein’s famous theory of relativity is that if a twin travels through the cosmos on a high-speed rocket, when he returns to earth he will be noticeably younger than the twin who stays home. Now physicists have demonstrated that the same is true even if the traveling twin is merely driving in a car at about 20 miles an hour. However, if you ever go anywhere separately over the speed of 20 mph, in that case if the twin gets home from the grocery store, he is only a tiny fraction of a nanosecond younger. According to a report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science, the reverse is often said to be true for a twin who spends time high on a mountaintop. General relativity predicts that time passes more quickly at higher altitudes because objects do not feel earth’s gravity quite as strongly. The physicist found that if a twin who lives just about a foot above sea level will age ever so slightly faster than a twin living at sea level.

Episode 240

32:20 – Every year the Journal of Improbable Research gives out awards as a whimsical counterpart to the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be awarded this week. The 2010 Ig Nobel Prize were awarded at a ceremony at Harvard. A team of Chinese researchers led by Min Tang of Guangdong Entomological Institute and including Gareth Jones of Britain’s University of Bristol, won a Biology Ig Nobel for scientifically documenting oral sex between fruit bats (Episode 190, 19:37).

40:07 – A study that was funded by Trojan Condoms came out in the Journal of Sexual Medicine about “Americans experimenting and expanding sexually – doing and trying just about anything.” 64% of women reported achieving orgasm in their most recent sexual event. 85% of men reported that their female partner orgasmed in their most recent sexual event.

1:07:58 – The US Center for Disesase Control conducted a study on alcohol drinking and found that among high school students who drink, 60% say they binge drink – 4 or more drinks for women and 5 or more drinks for men over the period of a few hours. Jah says this just means that 60% drink and the rest are just pussies.

Episode 241

32:09 – A study published in the current issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors found that U.S. students who go abroad to study while in college will increase – if not double – their alcohol intake while they’re away in a foreign country. Also, when they return to the states, their drinking keeps up at the rate that it was overseas.

1:02:24 – New research from the University of Florida found that women who weighed 25 pounds less than the group norm earned about $16,000 more dollars per year. Thinner men, on the other hand, made almost $9,000 less than the norm.

1:04:14 – A study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology studied the “going home” effect – the feeling that getting to your destination takes longer than getting back home from your destination. This study had test subjects who went somewhere with unfamiliar surroundings. They overestimated the time it took for them to get there and they underestimated the time it took to return. The one reason is that landmarks around home are familiar enough to make us feel that the trip is already over even though we haven’t actually arrived there yet.

Episode 242

18:47 – A study has come out about teen birth rates for girls ages 15-19. The averages are for every 1,000 teenage girls in Germany, 10 babies. It’s 13 babies for every 1,000 girls in Canada. In Mississippi, the number is 65 babies for every 1,000 girls.

56:19 – Newsweek reported a new survey that found that 39% of Americans aged 9-17 said that the information they find online is always correct.

1:00:14 – In the journal Neural Networks, a team of psychologists took 64 infants aged 18 months, put them in a lab, filled it with toys, put the kids in individually and let them play with the toys. There was a screen in the room and they would remove the screen, and behind it was a robot. The kids would peep it for a second, and then they brought in adults to come in as test subjects. Half of the adults would talk to the robots, and the other half of the adults totally ignored the robot. They would leave the room, and the kids would play with it again. The robot would turn its head and stare at a toy or object, and if the adults were talking to the robot the babies would go to that toy, but if the adults avoided the robot, the babies would ignore the toys the robot was staring at.

1:10:29 – A listener left a message for Seth and informed him of a study that Seth might be interested in called “Feeling the Future” in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology conducted by Daryl Bem from Cornell University. Seth couldn’t read it because it was a non-edited draft but he highlighted a couple things in it about ESP: “Physiological indicators of participants’ emotional arousal are monitored as they view a series of pictures on a computer screen. Most of the pictures are emotionally neutral, but, on randomly selected trials, a highly arousing negative or erotic image is displayed. As expected, strong emotional arousal occurs when these images appear on the screen, but the remarkable finding is that the increased arousal is observed to occur a few seconds before the picture appears – before the computer has even selected it.” One-hundred Cornell students were shown 48 common nouns and given 3 seconds to observe and visualize that noun in their heads. Then they were asked to type out as many words as they could remember. After that, a computer re-displayed half of those words. It turns out that the students more likely recalled the words that they were later asked to retype.

Episode 243

49:28 – A study presented at the Infectious Disease Society of America Annual Meeting discussed the scientist that was investigating an outbreak of illness among a colony of titi monkeys at the California National Primate Research Center in Davis, Calif. Of the 55 monkeys housed at the center, a never-before-detected strain of a highly contagious virus infected 23 of the monkeys, 19 of which died. The virus also appears to have “jumped” from the monkeys to infect the female scientist. The scientist was able to recover in about four weeks.

Episode 244

24:57 – There was a study published in the journal Neurology that says 25% of test subjects in a sleep study carry a particular genetic mutation known as DBQ*0602. People that don’t have it tend to sleep better and can get by on less sleep.

55:36 – Michael Skinner is a molecular biologist at Washington State University: “We just published a paper last month confirming epigenetic changes in sperm which are carried forward transgenerationally. This confirms that these changes can be become permanently programmed.” Basically this means that the life experiences of grandparents and even great-grandparents alter their eggs and sperm so indelibly that the change is passed on to their children, grandchildren and beyond. It’s called transgenerational epigenetic inheritance – the phenomenon in which something in the environment alters the health not only of the individual exposed to it but also to the individual’s descendents.

Episode 245

7:47 – AAA did a study and released the results examining driving while drowsy. 41% of drivers admitted they have fallen asleep at the wheel. 45% of drivers said that at one point in the last month they’ve driven while struggling to stay awake.

33:08 – A growing group of scientists are claiming that schizophrenia is not a psychological disease but is actually a virus that is intwined in every person’s DNA. It lies dormant, then just pops out.

Episode 246

17:56 – A study that was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior looked at 1,000 young unmarried adults in Florida. They found that young men there experience more emotional distress when their romantic relationships are going badly than young women. The sociologist who led the study said, “Men come off as more vulnerable to these issues in their romantic relationships, possibly because culturally and socially they are less prepared for them.”

55:02 – A paper published in the journal Science reported on the discovery of “non-coding” DNA, or “Zombie DNA,” which can exist in the human body and just suddenly come back to life and cause an array of serious health problems.

Episode 247

12:29 – There was a study by Quality Planning – a San Francisco firm that verifies policyholder information for auto insurers – and they found that the 5 vehicles that garner the most traffic tickets from law enforcement: 5) Scion XB, 4) Hummer H2/H3, 3) Scion TC, 2) Toyota Solara coupe, and 1) Mercedes Benz SL Class convertible.

32:48 – Recently, a team of researchers at Columbia and Harvard wondered not whether power can manifest itself in posture, but whether certain postures could make people feel more commanding. More powerful people – i.e., those who make more money and have higher-status jobs – reliably show higher levels of testosterone, no matter their gender, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, than people lower on the totem pole. The researchers reasoned that if you put low-power people in high-power postures, their hormones might respond accordingly. To see if the researchers were right, the author went to a Columbia lab, sat down in his typical slouch and spat into a little tube. Columbia assistant professor Dana Carney gave him a piece of gum to help, then put him in the hawk-in-feet on the desk power postures. Fifteen minutes later he spat into another tube. Carney sent both spit samples to a lab at Penn State. When the results came back a couple of weeks later, it turned out his testosterone had doubled in the short amount of time he spent in the power posture. His response was not unusual. In the most recent issue of Psychological Science, Carney and her colleagues – Andy Yap at Columbia and Amy Cudi at Harvard – published a paper evaluating the responses of 42 people who underwent a test similar to the one he took. They found that cortisol and testosterone levels significantly changed for most people after they had been placed in a high-power posture. Conversely, testosterone levels fell significantly in participants who were put in lower-power positions – those who had to either sit with shoulders slumped or stand with ankles crossed and arms hugging their torso. All the participants were subsequently given $2 and told they could keep the money or possibly double it in a gambling exercise. Nearly all the people who had been placed in high-power poses opted to double-down. They were more likely to risk losing the money than the low-power people and also reported feeling more powerful.

50:34 – A survey released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 1 in every 5 American adults experienced some form of mental illness in 2009 – that comes to about 45 million people. Of those, fewer than 4 in 10 received any sort of treatment for it.

Episode 248

29:34 – A journal PLS-1 reported on a version of dopamine receptor gene called DRD-4 that lies in a person’s DNA and may lay dormant and make people more prone to infidelity and one-night stands.

Episode 249

23:45 – Office holiday parties are upon us, and a workplace staffing firm says that 79% of companies plan to serve alcohol this year – up from 73% in 2009. Alcohol service hit a high in the year 2000, when 90% of the company parties served booze. Some tips from various HR departments about said holiday parties: Don’t be a wallflower, Don’t get too drunk, Don’t challenge management, Don’t tell racy jokes, Don’t divulge personal confessions or feelings.

43:00 – Dunkin’ Donuts teamed up with a noted neurologist to do an experiment with 500 people called The Psychology of Snacking: How do You Eat a Gingerbread Man? 64% of the 500 people ate the head first. That means they are aggressive, they are leaders and they don’t take ‘No’ for an answer. 20% ate the legs first – they are the sensitive type; while 16% ate the arms first. If you eat the right arm first, you are skeptical and/or pessimistic, and if you ate the left arm first, you are extroverted with a flair for creativity.

57:36 – Low levels of mercury in the diet of male white ibises cause the birds to mate with each other rather than with the females. As a result, the females can’t breed and fewer chicks are produced. It is the first time that a pollutant has been found to change an animal’s sexual preference. Many chemicals can “feminize” males or reduce fertility, but males affected in these ways still prefer females. Mercury is extremely toxic, particularly in the form of methyl mercury, which reduces breeding in wild birds by disrupting their parenting behaviors. To find out if it also affected mating, Peter Frederick of the University of Florida in Gainesville and Nilmini Jayasena of the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka captured 160 white ibises from South Florida. They gave them food laced with methyl mercury and monitored them closely. The birds were split into four groups. One group ate food with 0.3 parts per million methyl mercury – which most U.S. states would regard as “too high” for human consumption. A second group got 0.1 PPM and another group got .045 PPM – a low dose that wild birds would be exposed to frequently. A fourth group received none. All four dosed groups had significantly more homosexual males than the control group. Male-male pairs courted, built nests together and paired off for several weeks. Higher doses increased the effect with 55% of the males in the 0.3 PPM group affected. Male-male matings were responsible for 81% of unproductive nests in the dosed groups.

Episode 250

35:21 – A study led by researchers at Harvard University to be presented in an upcoming issue of the journal Cognition showed that the ability to recognize faces peaks at the ages of 30-34.

Episode 251

15:43 – Sen. Tom Coburn also included in his Waste Book report some new funding from the National Institute of Health. The NIH spent $823,000 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised men in South Africa how to wash their genitals after having sex.

33:14 – Contrary to the explosion of teen mom magazine covers, the teen birth rate in the country is actually the lowest it has been in 70 years.

47:57 – A study published in the journal Pediatrics says that nearly 1 million kids in the U.S. live in an area with no pediatricians. Mississippi leads the country with 42% of children without doctors.

55:22 – Researchers have found MRI evidence of chronosthesia, or mental time travel – the brain’s ability to be aware of the past, present and future and also have the ability to travel in subjective time. The theoretical idea of it has been there for some time, but evidence within the brain shows reactions to subjectively traveling back and forth in time within our brains.

57:45 – New research has conclusively proven that beauty sleep is no myth. Twenty-three subjects ages 18-31 were photographed between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on two occations – once after getting eight hours of sleep and once after being up for 31 hours and only getting 5 hours of sleep. The photos were taken in a brightly-lit room in the same distance to the camera – all of the photos the same with no makeup. Sixty-five observers rated the photos for attractiveness and found that the sleep-deprived people looked like shit and were unhealthy.

Episode 252

4:33 – A fleeting thought about a handful of M&Ms; might be enough to derail your diet, but imagining yourself eating the candy-covered chocolates in painstaking detail could make you want them less. Obsessing about a particular food in a particular way appeared to dampen its appeal in an unusual study that demonstrates that merely thinking about food without actually seeing, touching, smelling or tasting it can actually help sate hunger through a process called “habituation.” It’s an experiment described in Friday’s edition of the journal Science. Researchers asked volunteers to devote about one minute and a half to methodically imagining chewing and swallowing 30 M&Ms; one after another. Then, when presented with a bowl of actual M&Ms;, those volunteers ate about half as many candies as volunteers who imagined eating only 3 M&Ms; – or none at all.

44:25 – According to papers published in the journal Science titled “The Theory of Mind,” babies as young as seven months old may be able to take into account the thoughts and beliefs of people around them.

1:03:34 – A Stanford psychologist initiated a study when he noticed that some of his friends would become agitated while on Facebook after reading other people’s status updates. “They felt disappointed with their lives when they logged on and browsed the apparent ‘perfect’ lives presented by their peers.” His research found that people are systematically biased in their judgments of peers’ interpersonal lives. We have a tendency to underestimate negative experiences of people around us, in large part because we see people in groups when they are happy – not in their solitary moments when they are sad and irritable and bored and alone.

Episode 254

45:14 – New scientific work published in the journal Cerebral Cortex used cutting-edge MRI and MEG technology and showed that babies just over a year old process words that they hear with the same brain structure as adults. Moreover, they also do it in the same amount of time. Researchers found that babies were not merely processing the words as sounds but were capable of grasping and understanding their meaning.

48:24 – According to research presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Fransisco, Earth is twice as dusty today as it was in the 1800s.

Episode 255

6:30 – Psychologists at the University of Chicago have discovered a quick and easy way for stressed-out students to avoid choking on a high-stakes test. Take a few minutes right before the exam to write down all those fears. A study published online Thursday by the journal Science found that anxious students, given 10 minutes to put their feelings down on paper, performed significantly better than their peers – who wrote about other topics or did nothing at all. The idea that there are simple steps to improve test scores outside of private tutors, SAT prep courses, etc., are sure to welcome news to students, parents and educators who have long struggled to get their students to perform their best on midterms, finals and college entrance exams. “You don’t have to wield these expensive or time-consuming tools,” said psychology professor Sian L. Beilock, who conducted the study with graduate student Gerardo Ramirez. “Writing about emotional events had been shown to reduce rumination, which is when people devote mental energy to revisiting distressing ideas in the clinically depressed.”

58:53 – A survey of 1,400 women done by Men’s Health magazine says that if a woman feels as if there is chemistry with her date on their first date, then women in their 40s are almost twice as likely to bone down thatn women in their 20s.

1:13:50 – Two papers in the Journal of Sexual Medicine have confirmed a condition documented since 2002 known as POIS – or Post-Orgasmic Illness Syndrome. It makes men allergic to their own semen. After ejaculation, men who suffer from this condition develop mysterious flu-like symptoms, including fever, runny nose, extreme fatigue and burning eyes. Amir sent J-dawg a link about this as well, where they’re doing tests where they prick dude’s fingers and put semen in there and dudes are getting sick and fucked-up from it.

Episode 256

4:15 – A study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research tested fans leaving ballparks and stadiums after professional baseball and football games. Researchers found that 40% of fans had consumed alcohol during the game. They found 8% leave the game legally drunk. People who tailgated before the game were 14 times more likely to be drunk after the game. People under 35 years old were 9 times more likely to be drunk.

Episode 257

29:58 – Science Daily reports on a study that said men are more than twice as likely to continue dating a girlfriend who has cheated on them with another woman than one who has cheated on them with another man. This is according to new research from the University of Texas at Austin. Women show the opposite pattern. They are more likely to continue dating a man who has had a heterosexual affair than one who has had a homosexual affair. The study, published last month in the journal Personality and Individual Differences , provides new insight into the psychological adaptation behind men’s desire for a variety of partners and women’s desire for a committed partner. These drives have played a key role in the evolution of human mating and human mating psychology. “A robust jealousy mechanism is activated in men and women by different types of queues – those that threaten paternity in men and those that threaten abandonment in women,” said Jaime C. Confer, the study’s lead author and doctoral candidate in evolutionary psychology. She conducted the study with her father, Mark D. Cloud, a psychology professor at Lockhaven University in Pennsylvania.

37:50 – did a survey of more than 5,000 single adults. They reveal that men are now experiencing some traditionally female attitudes, including falling in love quicker, wanting a more serious relationship sooner than they used to and talking about kids way earlier than they ever have. Women, meanwhile, are adopting some of the traits that have long been attributed to men – wanting to date more than one person, having more independence within an interpersonal relationship and having nights out with the girls.

48:25 – An environmental research group has issued a study that says the chemical retinyl polmitate found in most sunscreens – including Banana Boat, Coppertone, Hawaiian Tropic and Panama Jack – actually accelerates the development of skin tumors when it is applied to bare skin exposed to sunlight.

Episode 258

51:59 – Seth reads from an abstract (a study that’s not a study yet) from The Food Quality and Preference Journal called “The Effect of Background Noise on Food Perception.” … “We investigated the effects of auditory background noise on the perception of gustatory food properties: sugar level, salt level, food crunchiness and food liking. Participants blindly consumed different foods whilst passively listening to either no sound or quiet or loud background white noise. The foods were then rated in terms of sweetness, saltiness and liking; in terms of overall flavor, crunchiness and liking. Reported sweetness and saltiness was significantly lower in the loud compared to the quiet sound conditions, but crunchiness was reported to be more intense. This suggests that food properties unrelated to sound – sweetness and saltiness – and those conveyed via auditory channels – crunchiness – are differentially affected by background noise. A relationship between ratings of the liking of the background noise and ratings of the liking of the food was also found. We conclude that background sound unrelated to food diminishes gustatory food properties (saltiness and sweetness) which is suggestive of a cross-modal contrasting or attentional effect whilst enhancing food crunchiness.”

Episode 260

33:38 – Clorox sponsored an experiment to see whose apartments have more germs – bachelor pads or single ladies’. Bachelor pads have 15 times more germs than single ladies’ apartments. They swabbed night stands, doorknobs, coffee tables, remote controls, etc. Men’s remote controls were 1,000 times dirtier. 7 out of every 10 coffee tables at guys’ places had feces on the table – most likely due to the bottoms of shoes being placed on them.

Episode 261

4:29 – New research published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that the dominance behavior of staring another primate down is an automatic and reflexive mood in humans as well.

47:21 – Human geneticists studying both human and homoerectus genomes have calculated that for a period lasting “around 1 million years” and beginning “around 1.2 million years ago” at a time when our ancestors were spreading throughout Africa, Europe and Asia, there were probably only about 18,500 people living on Planet Earth.

52:19 – USA Today reported on a study where researchers swabbed the handles of 85 shopping carts in 4 different states and found that 72% of them were covered in fecal matter.

55:00 – A report from the Inspector General for Health and Human Services found that more than 90% of nursing homes hired employees with at least one criminal conviction. They looked at 260 nursing homes in all 50 states and found that every single one has someone who’s been convicted of a crime.

Episode 262

44:34 – A new paper in the journal Psychological Science reveals that parents are actually lying when they talk about the joys of parenting. Idealizing the emotional rewards of parenting helps parents rationalize the financial costs of raising children.

48:10 – If marriage is about compromise, then happy marriage is about self-delusion. So found scientists at the University of Buffalo. They followed 222 newlyweds through their first three years together. The ones who went into marriage idealizing their partners ended up happier together than those who went in with clearer eyes. This is attributed to the vast powers of the human heart over the human brain. People can really convince themselves that a spouse is better-looking, smarter, kinder or more virtuous than he/she really is.

Episode 263

4:45 – 90% of Italian men have never used a washing machines and 70% of them have never used a stove.

12:04 – A nonprofit child advocacy group called Zero to Three that studies the development in the first three years of life estimates that about 10 percent of very young children have some kind of clinical emotional condition – about the same rate as the adult population. While some of those ills are indeed unique to babies, a growing body of research shows that many others including post traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, major depression, insomnia and even prolonged bereavement also afflict young children. Disorders we see in adulthood have antecedents in childhood, says Dr. Robert Emde, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

28:17 – A recent study of college students suggests that their declining emotional condition is a critical situation. Schools have failed to fully address this situation, says the Chicago Tribune. “The results are very discouraging,” says Michael Fleming, one of the study’s lead authors and a professor at Northwestern University’s Fienberg School of Medicine. “I think the stress of academic performance has helped cause an increase in the rate of depression among students. That’s why it’s important to take the opportunity to screen at every visit. If colleges boost their depression screening efforts for all students, it would be the first step towards better emotional help.” Fleming tells the Tribune about 25 percent of all students who visited on-campus health centers were diagnosed as depressed, according to the report.

Episode 264

10:34 – According to a survey by Fidelity Investments, 4 out of 10 wealthy people in the world say that they do not feel rich – and would need to have at least $7.5 million to truly feel wealthy.

30:01 – In a recent survey by Shape and Men’s Fitness magazine, 43% of women said they had been dumped via a text message.

32:06 – A new study is showing that people are growing increasingly doubtful about their ability to finance comfortable retirements. The percentage of workers describing themselves as “not at all comfy” about their retirement went from 22% to 27%.

Episode 265

28:15 – A new study published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics reports that men are more likely to beat their wives in the event of an NFL upset – if their team loses but was supposed to win. From 1996-2004, the researchers looked at domestic violence stats within general fan regions of 6 NFL teams. When the Vegas odds were upset, they found a 10% increase in domestic violence. The increase was limited to the period spanning the final hour of a game to 2 hours after. If the team lost to a “traditional rival,” domestic violence shot up 20%, versus 8% if it was a non-rival. If the team was in playoff contention, or suffered 4 or more sacks or turnovers or lost 80 or more yards to penalties, the number was even worse.

41:37 – A new survey concerning man and woman has drawn some very different conclusions for different people. Women consider themselves past their prime at the age of 29. Men consider themselves past their prime when they are around 58.

55:45 – People who feel no pain due to a particularly rare genetic defect also can’t smell anything. The unexpected discovery shows that nerves that detect pain and odors rely on the same protein to transmit information to the brain. Researchers examined 3 people who have mutations in the SCN-9A gene and cannot feel pain. All of the people had broken multiple bones without feeling any pain and two had given birth painlessly. None were aware of the fact that they couldn’t smell anything. None of the study participants could distinguish balsamic vinegar, orange, mint, coffee or perfume from plain water, even when researchers poured on so much perfume and vinegar that the scents were unbearable to people with normal senses of smell. This was discovered by an international team of researchers who reported this online in the March 23 edition of Nature.

Episode 266

2:46 – A new study in the journal High Altitude Medicine and Biology says that people living at higher altitudes are at great risks for suicide. Researchers looked at suicide data in 2,584 U.S. counties. The average altitude in 50 counties with the highest suicide rate was 4,684 feet. The average altitude in 50 counties with the lowest suicide rate was 582 feet.

14:41 – A new report from Carnegie Mellon University says that child ID theft is much more common than previously though. Identity thieves are specifically targeting children because it takes years and years to be discovered. The study looked at over 40,000 children’s profiles and found that more than 10% had identities tainted in some way. 4,300 kids had records of gun licenses, mortgages, car loans, driver’s licenses, etc. A majority of cases also involved utility service records.

52:25 – Cornell researchers published a study in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology and they asked, “Can people determine who is a criminal by looking at their face?” After years of experience of people looking at photos, the answer is yes.

Episode 267

11:10 – A new study conducted by the Pew Research Group, in collaboration with the Assocation of State Correctional Administrators, called “State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America’s Prisons,” found that 4 out of every 10 offenders return to a state-run prison in the U.S. within 3 years of their release.

23:18 – We all know that people who are at opposite ends of the political spectrum often can’t see eye to eye on things. A new report published online in Current Biology reveals that those differences in political orientation are actually tied to differences in the very structures of our brains. Individuals who call themselves “liberal” tend to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes, while those who tend to call themselves “conservatives” have larger amygdalas. Based on what is known about the functions of those two brain regions, the structural differences are consistent with reports showing a greater ability of liberals to cope with conflicting information and a greater ability of conservatives to recognize a threat.

54:09 – Previous studies have documented the overlap in brain activity between emotional and physical pain, but those focus mainly on the regions that layer on feelings about bodily pain. Studies linked purely emotional sources of pain like heartache or grief with the neural networks that register, say, the sting of a burned hand. For a new study, scientists recruited 40 volunteers who were recently and abruptly rejected by their partners. Using functional MRI images, the researchers showed that when the jilted participants looked at pictures of their exes, their brains engaged the same pain circuits that lit up when they were probed with a heat sensor equivalent to a hot cup of coffee. The researchers think the intensity of the subjects’ emotional hurt activated the brain’s sensory pain pathways that are normally tapped only by physical stimuli such as a slap or scorching, searing heat.

Episode 268

3:07 – Doctors researching Alzheimer’s found that the sign of a rare dymentia is the failure or inability for people to detect sarcasm or lies.

51:07 – There was a study that came out that claimed that women’s voices would change throughout their cycle due to hormone levels. New research presented at the Experimental Biology meeting in Washington, D.C., challenges previous studies that there were detectable variations in a woman’s voice at various times over her menstrual cycle and those could be linked to hormone levels. Researchers from West Texas A&M University in Canyon analyzed 175 voice samples from 35 women that were recorded at four times during two cycles: the menstrual phase (estrogen and progesterone levels are low), the follicular phase (estrogen increases but progesterone is low), the ovulatory phase (estrogen is high and progesterone is low) and the luteal phase (both estrogen and progesterone are high). The women were asked to utter the sentence, “Yesterday, did the kindergarten children watch television after breakfast?” It was chosen because it’s a complete sentence, and “it’s voice rich and provides a variety of characteristics.” After measuring eight voice parameters, the study authors found no statistically significant variations in the women’s voices at various times during their cycles

Episode 269

9:22 – Would you want your surgeon to party hardy the night before you went under his scalpel? There are no rules on the amount of alcohol a surgeon may or may not consume on the eve of a day in the operating room. A group of researchers conducted an unusual experiment. The team gathered up 6 surgeons and treated them to a dinner with free-flowing alcohol. Surgeons were asked to drink until they felt intoxicated. The next afternoon, when they were tested on a surgical simulator, they performed worse than they had in a pre-drinking test. At least 5 of the 6 surgeons passed a breathalyzer before the simulations began. The researchers said they were bothered that the surgeons had trouble in their virtual O.R.s despite appearing sober.

19:30 – A new research paper has just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. The paper is called “Dark Contrasts: The Paradox of High Rates of Suicide in Happy Places.” It has used newly available random data samples of millions of Americans and it found that the “happiest” U.S. states tend to have the highest suicide rates in the country. The researchers believe the key explanation may be the counterintuitive link between happiness and suicide rates draws on ideas about the way human beings rely on relative comparisons between each other. Discontented people in a happy place may feel particularly harshly treated by life. Those dark contrasts may in turn increase the risk in suicide. If humans are subject to mood swings, the lows of life may thus be most intolerable in an environment in which other humans are happy.

31:06 – A new report in the journal The Clinical Neuropsychologist exposes a growing epidemic of adults exaggerating or even faking ADHD symptoms in order to get prescribed the drug Adderall.

45:08 – Jah reads about the world’s largest experiment in human sexuality. It’s detailed in the new book “A Billion Wicked Thoughts.” Two PhD students analyze the results of over 1 billion anonymous web searches. Their theory was that people don’t bother to lie to their search engine about what it is that they want. Their findings, the most popular erotic search term is “youth,” or “teens.” Men are wired to view women’s anatomy as objects. “It doesn’t take much to trigger male arousal. Breasts, women kissing, photos of a woman’s ass – they all basically do the trick.”

Episode 270

25:06 – New research published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences say that unconscious racial bias shapes the views of people that we trust – especially with our money.

58:22 – Reuters reported that children still too young to walk are finding ways to wriggle out of protective car restraints and are increasing their risk of serious injuries and death, a study shows. Researchers at Yale’s School of Medicine found some children as young as 12 months can unbuckle their seatbelts. A majority of youngsters less than 3 years old can do it, with boys most often being the ones to attempt unhooking their seatbelts. “Young children might acquire the motor skills to unbuckle from restraints before developing the cognitive ability to understand the necessity of automotive restraints,” says Dr. Lelia Reyas, a clinical fellow at Yale and co-author of the report. Researchers said that the findings should prompt a broader study on devices that should keep kids safer, particularly because car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 4-8. The findings, which will be presented at the Pediatric Academic Society’s meeting in Denver on Sunday, are based on 500 surveys distributed at pediatric offices in Connecticut. More than 40% of children who are able to unbuckle their restraints are doing so while the car is moving, prompting many parents to pull over, reprimand the child and re-buckle the seatbelts.

Episode 271

46:22 – By quizzing small children about the first events that they remember (a cousin misbehaving, a trip to the grocery store, a mother’s bribe of red and green licorice), researchers have discovered that the earliest memories of children shift as they get older and don’t solidify into our “first memories” carried throughout our life until about the age of 10. The research, published Wednesday in the Journal of Child Development, could help psychologists better understand how people construct the life stories that help us understand ourselves. “These are the memories we use to develop a sense of identity – who we are and where we come from. Ask most adults to conjure up their earliest memories and they usually can’t recall any that occurred before they were school age.” This phenomenon is known as “infantile amnesia” and has been recognized for decades and studied closely in adults.

51:38 – A new study on the link between one’s view of God and the willingness to cheat on a test is the latest example of social scientists wading into the highly charged field of religion and morality. The study, titled “Mean Gods Make Good People – Different Views of God Predict Cheating Behavior,” was peer viewed and published earlier this month in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. In line with many previous studies, it found no difference between the ethical behavior of believers and non-believers, but those who believed in a loving, compassionate God were more likely to cheat than those who believed in an angry, punitive God.

Episode 272

5:47 – Gastric bypass surgery doubles the risk of developing alcoholism compared to the LAP-BAND. The researchers found the risk of developing alcoholism among those who had gastric bypass was 2.3 times higher than the group who got LAP-BAND surgery. Dr. John Morton, a bariatric surgeon at Stanford, said the alcohol is partly metabolized by stomach enzymes.

36:26 – An online survey conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Playboy, compiled responses from 2,300 adults and found that 27% of men and 23% of women have either been photographed or filmed nude.

Episode 273

14:19 – A study of 256,370 OK Cupid users has determined that both male and female vegetarians are more prone to enjoy giving oral sex than meat eaters.

20:52 – That anxiety you’re feeling may be in your guts, not your head. The research appears in the online edition of the journal Gastroenterology. Working with healthy adult mice, researchers showed that disrupting the normal bacterial content of the gut with antibiotics produces changes in behavior. The mice became less cautious or anxious. This change was accompanied by an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has been linked to depression and anxiety. When oral antibiotics were discontinued, bacteria in the gut returned to normal and this was accompanied by restoration of normal behavior and brain chemistry.

29:24 – It doesn’t take much imagination to guess what a porn video sounds like. It’s more impressive, however, when a computer is doing the guessing. Automatic image analysis systems are already used to catch unwanted pornography before it reaches a computer monitor, but they often struggle to distinguish between indescent imagery and more innocuous pictures with large flesh-colored images such as a person in swimwear or a close-up of a face or medical photos. They’ve started using a signal processing technique called the RADON transform to create spectragrams of a variety of audio clips. Each just a half-second long, they found that speech signals are normally low-pitched, musical clips have a wide range of pitches, both vary only gradually over time. In contrast, pornographic sounds tend to be higher pitched, change quickly, and also periodically repeat. These characteristics allow software to distinguish smutty audio from other content. The researchers used a statistical model to classify sounds as pornographic or non-pornographic according to their spectral characteristics and tested it on audio taken from online videos. The non-sexual audio clips included music, movies, news and sports. The model out-performed other audio-based techniques, correctly identifying 93% of the porn content from the test clips. The clips it missed had confusable sounds such as background music, causing the model to misclassify some lewd clips. Comedy shows with laughter were also sometimes mistaken for pornography as some of the audience’s loud cheers and cries share similar spectral characteristics to sexual sounds.

45:44 – The National Science Foundation released “Under the Microscope,” a report by Tom A. Coburn, medical doctor and U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, exposes waste by the National Science Foundation. There’s a huge list. One example: a $2 million grant given to researchers at Cornell University – “Are people who post pictures on the internet from the same place at the same time often socially connected?” Another was $90,000 to SMU and Texas: “What is the relationship between online virtual world users and their avatars?”

50:18 – A study appeared online in the journal Neuropsychology that says the driving skills of the elderly do deteriorate as they age. Research showed the older drivers consistently forgot to check for blind spots, had diminished reaction times, made poor decisions, acceleration and braking was inappropriate and occasionally mistook the pedals.

53:11 – An online survey of 14,500 people who had come from a religious background discovered that people who had abandoned their churches had improved sex lives. In his survey, “Sex and Secularism,” which he publicized last week, Darrell Ray drew a direct correlation between guilt and sexual behavior. “We find guilt is a pretty big thing,” said Ray, the author of The God Virus: How God Affects Our Lives and Culture. Atheists, he concluded, had the best sex of all. “They can speak with some authority,” he said, “they were raised in very secular homes.” All his respondents were over the age of 18 and of all sexual orientations, had abandoned their churches and had described themselves as agnostic or without religious belief. Once they left a religion, more than 50% saw improvements in their sex lives. 29.6% saw no change, 2.2% said it was worse, according to his survey. Those who had grown up in the most conservative churches, based on their teachings on sex and invocation of guilt, reported the highest satisfaction levels after leaving religion behind. All of the people who were questioned were found to have sex around the same number of times per week. They also became sexually active at similar ages. Those who had been raised Mormon showed the highest rating among those who had sexual guilt, with an average score of 8.19 out of 10. Those who had similar responses were Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentacostals, Seventh-Day Adventists and Baptists. Catholics rated their guilt at 6.34 and Lutherans came in at 5.88. Atheists and agnostics came in at 4.71 and 4.81. People who had abandoned their beliefs said that their sex lives were “much improved” and rated their new experiences on average at about a 7.1 out of 10.

Episode 274

19:54 – According to Okcupid, statistically speaking, the night you are most likely to get laid is Wednesday night.

52:06 – Half of Americans say they are not prepared for a minor financial emergency. A new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows 50% of Americans would struggle to come up with $2,000 in a pinch. Roughly 28% said they certainly would not be able to do it if they had to come up with the money in 30 days.

58:18 – McCann Worldgroup did a study involving 7,000 16- to 30-year-olds called “The Truth About Youth.” They found that 53% of them would give up their sense of smell to stay technologically connected.

Episode 275

33:05 – “Gay Teens Report Risky Behaviors.” The study by the CDC surveyed 156,000 high school students. It was the largest study of its kind ever done by the federal government concerning gay youth. It says that GLBT students are more than likely than heterosexual students to drink alcohol and take drugs. Included in this behavior is carrying guns.

42:19 – Newsweek and The Daily Beast did a poll that finds that Americans are angry about pretty much everything – from President Obama to congressional Republicans to even God, who currently has a 33% approval rating. Unemployment is at 9.1%. Gas and grocery prices are skyrocketing. The housing market is in the dumps and people aren’t happy. Three-quarters of Americans think the country is on the wrong track and 81% say the job market is not where it needs to be. Half of the respondents don’t think Obama has a plan to balance the budget and 58% think Republicans aren’t doing their part to balance the budget either. The poll finds that Americans are being affected by their anger in other parts of their life as well, not just their political views. 56% are so angry they can’t even sleep. 13% say their anxiety has affected their sex life. 26% of married respondents claim the country’s economic problems have affected their marriage, with more than half of those people saying it’s made their marriage worse.

44:20 – Americans are the funniest country in the world. The Germans have been voted the world’s least funny nationality. A global poll from the social networking dating site asked 30,000 people from 15 countries what the funniest country was. Third funniest country was Italy. Spanish were second.

Episode 276

6:54 – You can’t believe everything you hear, especially, if you’re polishing off the third refill of your venti coffee. Researchers have just published a study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences suggesting that people on a serious caffeine buzz are prone to hear things that aren’t there. Evidently deciding that an actual Starbucks would be too loud for science, the researchers brought volunteers to a lab. The subjects – some highly caffeinated, some not – put on headphones that pumped out white noise. They were told that Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” would be playing in the background, which was actually just a white lie. Even though Bing wasn’t anywhere around, some of the caffeine-addled listeners claimed that they could hear the song. The researchers concluded that 5 regular cups of coffee could be enough to increase the risk of auditory hearlucinations. The study was small and not well-controlled but the main findings seem plausible.

53:42 – Gladvertising is using emotion recognition software employed to tailor outdoor advertisements to consumers’ moods. The next year or so is going to see a revolution in outdoor advertising, according to a report published in the Center for Future Studies. 3D outdoor advertising will talk to mobile phones and adapt messages to certain situations. It will access social network profiles and then will combine holograms, mood lighting and smells. It will all be out on the streets by 2012. The study is based on a report done with 21 in-depth interviews with the world’s leading technologists, advertising and media businesses. It concluded that gladvertising will be one of the first innovations to arrive in the dawning of this new age of Aquarius.

Episode 277

4:39 – Hotel guests favor cleanliness over anything else. Cleanliness now trumps personal safety, at least from Hotel Guests Perspectives, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. 43% of Americans said cleanliness was a top priority when choosing a hotel, compared to 23% who said price was top and 19% who said location. Only 11% said security was important.

14:44 – You’ve tried counting sheep, drinking warm milk, maybe even taking medications, and you still can’t sleep. Maybe you should try cooling your brain. Sleep researchers say that cooling the brain can reduce the amount of time it takes for people with insomnia to fall asleep and increase the length of time they stay that way. They outfitted 24 people – 12 with insomnia, 12 without – with soft, plastic caps that had tubes for circulating cool water. It tracked how well they slept with and without the caps. Patients with insomnia, who were treated at maximum cooling intensity, took about 13 minutes to fall asleep and stayed asleep for about 89% of the time they were in bed. That is similar to the healthy subjects who didn’t have insomnia, who took 16 minutes to fall asleep and stayed asleep about 89% of the time as well. Researchers said cooling works because it slows the metabolism of the frontal cortex. They presented their findings last week at “Sleep 2011,” the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

22:56 – A child dies in a portable pool every 5 days during warm weather months. According to the first U.S. study on child drownings in such pools, a statistic the study’s senior author says demonstrates the need for consumer education and affordable protection devices from kiddie pools. The research being published Monday in the journal Pediatric shows 209 deaths and 35 near drownings of children under the age of 12 from 2001-2009. 94% of them were under the age of 5 and 81% of the accidents happened during the summer.

41:36 – The EPA and spokesman Leonardo DiCaprio claim that through several research studies, beach sand contains e coli bacteria and other contaminants that, if ingested, may cause gastrointestinal illnesses.

1:06:03 – New research by the faculty at Rice University, the University of Texas-San Antonio and the University of Minnesota, find that men’s conspicuous spending is driven by the desire to have uncommitted romantic flings and women can see right through it. The series of studies, “Peacocks, Porches and Thorstein Veblin: Conspicuous Consumption is a Sexual Signaling System,” was conducted with nearly 1,000 test subjects and published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. “This research suggests that conspicuous products, such as Porsches, can serve the same function for some men that large and brilliant feathers serve for peacocks,” said Jill Sundie, assistant professor of marketing at UTSA and lead author of the paper. Just as peacocks flaunt their tails before potential mates, men may flaunt flashy products to charm potential dates. Notably, not all men favored this strategy – just those men who were interested in short-term sexual relationships with women. “The studies show that some men are like peacocks. They're the ones driving the bright colored sports car,” said co-author Vladas Griskevicius, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota. According to the researchers, women found a man who chose to purchase a flashy luxury product (such as a Porsche) more desirable than the same man who purchased a non-luxury item (such as a Honda Civic). However, there was a catch: Although women found the flashy guys more desirable for a date, the man with the Porsche was not preferred as a marriage partner. Women inferred from a man's flashy spending that he was interested in uncommitted sex.

Episode 278

4:24 – A frightening number of drivers may be unfit to drive, according to a new study that is the first of its kind. Researchers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and two other institutions set out to randomly sample drivers’ sobriety. Authorities stopped thousands of drivers at 300 locations in 48 states. Blood and saliva samples were used to detect the presence of over 75 different drugs. Among daytime drivers, 11% were positive for drug use based on saliva tests, with about half of those cases involving illegal substances. Among nighttime drivers, 14.4% tested positive for drugs, including about 10% for illegal drugs. Alcohol was found more than any other drug, with marijuana coming in second. States that have legalized medical marijuana may have even higher rates of drivers under the influence of the drug. In related analysis, 819 California drivers supplied saliva samples and 8% of them tested positive for marijuana. The next phase of the research will look at the extent to which drug use is related to car crashes. The study was presented last week at a meeting of The College on Problems of Drug Dependence.

11:45 – Enjoying that bag of jalapeño-flavored potato chips? You’re not the only one. A study finds that snacking may constitute one-quarter of our total daily calories. The study, led by Richard Mattes, professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, looked at published research on snacking habits through the years and found that eating between meals has been on the rise. According to a presentation made recently at the Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting and food expo in New Orleans, men consumed about 261 calories in snacks a day, on average, from 1977 to 1978. But during 1994 to 1996, average snack calories among men rose to 501. For women it went from 186 to 346. Calories from what we drink rose as well, and the study reported that today, half the calories we consume via snacking come from beverages.

52:19 – Botox has been the reigning unofficial monarch of cosmetic procedures for nearly a decade. Its claim to the beauty throne was rattled last week when it was found that patents by a study in which patients thought another brand of botulinum toxin, the Botox competitor Dysport, smoothed their “crow’s feet” wrinkles a bit better. In a randomized, double-blind face-off funded by the makers of Dysport, patients received injections of Botox on one side of the face and injections of Dysport on the other. The substances were applied to the muscles that close the eyelids. After 30 days, researchers said, two-thirds of the patients said they preferred the Dysport side of their face; one-third chose the Botox side.

1:03:09 – We’ve heard it time and time again – before making decisions of anymagnitude, we should sleep on it. It’s the most rational way to make decisions, right? According to a study reported on Science Daily, sleeping on it makes good scientific sense. The new study from University of Massachusetts Amherst psychologist Rebecca Spencer found that another positive result of a good night's sleep was an increase in our cognitive skills and the ability to reason. The study used a gambling test based on cognitive reasoning to make its case. The researchers gave two groups of 18- to 23-year-old college undergraduates a brief morning or afternoon preview of the gambling task, so brief that it was not possible for them to learn its underlying rule. Subjects were then asked to come back in 12 hours. The 28 subjects who got the preview in the afternoon went home to a normal evening and their usual night of sleep while the 26 who received the game preview in the morning came back after a day of normal activities with no naps. Those who were allowed to nap understood the task at hand better and as a result, made better draws in the gambling task, thereby having a superior outcome. Those that hadn't slept lacked rule discovery, an underappreciated, yet highly important part of decision making.

1:08:25 – Among academics who track the behavior of young adults and teens, there’s a touchy debate – should the word “entitled” be used when talking about today’s younger people? Are they overconfident in themselves? Jean Twenge, author of the book "Generation Me," is in the middle of the discussion. The San Diego State University psychology professor has made a career out of finding data that she says shows that college students and others their age are more self-centered — narcissistic even — than past generations. Now she's turned up data showing that they also feel more superior about themselves than their elders did when they were young. “There are some advantages and some disadvantages to self-esteem, so having some degree of confidence is often a good thing," says Twenge. But as she sees it, there's a growing disconnect between self-perception and reality. It's not just confidence. It's overconfidence.” Among other things, Twenge and her colleagues found that a growing percentage of incoming college freshmen rated themselves as "above average" in several categories, compared with college freshmen who were surveyed in the 1960s. When it came to social self-confidence, about half of freshmen questioned in 2009 said they were above average, compared to fewer than a third in 1966. Meanwhile, 60 percent in 2009 rated their intellectual self-confidence as above average, compared with 39 percent in 1966, the first year the survey was given. In the study, the authors also argue that intellectual confidence may have been bolstered by grade inflation, noting that, in 1966, only 19 percent of college students who were surveyed earned an "A'' or "A-minus" average in high school, compared with 48 percent in 2009.

Episode 279

13:03 – The stories of survival reveal a heartening truth – while no one walks away from tragedy unscathed, neither do most survivors succumb in the aftermath to perilizing despair. George Bonano, a psychology professor at Columbia University, specializes in resilience during times of trauma. Fellow researchers will publish a review of literature on the topic this fall in a journal of The Association for Psychological Science. They found a low rate of extreme problems in people coping with disaster, including PTSD. “We concluded that the ceiling for harmful effects is about 30% of those exposed.” Most everyone else either recovers quickly or shows great resilience. Some people will be deeply psychologically wounded, but most people will not.

36:43 – According to the 2011 Trojan U.S. Sex Census – 3,000 10-minute online surveys taken – 63% of respondents still wish they were having sex more frequently. The most exciting place they said they’d ever had sex was in a car (48%), followed by sex in someone else’s bed (33%).

59:13 – UCLA researchers created a test in which they can determine a person’s age within 5 years by testing the age of your saliva. Using test subjects they knew nothing about. The test looks for a kind of DNA decay called methylation in just two sites on the genome. These two sites are among 88 sites on 80 genes for which methylation changes are particularly well linked to a person's age. Professor Eric Vilain and colleagues found the sites during an analysis of 34 pairs of male identical twins between 21 and 55 years of age. They then tested the saliva of 31 men and 29 women aged 18 to 70. The test was accurate within 5.2 years. The test explained only 73% of the variance in age. In other words, the test said some people were younger or older than their actual age.

Episode 280

27:12 – The strength of a physician’s religious feelings can and will influence the types of treatments he or she offers to patients. A study published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics found that doctors with stronger religious faith were less likely to talk with patients about treatment options that could shorten their lives, such as prescribing powerful pain medicines. They were also less likely to keep patients in continuous deep sedation or to support legislation allowing doctor-assisted euthanasia. The reverse is true for doctors who describe themselves as “very or extremely non-religious.” They were almost twice as likely as religious doctors to report that they had pursued treatments that had the potential to hasten a patient’s death – either intentionally or as a side-effect.

29:37 – According to a Gallup poll in 1944, 96% of Americans said that they believed in God. The same poll conducted in 2011 revealed the stat as 92%.

47:38 – Scientists have always rigorously attempted to prove the differences between man and woman. Researchers came to Los Angeles and studied the daily activities of 30 dual earner couples in LA over a 1-week period. They tracked the couple’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which primes the body for physical and mental challenges over the day and then recedes at day’s end in anticipation of rest, relaxation and renewal. People with chronically high cortisol levels or whose levels fail to decline in the evening not only feel more stressed out but are more vulnerable to a wide range of physical and mental illnesses. Linking cortisol levels with married parents’ end-of-day activities could reveal a lot about how domestic routines influence health and happiness. All of the couples studied had at least one child between the ages of 8-10 living at home. The median age of the parents was 41 and observers recorded their activities at 10-minute intervals. The women, on average, spent 30% of their evening on housework and about 11% on leisure activity. The men, on the other hand, devoted 20% of their time to housework and 19% to leisure. The scientists from USC, UCLA and Connecticut College found that spending lots of time on household chores at the end of the day kept husbands’ and wives’ cortisol levels high. On closer inspection, they noticed that married mothers’ cortisol levels declined most steeply when their husbands pitched in with housework. The dads’ cortisol wasn’t likely to dip at all unless they spent all their time straight relaxing.

Episode 281

13:05 – Female soldiers may do a good job of suppressing pain responses but physiology doesn’t make it easy. Men produce endogenous opioids – neurochemicals that function as natural anesthetics – more abundantly than women do. Women are also more susceptible to inflammatory pain disorders like fibromyalgia and arthritis, especially because estrogen can worsen inflammation. Even female newborns demonstrate higher pain sensitivity than male newborns. While popular wisdom says men are likelier to complain about their pain, researchers also found that in male study subjects, the tendency was to “cowboy up” a little bit and hide their suffering when a woman was gathering the data from them.

22:05 – A study came out this week that says a BPA-Free label does not mean a product is harmless. When scientists conducted lab tests on more than 20 top-brand baby bottles and more than 450 plastic food and beverage packages, virtually all leeched chemicals that acted like the hormone estrogen, even though many were free of BPA. The new study, along with other works, suggests that the public’s attention to BPA has been misguided. It now looks as though there are thousands of possible chemicals in all sorts of plastics that act exactly like BPA. They’re called encocrine disruptors, which falsely tell the body’s cells that the hormone estrogen is around – potentially causing all sorts of troubling developmental and reproductive consequences. Results showed more than 90% of the products leeched estrogenic chemicals before they were even put through stresses, the team reported this month in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. After being stressed, nearly all of the plastics showed estrogenic activity when applied to the cancer cells.

38:51 – Neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified brain cells and brain function that allow extremely intoxicated people to perform complex tasks such as dancing, debating or even driving home without having any recollection of it the next day. In the study published in the July edition of The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers reported they previously reported consuming large amounts of alcohol killed brain cells, which explained the temporary amnesia commonly called blackouts. They now understand alcohol interferes with brain receptors that produce steroids, which cause neurons essential to memory and learning to misfire. “It’s been known for a long time that changes in the way neurons connect with each other underlies the ability to learn new things and people thought alcohol blocks memory function,” says senior investigator Dr. Chuck Zorumski, the head of the department of psychiatry at Washington University. “It’s actually the main neurons or brain cells that shut themselves down when they’re exposed to alcohol.” Once a person even has one blackout, it is likely that others will follow.

47:39 – People who use big forks eat less compared to diners who use small forks, but only when eating from a plate loaded with food, according to a new study. Over a period of two days, researchers from the University of Utah wasted their time monitoring customers at an Italian restaurant during two lunches and two dinners. With one of the study's authors and two research assistants serving as waiters, the researchers assigned either large forks or small forks to certain tables. The fork assignments were rotated after every meal, and the ordered plates of food were weighed on a food scale before they were brought to the customers. After the plates were brought back to the kitchen, either empty, with leftovers to be disposed of, or needing to be boxed to take home, they were weighed again. The findings showed that when the initial quantity of food was more, with a well-loaded plate, diners with small forks ate significantly more than those with large forks. That may be because diners feel they are not eating enough of their food when using the smaller fork and are therefore not satisfying their hunger, according to the researchers. When customers were given plates with small servings of food, however, the fork size did not affect the amount of food consumed. This may be because small servings allow diners to better visually gauge how much food they've eaten, while it's harder to tell how much progress has been made when eating from a large serving. “People do not have clear internal cues about the appropriate quantity to consume,” the researchers wrote in the current issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. “They allow external cues, such as fork size, to determine the amount they should consume.”

Episode 282

11:13 – Study done about 3D displays causing extra eye fatigue. Published by the Journal of Vision it was funded in part by Samsungs R&D arm. Researchers from Cal-Berkeley found that when test subjects watched 3D displays, they reported more eye strain and fatigue and less vision clarity afterwards than when they watched 2D video. The disparity between the depth of the screen and the depth of the 3D image caused most of the problems. Nearness of the screen also played a role.

26:33 – According to the National Retail Federation, families with kindergarten through high school will spend an average of $603.60 on new clothes, school supplies and electronics for their child. That is down almost $3 from last year.

48:07 – Positive emotions like joy and compassion are good for your mental and physical health. They also help foster creativity and friendship. People with bipolar disorder seem to have too much of a good things. In a new article to be published in the August issue of Current Directions and Psychological Science, psychologist June Gruber of Yale University considers how positive emotion may become negative in bipolar disorder. One of the characteristics of bipolar disorder is the extreme periods of positive mood, or mania. People in the grip of mania also have increased energy, sleep less and exhibit extreme self-confidence. “The fact that positive emotion has gone awry is something unique about bipolar disorder, as almost all other emotional disorders are characterized by difficulties in negative emotions,” Gruber said.

54:45 – Tall women are at greater risk for cancer than their vertically challenged peers. A new study finds that for every additional 4 inches of height, a woman’s risk of developing cancer increases by 16%.

Episode 283

3:31 – Parents who share a bed with their child can sleep better tonight in light of some new research that’s been published in the journal Pediatrics that finds that this practice doesn’t give rise to learning or behavior problems.

13:43 – A survey conducted by UC-San Francisco says that nearly 40% of employees at California emergency rooms say they have been physically assaulted on the job in the last year. The Emergency Nurses Association says that more than 1 in 10 ER nurses surveyed in 2010 claim that they have been attacked in the previous week.

32:57 – A study published online in the journal of Sexual Medicine used functional magnetic resonance imaging of the female brain. It found that stimulation of the nipples travels to the same part of the brain as sexual stimulations and sensations from the vagina, clitoris and cervix.

42:13 – Panic attacks that seem to strike sufferers out of the blue are not without warning after all, according to some new research. A study based on 24-hour monitoring of panic sufferers while they went about their daily activities captured panic attacks as they happened and discovered waves of significant physiological instability for at least 60 minutes before the patient’s awareness of the panic attack.

46:17 – A study in Health Affairs says that antidepressants are being increasingly prescribed by non-psychiatrists. This is to treat medical disorders but is being prescribed with the absence of a true psychiatric diagnosis. The rate jumped from 60% in 1996 to 73% in 2007 which means it’s probably even higher in 2011.

52:39 – Goodbye, metrosexual, and hola vanidoso. Increasingly, growth in the men’s grooming arena will be driven by the personal care habits of Latinos. According to a new study focusing on the grooming preferences of Latino men in the U.S. and Census bureau figures, they show that Latino population is growing faster than the rate of general population.

59:23 – If you overindulge while on vacation, you’re not alone. In a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. travelers, 81% said they are more likely to overindulge on food on vacation than while at home. 55% said they drink way more alcohol on vacation than they would do at home. Trip Advisor found that 61% of women and 47% of men diet in preparation for vacation. The top food vice was ice cream (29%). 10% said fried seafood and 7% said cake.

1:02:58 – How do you know how to trust a hotel review posted by users on websites such as Trip Advisor or Yelp? Researchers at Cornell University recently developed a software program they say can sniff out “opinion spam.”

Episode 284

7:01 – According to Parade magazine, a survey was conducted of more than 1,000 teens and found that 45% named their parents – not friends or celebrities – as their sexual role models. Many of the kids who rely on parental guidance also said their family communicates openly when it comes to sex.

10:33 – A study in the peer-reviewed medical journal Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine – the first of its kind – scientists strapped monitors to pregnant women to measure their exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields. Researchers followed up with the women and children over the first 13 years and found that those born to mothers with the highest level of exposure were 3 times more likely to develop asthma than the others.

21:37 – In a beach etiquette survey, about 1,100 U.S. travelers were surveyed by Trip Advisor. 78% of respondents said toplessness was OK in destinations where it’s culturally acceptable. About 6% said European sunbathing should be OK in any beach or pool.

38:12 – Workplace incivility is on the rise, researchers said Sunday at the American Psychological Association annual meeting. The academics defined workplace incivility as “a form of organizational deviance characterized by low-intensity behaviors that violate respectful workplace norms appearing vague as to intent to harm.” Translation: rudeness, insults and plain old bad manners. Research suggests 75-80% have experienced incivility.

55:45 – While homeless men are very aware of the risk of unprotected sex, it seems they are not very educated on how to protect themselves from STDs, according to a USC study. Researchers interviewed dozens of men on Skid Row in downtown LA to understand how they viewed the risks of sexual encounters with women. While more than half of the respondents had been tested for HIV, most held medically inaccurate beliefs they used to judge their partner’s chances of having an STD. The men took everything into account from a woman’s reputation, the location of the encounter, to a woman’s flirtiness, to her ear wax buildup, to decide whether a condom was acceptable. Men used 6 different categories to identify risk of catching an STD from a woman: obvious drug use, prostitution, mental illness, promiscuity, decency and dangerous behavior – such as belonging to a gang, etc.

Episode 285

16:54 – A Harvard study in New England Journal of Medicine says that 75% of doctors in America will be sued at some point during their careers, while surgeons face a near certainty of being named in a malpractice case before they reach the age of 65.

23:58 – OKCupid ranked the 10 most promiscuous cities based on how many users’ profiles said they were seeking casual sex. #10 was Houston, #9 was San Diego, #8 was Denver, #7 was San Bernadino, #6 was Dallas, #5 was San Francisco, #4 was Miami, #3 was Pittsburgh, #2 was Seattle and #1 was Portland.

51:03 – In the first study of its kind, researchers found that most sack lunches taken to school by preschool children were stored at unsafe temperatures, potentially encouraging the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Only about 45% of lunches containing perishable foods like sandwich meat, yogurt and vegetables included a lunch pack, and even those items tended to be dangerously warm. To reduce the risk of food-borne illness, the study’s authors offer a few guidelines for parents – make sure your child’s school stores lunches in a fridge; do not refrigerate lunches in insulated bags, which keep school from staying cool; avoid using mayo, which spoils quickly; freeze juices and waters, which help the lunches stay chilled.

57:55 – Robot-assisted physical therapy may improve stroke patients’ mobility more than regular human therapy. Researchers assigned 10 patients to robot-assisted therapy and assigned 10 stroke patients to a more traditional human physical therapy program. Both groups had sessions lasting 90-105 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks. Participants did repetitive bilateral arm movements. The device could adjust its settings to encourage patients to engage in more active movements with their weaker arm and they offered immediate visual feedback of the efforts. Those using robot-assisted therapy were able to do more daily tasks with their weaker arm compared with the control group. Arm movements improved, as did their bimanual ability. The study was published this week in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation.

Episode 286

7:19 – According to some scientific findings in the peer review journal PLOS Biology, humans are just one of around 6.5 million different species in the world living on land.

Episode 287

20:55 – New research in Pediatrics says that babies born to snuff-using mothers are more likely to have breathing problems than those whose mothers smoked while pregnant.

25:52 – A new study published online this week in Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health found that the air released through the vent while a dryer is drying that has handled a load of wash that has any of the top 5-selling detergents or dryer sheets has 25 extremely volatile organic compounds and at least two known wildly unhealthy carcinogens.

48:42 – More adults use social networks. A new study says how half of American adults are now on social networks. Use among baby boomers is growing. A report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project says that of the adult that use the internet, 2/3 use social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. That’s up slightly from a year ago. Among Baby Boomers, 32% say they use a social networking site on a typical day – up from 20% a year ago.

Episode 288

14:31 – You would think your doctor’s white coat is as clean as a whistle. A study finds dangerous germs could be lurking on nurses and doctors’ uniforms. Researchers cultured 3 spots on the uniforms of 75 nurses and 60 physicians working in a 550-bed hospital. Potential pathogens were found on 63% of the uniforms. Antibiotic resistant bacteria were found on samples from 14% of the nurses’ uniforms and 6% of the doctors’ uniforms.

45:44 – This week, a report from the National Research Council urged NASA to start getting serious about cleaning up “space junk.” Scientists are tracking about 22,000 pieces of satellite, rockets and other spacecraft that humans have sent into space without any real plans to retrieve them. Even a small paint fleck has the kinetic energy of a hand grenade in space.

Episode 289

26:57 – Women who use contraceptives like birth control pills seem to experience memory changes, according to a new UC-Irvine research. Their ability to remember the gist of an emotional event improves, while women not using the contraceptives better retain details. In the study, groups of women either on the contraceptive or experiencing natural hormonal cycles were shown photographs of a mother, her son, and a car accident. The audio narrative differed; some in each group were told the car had hit a curb, while others were told the car had hit the boy and critically injured him. One week later, all were given surprise tests about what they recalled. Women using hormonal contraceptives for as little as one month remembered more clearly the main steps in the traumatic event – that there had been an accident, that the boy had been rushed to the hospital, that doctors worked to save his life and successfully reattached both his feet, for instance. Women not using them remembered more details, such as a fire hydrant next to the car. UCI graduate researcher Shawn Nielsen and fellow researcher Nicole Ertman agreed the findings could help lead to fuller answers about why women experience post traumatic stress syndrome more frequently than men, and how men remember differently than women. Men typically rely more on right-hemisphere brain activity to encode memory. They retain the gist of things better than details. Women on the pill, who have lower levels of hormones associated with female reproduction, may remember emotional events similarly to men. Nielsen plans to do her doctoral thesis on whether hormones affect the retention of detail. The work, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, appears in the September issue of the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Additional authors include Cahill and UCI undergraduate research assistant Yasmeen Lakhani. 32:16 – If men want women to remember what you say to them, speak to them in a low-pitch voice. Then, depending on what they remember about you, they may or may not rate you as a potential mate. This is according to a new study, that shows that a low masculine voice is important for both mate choice and the accuracy of women’s memory. The research is published online in Springer’s journal Memory and Cognition.

Episode 290

8:06 – Adermatoglyphia is a rare skin condition that causes some people to be born without fingerprints, and it’s the subject of a new study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics. The report explores the underlying cause of the condition and underscores the usefulness of rare genetic mutations as a tool for investigating unknown aspects of biology. In some fields it’s been called Immigration Delay Disease.

18:16 – According to a just-released Gallup poll, residents of southern states are less likely to visit the dentist.

21:32 – An analysis of 31 studies on alcohol drinking patterns worldwide has found that people born in North America after World War II are more likely to engage in binge drinking and to develop alcoholism. Younger groups consistently consume more alcohol than older generations. Researchers, led by Katherine M. Keys of Columbia University, evaluated data dating from 1948. She found that the U.S. differs from Western Europe and Australia because a larger number of Americans do not drink at all. The postwar rise in alcohol use in the US is not seen in Western Europe or Australia. It also showed that problem drinking rates continue to rise among women.

40:09 – A research psychologist studied 203 American corporate professionals. They were chosen by their companies to participate in a management training program. The psychologists used a standard test to evaluate their psychopathic traits and tendencies. Clinical psychopaths are characterized by being completely amoral, concerned only about their own power and selfish pleasure. They are also motivated by a constant need to motivate everyone around them. The psychologist found that the rate of psychopaths amongst these corporate professionals was four times greater than the general population.

Episode 291

5:48 – There was a study done about the most popular snack items in both regular and healthy vending machines. The fare sold in healthy vending machines may do less damage to your waistline than products found in mainstream machines, but experts caution that any processed snack is worse than a piece of fresh fruit or a handful of roasted nuts. The top-selling items in mainstream vending machines across the country according to the 2011 State of the Vending Industry Report was a Snickers Bar (280 cal., 14g fat, 5g sat. fat, 30g sugar). Next was Peanut M&Ms; (250 cal., 13g fat, 5g sat. fat, 25g sugar), then Ruffle’s Cheddar & Sour Cream potato chips (240 cal., 16.5g fat, 2.25g sat. fat, 345mg sodium). The most popular healthy items were Pop Chips (100 cal., 3.5g fat, 0g sat. fat, 160mg sodium), Aged White Cheddar Pirate’s Booty (130 cal., 5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 130mg sodium), Stacy’s Parmesan Garlic Herb Pita Chips (195 cal., 7.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 405mg sodium).

Episode 292

25:55 – After analyzing 2 years’ worth of tweets by 2.4 million people around the world, researchers at Cornell University have concluded that people wake up happy but their mood deteriorates as the day goes on. That discovery, reported last month in the journal Science, will interest researchers who are trying to understand how circadian rhythms and other natural influences shape our states of mind. But the study’s primary significance may have more to do with its methods than its results. “We now have the ability to view societies as a massive scale using the internet,” said study leader Scott Golder, a grad student in sociology at Cornell. “This will open up opportunities for social scientists.” Golder said he intended to use Twitter to study behavior, not emotion. He and a colleague wrote a computer program that sampled all Twitter user accoutns created between February 2008 and April 2009 and collected up to 400 messages from each account. The program compiled more than a half-billion messages it used to analyze these findings.

47:48 – Researchers from Georgia Tech’s School of Psychology used a word association test to discover that most people have built-in prejudices. However this racism isn’t necessarily something they believe in, but something that seeps into the subconscious from modern-day culture. Study leader Paul Verhagen exposed people’s inherent racism with a straightforward but sneaky word test. Volunteers were asked for example if the letters GUB formed a word and also if the letters GUN formed word. He found that participants gave their answer much more quickly if they were shown a black face before the letters GUN.

Episode 293

1:02:38 – Psychology researcher Felix Warneken performed a series of ordinary tasks in front of toddlers such as hanging towels with clothespins or stacking books. Sometimes he “struggled” with the tasks. Sometimes he deliberately messed up. Over and over again, each of the 24 toddlers offered to help within seconds, but only if he appeared to need the help. Video shows one overall-clad baby glance between Warneken’s face and the dropped clothespin before quickly crawling over, grabbing the object, pushing up to his feet and eagerly handing back the pin. Warneken never asked for help, nor did he ever say thank you when they did – so as not to taint the research. The toddlers did not bother to offer help when he deliberately pulled a book off the stack or threw a clothespin on the floor. Warneken reports in the journal Science to be altruistic babies, they must have the cognitive ability to understand other peoples’ goals plus possess what Warneken calls the pro-social motivation – a desire to be part of their community. When those two things come together, they are able to help.

Episode 294

6:39 – Elizabeth Morgan is a professor of psychology at Boise State University. She studies same-sex attractions among heterosexuals. In a study of 484 heterosexual women, she found 60% of them were sexually attracted to other women while 45% had kissed another woman and around 50% had sexual fantasies about other women.

19:10 – A study at BYU in the Family Life Studies department found that couples who rank money and things as important might be worse off in their relationships than those who aren’t as materialistic. Researchers surveyed 1,734 married couples across the U.S. about their attitudes toward relationship values and issues such as materialism, compassion, communication and the importance of marriage. Among the participants, 58.7% had either high or low levels of materialism. Couples who did not place high value on money and things scored moderately higher on almost every marriage feature on the questionnaire compared with the couples who valued materialism.

Episode 295

10:57 – Research recently published online in the journal Injury Prevention surveyed 1,878 teens from 22 public schools in Boston. It found that teens who drink more than 5 cans of non-diet fizzy soft drinks each week are significantly more likely to behave aggressively – including carrying a weapon of some kind and instigating violence among peers.

27:14 – When it comes to looks, the line between candy and medicine can be a fine one, a study finds. Researchers tested 30 kindergarten kids and 30 teachers to see if they could distinguish popular candies from over-the-counter medicines. On average, the students guessed correctly about 70.5 percent of the time while teachers averaged about 77.6 percent of the time. The hardest to distinguish were M&Ms; from the cold medicine Coricidlin, Sweet Tarts from the heartburn remedies Mylanta or Tums and Reese’s Pieces form the sinus medication Sign-Off. The research was present at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference in Boston.

53:26 – A growing number of researchers are warning about the dangers of watching TV when very young children are nearby. Recent findings suggest that even casual exposure to TV can harm their development and undermine parent-child interactions. The most recent warnings came last week when the American Academy of Pediatrics for the first time included warnings about “second-hand television” in its guidelines. Recent surveys say that 1 in 3 families just leave the television on.

Episode 296

6:34 – Contrary to popular belief, most college students do not gain anywhere near 15 pounds during their freshman year, according to a new nationwide study. Rather than adding the “Freshman 15” as it is commonly referred to, the average student gains about 2.5 to 3.5 pounds during the first year of college. College has little to do with the weight gain, the study revealed. A typical freshman only gains about a half-pound more than the same-aged person that doesn’t go to college.

25:21 – Children who play more outdoors are smarter, leaner and stronger than kids more inclined toward indoor activity. A new study finds they have another advantage – they’re less likely to suffer from nearsightedness, in which objects in the distance appear blurry. That finding, presented last week at the American Academy of Opthamology yearly meeting, is based on data from 8 studies that explore the relationship between outdoor time and myopia in more than 10,000 children. For every hour each week a child spends in outdoor activity, his/her likelihood of suffering of nearsightedness declined 2 percent.

49:28 – New science unveils how your brain is hard-wired when it comes to spending and how you can reboot it.

54:50 – Newsweek article: “Don’t let chaos get you down. You’re not depressed. Our brains just aren’t equipped for 21st century life.” -- Dr. Andrew Weil, best-selling author, speaker and integrative medicine thought leader.

Episode 297

50:05 – Old-fashioned leatherhead football helmets from the early 1900s are often as effective and sometimes better than modern football helmets in protecting against injuries during routine, gamelike collisions, according to the Cleveland Clinic researchers. The study, published online Nov. 4 by the Journal of Neurosurgery – Spine, compared head injury risks of two early 20th century leatherhead helmets with 11 top-of-the-line 21st century polycarbonate helmets. In their biomechanics lab, Cleveland Clinic researchers conducted impact tests, crashing helmets together at severities on par with 95% of on-field collisions 75 G-forces or less in collegiate and high school football games. For this study, researchers analyzed hits that are common in games and practices – hits that, taken separately, may not seem perilous, but when added together may lead to serious long-term drooling. For many of the impact and angles studied in the lab, the researchers found that leather helmets offered similar and even better protection than modern helmets.

Episode 298

5:23 - Nearly a fifth of all Americans 12 years or older have hearing loss that is so severe it may make communication difficult, according to a new study led at Johns Hopkins Research Center. Published in the November archives of Internal Medicine, the findings - thought to be the first nationally representative estimate of hearing loss - suggests that many more people than previously thought are affected.

7:17 - Professors of forest ecology at Yale don't know exactly why, but it seems like acorns have all but pretty much vanished this fall in New England. This phenomenon is not understood but they feel this is going to ripple throughout the entire ecosystem and have negative impacts on squirrels, owls, chipmunks, turkeys, deer and mice.

Episode 299

38:20 – We’ve all experienced it: the frustration of entering a room and forgetting what we were going to do or get or find. New research from the University of Notre Dame psychology professor Gabriel Radvansky suggests that passing through doorways is the cause of these memory lapses: “Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as a ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away. Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it’s been compartmentalized.” The study was published recently in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Conducting experiments in both real and virtual environments, Radvansky’s subjects – all college students – performed memory tasks while crossing a room and while exiting a doorway. In the first experiment, subjects used a virtual environment and moved from one room to another, selecting an object on a table and exchanging it for an object on a different table. They did the same thing while simply moving across the room but not crossing through a doorway. Radvansky found that subjects forgot more after walking through a doorway compared to moving the same distance across the room, suggesting that the doorway or event boundary impedes one’s ability to retrieve thoughts and decisions made in a different room. The second experiment in real-world settings required subjects to conceal in boxes the objects chosen from the table and move either across the room or travel the same distance and walk through a doorway. The results in the real world replicated those of a virtual world – walking through a doorway diminished the subjects’ memories.

Episode 300

18:29 – Firefighters are more likely to be hurt exercising than while operating on the fire ground, according to a study in the journal Injury Prevention. It found that physical exercise, patient transport and physical training activities were responsible for a greater percentage of injuries than fire ground operations. Firefighting and EMS work are inherently dangerous, and the two combined have one of the highest rates of injuries and deaths in any profession. This is according to a writeup in the Science Codex. The injury prevention study looked at data for injuries sustained while at work for 21 fire stations in the metro Tuscon, Ariz. area in 2004 and 2009. Nearly 33 percent of all injuries – most of which were not deemed serious – occurred during mandatory exercise during the workers’ shift.

22:01 – Researchers from the University of Washington and Aalto University in Findland are one step closer to developing a contact lens that may one day allow you to see words displayed over your regular field of vision. Potential for applications for this developing technology include navigation and gaming and also the ability to display short e-mails and texts over one’s field of vision. In a study published in the November issue of Micromechanics and Microengineering, the paper’s authors explain the lens would receive data through an antenna that is embedded right inside of it. The contact lens also has a tiny silicone power harvesting and radio integrated circuit, metal interconnect, insulation layers and a very small transparent sapphire chip, containing a custom-designed micro LED.

52:00 – “Subcutenous Penile Insertion of Domino Fragments by Incarcerated Males in Southwest United States Prisons: A Report in Three Cases.” This is an abstract from a medical journal by the International Society for Sexual Medicine.

Episode 302

6:13 – A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility claims that 25 percent of the sperm in men stopped moving when those men were using wi-fi connected laptops, compared to 14% of men who weren’t near a wi-fi signal.

10:08 – The Pew Research Center Internet and American Life Project reported that 53% of young adults 18-29 went online today or yesterday “for no particular reason other than to have fun or pass the time.”

28:44 – Can your posture influence the way you think? Cognitive psychologists had volunteers estimate numerical quantities. Mainly they had people stand in front of the Eiffel Tower on a Wii balance board. The people thought they were standing up straight, but they were either tilted a little bit to the left or a little bit to the right. People gave lower estimates of the height of the tower then they were leaning to the left and they gave higher estimates of the height when they were leaning to the right.

50:57 – The investigation of a 2009 multi-state outbreak of shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli – an important cause of bacterial gastrointestinal illness – led to a new culprit: ready-to-bake commercial pre-packaged cookie dough. Published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available online, a new report describing the outbreak offers recommendations for prevention, including a stronger message for consumers: don’t eat pre-packaged cookie dough before it’s baked. The investigation didn’t conclusively implicate flower, but it remains the prime suspect. They pointed out that a single purchase of contaminated flour might have been used to manufacture multiple lots and varieties of dough over a period of time as suggested by the “use by” dates on the contaminated product. Flour does not ordinarily undergo a “kill step” to kill pathogens that may be present, unlike the other ingredients in the cookie dough like the pasteurized eggs, molasses, sugar, baking soda and margarine. Chocolate was also not implicated in the outbreak since eating chocolate chip cookie dough was less strongly associated with these illnesses compared with eating other flavors of cookie dough. Eating uncooked cookie dough appears to be a popular practice, especially among adolescent girls. The study author notes that several patients reported they bought the product with no intentions of actually baking it.

Episode 303

6:25 – People who have a heart attack are likely to be more seriously affected if the attack happens in the morning, reveals research published in the Heart Journal. Heart attacks that occur between 6 a.m. and noon are likely to leave 20% more larger area of dead tissue. A person’s 24-hour clock influences several cardiovascular psychological processes, including the incidences of heart attacks which tend to happen more around the time when a person is waking up from sleep. But what is less known is the extent of damage than it leads to.

14:08 – A report issued by Nielsen said 51% of iPad users use them in bed or in front of their TV.

40:29 – Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have shown that public information readily available to anyone from government sources, commercial databases, Facebook, etc., can be used to routinely predict most and sometimes all individuals’ 9-digit social security number. The government never could have predicted both the population growth and the invention of computers when the system was devised in the 1930s. With just a birthdate and a state of birth, the researchers were well on their way – especially if you were born after 1988. With only a partial number, you can try multiple times to get a CC repeating until successful.

42:01 – Personality can affect longevity. Those with the most optimism and cheerfulness die younger than their less-positive counterparts, U.S. researchers have found. Study leader Howard Friedman, professor of psychology at the University of Cal-Riverside and Leslie Martin, a psychology professor at La Sierra University in Riverside and staff researchers over a 20-year period analyzed data from a study of 1,500 bright children who were about 10 years old when the study began in 1921. Longevity project participants who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humor are kids who lived shorter lives on average than those who were less cheerful and joking. The most prudent and persistent individuals stayed healthiest and lived the longest.

52:17 – Forget the booze. It’s simply the lack of sleep that causes gamblers to risk more. In a recent Duke University study, researchers polled 29 young adults who had just pulled an all-nighter to find out how sleep deprivation affects decision-making – specifically choices linked to economic gambles. The experts learned that when people are sleep-deprived, they’re more likely to place riskier bets.

Episode 304

31:46 – A study shows that persistence pays off in the mating game. In Austin, Texas, a new study co-authored by a UT psychology professor suggests that self-deception may help men succeed in the mating game, while women will benefit more from effective communication. David Buss, professor of psychology and psychology grad student Judith Easton – both of UT-Austin, conducted the research with Williams College psychologist Carin Perlioux, senior author of the study. The findings will appear in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science. The research, conducted at The University of Texas at Austin, involved 103 female and 96 male undergraduates who were asked to rate their own attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 7 before participating in a "speed-meeting" exercise in which the students had three-minute, one-on-one conversations with five members of the opposite sex. After each conversation, they rated the other person's physical attractiveness and perceived sexual interest. Participants were also assessed for their level of desire for a short-term sexual encounter with each person with whom they interacted. Men looking for a "quick hook-up" were more likely to overestimate a woman's desire for them, researchers found. Men who thought of themselves as attractive also overestimated a woman’s desire for them. Indeed, the more attractive the woman was to the man, the more likely he was to overestimate her interest in him. Men who were actually considered attractive according to the women's rankings did not seem to have this discrepancy in evaluating the situation. Interestingly, women tended to show a bias opposite that of most men — they consistently underestimated men's sexual interest in them. In terms of human evolution, it is likely that ancestral men who overestimated their appeal to women and pursued them — even at the risk of being rebuffed — were more likely to reproduce and pass along this tendency to "over perceive" to genetic heirs. The research suggests that women should be as communicative and clear as possible, while men should consider that the more attracted they are to a woman, the more likely they are wrong about her interest. 42:06 – Taking the stairs instead of the elevator – it won’t just make you more fit, it may also save you time. This study was only done with four people. They pitted stairwalking against elevator riding to see which mode of transporation took longer and which produced more fatigue. The participants made 14 trips of various lengths by going up and down stairs at a normal pace in a seven-story building and by using two banks of elevators. The trips were made at different parts of the day and on different days to get a cross-section. The average stair trip took 13.1 seconds compared to 37.5 seconds from one of the elevator banks and 35.6 seconds for the other. Most of the extra time for the elevator riders was spent by people waiting for them. The stair takers saved almost 15 minutes per day – no difference in fatigue was seen between the groups.

Episode 305

19:00 – Flushing the toilet with the lid up can spray diarrhea-causing bacteria into the air, according to a new study of hospital toilets. Researchers detected c difficile – a germ that can cause diarrhea and even life-threatening inflammation of the colon – nearly 10 inches above the toilet after flushing lidless hospital toilets. C difficile is frequently found in hospitals and long-term care facilities, where antibiotics are common. The highest numbers of c difficile were recovered from air sampled immediately after flushing. It then declined eightfold after 60 minutes and a further threefold after 90 minutes, the researchers reported in the January issue of the Journal of Hospital Infection. C difficile was spotted on surrounding surfaces 90 minutes after flushing, with an average of 15-47 contaminated toilet water droplets landing in the nearby environment, according to the study. “Lidless conventional toilets increase the risk of c difficile environmental contamination and we suggest that their use is discouraged, particularly in settings where c difficile infection is common.” Although the study focused on hospital toilets, experts say the findings extend to public restrooms and households. “Almost everywhere we go except in some public spaces we have lids on our commodes, but not everyone puts them down when they flush,” said Dr. William Shafner, chair of preventitive medicine at Vanderbilt University. “Doing so will reduce this type of environmental contamination very substantially.” In an episode of Mythbusters in 2004, they found lidless toilets did indeed spray water onto surrounding surfaces, including toothbrushes. They also found the health risk was negligible. “Control” toothbrushes removed from the restroom during the flush were speckled in fecal bacteria. Seth concludes that you should only go to the bathroom outside.

39:44 – Blogging may help teens deal with social distress. It may have psychological benefits for teens suffering from social anxiety, it will improve their self-esteem and help them relate better to friends, according to a study published in the American Psychological Association.

47:54 – A new study published in the peer-reviewed online medical journal PLOS-1 says men and women have large differences in personality.

48:38 – Scientific American is reporting of a discovery of zombie honeybees in northern California, which may provide a clue in the theory of colony collapse disorder (Episode 166, 1:04:51). The parasitic phorid fly has been found to use the honeybees as hosts. Laying their eggs inside of the bees, the bees then begin to act strange, almost zombie-like, venturing out of their hives at night and moving aimlessly in circles before eventually dying. Then 7 days later, up to 13 phorid larvae emerge from each dead bee and pupate, the final insect stage before adulthood – imago.

Episode 306

45:34 – This issue of Men’s Health magazine asked about 500 women to rate the hotness of these middle-of-the-day e-mails they would receive on a scale from Groan to Moan. A “Groan” rating: “I reserved our regular table. The linguini that you love is the special.” … A “Moan” rating: “I can still taste you and I’m hungry again.”

1:01:26 – There was a study published in the January issue of Pre-Hospital Emergency Care concerning emergency medical technician workers. It surveyed thousands, and almost 68% reported verbal abuse, perpetrated by patients (63%), patient family or friends, colleagues and bystanders. Intimidation was reported 41.5% by patients, 37% by patients’ family or friends, physical abuse (26%), harassment from patients (13.2%) and sexual assault.

1:05:11 – The perception that women are somehow scarce in the world leads men to become impulsive and to save less and increase borrowing, according to new research from the University of Minnesota.

1:19:36 – The cold weather has us hiding indoors, both in work and at home, surrounding ourselves with stale, warm air which can carry germs – putting us in the center of hot spots which we may not recognize. According to an American Dietetic Association and the Conagra Foods home safety program, 27% of people eat breakfast at their work desk, 62% eat lunch there and 50% snack there. A study by the University of Arizona said the typical desk has hundreds of times more bacteria per square inch than evening a toilet seat. They suggest washing your hands, cleaning your desk weekly and getting out of the office/home every once in a while for a quick walk.

Episode 307

13:35 – The average age car and truck in America has reached the oldest age since the Polk Research Firm started detailed records almost 20 years ago. The aveage age is about 10.8 years

27:36 – Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have found internet searches for flu information to correspond with emergency room visits in Baltimore – a sign that Google flu trends may be a better tool for predicting outbreaks than the CDC reports upon which hospitals usually rely.

39:33 – A research paper in the Archives of Sexual Behavior concludes that the mere anticipation of interacting with a woman can temporarily impede a man’s mental abilities. In one experiment, casually mentioning a female’s name instead of a male’s was sufficient enough to impair men’s cognitive performance. In another, a brief instant messaging exchange was enough to do the trick. Moreover, these effects occur even if the men do not get information about the woman’s attractiveness.

51:03 – Camping is on the decline in the U.S., primarily because Americans say they don’t have enough time for the outdoors, according to a new report on camping trends in 2010 and 2011. The report, sponsored by camping gear manufacturers and private campground operators, found that 40 million Americans went camping for a total of 515 million outings in 2010. That’s a 10-percent drop from 2009. When asked why there were fewer trips, 43% of people blamed the lack of time from work and school commitments, and 33% said family commitments kept them from camping.

Episode 308

23:02 – Even when buying airline tickets, timing seemingly is everything. Passengers can get the lowest airfare if they buy 6 weeks before their flight, according to a study done by Airline Reporting Corp in Arlington, Va. This company handles ticketing transactions between the nation’s airlines and travel agents. The study looked at millions of transactions for airline tickets over the last four years and found that passengers paid the lowest price – nearly 6 percent below the overall average fare – if they buy 6 weeks before their flight. The study also showed that ticket prices begin to soar dramatically about a week before the day of travel and can rise nearly 40% above the average price if passengers buy the ticket on the day of the flight.

48:43 – Gossiping is bad, right? Not so fast. Spreading information might have some positive effects such as lowering stress, if it’s the right type of gossip. A study found that the way people gossiped about four experimental settings led to constructive outcomes. The scenarios involved observing others playing a game in which cheating took place. Volunteers had the opportunity to pass “gossip notes” to warn players about the behavior. In one scenario, volunteers heart rates went up when they witnessed cheating, but after passing the notes their heart rates went down. Researchers from UC-Berkeley used the term “pro-social” gossip to describe people warning about deceitful behavior observed in others. It’s different from the type of rumor-mongering we do when we’re talking about the bad behavior of celebrities, although let’s not count that out as a good times. The study was published online this month in the journal Personality and Social Psychology.

51:33 – People often view the last moments of an event positively simply because they signal the end of the experience, says University of Michigan researchers. Even if the experience is painful or negative, but concludes on a pleasant note, people will consider the event a more positive experience, says Ed O’Brien, a graduate student in the U-M Department of Psychology. Endings are powerful,” he said. O’Brien and colleague Phoebe Ellsworth, the Frank Murphy Distinguished Professor of Law and Psychology, conducted a chocolate tasting experiment with 52 college students to test the theory.Volunteers could sample five different Hershey's Kisses chocolates (milk, dark, crème, caramel and almond), but did not know in advance how many pieces they would eat or the type. Participants rated how much they enjoyed the chocolate and described each flavor so that the researchers could record the order in which the randomly pulled treats were eaten. Volunteers were randomly assigned to the “next” or the “last” condition. In the “next” condition, the experimenter said, “Here is your next chocolate,” before offering each chocolate, including the fifth. For the “last” condition, the experimenter said, “Here is your last chocolate,” before offering the fifth chocolate. These participants rated the fifth chocolate more enjoyable than volunteers in the “next” condition. As predicted, participants who knew they were eating the final chocolate of a taste test enjoyed it more. In fact, when asked to pick their favorite chocolate, the majority of “last” participants chose the fifth—even though the flavor of the fifth was randomly chosen. They also rated the overall experience as more enjoyable than volunteers who thought they were just eating one more chocolate in a series. O’Brien says these findings may have far-reaching implications. For example, the last book in a series or last speaker in a symposium may receive unwarranted praise simply because they are at the end of a series. The last job applicant may look more qualified. The findings appear in the current issue of Psychological Science.

Episode 310

6:02 – What does your doctor have to do with your weight? More than you might think. In a study of MDs and their care of heavier patients, doctors who were overweight or obese were less likely than their slimmer peers to discuss weight loss with their overweight or obese patients – especially if their patients were not as fat as they were. 30% of normal weight doctors would discuss it, while only 18% of fat doctors would discuss it with their patients.

8:28 – The Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy at Loyola University in Chicago asked a question, “Is it ever OK to hug your doctor?”

38:27 – Testosterone makes men less cooperative, more egocentric and makes us overvalue our own opinions at the expense of cooperation.

Episode 311

38:14 – About 10% of doctors surveyed said they hadn’t always been honest with their patients. According to new research published in the journal Health Affairs, they were most likely to lie about whether they committed any significant medical errors or whether they have a financial relationship with a drug or device company. Researchers led by Dr. Lisa Iasoni, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Mongann Institute of Health Policy, gathered survey data from nearly 1,900 physicians from different specialties. They asked the doctors what information they thought they needed to disclose to patients. Approximately 33% of doctors said they didn’t completely agree with telling patients about serious medical errors, and about 40% said they did not believe they always had to inform patients of any financial ties to drug or device companies. About 20% of the doctors surveyed said they didn’t think they always had to be entirely truthful with patients. More than half the doctors also said they did not tell their patients about all the risks or benefits of specific medical procedures. About 1/3 of them said they shared confidential information with people who were not authorized to have it.

46:57 – An itch is just an itch – or is it? New research from Gil Yosipovich, MD, Ph.D., professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and a world-renowned itch expert, shows that how good scratching an itch is related to the itch’s location. The study was published online this month by the British Journal of Dermatology. “The goal of this study was to examine the role of the pleasurability of scratching in providing relief for itch,” Yosipovitch explained. "We first evaluated whether itch intensity was perceived differently at three body sites, and then we investigated the potential correlation between the pleasurability and the itch relief induced by scratching." Yosipovitch and colleagues induced itch on the ankles, forearms and backs of 18 study participants with cowhage spicules, which come from a type of legume found in tropical areas that are known to cause intense itching. The spicules were rubbed gently in a circular motion for 45 seconds within a small area of the skin and removed with adhesive tape once itch was induced. Itch intensity and scratching pleasurability were assessed every 30 seconds for a duration of five minutes using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) to rate intensity – 0 for no itch, up to 10 for maximum unbearable itch. Their results show that itch was perceived most intensely at the ankle and back, while the perception of itch and scratching relief were less pronounced on the forearm. Another major finding of the paper, as Yosipovitch explains, is that “the pleasurability of scratching the ankle appears to be longer lived compared to the other two sites.”

Episode 312

13:56 – A study in the March issue of Steroids says the most success dieters can have is by using the “dessert with breakfast” plan. You drop the dessert right away and then have all day to work it off.

55:17 – How much sleep should you get? How much sleep should yoru child get? The National Sleep Foundation came out with a study noting that sleep needs that vary across ages are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. Newborns 0-2 months need 12-18 hours a day; from 3-11 months they need 14-15 hours; toddlers 1-3 years old need 12-14 hours; preschoolers 3-5 years old need 11-13 hours; 10-17 years old need 8 ½ - 9 ¼ hours.

58:01 – The Current Journal of Nutrition says that most people only think about drinking water when they’re thirsty, but by then it’s too late. Even mild dehydration could alter a person’s mood negatively, energy level and ability to think clearly. This is from research from two different studies at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory. Tests showed that it did not matter whether a person had walked 40 minutes on their treadmill or whether they were sitting on their couch watching TV. Once that ends and you think “I’m thirsty,” you’re in the same position.

Episode 313

12:14 – Taking the hallucinogen ecstacy during pregnancy may harm the health of the fetus and lead to poor motor control in infants, a new study suggest—the very first study of its kind. Researchers asked 96 British women about their substance abuse history before and during pregnancy. The women were taking part in the University of East London Drugs and Infancy Study, which looks at recreational drug use among pregnant women. Most of the women reported taking a range of illegal drugs both before and during pregnancy. Infant growth, motor control and brain development were assessed at birth and when babies were 4 months old. Infants born to mothers who used ecstasy during pregnancy had worse motor control and poorer hand-eye coordination at 4 months than babies whose mothers didn't use the drug. Other problems among the ecstasy-exposed group included an impaired ability to balance their heads, sit up without support or roll from their back on to their side. “The potential harmful effects of ecstasy exposure on prenatal and infant development have long been a concern," study author Lynn Singer, a professor of environmental health sciences, pediatrics and psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, in Cleveland, said in a university news release. "The drug's negative effects are particularly risky for pregnant women, who may use the drug without being aware of their condition.” The study also found that ecstasy was associated with more male births, suggesting that the drug may impact “chemical signaling that determines a baby's gender.” The study, funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, is published in the Feb. 28 issue of Neurotoxicology and Teratology.

30:51 – According to a psychology at the West Virginia University of Technology, five days after major NASCAR races in West Virginia, there is a spike in traffic accidents. He found about 650 extra accidents over a 4-year period of time on West Virginia roads after NASCAR races. He believes they are caused by people essentially acting out NASCAR in their own regular daily driving.

32:57 – An article published in the March issue of Anesthesiology says that anesthesiologists over the age of 65 have a higher frequency of lawsuits filed against them and cause greater severity of injuries to their patients than younger doctors.

57:57 – A study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit said that there’s a very strong correlation between people using their cellphones of the hand they hold it in and the ear they put it up to. More than 70% of participants hold their cell phone up to the ear on the same side as their dominant hand.

Episode 314

34:20 – Comparing yourself to others with the same health problems can influence your physical and emotional health, according to researchers who conducted a qualitative synthesis of over 30 different studies that focused on the relationship between social comparisons and health. Professor Josh Smyth, professor of bio behavioral health and medicine at Penn State, said this phenomenon, first proposed in the 50s, is common in daily life. When we’re unsure of how we’re doing, we can reduce uncertainty by getting information from others. In this synthesis, published in the current issue of Health Psychology, researchers at both Syracuse University and University of Iowa found that people who compare downward to others who are worse off are less depressed than people who compare upward to people who are better off. Downward comparisons are often associated with immediate positive feelings, such as relief and gratitude, but nearly as often, studies show the exact opposite – people who compare upward do better on physical health measures and feel hopeful that they can improve. Downward comparisons can lead to sadness, worry or dejection.

41:38 – Sex on the first date? 55% of people say they have. First dates are often highly sexual, the survey found. 66% of men and 44% of women. First-date sex is not just about one-night stands or hookups, said sex therapist Laura Berman of Chicago, noting that many people meet online and feel they already know each other well by the first date. There is already flirtation and sexual tension through social media. “It’s almost as if by the time they’ve had the first physical date, it might have been the equivalent of three dates. I think this online sharing has definitely escalated some of the familiarity and quickness in which people get into sexual scenarios.” The survey found that 21% of singles met the last person they dated online. Stanford researcher Michael Rosenfeld said data may be deceiving for online daters who may meet a few people every week and have “a lot of first dates. It could be a small portion of all first dates that end up in sex.”

47:39 – A new study published by the American Psychological Association says that men like to know when their wife or girlfriend is happy. Women, however, really want the man in their life to know when they are sad, angry or upset.

56:30 – People who smoke only on weekends can cause as much damage to their memory as those who smoke on a daily basis, according to research from Northumbria University. Academics from the Collaboration for Drug and Alcohol Research Group tested 28 social smokers – those who smoke around 20 cigarettes once or twice a week, typically when out at the weekend – 28 people who smoke 10-15 cigarettes daily and 28 people who had never smoked on a video-based prospective memory test. Participants were asked to remember a series of pre-determined actions at specific locations when viewing a short clip of a busy high street. For example, they were asked to remember to text a friend when passing a particular store. In the first study of its kind, researchers found that both groups of smokers performed worse than those who had never smoked, with no difference according to the pattern of smoking. Dr Tom Heffernan, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, who conducted the research with Dr Terence O’Neill, said: “Smoking-related memory decline in general has been linked with increases in accelerated cerebral degeneration such as brain shrinkage. This new research suggests that restricting smoking to weekends makes no difference – smoking damages your memory.” The study has been published in the Open Addiction Journal.

Episode 315

47:32 – The Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index for 2011 ranked states based on their residents’ overall well-being, physical health, happiness, optimism and general quality of life. The No. 1 state was Hawaii. No. 50 was West Virginia. 52:43 – A study focused on the number of staircase-related injuries to children. 93,000 children younger than 5 are treated in hospital emergency departmetns each year, an analysis reported in the journal Pediatrics. Among children under age 1, 25% of the injuries occurred while the child was being carried by a parent down the stairs. A lot of staircases are pre-built so the top stair is 2 inches longer than the rest of the stairs.

Episode 316

32:07 – USA Today Snapshots: How Do Young Athletes Feel When Their Team Loses a Game? These are kids ages 8-14. 63% of the kids say they still had fun. 33% said they were sad. 15% said they were mad. 13% don’t care if they lost. 13% said their coach was sad.

34:19 – New research suggests doctors are contacting patients on internet dating sites and engaging in other unprofessional online behavior. According to a survey of most state medical boards that license and discipline doctors, most boards have said they’ve received at least one complaint about unprofessional online behavior. 25% had received more than 3 complaints. The most common violation was asking patients out online. More than half said they’ve had complaints that led to serious punishment, including revoking medical licenses.

37:50 – Holding a gun makes you think others are too, new research shows. Notre Dame Associate Professor of Psychology James Brockmole, who specializes in human cognition and how the visual world guides behavior, together with a colleague from Purdue University, conducted the study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. In five experiments, subjects were shown multiple images of people on a computer screen and determined whether the person was holding a gun or a neutral object such as a soda can or cell phone. Subjects did this while holding either a toy gun or a neutral object such as a foam ball. The researchers varied the situation in each experiment -- such as having the people in the images sometimes wear ski masks, changing the race of the person in the image or changing the reaction subjects were to have when they perceived the person in the image to hold a gun. Regardless of the situation the observers found themselves in, the study showed that responding with a gun biased observers to report “gun present” more than did responding with a ball. Thus, by virtue of affording the subject the opportunity to use a gun, he or she was more likely to classify objects in a scene as a gun and, as a result, to engage in threat-induced behavior, such as raising a firearm to shoot.

Episode 317

41:55 – People born without a sense of smell experience higher social insecurity, an increased risk of depression and an increased risk of household accidents, according to a study, published March 21 in the open-access journal, PLoS ONE.

55:00 – Model Alliance is an advocacy group established to improve models’ working conditions as well as provide a safe space for models to communicate with one another about their rights. They conducted a survey of current workplace conditions for models and found 30% have been sexually harassed and 50% have been exposed to cocaine.

59:04 – A British social networking site conducted a study on the happiest age in a person’s life. Jonathan guesses the age is 17, but it’s 33.

Episode 318

30:25 – USA Today did a survey on how Americans like their eggs cooked. 5% people like it poached. 19% like them in an omelette, 9% “other,” 34% scrambled, 32% sunny-side up

34:45 – A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology dealt with people’s shared knowledge in group. The conclusion was that people know more than they think they do. Seth’s field research in his own journal called Living finds the exact opposite.

38:26 – A study in the journal Sleep says that elderly sleep issues are a myth. Elderly people don’t have trouble sleeping. Seth never thought that elderly people had trouble sleeping.

40:26 – The National Institute of Health looked at over 140,000 births, comparing data from 1959 deliveries to 2008 deliveries. For the contemporary group, epidural anesthesia is used in more than half of recent deliveries – compared with 4% in the early 1960s. Caesarian delivery is 4 times higher today than it was in years past (12% vs 3%)

Episode 319

39:30 – Dads with post-natal depression are more likely to fix on negatives and be more critical of themselves when talking to their new babies, says research published in the journal Psychological Medicine. “We found there were differences in the way depressed dads talked to their babies compared to fathers without depression.” Thirty-eight fathers, half of whom were depressed, were asked to play with and speak to their 3-month-olds for 3 minutes. The babies were sat in their infant seats and face-to-face interactions were videoed. The researchers found that fathers were more negative about themselves and their infants in their speech in comparison with fathers who weren’t depressed. Their words also focused more on themselves and their experiences and less on their infants. Their examples included, “I’m not able to make you smile.” … “Daddy’s not as good as mommy.” … “Are you tired?” … “Uh-oh, daddy hasn’t lasted very long has he?” … “Can’t think of anything to do all of a sudden.”

45:29 – Women are more likely than men to mistake the gas pedal for the brakes (Episode 029, 55:33), according to the federal safety regulators. The most consistent findings across data sources was the striking overrepresentation of females in pestal misapplication crashes relative to their involvement in all types of crashes, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a report supporting its proposal this week to require automakers to make brake throttle override systems standard in all vehicles. The override systems help drivers regain control when the vehicle accelerates suddenly. Analysts say the override will stop many instances of sudden acceleration but aren’t likely to prevent people from careening out of control when they step on the wrong pedal.

1:02:58 – It’s a familiar story – you feel a little under the weather, so you rush to WebMD for a self diagnosis. When you leave the sites, you’re convinced your headache and minor nausea must indicate brain cancer. This kind of web-enabled hypochondria, dubbed cyberchondria, is becoming increasingly common as more people visit the internet instead of the doctor’s office. According to a 2009 Pew poll, 61% of Americans use the internet for medical information, and other recent studies have shown wide levels of increased anxiety triggered by this habit. A new study in the April 2012 issue of Psychological Science suggests that the irrational tendency at work in the brains of cyberchondriacs is the exact same irrational tendency at work in the brains of gamblers.

Episode 320

31:25 – The average visitor to some of the nation’s parks and wilderness areas is getting grayer, prompting a new emphasis on getting young people to unplug and head outdoors. “A big concern of the National Park Service is maintaining 21st-century relevance,” says James Graham, a Texas A&M professor writing a book on people park links. Visitors age 16-24 are most underrepresented. The average age of a visitor to Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area was 26 in 1969, 36 in 1991 and 45 in 2007. The average age of out-of-state visitors to Glacier and Yellowstone National Park in 2011 was 54 years, says the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation. California’s Death Valley National Park had 49% of spring visitors in 2010 who were 46-65 years old.

43:37 – Members of the U.S. military, especially enlisted troops in the Army and Marines, are significantly more likely to cause auto accidents within six months of returning back to the United States from deployment, according to a study by the USAA Property and Casualty Insurance Group, a major insurer for military families. These veterans are probably engaging in survival driving habits for a war zone such as not stopping in traffic, driving fast and making sudden unpredictable turns. “Things like obeying traffic signals and coming to a full and complete stop – those aren’t good in a war,” said many returning soldiers. One of the insurance adjusters said, “You might see a pothole repair and think nothing of it, but they might see it as an area to avoid because it’s probably where an IED is buried.”

1:01:54 – It’s a part of modern lore that doesn’t reflect well on our species. The idea that as people consume alcoholic beverages, they see those around them as becoming more attractive. It’s known as the “beer goggle” effect, and has been used by members of both genders to help explain sexual escapades with another person that under normal circumstances would not be someone they would consider for such activities. Now new research helps to explain how and why this happens. L.G Halsey, J.W Huber, and J.C Hardwick have published the results of their research on the topic in the journal Addiction, and suggest that one reason people find others more attractive when drinking is because alcohol impairs a person’s ability to detect facial symmetry. The team notes that prior research has shown that a part of what makes people attractive to other people is the degree to which both sides of their face match. The more symmetry, the thinking goes, the better the gene pool, hence the more desirable they are as a potential mate. This they say is one of the major factors that cause someone to see another as someone they would consider bedding. But, the whole system begins to go off the tracks when alcohol is introduced. The researchers found that the more a person consumes, the more trouble they have figuring out symmetry in the faces of those around them, causing them to see everyone as better looking than they would were they sober. This they say, accounts for the “beer goggles” effect. After compiling the results, the team found that those people who were consuming alcohol showed less ability to discern symmetry, and that their abilities grew worse as more alcohol was consumed. They also found that women’s abilities were more strongly impacted than men.

1:04:40 – If you look fondly at the past, enjoy yourself in the present and strive for future goals, you’re likely to be a happy person. Experts said people who manage to balance these time perspectives - and don’t go overboard on any one of them - have found the key to happiness. Study author Ryan Howell from San Francisco State University, said: “If you are too extreme or rely too much on any one of these perspectives, it becomes detrimental, and you can get into very destructive types of behaviors. If you’re really dominant in one type of perspective, you’re very limited in certain situations. To deal well when you walk into any situation, you need to have cognitive flexibility. That is probably why people with a balanced time perspective are happiest.”

Episode 321

32:25 – Millenial shoppers, moreso than parents, are struggling to make ends meet. In a survey, 25% of millenials – those aged 18-34 – reported not having enough money to cover their basic needs, compared to 17% of adults 35-54 and 13% of adults 55 and over, according to a report released Monday by WSL Strategic Retail, a New York-based firm that tracks shopper behavior and retail trends. The internet-based survey also found that 80% of millenials believe it’s important to get the lowest price when shopping. The study of nearly 2,000 conducted for 12 days in December also found that 60% of those 18-34 are likely to choose a lower-priced item over their usual brand if they can save money.

41:57 – Babies as young as 8 months old prefer it when people who commit or condone antisocial acts are mistreated. While previous research shows that babies uniformly prefer kind acts, this new study suggests that 8-month-old infants support negative behavior if it is directed at those who act antisocially and they dislike those who are nice to bad guys.

1:01:00 – Unintentional poisonings for medicines cause more emergency room visits for young children each year than car accidents. One key reason may be that nearly 1 of every 4 grandparents say that they store prescription bottle medicines in easy-access ways, according to a new poll. The University of Michigan –Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health recently asked parents and grandparents of children aged 1-5 about the presence of medicine in their homes and how they are stored. “Every 10 minutes a child in the U.S. is taken to the emergency room because of possible poisoning from swallowing a prescription medicine or over-the-counter medicine.”

1:04:40 – USA Today Snapshots has a Least Physically Active States – the percentage of people who exercise regularly in these states are the lowest: Mississippi, 31.7%; West Virginia – 30.5%; Louisiana – 29.8%; New Mexico – 29.8% and Tennessee – 29.6%.

Episode 322

16:35 – Among married couples who separate, 79% likely will end up divorced. Separation is very common and is more common than immediate divorce, says researcher Dmitry Tumin of Ohio State, who presented findings at the Population Association of America Meeting, which ended here Sunday. Most separations last one year or less, but a few drag on a decade or more before ending in divorce. Many remain unresolved. The decision to separate is driven by time spent in the first marriage and for women by the presence of young children. Those with kids under the age of 5 are more likely to separate first.

23:48 – In the eyes of young college men, it’s more unethical to use steroids to get an edge in sports than it is to use prescription stimulants to enchance one’s grades, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. Students who had themselves used stimulants without a prescription were more inclined to see such drug use as acceptable, according to the findings, which were published in the APA journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. This is one of the very first studies to compare off-label use of prescription drugs with the perception of steroids being a performance enhancer for sports. Approximately 1,200 college freshmen at Penn State answered a questionnaire that presented two scenarios: One described “Bill,” a sprinter for his college track team who does not have a lot of time to train before the championship meet and is worried he won't be able to improve. He gets steroids from a friend and ends up performing better than expected and wins the championship race. The second scenario presents “Jeff,” a college student facing midterm exams who is worried that his grades in class may be low. He doesn't have much time to study so he gets some Adderall, a prescription stimulant, from a friend who tells him it will help him focus at exam time. Jeff takes the pills and ends up getting better midterm grades than he expected. After reading both scenarios, the students were asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed with four statements: “Bill/Jeff is a cheater for using steroids/Adderall,” and, “Taking steroids/Adderall was necessary for Bill/Jeff to do well.” Participants significantly rated Bill, the steroid user, as more of a cheater than Jeff, the prescription drug user. This difference got bigger if the students reported having misused prescription stimulants themselves in the past or if they had played a sport.

26:58 – Doctors from the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians testified before Congress about our country’s prescription pill problem. Americans consume 80% of the opiate pain killers produced in the entire world.

35:55 – People who check their work e-mail regularly exhibit much higher states of stress and less focus than workers who continue to do their jobs while being cut off from e-mail entirely. The study examined the heart rate of workers at a suburban office outside of Boston. Some workers were asked to go about their email-filled days as usual. Others were asked to step away from email for a full five-day work week. The researchers fitted both groups with a wearable heart rate monitor capable of taking measurements second-by-second. Those who checked email were on constant high alert and showed unnatural variable heart rates.

41:38 – USA Today Snapshots: Where do we stash our cash at home? The freezer – 27%; sock – 19%; no good place – 17%; mattress – 11%; and cookie jar – 10%.

51:19 – Just 20 minutes of playing a violent shooting video game made players more accurate when firing a realistic gun at a manikin and more likely to aim for the head of a manikin, a new study found. Players who used the pistol-shaped controller in a shotting video game with human targets had 99% more completed head shots to the manikin than did other participants, as well as 33% more shots that hit other parts of the body. In addition, the study found that participants who reported habitual playing of violent shooting games also were more accurate than others when shooting at the manikin and made more head shots. The study included 151 college students who first completed questionnaires measuring their aggression levels and attitude toward guns and asked about their firearms training, favorite video games, how often they played, etc. They spent 20 minutes playing one of three different video games – a violent game like Resident Evil 4, a nonviolent shooting game like the target practice game in Wii Play or a nonviolent non-shooting game like Mario Galaxy.

Episode 323

4:14 – Social jetlag is caused by hectic schedules, strict work demands and a busy life that clash with biological rhythms, according to a new study published last week from LMU University in Munich, Germany.

6:30 – Business travelers say they are more successful on their business trips when they face fewer restrictions from their employers. That was the finding of a survey of nearly 1,800 business travelers in the U.S. by Concur Technologies, Inc., a Washington firm that provides traveler and expense management services. The survey ranked the success of a business trip on a scale of zero to 100, with 100 representing a trip that achieves all its goals. Business travelers working for companies with strict travel policies that dictate the hotels and travel agencies they must use scored such trips a 73, on average. But when a company gives employees only guidelines and recommendations, the business travelers gave the trip an average score of 76, according to the study. And when an employee travels with no stated guidelines or policies from an employer, the survey found that the worker scored the trip 79.

17:56 – Perfume ads, beer billboards, movie posters. Everywhere you look, women’s sexualized bodies are on displayed. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that men and women see images of sexy women’s bodies while they see sexy-looking men as people. One way that psychologists have found to test whether something is seen as an object is by turning it upside down. Pictures of people present a recognition problem when they’re turned upside down, but pictures of objects don’t have that problem. So Philippe Bernard of Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and his colleagues used a test where they presented pictures of men and women in sexualized poses, wearing underwear. Each participant watched the pictures appear one by one on a computer screen. Some of the pictures were right side up and some were upside down. After each picture, there was a second of black screen, then the participant was shown two images. They were supposed to choose the one that matched the one they had just seen. People recognized right-side-up men better than upside-down men, suggesting that they were seeing the sexualized men as people. But the women in underwear weren’t any harder to recognize when they were upside down—which is consistent with the idea that people see sexy women as objects. There was no difference between male and female participants.

21:02 – Caveman porn: researchers have discovered illustrations of female anatomy in a rock shelter in France that date back 37,000 years. “It is the oldest evidence of any kind of graphic imagery,” said Randall White, an anthropologist at NYU and one of the researchers working on the project. He and his colleagues report their findings in the current issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

51:44 – Research in the May issue of Pain says that to avoid pain during an injection, you just look away.

Episode 324

6:14 – Jay Leno’s “Sundays with Jay Leno” in Parade magazine. Parade asked, “What was your first joke?” Leno replied, “In the fourth grade the teacher was talking about how cruel the Sheriff of Nottingham was and something about Friar Tuck, and I said, ‘Do you know why they boiled him in oil? Because he was a friar.’ It got a laugh.” Parade: “Has the digital age affected how you approach comedy?” Leno: “You know, humor doesn’t change a whole lot.”

21:53 – A woman writes into The Playboy Adviser: “When my husband and I go to strip clubs, I allow him to get lap dances as long as he doesn’t touch the women. During our last visit he felt the breasts and butts of three strippers. I didn’t follow him when he went to get the dances, although I realize now that I should have. He says that he will do whatever it takes to win back my trust, but I don’t even want him to touch me. How do we get past this?” ~ T.S. in Austin. Another submission: “About every third time I have sex with my girlfriend, I fantasize that she’s a whore who travels with a band so everyone can fuck her. Other times the reality of being with her is enough. Healthy or unhealthy?” Another one: “I’m a girl who likes to masturbate to gay male porn. Is this weird?” Jonathan said it’s totally normal, and that lesbian couples watch gay male porn because it’s the only thing they register as being normal. Another: “My wife and I would like to experiment with a threesome. The third she wants is my ex-wife. How should I broach this subject with my ex?” Another: “Last year a beautiful young lady moved in across the street from me and my wife. It did not take long to get this woman into our bed and for the past 10 months we have invited her over nearly every weekend. A few months ago our son happened to take a job in the same building where our friend works and they started dating. As their relationship got more serious we stopped playing. Our son doesn’t know his mom is bi, nor that we are swingers and that we have been screwing his girlfriend and possible future wife. How do we handle this?”

Episode 325

7:21 – Half of America say it’s easier to do their taxes than it is to figure out how to eat healthfully. 23% describe their diets as extremely or very unhealthy. Taste seems to trump everything, with 87% of people saying that was their top indicator for choosing food.

Episode 326

57:13 – If you’re taking a refreshing dip in a pool with four other people, odds are one of them is urinating on you. A recent survey conducted by the Water Quality and Health Council, a scientific research group sponsored by the American Chemistry Council, found this fact. 54% of public pools do not have the proper chlorine levels and 47 of them had much lower pH balances than they needed.

Episode 327

6:42 – According to a Newsweek magazine poll, 60% of Americans say they either have a close friend or family member who is gay.

51:37 – USA Today Snapshots – What is Your Favorite In-Flight Alcoholic Beverage? This was based on a TripAdvisor survey. No. 1 was wine at 42%, vodka was 16%, beer ws 13%, scotch was 7% and gin was 5%.

54:01 – The National Retail Federation’s most stolen items: No. 1 overall was jeans. Allergy meds were No. 1 in over-the-counter meds; cigarettes were No. 1 in groceries.

Episode 328

51:36 - USA Today Snapshots – How Many Glasses of Water Do You Drink A Day? Based on a Lipton survey of 1,017 adults. 0-1 glasses: 10%; 2-3: 29%; 4-5: 29%; 6-7: 14%; 8 or more: 18%.

1:02:41 – Psychologists have found that a downward-pointing triangle can be perceived to carry threat just like a negative face in a crowd. In a paper published in Emotion, a journal of the American Psychological Association, Dr Derrick Watson and Dr Elisabeth Blagrove have carried out a series of experiments with volunteers to find out if simple geometric shapes can convey positive or negative emotions. Previous research by these scientists showed that people could pick out a negative face in a crowd more quickly than a positive or neutral face and also that it was difficult to ignore faces in general. The researchers carried out a series of experiments asking volunteers to respond to computer-generated images. They were shown positive, negative and neutral faces, and triangles facing upwards, downwards, inward and outward. This latest study shows that downward triangles are detected just as quickly as a negative face. Dr Watson said: “We know from previous studies that simple geometric shapes are effective at capturing or guiding attention, particularly if these shapes carry the features present within negative or positive faces.” “Our study shows that downward pointing triangles in particular convey negative emotions and we can pick up on them quickly and perceive them as a threat.” Dr Blagrove added: “If we look at cartoon characters, the classic baddie will often be drawn with the evil eyebrows that come to a downward point in the middle. This could go some way to explain why we associate the downward pointing triangle with negative faces. These shapes correspond with our own facial features and we are unconsciously making that link.”

Episode 329

16:50 – USA Today Snapshots – What is the Longest College Students Go Without Using Digital Technology? 50% say up to 30 minutes; 17% say 31-60 minutes; 33% say over an hour. This is from a survey of 500 college students

27:52 – Jonathan wants to know if it’s true that they’ve studied that crows are the most social creature on the planet – even more than humans.

28:58 – NatGeo conducted a study and found that 80 million Americans are certain UFOs exist and that 1 in 10 believe they’ve spotted one. 17% don’t believe UFOs exist, 36% think they do and 48% aren’t sure.

42:33 – Being touched by a man really gets the ladies hot. New research suggests that when physically touched by a male experimentor, women actually did get “hot and bothered.” Their skin temperature increased, specifically in the face and chest. Women showed a temperature increase when they were involved with social contact with the male experimentor.

45:10 – Two different experiments – one from the Physical Review E – Statistical Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics, titled “Walking with coffee: Why does it spill?” The text: “In our busy lives, almost all of us have to walk with a cup of coffee. While often we spill the drink, this familiar phenomenon has never been explored systematically. Here we report on the results of an experimental study of the conditions under which coffee spills for various walking speeds and initial liquid levels in the cup. These observations are analyzed from the dynamical systems and fluid mechanics viewpoints as well as with the help of a model developed here. Particularities of the common cup sizes, the coffee properties, and the biomechanics of walking proved to be responsible for the spilling phenomenon. The studied problem represents an example of the interplay between the complex motion of a cup, due to the biomechanics of a walking individual, and the low-viscosity-liquid dynamics in it.” The other experiment, from the Journal of Neurophysiology, explained how we subconsciously adjust our safety margin when we move a dynamic object such as a cup of coffee based on the amount of variability in the situation. The abstract: “Many tasks require humans to manipulate dynamically complex objects and maintain appropriate safety margins, such as placing a cup of coffee on a coaster without spilling. This study examined how humans learn such safety margins, and how they are shaped by task constraints and changing variability with improved skill. Eighteen subjects used a manipulandum to transport a shallow virtual cup containing a ball to a target without losing the ball. Half were to complete the cup transit in a comfortable target-time of two seconds (a redundant task with infinitely many equivalent solutions); the other half in minimum-time (a non-redundant task with one explicit cost to optimize). The safety margin was defined as the ball energy relative to escape, i.e. as an energy margin. The first hypothesis - subjects converge to a single strategy in the minimum-time task, but choose different strategies in the less-constrained target-time task - was not supported. Both groups developed individualized strategies with practice. The second hypothesis - subjects decrease safety margins in the minimum-time task but increase them in the target-time task - was supported. The third hypothesis - in both tasks subjects modulate energy margins according to their execution variability - was partially supported. In the target-time group changes in energy margins correlated positively with changes in execution variability; in the minimum-time group such a relation was observed only at the end of practice, not across practice. These results show that when learning a redundant object manipulation task, most subjects increase their safety margins and shape their movement strategies in accordance with their changing variability.”

Episode 330

7:38 – A new survey shows that 59% of smart phone owners say they would reach into the toilet for their phone. 63% said they would go through the garbage to look for it. Some said they would put themselves in harm’s way, including 25% who said they would fight a thief, 17% who said they would venture onto a train track or into a tunnel for their phone. 12% said they would even run through traffic to get their device back.

9:51 – Merely showing up to work in an environment where bullying goes on is enough to make many of us think about quitting. A new study, suggests researchers writing in the Journal of Human Relations, found that nurses – not bullied directly, but who worked in an environment where workplace bullying occurred – felt a stronger urge to quit than those being bullied.

39:37 – Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adolescents have experienced an anger attack that involved threatening violence, destroying property or engaging in violence toward others at some point in their lives. These severe attacks of uncontrollable anger are much more common among adolescents than previously recognized, a new study led by researchers at Harvard Medical School finds. The national face-to-face survey of 10,148 U.S. adolescents showed that about two-thirds of adolescents have a history of anger attacks. It also found that 1 in 12 young people met criteria for a diagnosis of intermittent explosive disorder (Episode 017, 13:29).

53:39 – USA Today Snapshots – Average Age for Hitting Life Milestones – first kiss, most enjoyable summer, reminded you most of your parents and felt your age. This was based on a Gallup Poll. The average age for first kiss was 15. The most enjoyable summer was age 24. The average age you were reminded of your parents was 32. The average age you felt your age was 39.

Episode 331

6:16 – USA Today Snapshots – How Much Money Do You Have to Spend to Have Fun on the Weekend? 47% of people say $30 or less; 25% said $31-50; 29% said $51 or more. The average was $56.

8:29 – Texans like to travel in Texas. Travel-booking site Hotwire looked at hotel stays booked by residents of the four largest cities in Texas. The top 3 most-booked places in each are other cities in Texas. Dallas residents’ top 3 are Houston, Austin and San Antonio; Houstonians stay most often in Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, and so on. “Clearly Texans like Texas,” says Hotwire spokesman Clem Bason, adding that many have “deep roots” in the area.

13:16 – A new study in the open access journal PLoS ONE found that contrary to popularly held belief, there is absolutely no correlation between eye movements and whether or not a person is lying or telling the truth.

14:13 – An open access study asked undergraduate students to rate their jealousy in response to hypothetical scenarios involving their current romantic partner engaging with a former partner: they communicate via 1) e-mail, 2) telephone, 3) late-morning coffee, 4) over lunch, 5) a late-afternoon coffee or 6) dinner. They found that the meals elicited the highest jealousy ratings of the six, with the dinner eliciting the most anger. Researchers found no significant differences in the jealousy between males and females.

42:10 – An international market research company says that America is ranked as having the No. 1 nation brand in the world.

45:57 – Researchers studying mortality rates on more than 2 million people over a 40-year time span found that statistically speaking, people are more likely to die on their birthday than any other day of the year. Bumping the numbers are suicides by men who apparently find the ultimate milestone a little too hard to bear. But those deaths aren’t enough to account for the overall 14% increased likelihood that any given person will die on the same day of the year as the day they were born compared to any other day of the year. Dying on a birthday was most common among adult males over the age of 60. The study has led to a paper being published in the annals of epidemiology in which researchers say they found their numbers by studying almost 2.5 million deaths over the period of 1969-2008. They say people on average have almost 20% more chance of dying on their birthday from cardiovascular disease. The number that really stands out is 34.9% greater chance of dying by suicide by men.

56:14 – An analysis of words and phrases in more than 750,000 American books published in the past 50 years finds and emphasis on “I” before “we” and shows growing attention to the individual over the group. The study published Tuesday in the online journal PLoS ONE analyzes how often certain words and phrases appear in written language from year to year. Researchers say it is yet another indication that U.S. society since 1960 has become increasingly focused on the self.

Episode 332

15:29 - USA Today Snapshots – Dog Attacks on Letter Carriers. The USPS did a survey on where the most dog attacks on letter carriers occur. #5 was Dallas (41), #4 was Cleveland (44), #3 was Houston (47), #2 was San Diego (68) and #1 was Los Angeles (83).

19:42 – The journal Menopause has a new study that says later in a woman’s life, drinking 1-2 alcoholic drinks a day may curb bone loss and help promote “bone turnover,” which is the replacing of old bone cells with new ones.

28:21 – People born in the fall from September – November, are significantly more likely to reach the age of 100 years compared with those born in March. According to a study published in the Journal of Aging Research, Leonid A. Gavrilov, Ph.D., and Natalia S. Gavrilova, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago, conducted a study involving 1,574 centenarians born in the United States between 1880 and 1895 to determine whether month of birth affects survival to age 100. Data for these individuals were compared with those of 10,855 shorter-lived siblings and 1,083 spouses to control for unobserved shared childhood or adulthood environment and common genetic background. The researchers found significant associations between month of birth and longevity, particularly in those born before 1899. Individuals born in September through November were more likely to become centenarians compared with March-born individuals. This same pattern held true for centenarian spouses.

35:43 – A new study in the journal Sex Roles suggests that girls ages 6-9 are concerned with looking “sexy.” Researchers presented the girls with a pair of paper dolls: one in a sexy outfit and the other in a trendy but covered-up outfit. The girls were asked to choose the doll that looked like herself, looked how she wanted to look, was the popular girl in school and who she wanted to play with. Across the board, the girls chose the sexy doll every time.

43:55 – For many teen girls, an overly large cup size may not be such a good thing, with many reporting serious discomfort, both physically and emotionally, because of their large breasts. According to a new study, for some, these issues are troubling enough for them to seek breast reduction surgery. Dr. Brian Labow, the lead author of the study, performs about 100 breast-reduction surgeries a year on adolescent girls, and he thought the topic had been understudied. "I wondered, how do you measure the impact of the surgery? And do adolescents benefit by waiting until they're older to get the surgery?" said Labow, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a pediatric plastic surgeon at Children's Hospital Boston. Macromastia -- large breasts -- is considered a common condition by plastic surgeons. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were more than 63,000 breast-reduction surgeries conducted in the United States in 2011. Labow said girls seeking breast-reduction surgery in adolescence typically do so because they have experienced issues such as neck and shoulder pain, low self-esteem, undesired attention and difficulty finding clothes that fit.

Episode 333

9:58 – USA Today Snapshots – Average age parents say it’s right for their child to have/own a series of things. Credit cards – 20; have a job – 16; access to savings account – 10; cell phone – 13; computer – 12.

23:12 – A new study conducted by said women were more apt than men (61% to 56%) to experience road rage while driving.

38:49 – The reminiscence bump is a phenomenon is psychological studies that finds that people’s memories are all created between the ages of 12-20.

55:58 – One area that can contribute to relational satisfaction between romantic partners or roommates can be the division of household labor. Studies have shown that women traditionally do more in the household. While the differences often vary based on the selected study, the amounts are disproportionate. Sarah Riforgiate, assistant professor of communication studies at Kansas State University, wanted to know why those differences exist. She collaborated with Jess Alberts and Paul Mongeau, professors of human communication at Arizona State University, to examine the issue. The idea originated seemingly unintentionally. Alberts was leisurely reading about ants and bees and discovered that entomologists have found that insects have different threshold levels of tolerance for uncompleted tasks. If bees with different threshold levels are paired together, the bee that is most disturbed with a low honey level has been found to work harder, sometimes working itself to death. Riforgiate's master's thesis and dissertation tried to determine if such thresholds exist in human relationships and what the effects are as a result. She examined same-sex roommates and found that, unsurprisingly, different thresholds have detrimental effects on relationships. “If we have different threshold levels, we're more likely to have lower perceived relational satisfaction,” Riforgiate said. “And we're much more likely to have conflict.” Differing threshold levels negatively impact the idea of task divergence and gratitude as well, she said. When a romantic couple or roommates have differing threshold levels, the person with the lower tolerance level will often become bothered and complete tasks more promptly. Repeated instances of this behavior can lead to those tasks being regarded as the person’s job. “Then we no longer need to be grateful for our partner's work or compensate because it's their job,” Riforgiate said.

Episode 334

12:38 – 51% of American pet owners said they would bring their pets on every trip they took, according to a new survey by the American Automobile Association and Best Western International Inc. – one of the world’s largest hotel chains.

33:43 – A new study finds that fruit flies that have been exposed to methamphetamines drastically reduce their food intake and increase their physical activity – just as humans do.

36:25 – Because social norms make us averse to providing negative feedback, a Florida State University assistant professor of psychology did some laboratory research, recreating everyday interactions in which people might feel pressured to withhold information. The findings will be presented at the American Psychological Association’s 120th convention in Orlando, Fla., in August. Her recent paper is called “Polite But Not Honest: How An Absence of Negative Social Feedback Contributes to Overconfidence.” In a study, participants displayed overconfidence in their ability to be funny because they failed to recognize how often others laughed at jokes that weren't funny just to be polite.

53:38 USA Today Snapshots – How Many People Speak a Foreign Language at Home? In 1990, it was 13.8%; in 2000 it was 17.9%; in 2010 it was 20.6%.

Episode 335

21:36 – A study found that telling fewer lies benefits people both physically and mentally. For each week for 10 weeks, 110 people ages 18-71 years old took a lie detector test and completed health and relationship measures, assessing the number of major and minor lies they took that week. Findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, which ended on Sunday. Researchers instructed half the participants to refrain from telling any lies for any reason to anyone. The other half got no such instructions. The link between less lying and improved health was significantly stronger for participants in the “no lie” group. When they told 3 fewer minor lies in other weeks for example, they had an average of 4 fewer mental health complaints and 3 fewer physical complaints. Researchers suggested Americans average 11 lies a week.

34:27 – LAX ranks second in the country for efficiently spreading a highly contagious germ around the world in the first few days of an emerging disease. This was a study by MIT researchers, that suggests Kennedy Airport beats LAX and Honolulu Airport ranks No. 3. The study published in the journal PLoS ONE used mathematical models to reach its conclusions. Unlike other similar models aimed at mapping the course of infectious diseases, this one looked at A) early days when events were just getting going, and B) didn’t make assumptions that other models make, its authors said. For example, it took into account the fact that wait lines can differ from one airport to the next, and that travelers embarking at one airport might have different destination patterns than those that embark at others.

38:45 – USA Today Snapshots – When invited to a party, do you contribute something – even if not asked? They surveyed 2,008 adults. Sometimes – 40%, all the time – 46%, rarely – 6%, never – 4%, not sure – 4%.

Episode 337

11:20 – USA Today Snapshots – Hazards for College Students on Campus. Theft – 50%, Injury in classroom – 47%, Bullying – 38%, Campus violence – 38%, Sports-related injury – 35%.

Episode 338

23:13 – When termites become too old to help their colonies perform risky foraging tasks, elderly members of a termite species called neocapritermes taracua provide one final service by sacrificing themselves to defend against predators. Researchers reported last month in the journal Science as rival termites close in on their nest, the selfless termites break apart their bodies and create a toxic sticky goo that sticks to would-be predators and disables or even kills them.

31:13 – PTSD develops in individuals who experience highly traumatizing situations such as terrorist attacks or car accidents, but symptoms can also come about after normal life events including childbirth. Researchers have found that approximately one-third of all postpartum women exhibit some symptoms of PTSD and a smaller percentage develop full-blown PTSD following the ordeal of labor. The surprising finding indicates a relatively high prevalence of the disorder. Of those women who develop PTSD symptoms, 80% opted for natural childbirth without pain relief. Other significant factors identified include the women’s body image, including discomfort with being in an undressed state for the relatively prolonged period of labor and undergoing elective cesarian sections.

38:39 – USA Today Snapshots – Homeowners’ preferred shortcuts for cleaning up around the house. Wakefield Research did the survey of 1,001 homeowners for Filtrec Filters. 19% - hide items under the bed, 27% - throw items away, dusting with your hand, 44% - hide items in a closet, and 46% - close off a room entirely.

56:12 – Pretend play can be fun for preschool children, but a new University of Virginia study published in a recent online edition of the journal Psychological Bulletin finds that it is not as crucial to a child’s development as originally believed.

Episode 339

8:18 – Despite being one of the closest living relatives to humans, chimpanzees lack the urge to punish thieves who are caught red-handed – unless they themselves are the victims, according to a study published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In a series of experiments involving 13 furry subjects with names like Frodo, Natascha and Ulla, the animals showed no interest in intervening when they observed a fellow chimpanzee purloining grapes and food pellets from a third chimp. It was only when a chimp had their own treats stolen that they they got angry and took action – in this case, by opening a trapdoor on the miscreant. The study, according to lead author Katrin Riedl, a developmental psychologist with the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, in Leipzig, Germany, suggests that the practice of punishing thievery and crimes committed against others is a uniquely human trait.

24:49 – USA Today Snapshots – Expenses that are too important to give up regardless of financial concerns. This was from a Career Builder survey of about 4,000 workers. Mobile phone – 24%, pet – 39%, Driving – 44%, internet connection – 57%

30:49 – Although mothers are usually the ones who have the “birds and the bees” talk with their children, with targeted prompting and guidance, fathers will also step up to the plate. This is the finding of a study in the American Journal of Health Promotion that analyzed mothers’ and fathers’ responses to a public health campaign about the benefits of having parent-child talks about delaying sexual activity.

36:28 – Closer sleeping proximity between fathers and their children is associate with a greater decrease in the father’s testosterone levels, with possible implications for parenting behavior. The full report is published Sept. 5 in the open access journal PLoS ONE

46:17 – Some birds hold funerals for their dead. When Western Scrubjays encounter a dead bird, they call out to one another and stop foraging. The jays then often fly down to the dead body and gather around it. The behavior may have evolved to warn other birds of nearby danger, report researchers in California who have published the findings in the journal Animal Behavior.

Episode 340

10:50 – Kids this year found an average of $3 per tooth under their pillows – up 15% from last year, according to a new survey by Visa.

23:00 – We hear all the time that we need to get off the couch and stop watching TV and get moving, but what if watching TV under specific conditions could actually provide the mental boost you need to tackle a difficult task. A newspaper that describes two studies by Jaye Derrick, Ph.D. research scientist at the University of Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions, found that watching a rerun of a favorite TV show may restore the drive to get things done in people who have used up their reserves of willpower or self-control.

30:18 – According to a new study at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center, looking at a backlit screen on tablets can lead to sleeplessness. A two-hour exposure to light can suppress melatonin by up to 22%, said the lead researcher.

34:56 – USA Today Snapshots – Things That Make Us Feel Guilty. This is an eco pulse survey from Shelton Group. There were 1,005 respondents. Wasting food is top at 39%, leaving the lights on when I leave a room – 27%, wasting water – 27%, not unplugging electronics, not recycling – 21%.

52:10 – While it is commonly believed that men who pay for sex are attempting to avoid emotional commitment, a new study finds that men who become regular clients of sex workers often develop feelings of romance and love. This study is published in a recent edition of Men and Masculinities.

56:51 – “We knew it along.” Too often, we actually didn’t. The phenomen, which researchers refer to as hindsight bias, is one of the most widely studied decision traps and has been documented in various domains including medical diagnoses, accounting and auditing decisions, athletic competitions and political strategies. In a new article in the September 2012 issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, two psychological scientists review the existing research on hindsight bias – exploring the various factors that make us so susceptible to the phenomenon – and identify a few ways we might be able to combat it. This is the first overview to draw insights together from different disciplines.

Episode 341

15:54 – Adolescents who are tasered by law enforcement officers do not appear to be at higher risk for serious injury than adults, according to a new study by the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center research. This latest research is the first to specifically investigate taser use on adolescents. Lead author Alison Garner, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest Baptist, found no major differences in the injury rates or types of injuries to youth when compared to adults.

36:33 – In another study this week, it’s the first scientific study to test whether doubts about getting married are more likely to lead to an unhappy marriage or divorce. UCLA psychologists report that when women have doubts about their wedding, their misgivings are often a warning sign of trouble if they go ahead with the marriage.

44:59 – USA Today Snapshots: My employer allows me to have a healthy work/life balance. 21% disagree but 47% agreed.

Episode 342

9:31 – Vacations aren’t quite as rejuvenating as people might think because more people are working when they’re off the clock. Almost 60% of respondents in a new survey say that vacationing does not relieve stress. More than a quarter say they are even more stressed when they come back to work. The survey of more than 1,000 workers, bosses and underlings in a range of professions was conducted by Fierce, Inc., a leadership development and training company. 41.6% of workers check in with the office at least every other day while on vacation. 6.5% check in multiple times per day while on vacation.

21:11 – Kids who received the gift of scratcher lottery tickets tend to begin gambling earlier in life, which is a possible risk factor when it comes to more severe gambling disorders later on in life, Yale School Medicine researchers have reported in the journal Adolescent Health.

26:23 – USA Today Snapshots. This was about 2,145 employees surveyed by the Workforce Institute/Kronos: “Do You Feel Guilty About Calling In Sick When You Actually Are Not Sick?” 71% of people – very guilty, 29% - no.

34:45 – When you rear-end a car in front of you at a stoplight, you may feel a mix of different emotions, such as anger, anxiety and guilt. The person whose car you rear-ended may feel anger and frustrated by your carelessness; however, it is unlikely they’ll feel much guilt. The ability to identify and distinguish between negative emotions helps us address the problem that led to those emotions in the first place. This study is forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of The Association of Psychological Science.

41:20 – The Los Angeles Fire Department did a study on CPR assistance to discover how long it takes for a dispatcher to tell a 911 caller that they need to start CPR. The average elapsed time after a call pickup by a dispatcher was 4 minutes and 12 seconds. The minimum time was 32 seconds. The maximum time was 7 minutes and 36 seconds.

44:36 – Most Americans say they’ve made big financial mistakes with many people costing themselves thousands of dollars, according to a new poll. Two-thirds of people surveyed acknowledged making at least one really bad financial decision with 47% admitting to more than one boneheaded maneuver. The $5,000 median loss was bad enough, but the average hit was far worse. 11% of respondents lost more than $50,000, while over 2% cost themselves over $200,000. Roughly four-fifths rated themselves as good or excellent at family budgeting or handling credit card debt.

Episode 343

29:01 – USA Today Snapshots – How Many Credit Cards Do You Own? This was a AARP bulletin survey of 1,019 adults 18 and older. 26% have none, 20% have one, 34% have 2-3 and 20% have 4 or more.

1:00:14 – A picture is worth a thousand words. According to a new study by researchers at CalTech, the distance between photographers and models makes a difference. Close-up photo objects are judged to look less trustworthy, less competent and less attractive. The new findings were described in this week’s issue of the open-access journal PLoS ONE.

Episode 344

3:49 – USA Today Snapshots – The cost of raising a child through the age of 17 - $235,000. Clothing - $13,500, transportation - $34,000, healthcare and miscellaneous - $38,000, food - $38,000, education - $41,000, household expenses - $70,000.

22:59 – Walking with a slouched or despondent body posture can lead to feelings of depression or decreased energy, but those feelings can be reversed by walking in a more upright position, according to new research. In an article published Oct. 5 in the journal Biofeedback, professor of health education Eric Pepper found that simply choosing to alter your body posture to a more upright position can improve mood and energy levels.

25:24 – Modern humans once shared the globe with now-departed human lineages, including the Neanderthals, our closest known extinct relatives. Neanderthals had been around for about 30,000 years when modern humans appeared in the fossil record about 200,000 years ago. Neanderthals disappeared about 30,000 year ago. The last sex between Neanderthals and modern humans likely occurred as recently as 47,000 years ago. Neanderthals apparently last interbred with the ancestors of today's Europeans after modern humans with advanced stone tools expanded out of Africa, researchers say.

36:04 – UYD recently talked about employees who call into work sick (Episode 342, 26:23). Many listeners called into the voicemail pretending to be sick and it took Seth a few calls to figure out what was going on. just released a study that says 29% of employers check to verify illness if employees call in sick. 14% of employers drove by employees’ homes to see if they were home. 5% had other employees call a suspected faker.

46:26 – In the past, the traditional method of studying sexual orientation via arousal has allowed for a lot of loopholes and prevented a clear conclusion from being drawn. Asking subjects point-blank about their arousal level obviously allowed for lying and showing people sexual images and monitoring the blood flow to their genitals was flawed as well. Not only can certain people suppress their genital arousal, but the lab environment may have affected their sexual inhibitions, and their invasiveness has stopped certain individuals from participating at all. Ritch Savin-Williams, developmental psychologist at Cornell University, just conducted the first major experiment that links pupil dilation to sexuality and says the results show that the eyes indicate a foolproof subconscious sexual response. They selected 165 men and 160 women – gay, straight and bisexual. They showed them images of men and women masturbating and neutral landscapes while monitoring their pupil dilation. They also showed videos of members of the opposite sex simultaneously and took note where the subject’s focus primarly was. Lo and behold, bisexual men and women responded to both the images of men and women. Heterosexual men responded to the images of women, and heterosexual women responded to both the images of men and women.

52:48 – You’re in a store, trying to choose between similar shirts, one blue and one green. You don’t feel strongly about one over the other, but eventually you decide to buy the green one. You leave the store and a market researcher asks you about your purchase and which shirt you prefer. Chances are that you’d say you prefer the green one, the shirt you actually chose. As it turns out, this choice-induced preference isn’t limited to shirts. Whether we’re choosing between presidential candidates or household objects, research shows that we come to place more value on the options we chose and less value on the options we rejected. One way of explaining this effect is through the idea of cognitive dissonance. Making a selection between two options that we feel pretty much the same about creates a sense of dissonance – after all, how can we choose if we don’t really prefer one option over the other? Re-evaluating the options after we’ve made our choice may be a way of resolving this dissonance.

Episode 345

6:08 – 3 processes to help people deal with past trauma: 1) Eye movement desensitation and reprocessing (EMDR) – a patient revisits traumatic memories while following a pendulating object, such as a therapist’s waving finger; 2) somatic experiencing – a body focused intervention where the therapist and patient revisit in small doses past traumatic events while focusing on body sensations as the therapist will guide the patient to shift focus back and forth between the event and the safety of the room that they’re in; or 3) guided imagery – a mind-body technique involving using the imagination to bring itself to a safe haven where you recall the trauma but decide instead to go to your ‘safe place.’

15:28 – In New Haven, Conn., the Peabody Museum has found evidence that the snail came before the worm. The director for the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History has helped confirm that shelled mollusks are the evolutionary ancestors of worms. There has been scholarly disagreement as to what came first.

33:13 – USA Today Snapshots – Reasons Adults Give for Skipping a Flu Vaccination. 33% say I don’t need it; 32% say fear of vaccine-related illnesses; 23% don’t like needles; 18% say it’s too expensive. There were multiple responses allowed. The source was Harris Interactive for Target Corp. 1,294 adults were surveyed.

41:17 – Modern humans have gotten incomparably good at survival – doing more to extend our lives over just this last century than our forebearers did in the previous 6.6 million years since we parted evolutionary ways with chimpanzees. In fact, humans in societies with plentiful food and advanced medicine surpassed other species used in life-extending medical research, in stretching out longevity and reducing our odds of dying at every point along our ever-lengthening lifespans. The research published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences touches on the hotly debated question of whether an upper limit to longevity is inscribed in our genes. It makes clear that life extension begins at birth with a child born in the last four generations standing a better chance of being alive during infancy, adolescence, the reproductive years and after that more now than in any of the 8,000 generations that have come before us.

49:51 – Mother rats respond much differently to cocaine than female rats that have never given birth, according to new University of Michigan research that looks at both behavior and brain chemistry. The findings may help lay the groundwork for more tailored human addiction treatment based on scientific understanding of how gender hormones and life experience impact drug use. In an oral presentation at the Society of Neuroscience meeting, UM researcher Jennifer Cummings, Ph.D., summarized findings from experiments with rats at the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute. They identified clear differences in how intensely the pleasure centers in the mother rats’ brains reacted to the drug compared with non-mothers. Mother rats’ brains released less of a chemical called dopamine, which helps cause the high from cocaine. They also found an interaction with stress. Mother rats that were exposed to periods of increased stress were willing to work as hard to get a dose of cocaine compared to rats that had never given birth or mother rats that weren’t exposed to the stress – even though the stressed mother rats showed an increased tendency to use cocaine when it was easy to get.

Episode 346

12:24 – USA Today Snapshots – After having a baby, is your work performance the same after giving birth? This was a Forbes survey of 664 working moms. 34% said no, their work was slacking. 13% say no, it’s better. 7% say they don’t know. 46% say yes, it’s the same.

53:18 – Parents consistently overestimate their children’s optimism and at the same time they downplay their worries, according to new research by psychologists at the UC-Davis Center for the Mind and Brain. In three separate studies involving more than 500 children ages 4 through 11, they found that parents consistently rated their children as being less worried and more optimistic than the children rated themselves.

55:15 – The more money your neighbors make, the more likely you are to take your own life. These findings come from a new paper published at the San Francisco Federal Reserve titled “Relative Status and Well-Being: Evidence from U.S. Suicide Deaths.” According to the results, your risk of suicide increases by 4.5 percent if your own paycheck is less than 10 percent of your county’s average income.

Episode 347

8:51 – If you plan to fly during the holiday season, the chance of losing your luggage increases sharply. The rate of mishandled luggage in December was as much as 35% higher than the annual averages for 2008-2010, according to a study by NerdWallet, a personal finance analysis website. In January, the lost or damaged rate was as much as 43% higher than the annual averages from 2008-2010.

17:20 – According to the Beer Institute, the states with the highest and lowest annual consumption of 12 ounce beers are (LEAST): 5) Maryland, 4) New Jersey, 3) New York, 2) Connecticut and 1) Utah. (MOST): 5) Nevada, 4) South Dakota, 3) Montana, 2) North Dakota, 1) New Hampshire.

45:23 – USA Today Snapshots – “Do You Always Fill Up the Entire Tank in Your Car?” This is a Phillips 66 survey of more than 1,000 drivers. 60% said yes, 40% said no.

47:03 – Long after women have chosen Mr. Stable over Mr. Sexy, they struggle unconsciously with the decision, according to a new study by UCLA researchers who look at subtle changes in behavior during ovulation. At their most fertile period, these women are less likely to feel close to their mates and more likely to find fault with them than women mated to more sexually desirable men, the research shows. “A woman evaluates her relationship differently at different times in her cycle, and her evaluation seems to be colored by how sexually attractive she perceives her partner to be,” said Martie Haselton, a professor of psychology and communication studies at UCLA and senior author of the study. Nevertheless, the negative feelings appear fleeting, and they don't seem to affect a woman's long-term commitment to her romantic relationship, the study found. “Even when these women are feeling less positive about their relationship, they don't want to end it,” said Christina Larson, the study's lead author and a doctoral candidate in social psychology at UCLA. The findings are scheduled to appear in the November issue of the peer-reviewed journal Hormones and Behavior. Through a series of high-profile studies, Haselton's lab has revealed telling changes that take place in women's behavior during ovulation. Possibly to increase the odds of attracting suitable mating partners, these behaviors include a tendency to dress up and to speak in a higher-pitched, more feminine voice and — in a potential inbreeding-avoidance mechanism — to refrain from contact with male kin. In addition, the lab has found that women whose mates are less sexy and masculine tend to be more attracted to other men during the few fertile days leading up to ovulation. The researchers found that women mated to the less sexually attractive men were significantly more likely to find fault with their partners and, again, feel less close to their partners during the high-fertility period than the low-fertility period. Women who rated their mates as more sexually attractive, meanwhile, did not exhibit these changes and instead reported being more satisfied with their relationship at high fertility than at low fertility. The researchers believe the findings shed light on a suite of conflicting behaviors that stem from mating strategies that might have provided an evolutionary benefit to women's female ancestors of long ago but today probably serve no other purpose than to stir the domestic pot. “Since our female ancestors couldn't directly examine a potential partner's genetic makeup, they had to base their decisions on physical manifestations of the presence of good genes and the absence of genetic mutations, which might include masculine features such as a deep voice, masculine face, dominant behavior and sexy looks,” said Haselton, who is affiliated with UCLA's Center for Behavior, Evolution, and Culture. “It is possible that we evolved to feel drawn to these visible markers because, at least in the past, they proved to be indicators of good genes,” she said. “Ancestral women who were attracted to these features could have produced offspring who were more successful in attracting mates and producing progeny.” But as any mother with mounting bills and laundry can attest, women do not look only for good genes in a potential partner. “In the reproductive arena, women probably evolved to desire men who could contribute both quality care and good genes,” Haselton said. “The problem is that there is a limited number of potential mates who are high in both. So many women are forced to make trade-offs.” She calls the urge for a stable long-term partner along with the increased desire for a more sexually attractive mate during periods of high fertility the “dual mating hypothesis.”

Episode 348

7:24 – USA Today Snapshots – “What events are very stressful when traveling?” 61% - Bag delayed, 74% - losing boarding pass, 77% - losing laptop or tablet, 91% - losing wallet

Episode 349

29:51 – USA Today Snaphots – How much emergency living expenses do you have? 20% say 3-6 months; 29% say more than 6 months; 48% say less than 3 months; 3% say no answer.

47:20 – According to, an automobile trade magazine published since 1924, the top 5 countries in terms of automobiles on the road are: 5) Russia – 43 million; 4) Germany – 46 million; 3) Japan – 74 million; 2) China – 94 million; and 1) USA – 249 million.

52:30 – Transhumanism. Only those with an average lifespan would settle for normal orgasms. Instead, sexual satisfaction produced by a robot sex doll is quickly becoming the fantasy of many transhumanists: Sexbots are coming, and we will cum with them. Three times a week or whatever our physician / longevity coach recommends. Because orgasms — especially the hormone-exploding O’s we’ll eventually enjoy with carnal cyborgs — are excellent for mental and physical health. Remember the most convulsive, brain-ripping climax you ever had? The one that left you with “I could die happy now” satiety? Sexbots will electrocute our flesh with climaxes thrice as gigantic because they’ll be more desirable, patient, eager, and altruistic than their meat-bag competition, plus they’ll be uploaded with supreme sex-skills from millennia of erotic manuals, archives and academic experiments, and their anatomy will feature sexplosive devices. Sexbots will heighten our ecstasy until we have shrieking, frothy, bug-eyed, amnesia-inducing orgasms. They’ll offer us quadruple-tongued cunnilingus, open-throat silky fellatio, deliriously gentle kissing, transcendent nipple tweaking, g-spot massage & prostate milking dexterity, plus 2,000 varieties of coital rhythm with scented lubes — this will all be ours when the Sexbots arrive.

Episode 350

32:54 – USA Today Snapshots – “What Delivery Timeframe Causes You Not to Make a Purchase?” This was from a UPS survey of 3,100 online shoppers. More than a week – 25%; 4-5 days – 15%; 6-7 days – 16%; up to 3 days – 6%; not providing a date – 38%.

38:33 – Men in committed relationships choose to keep a greater distance between themselves and unknown women they find attractive when given the hormone Oxytocin, according to new research in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Episode 351

4:35 – USA Today Snapshots – “How Many Holiday Parties Do You Attend?” 41% say 1-2; 44% say 3 or more; 15% say none.

23:15 – More than half of the U.S. couches contain potentially toxic flame retardants that pose risks to humans and the chemicals migrate from furniture foam into house dust, says a Duke University-led study published today. Of the 102 couches tested, 41% had foam with chlorinated tris, a probable human carcinogen removed from baby pajamas in 1977. 17% contain the chemical pentaBDE, now globally banned, according to the peer-reviewed study in Environmental Science and Technology. Most, 85%, were treated with some kind of untested or potentially toxic flame retardant. “The levels are enormous. People have a pound of these toxic chemicals in their couches,” says co-author Arlene Blum, a chemist at the University of Cal-Berkeley and founder of the Green Science Policy Institute.

27:20 – It’s the season for joy and feasting. It’s also the season for burglaries, house fires and other property problems caused by careless homeowners. According to a new study, nearly 60% of the roughly 2,000 adults surveyed by Harris Interactive do not follow common safety precautions, according to a report commissioned by Next Door, a social network for neighborhoods. Many leave at least one door or window unlocked and/or they broadcast their departure on Twitter/Facebook. They let their mail/newspapers pile up in front of their homes. Nearly 4 in 10 fail to tell a neighbor to keep a vigilant eye out. 19% hide a house key somewhere nearby. Taking advantage of frazzled holiday trekkers, burglars made 400,000 hits in November and December last year, according to the FBI.

31:24 – The myth that suicides spike during the holidays come back to haunt us every year. The months of November, December and January actually have the lowest number of suicides per day, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, which analyzed 1999-2010 data from the CDC. It found that the rates were actually highest in the spring and summer.

48:13 – Sibling conflict represents parents’ No. 1 concern and complaint about family life, but a new prevention program -- designed and carried out by researchers at Penn State -- demonstrates that siblings of elementary-school age can learn to get along. In doing so, they can improve their future health and well-being. “Negative sibling relationships are strongly linked to aggressive, anti-social and delinquent behaviors, including substance use,” said Mark Feinberg, research professor in the Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development. “On the other hand, positive sibling relationships are linked to all kinds of positive adjustment, including improved peer and romantic relationship quality, academic adjustment and success, and positive well being and mental health. With this program, we wanted to help siblings learn how to manage their conflicts and feel more like a team as a way to improve their well-being and avoid engaging in troublesome behaviors over time.” The program -- called SIBlings Are Special (SIBS) -- was designed by Feinberg; Susan McHale, director of the Social Science Research Institute at Penn State and professor of human development; and colleagues to improve sibling and family relationships just prior to older siblings' transition to middle school, which often is marked by increased exposure to and involvement in risky behaviors. The 174 families who participated in the study were randomly assigned to take part in SIBS or to be in a control condition.

53:36 – The National Restaurant Association has released their annual “What’s Hot” list to find the upcoming food trends for 2013. It will include a lot of new vegetarian appetizers. House-made artisanal soda pops will be hot, as well as exotic fruits—pawpaw (or mountain papaya) from South America, salak (or snake fruit) from Indonesia, jamun (or java) from Nepal and jujube (or Chinese dates) from China.

Episode 352

33:29 –USA Today Snapshots – “What Is Your Definition of Getting Ahead?” Doing better than previous years - 57%; Doing better than your own parents – 24%; Doing better than most Americans – 9%; I don’t know – 6%.

59:07 – According to psychological lore, when it comes to items of information the mind can cope with before confusion sets in, the magic number is 7. However, new analysis challenges this long-held view, suggesting the actual number might be 4. In 1956, American psychologist George Miller published a paper in the influential journal Psychological Review arguing the mind could cope with a maximum of only seven chunks of information. The paper, “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two. Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information”, has since become one of the most highly cited psychology articles and has been judged by the Psychological Review as its most influential paper of all time. But UNSW professor of psychiatry Gordon Parker says a re-analysis of the experiments used by Miller shows he missed the correct number by a wide mark. Writing in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Scientia Professor Parker says a closer look at the evidence shows the human mind copes with a maximum of four ‘chunks’ of information, not seven. “So to remember a seven numeral phone number, say 6458937, we need to break it into four chunks: 64. 58. 93. 7. Basically four is the limit to our perception. “That’s a big difference for a paper that is one of the most highly referenced psychology articles ever – nearly a 100 percent discrepancy,” he suggests. Professor Parker says the success of the original paper lies “more in its multilayered title and Miller’s evocative use of the word ‘magic’,” than in the science. Professor Parker says 50 years after Miller there is still uncertainty about the nature of the brain’s storage capacity limits: “There may be no limit in storage capacity per se but only a limit to the duration in which items can remain active in short-term memory”.

Episode 353

10:45 – USA Today Snapshots: “Is the American dream possible? Where Americans are at in achieving the ideal life in USA.” This was from Harris Interactive for Public Agenda. Don’t Think About It – 21%; Have Achieved It – 24%; Unlikely to Achieve It – 15%; Have A Way To Go – 41%.

39:25 – Jonathan was thinking about the study discussed last week at the end of the show about how much the human brain can remember before having to get a pencil out (Episode 352, 59:07). He thought that you had to be able to remember things in the 1950s that you don’t need to be able to know now.

41:52 – Paying it forward is a popular expression for extending generosity to others after someone has been generous to you. It’s a heartwarming concept but it is less common than repaying greed with greed, according to new research by the American Psychological Association. “The idea of paying it forward is this cascade of goodwill will turn into a utopia with everyone helping everyone," said lead researcher Kurt Gray, PhD. “Unfortunately, greed or looking out for ourselves is more powerful than true acts of generosity.” The study, published online in APA’s Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, is the first systematic investigation of paying forward generosity, equality or greed, according to the authors. “The bulk of the scientific research on this concept has focused on good behavior, and we wondered what would happen when you looked at the entire gamut of human behaviors,” said Gray, an assistant professor of social psychology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who conducted the study with researchers at Harvard University.

47:07 – Hair care and maintenance issues are primary factors that deter African American women from exercising – a major health concern for a group that has the highest rates of overweight or obesity throughout the country. Research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center shows that about a third of African American women cite complications of hair care as the reason they do not exercise or exercise less than they would like to.

Episode 354

14:22 – USA Today Snapshots – Top Causes of Wasted Time at Work. This is a Track Via survey of 300 office workers. Chatting with co-workers – 14%; Personal internet use – 14%; Computer software problems – 11%; Meetings – 11%.

Episode 355

27:00 – We cannot guess how we will change, a new study says. A study was based on surveys of 19,000 participants ages 18-68. People tend to picture themselves in the future much as they are today, discounting how they’ve changed over time, finds a study from Harvard and the University of Virginia. The view that all our changes are in the past -- dubbed "the end of history illusion” -- leads to mistakes of prediction, such as when a 20-year-old “ets a tattoo, unable to believe its appeal will wear off some day, says study author Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychology professor. These judgment errors also have financial consequences, he says, leading us to overestimate how much we'll value something in the future. In one part of the study, published Thursday in the journal Science, researchers asked participants how much they would pay for tickets to see their favorite band in concert in 10 years. They said $130. Other participants, asked how much they would pay to see the band they loved best 10 years ago, said they would pay only $80. “We would be very well served to make decisions with the understanding that who we are now is just a point on a changing line,” he says.

51:43 – USA Today Snapshots: Where the volunteers are and aren’t. This is the percentage of U.S. residents who volunteer, conducted by a Scarborough Research study of 77 markets. The highest percentage of volunteers in a given city is Salt Lake City, with 42%. The lowest percentage was tied between Providence, R.I., Harlingen, Texas and Miami – all at 20%.

58:28 – Babies only hours old are able to differentiate between sounds from their native language and a foreign language, scientists have discovered. The study indicates that babies begin absorbing language while still in the womb, earlier than previously thought. Sensory and brain mechanisms for hearing are developed at 30 weeks of gestational age, and the new study shows that unborn babies are listening to their mothers talk during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy and at birth can demonstrate what they’ve heard. “The mother has first dibs on influencing the child’s brain,” said Patricia Kuhl, co-author and co-director of the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington. “The vowel sounds in her speech are the loudest units and the fetus locks onto them.” Previously, researchers had shown that newborns are born ready to learn and begin to discriminate between language sounds within the first months of life, but there was no evidence that language learning had occurred in utero. Their interest in the sounds was captured by how long they sucked on a pacifier that was wired into a computer measuring the babies’ reaction to the sounds. Longer or shorter sucking for unfamiliar or familiar sounds is evidence for learning, because it indicates that infants can differentiate between the sounds heard in utero. In both countries, the babies at birth sucked longer for the foreign language than they did for their native tongue.

Episode 356

15:26 – USA Today Snapshots – How Teens Say They Get Meds Prescribed To Them. Multiple responses were allowed. Source of the survey was The Partnership at, and it was a survey of 440 teens age 12-17. 24% - prescribed through school, 27% - someone else, 28% - friends, 37% - home.

33:13 – The Nielsen State of the Media shows U.S. consumer usage in 2012. 47% of the country uses DVR for their recording capabilities/needs, yet 55% still use a VCR.

41:11 – Nearly a third of children diagnosed with food allergies who participated in a recent study are apparently bullied, according to the researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Episode 357

13:37 – USA Today Snapshots – Percentage of dreams recalled in the morning. This is from Anna’s Linens Unscientific Email Survey of 3,700 consumers. More than half – 18%, More than a quarter of a half – 26%, A quarter or less – 56%.

28:05 – New mothers talk on the phone, text or check email at an alarming rate while driving their babies in the car, a newly released survey has found. Although they are otherwise protective of their young children, the survey finds 78% of mothers with children younger than 2 acknowledge talking on the phone while driving with their babies. They also admit to texting, checking email or turning around to deal with their babies in the backseat. The survey is from the child protection advocacy group called Safe Kids Worldwide, and American Baby ,magazine finds that the new mothers’ behavior rivals that of teenage drivers.

31:38 – When a husband hides his wife’s birth control pills or a boyfriend takes off a condom in the middle of sex in hopes of getting an unwilling girlfriend pregnant, that’s a form of abuse called reproductive coercion. Though researchers don’t know exactly how common such coercion is, it’s common enough – especially among women who are abused by their partners in other ways – that doctors should screen women for signs at checkups and pregnancy visits, says the nation’s leading group of obstatricians and gynecologists. “We want to make sure that health care providers are aware that this is something that does go on and is a form of abuse,” said Veronica Gillespie, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Oshner Health System in New Orleans, and a member of the committee that wrote the opinion for the American College of Obstratricians and Gynecologists. It’s published in the February issue of Obstetrics.

50:20 – Your morning cup of coffee may do more than just help you wake up. A study conducted by two Tufts psychologists found that caffeine appears to make people perform better in a proofreading test. “Coffee is the most widely used psycho-stimulant in the world,” says Holly Taylor, a Tufts professor of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences. The general idea is that arousal, such as that associated with caffeine, makes people better at processing information, both the fine details and the bigger picture. The researchers conducted two experiments. The first experiment involved 36 participants who normally just drink half a cup of coffee each day. They were randomly given capsules containing one of four doses of caffeine: 0 milligrams, 100 milligrams (equal to 8 ounces of coffee), 200 milligrams (equal to 16 ounces of coffee), or 400 milligrams (equal to 20 ounces of coffee). Forty-five minutes after they took the capsule, the study subjects were asked to read a one-page news story and identify and correct as many spelling and grammatical mistakes as they could find in five minutes.

Episode 358

17:10 – USA Today Snapshots – “In a game night, what person would you least like to have on your team?” The options are Boss, In-Laws and Parents. 38% said Boss.

24:34 – According to the Public Religion Research Institute’s survey “God on the Field,” roughly 3 out of 10 Americans believe that God plays a key role in the outcome of sporting events.

40:43 – Heterosexual men pick up clues about other men’s physical qualities from their dance moves just as heterosexual women do, say researchers at Northumbria University. A study, led by psychologist Dr Nick Neave and researcher Kristofor McCarty, used 3D motion-capture technology and biomechanical analyses to examine the extent to which male dancing provides clues about the dancer’s physical strength and fitness to both male and female observers. The findings, published in the American Journal of Human Biology, suggest that male observers pick up on the strength of their potential rivals for female mates. Researchers at Northumbria University filmed 30 males, aged 19-37, as they danced to a basic drum rhythm. Participants also completed a fitness test and assessments of upper and lower body strength. The dance clips were converted into virtual humanoid characters (avatars) and rated by women and men on perceived dance and physical qualities. The ratings were then correlated with various biomechanical indices. The results showed that both sexes found significant positive associations between an individual’s hand grip strength and their perceived dance quality, these qualities were picked up by the size and vigour of the movements of the upper body and arms. Although it is traditionally thought that signals given off by men when they dance have been designed – like animal mating displays – to be interpreted as clues of their physical attributes to the opposite sex, it seems that heterosexual men are also making use of these signals, presumably to detect a potential love rival.

58:03 – A team of researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Cornell University are asking people to enter a recipe contest for meals they will serve during a simulated mission to Mars. Staff and crew of the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation mission will select finalist recipes, taking popular vote into account. The crew will test these recipes during a simulated mission scheduled to start in April. Winners will be announced at the end of the mission in August. The four recipe categories include breakfast, main dish, side dishes and desserts (or snacks.) Recipe submissions are being accepted online through March 8 at The simulated mission aims to help NASA determine the best way to keep astronauts well-nourished during multiple-year missions to Mars or the moon.

Episode 359

32:28 – USA Today Snapshots – Did you buy insurance at the time of your cell phone purchase? 38% do it, 37% don’t do it, 14% claim they weren’t offered any, 11% don’t remember.

40:53 – Researchers at New Mexico State University Chili Pepper Insititute and colleagues in South Korea have created a draft of the chili pepper genome – the first time the chili has been sequenced.

Episode 360

7:00 – The domestic cat is a cold-blooded murderous blood-hungry species. These cats kill from 1.4 billion to as many as 3.7 billion birds in the continental U.S. every year. A new study that escalates a decades-old debate over the feline threat to native animals. The estimates are much higher than the hundreds of millions of annual bird deaths previously attributed to cats. The study also says that from 6.9 billion to as many as 20.7 billion mammals – mainly mice, shrews, rabbits and voles get killed by cats annually in the 48 states.

22:32 – USA Today Snapshots: What is Your Favorite Pie Flavor? Apple, Pecan, Chocolate, Cherry, Pumpkin, Other – 20%. 36:11 – A Brown University study published in the journal Injury Prevention found that bikers age 60 and older were 2 ½ times more likely to wind up in emergency rooms with severe injuries as riders in their 20s and 30s. The study examined about 1.5 million motorcycle accidents.

Episode 361

4:43 – USA Today Snapshots – How will you use your tax refund? Save it – 47%, Pay off the debt – (not said), Spend it on necessities – 28%, Spend it on fun items – 15%, Invest it – 15%.

18:44 – The National Safety Council has released a report, “Death In America: The Odds of Dying in a Given Year Under Selected Circumstances.” Choking – 1 in 100,686; Falling Down the Stairs – 1 in 157,000; Lightning Strike – 1 in 10,495,684; Dying From Fireworks – 1 in 50,729,141.

48:45 – The word “beautiful,” “ocean views,” “mountain views” and “gated community” are among the most popular keywords used to advertise homes online to west coast home buyers, a recent study shows. Nationwide, “beautiful” was the most frequent word in listings last year, according to a study of 300,000 listings conducted by Point2Homes, an online listing and property data portal. “Hardwood floors” took second place, and “stainless steel appliances” came in third.

54:59 – The most frequent turning point in a father-daughter relationship is shared activity, especially sports. Ahead of such pivotal events as when a daughter marries or leaves the home, according to a study at Baylor University, the father becomes the primary playmate. This the masculine style of building closeness, called closeness in the doing, whereas feminine orientation is talking – closeness in the dialogue, said Mark T. Morman, Ph.D., a professor of communication in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences. An article about the findings by Morman and former Baylor graduate Elizabeth Barrett is published in the Journal of Human Communication. When asked what key experiences changed closeness in their relationships, fathers and daughters who were study participants mentioned events typical of those that help cement masculine relationships.

Episode 362

8:16 – USA Today Snapshots: Adults who have spelled out end-of-life instructions with a health care directive. Between ages 18-44, 8% don’t know or refuse to answer the question. 17% said yes they had, 75% had not. Over age 44, 49% had not, 7% did not know or refused and 44% had.

53:40 – A Boston marketing and public relations company has analyzed what people say about hotels by studying more than 18,000 online conversations for a 6-month period of time on various social websites, blogs and forums. The company, Broder Partners, used for the first time what it calls a conversational relevance to measure how much people talk about a hotel and how much of it is positive. Despite all the money and effort hotels put into selecting comfortable beds and soft pillows, a new study suggests that hotel guests are more likely to choose a hotel based on the water pressure in the shower. When guests had conversations about what they like to see or feel in the room, most of the talk was about the shower – specifically the water pressure – surpassing talk about bed or sheets.

57:49 – UC-Davis scientists collected air pollution particles in Fresno and then exposed laboratory mice to them. They found that one of the most toxic sources of air pollution was the backyard grill. Along with particles from vehicles and wood-burning emissions, particulates from residential cooking had the greatest measurable impacts on mice lung function. “That was like, wow,” said Anthony Wexler, the study’s co-author and director of the Air Quality Research Center at UC-Davis. “It’s not that you’re cooking, it’s how you’re cooking. We think it’s the charcoal briquettes that are the problem.”

1:01:24 – Mathematicians at the University of Vermont analyzed 10 million tweets by using a list of 10,000 words rated on a 10-point scale as “happy,” “sad” or “neutral.” They threw out the neutral words. They ranked all 50 states based on these words. The number one happiest state was Hawaii.

1:02:35 – The Gallup Healthways Well Being Index just came out, providing quality of life rankings by state. For the fifth year in a row, the number one state was Hawaii. The bottom five states for overall well-being: 46) Herda, 47) Hatta, 48) Her-Hadda. … 46) Arkansas, 47) Tennessee, 48) Mississippi, 49) Kentucky and 50) West Virginia.

Episode 363

19:28 – USA Today Snapshots: How Often Parents Talk to their Kids About Alcohol. This was from a Century Council Survey of about 500 parents with kids ages 10-18. 10% - never; 12% - 1 time; 32% - 2-3 times; 46% - 4 or more times.

34:58 – The latest survey of more than 2,000 people in the U.S. by the travel review site found that the biggest annoyance and most complaints from airline travel was attributed to uncomfortable seats with no legroom.

42:02 – In the latest journal Sex Roles, a trio of psychologists analyzed the advertising images in a slate of magazines targeted at men. From Penthouse to Field and Stream, they counted up the ads that depict men as violent, calloused, tough, dangerous and sexually aggressive, then indexed them with the magazine’s target demographics. Hyper-masculine images, the researchers found, are more likely to be sold to adolescents who find higher “peer-group support” for manly man behaviors. They are also sold to working-class men who are “embedded in enduring social and economic structures in which they experience powerlessness and lack of access to resources like political power, social respect and wealth, and thus turn to more widely accessible measures of masculine worth like physical strength and aggression.” The magazines pushing this image most aggressively are Playboy and Game Informer, whose ads play on hyper-masculine tropes about 95% of the time.

52:53 – When you let go of a helium balloon and it floats away in Tucson, Arizona, where does it end up? Erin Zylstra, a University of Arizona biologist, has a pretty good idea after taking the first-ever inventory of balloon waste in federal parklands surrounding the city. Shriveled latex in rainbow colors is ubiquitous in the Rincon and Tucscon mountain sections of the Saguaro National Park, where the air-filled orbs often land due to local wind patterns. Some hang from trees, others are in various states of decomposition – many half-melted onto the rocks like rubberized lichens. To her amazement, balloons greatly outnumbered desert tortoises and Western diamond rattlesnakes in the 120 square kilometers – which is roughly 75 miles of parkland – that she studies. In one square kilometer of land, it had an estimated density of 62 balloons, 30 tortoises, 26 rattlers and 29 plastic bags.

54:37 – Hugging someone can help reduce stress, fear and anxiety, and has a lowering effect on blood pressure, promotes well-being and promotes memory performance. These positive effects are caused by the secretion of the pepcide oxytocin, but only when we are hugged by someone we know very well. Hugging strangers can have the opposite effect. Oxytocin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, is primarily known for increasing bonding, social behavior and closeness between parents, children and couples. Increased oxytocin levels have been found, for example, in partners in functional relationships. In women, it is also produced during childbirth process and during breastfeeding in order to increase the mother’s bond with the baby.