Thursday, December 30, 2010

Magnets: Lowering Morals Since 2010

In April 2010, Liane Young and the fine people at MIT and Harvard reportedly discovered a way to lower peoples' moral judgement using transcranial magnetic stimulation. The procedure "briefly disrupts neural processing with a magnetic field induced by electric current".

20 volunteers were asked to judge 24 scenarios that involved moral questionable behaviour on a 7 point scale. The scale ranged from morally forbidden to morally permissible. After ranking each scenario, the volunteers' brains were then stimulated in their temporoparietal junction aka
"a region theorized to play a role in our ability to figure out others' intentions"
and ranked the 24 scenarios once more. After being stimulated, the subjects consistently ranked the actions of the characters closer to the morally permissible side.

Young's interpretation to this study was that once the subjects were "zapped" they tended to focus more on the outcome (nobody died) opposed to the intent of the character in each scenario.

I would like to conclude by quoting the last paragraph of this article by Daniel Lametti:
"Manipulating morality with a magnet may sound diobolical, but Young has no interest in mind control. Her goal, she explains, is to learn more about why intentions matter to us when we make moral judgements."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bird's Eye View

Thank you Atiya for showing me this mind-boggling image taken by photographer Robert B. Hass. He captured this image for National Geographic in the Yucatan peninsula. When describing the photo, Hass has been quoted saying the following:

"People are stunned by the improbability. What are the odds that hundreds of flamingos form a shape like that?"

I could not agree more, what are the chances that hundreds of flamingos are chillin' in the formation of a giant flamingo?! Impressive and exceptionally rare to say the least.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bubble Boy Gone Festive

With 11 days left until Christmas I feel a festive post is appropriate. Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to introduce you to Ben Erkerson aka "Snowglobe Boy". The man who holds the world record for the longest time spent in an inflatable snowglobe.

By logging onto, people had access to live audio and video being streamed. In addition, there were chat applications and blogging to interact with "Snowglobe Boy" himself!

Ben's wife said, "Ben loves Christmas more than any 5-year-old" and was not surprised about this record attempt. It started off as an idea for an eco-friendly digital holiday card and quickly turned into something quite buzz-worthy!

So just how long did Ben last in that inflatable snowglobe you wonder? ... 78 hours and 30 minutes! After completion, this is what he had to say:

"Thank you everyone for making this world record happen. It was so much fun spreading holiday cheer to everyone around the world!" - Source

I hope everyone has a great holidays and spreads some Christmas cheer! :) Just like you, Darren!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Zeitgeist 2010: Year in Review

So good I don't even mind if it's too wide for my template. 2010 in a nutshell, take it in. (Double click the video to open in separate screen)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Make it Rain

Welcome to the new and improved Fact Snacks! I hope you like the new banner and template. A special thanks to my main man Phil for helping creating this new look, you rock don't ever change!

I wanted to take this time to thank all who follow my blog even during its puke green themed phase. If you have any suggestions or interesting Fact Snacks feel free to send them my way! Here is an interesting video loyal FactSnacker Simone brought to my attention about lung fish.

Not only can it take oxygen directly from the air, but at times of drought it can stay dormant for years waiting for water! Check it out...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Carrying the World on Your Shoulder

When working at the oneofakind Show this weekend in Toronto I stumbled across this booth that really intrigued me. The company is Joy Apparel and the product is the Joy T-Shirt.

You design and purchase your Joy T-Shirt on by choosing a person and a shirt to put the face on. Each visage (face) represents a real person and the tag will have information on the stranger (ie name, where he/she is from, goals in life). The idea is that
"when you wear your shirt you are encouraged to think about that person and how your everyday actions can affect others and the world we live in"
Then, once you bought your Joy T-Shirt, you can then upload your visage to the website. It will then be hand drawn and put onto a shirt for others around the world to wear next to their hearts. How cool is that?!

As stated by the people at Joy Apparel:

It is about taking an active stance against racism and discrimination while being an advocate for peace and equality... because in someway or another, we are all connected!


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