February 11, 2010

Nice Guys Win the Dating Game
In a series of tests, men who had “altruistic interests,” such as working for a charity, were regarded as “significantly more desirable.” Although being devoted to good causes will not make a man more physically appealing, it does make him a better candidate for a marriage or simply a one-night stand, the study revealed. (Telegraph)

Spirituality in (a Specific Part of) the Brain
Cosimo Urgesi, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Udine, and his colleagues turned to people with brain tumors to assess the feeling before and after surgery. Three to seven days after the removal of tumors from the posterior part of the brain, in the parietal cortex, patients reported feeling a greater sense of self-transcendence. This was not the case for patients with tumors removed from the frontal regions of the brain. (Janelle Weaver, Nature News)

Synthetic Biology
Synthetic biologists want to write brand-new genetic code, pulling together specific genes or portions of genes plucked from a wide range of organisms—or even constructed from scratch in a lab—and methodically lacing them into a single set of genetic instructions. Implant that new code into an organism, and you should be able to make its cells do and produce things that nothing in nature has ever done or produced before. (Jon Mooallem, The New York Times Magazine)

Spirituality as a Way of Life
Susan Smalley: In the West, we tend to compartmentalize our time for spiritual practice if present (times of day or days of week) while in India it is constant—morning to night, birth to death. I am not suggesting an adoption of the religions of India, but rather adopting an increased awareness or recognition of our interconnected nature into daily life. I am suggesting that attention to our connections beyond our “individuality,” our individual “self,” is important for health and well-being (science shows that is true). (The Huffington Post)

Gossip as Moral Instruction and Motivation
Nicholas DiFonzo: Paradoxically, even when the gossip is spread with the worst of motives as part of a tale-bearer’s gleeful utterances, it has the effect of educating us about what constitutes unacceptable behavior and even effectively motivating us to avoid that behavior—and this is a social good. (Around the Watercooler, Psychology Today)


To report the book, John Bowe and his team conducted interviews across the country (two to four hours each), and the result is Us: Americans Talk About Love, which has recently come out in paperback. The book features dozens of romantic tales as only Bowe can offer. (Sarah Hepola, Salon.com)

Category: Field Notes


One Response

  1. […] with a different view of their own spirituality—in this case, perceived self-transcendence (Field Notes, February 11, 2010). Typically a person’s viewpoint of their own spirituality remains constant over time, but […]

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