June 21, 2010

Women Are More Likely to Give Men Their Phone Numbers If They’re Primed With Love Songs
In tests by French psychologists, an “average-looking man” was challenged to get as many single women as possible to hand over their numbers and go for a drink. If his potential dates had been listening to romantic lyrics beforehand, his chances of success were doubled. (Telegraph)

Negatives of Positive Psychology?
My beef is less with the details of positive psychology and more with the way it functions. By lending academic credence to the idea that we can be better, shinier, and happier if we just try, it has turned happiness into not only something we should expect, but yet another must-have commodity that you are failing if you don’t achieve. (Elizabeth Heathcote, The Independent)

NASA Finds Hundreds of Planets
NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has discovered a whopping 706 candidate planets beyond the solar system. If confirmed, that motherlode would boost the number of known extrasolar planets, now estimated at 460, to well over a thousand. (Ron Cowen, Science News)

More on Obama’s New Religion Ambassador
Anthea Butler: The nomination speaks volumes about the president’s proclivity for flash rather than substance in religious matters. (Religion Dispatches)

Are All Religions “Ultimately” the Same?
Andrew Pessin: If one wants to avoid mere glibness on the question, then there are a few things one needs to consider. (The Huffington Post)

British Public “Quite Relaxed” About Synthetic Life
Some people may shudder at the idea of scientists creating synthetic life, but not, it seems, the British. At least that’s the message from a U.K. government-funded “dialogue” with the public about synthetic biology. (New Scientist)

Category: Field Notes

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