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The No-Nonsense, Non-Alarmist, Essential Guide to the Flu – Kicker

Let’s get this straight first… Flu is the respiratory sickness caused by the influenza virus that threatens the functions of your nose, throat and lungs. Flu is a virus that spreads by injecting its genetic information into the nuclei of your cells. In other words, it hijacks the good cells and controls their function to turn them against you. And you get it simply by breathing it in. –The No-Nonsense,…

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Does Movie Violence Increase Violent Crime?

The Twitter version: There’s a slight decrease in violent crime when violent movies are playing. People who like violence tend to go watch the movie instead of going out and doing violent things. Laboratory experiments in psychology find that media violence increases aggression in the short run. We analyze whether media violence affects violent crime in the field. We exploit variation in the violence of blockbuster movies from 1995 to 2004,…

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Sad Doggy Says: People Who Confuse Correlation and Causation Are More Likely to Accept Schlocky Science Journalism

Somehow I don’t expect to find this story hyped up on TV news shows… but if a similar study proposed any sort of connection that made video games look bad, that would be another story. Using complex actuarial tables and adjusting for smoking, waist circumference, dietary quality, exercise habits and other variables, the scientists were next able to isolate the specific effect that the hours of sitting seemed to be…

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Brain Rules: The brain cannot multitask

Multitasking, when it comes to paying attention, is a myth. The brain naturally focuses on concepts sequentially, one at a time. At first that might sound confusing; at one level the brain does multitask. You can walk and talk at the same time. Your brain controls your heartbeat while you read a book. Pianists can play a piece with left hand and right hand simultaneously. Surely this is multitasking. But…