Ring Theory Helps Us Bring Comfort In … and “dump” our own stuff out.

I spent some time listening to someone who was grieving, and who was frustrated by someone else who was also grieving. I could see that these two suffering people weren’t in the same circle of grief — a concept I learned about from someone’s social media post (can’t remember whose). Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of…

Social anxiety is linked to impaired memory for positive social events

People with social anxiety tend to have a harder time remembering social scenarios that end positively, according to new research published in the journal Cognition and Emotion. The study provides more evidence that social anxiety is related to biases in memory. “Prior research has suggested that symptoms of social anxiety are related to memory biases for autobiographical information, and particularly biases for negative social information,” explained study author Mia Romano…

Those Were the Days: On ‘Nostalgia’ When missing home was a disease

Although we now associate nostalgia with fond memory, the word was coined to refer to an unwanted medical condition. The –algia in nostalgia means “pain”; a product of New Latin, it can be found in more clinical-sounding words such as glossalgia (pain in the tongue), cranialgia (a fancy word for headache), and proctalgia (a literal pain in the behind). Johannes Hofer (1669–1752) was a Swiss physician who named the condition, which he identified as a mania tied to homesickness in…

Pop song lyrics use more negative words (“hate”, “sorrow”) than 50 years ago

The use of words related to negative emotions has increased by more than one third…. If we assume an average of 300 words per song, every year there are 30,000 words in the lyrics of the [Billboard] top-100 hits. In 1965, around 450 of these words were associated with negative emotions, whereas in 2015 their number was above 700. Meanwhile, words associated with positive emotions decreased in the same time period.

The Hidden Signs That Can Reveal a Fake Photo

Farid emphasises that forensic techniques do not guarantee fake photos can be spotted. They are, however, creating an arms race between hoaxers and those working in the forensic community. “They raise the bar for the level of difficulty and skill required to create a compelling fake,” says Farid. “My hope is that when you run a photo through 20 or so different forensic techniques, and every single one, from the…

Over time, Google has made paid ads harder to spot

  In 2007, Google changed the long-standing shaded background indicating the ads section of the page from blue to yellow. In 2008, it then briefly tried a green background before reverting back to yellow. Google continued to test variations of background colors including bright blue and a light violet. In 2010, violet officially replaced the yellow, but only lasted about a year before yellow reappeared in 2011. In 2013, Google…