Saturday, 4 April 2015

Carefully timed questions can bias moral decisions

Where people look while making a decision is an indicator of their thought processes. Given the choice between a candy bar and potato chips, if you look at the chips more, that’s a clue that you’ll probably choose them.

According to a recent paper in PNAS, this influence can work the other way around, too. If you’re forced to make your choice while you’re looking at the candy bar, you’ll probably choose that option—even if you looked at the chips more overall. That is, external influences can play a role in your decision-making.

According to the paper, this phenomenon can hold true even for decisions a lot more complicated and weighty than what snack food you'd prefer. In a series of experiments that focused on moral decision-making, researchers explored whether eye gaze helps track thinking about moral thought processes and whether it can be manipulated to sway decision outcomes.

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A Towering Home in the Alaskan Wilderness Looks Like Something Right out of a Dr. Seuss Book

Photo by Jovell Rennie

As the story goes, the original owner of this unwieldy building located in Willow, Alaska built his house shortly after a forest fire with a clear view of Mount McKinley and Denali National Park. As the surrounding trees recovered, the pristine view was obscured and the owner decided to add few more stories, eventually spending a decade adding floors until it reached the 12-ish story tower you see today. Not surprisingly, locals refer to the building as the “Dr. Seuss House” as the design so closely mimics structures you might see in Theodor Geisel’s illustrated storybooks.

While the tower sat abandoned for a while, the Dr. Seuss house apparently has a new owner who is currently working on renovations. Photographer Jovell Rennie and Alaska Aerial Footage recently stopped by to capture some of the images and video you see here. (via Jeroen Apers, Unusual Places)




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Giant virus revealed in 3-D using X-ray laser

For the first time, researchers have produced a 3-D image revealing part of the inner structure of an

The post Giant virus revealed in 3-D using X-ray laser has been published on Technology Org.

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Gallery: Trippy biomedical images from the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is one of the largest biomedical charities in the world. In addition to funding research itself, Wellcome has a mission to engage and inform the public about the biological sciences in general. One of its efforts in this area is the online science magazine Mosaic, which has provided a number of articles we've run on Ars. Another resource they provide is the Wellcome Image Library, which hosts over 40,000 biomedical images.

Each year, the Wellcome goes through the recent acquisitions, and picks some of the most visually striking. The results are the Wellcome Image Awards, which are given out annually to the best of the previous year's acquisitions. We're pleased to bring you a selection of the 20 winners; to see them all, visit the 2015 Gallery.

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Embroidered Paintings and Historical Photos by Mana Morimoto


Fiber artist Mana Morimoto spares no medium with her vibrantly stitched embroidery that spans sculptures, installations, weavings, and 2D materials like concert tickets and advertisements. Among my favorite of her works are these embroidered monochromatic photographs and paintings. An etching of Isaac Newton is overlaid with rainbows of light and Morimoto even goes meta by embroidering on images depicting other fiber artists, going so far as mimicking the progress of a weaving on an old photograph. You can explore more of her work in Tumblr, Cargo Collective, and some of her works are available as prints on Society6.










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Forbidden quantum leaps possible with high-res spectroscopy

A new twist on an old tool lets scientists use light to study and control matter with 1,000

The post Forbidden quantum leaps possible with high-res spectroscopy has been published on Technology Org.

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