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Showing posts from October, 2021

From Tarantino to Squid Game: why do so many people enjoy violence?

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Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash Last month, more than 100 million people watched the gory Netflix show, Squid Game. Whether or not screen violence is bad for us has been extensively studied. The consensus is that it can have negative effects. But the question of why we are drawn to watch violence has received much less attention. Death, blood and violence have always pulled a crowd. Ancient Romans flocked to carnage in the Colosseum . In later centuries, public executions were big box-office . In the modern era, the film director Quentin Tarantino believes that: “ In movies, violence is cool. I like it ”. Many of us seem to agree with him. A study of high-grossing movies found 90% had a segment where the main character was involved in violence. Similarly, most Americans enjoy horror films and watch them several times a year. Who is watching this stuff? Some people are more likely to enjoy violent media than others. Being male, aggressive and having less empathy all make y

Watch spectacular moths fly in slow-mo [Video]

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 There are a lot of slow-mo videos out there but nothing as spectacular as these beautiful moths taking flight.  It might not have David Attenborough's narration but makes up for the deficit by capturing some rare moths in flight.  TV channels often focus on the larger animals but there is a lot to learn from these winged creatures as well.  This 6000 frames per second (fps) video was painstakingly made by Dr. Adrian Smith, who is part of the Evolutionary Biology & Behavior Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences & North Carolina State University.

Why we need to shift to 'gentle' medicine

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Photo by  Anna Shvets Numerous criticisms of medical science have been articulated in recent years. Some critics argue that spurious disease categories are being invented, and existing disease categories expanded, for the aim of profit. Others say that the benefits of most new drugs are minimal and typically exaggerated by clinical research, and that the harms of these drugs are extensive and typically underestimated by clinical research. Still others point to problems with the research methods themselves, arguing that those once seen as gold standards in clinical research – randomised trials and meta-analyses – are in fact malleable and have been bent to serve the interests of industry rather than patients. Here is how the chief editor of The Lancet medical journal summarised these criticisms in 2015: Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable tr

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