A children's charity in Norway set up an experiment to see what people near a bus stop would do if there were a boy sitting alone on the bench shivering. The heart-warming video of men taking off their coats for the boy -- and women giving their gloves, scarves and hoodies -- was posted on YouTube today along with a plea to help other children, especially the children of Syria.
Whether lingering too long over the menu at a restaurant, or abrupt U-turns by politicians, flip-flopping does not have a good reputation. By contrast, quick, decisive responses are associated with competency. Steve Fleming, a cognitive neuroscientist, wonders whether the allure of decisiveness might be leading us astray. Perhaps, when faced with a novel scenario, there is a benefit from being slow.
Using an inexpensive 3-D printer, biomedical engineers have developed a custom-fitted, implantable device with embedded sensors that could transform treatment and prediction of cardiac disorders. The 3-D elastic membrane is made of a soft, flexible, silicon material that is precisely shaped to match the heart’s outer layer of the wall. Current technology is two-dimensional and cannot cover the full surface of the epicardium or maintain reliable contact for continual use without sutures or adhesives. The team can then print tiny sensors onto the membrane that can precisely measure temperature, mechanical strain and pH, among other markers, or deliver a pulse of electricity in cases of arrhythmia.
Superheroes are lending a helping hand to a hospital in Brazil that takes care of kids fighting cancer. Batman, Superman, the Green Lantern and Wonder Woman are just some of the friendly faces taking on chemotherapy treatment alongside kids at the A.C. Camargo Cancer Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In our science in past centuries, we have learned a lot about the law of gravity and similar laws of physics, but we have not learned very much about the laws of sustainability. In this article, Fritjof Capra (cofounder of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California) discusses what he calls the natural laws of sustainability which he developed from studying natural ecosystems and the ways in which they organize themselves. By uncovering the natural sustainability laws of interdependence, recycling, partnership, flexibility, and diversity, Capra sheds light on how we can create sustainable communities which can satisfy our needs without diminishing the chances of future generations.
A study into whether grey parrots understand the notion of sharing suggests that they can learn the benefits of reciprocity. The research involved a grey parrot called Griffin, who consistently favoured the option of 'sharing' with two different human partners.
Cathryn Wellner's insight:
I suspect the more accurate conclusion would be that Griffin already knew instinctively about sharing, rather than he was taught.