A couple of days ago, I mentioned koro, the belief that one’s penis is shrinking or has vanished. Here’s the latest information on this global epidemic.
I had a huge day–18.1 miles–which boosted me up to 500.1 miles for 2014. I’ll lay off the dumb running updates but I was happy to see that I’d lost weight (probably just water).
If this is right (and I doubt if it is), I’ve lost 102.1 pounds since last June, over one-third my original body weight. I’ll see what the official scale says on Monday but, until then, I have a little hope.
A few days ago, I fell for the story that last year was the first time since 1925 without a credible Loch Ness Monster sighting. Apparently it’s happened in 2010 and 2008 (the sightings for those years turned out to be hoaxes).
I have seen stories that made Nessie into an alien but I’ve never seen her as a zombie dinosaur. That might be worth watching.
No, I haven’t turned Scientologist. I just read Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, and Barry L. Beyerstein’s 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology (2010).
A few facts:
Flensmark’s Medical Hypotheses (2004) suggested that schizophrenia didn’t appear until shoes became widespread (~1000 AD).
No one is really “right-brained” or “left-brained.” According to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences: “we have no direct evidence that differential hemispheric utilization can be trained.”
According to repeated experiments (Ekman & O’Sullivan, 1991; Ekman, O’Sullivan, & Frank, 1999) judges and police are no better at detecting lies than the average person. But they’re sure they can. According to Kassin, Meissner, & Norwick, in 2005; and Lassiter, Clark, Daniels, & Soinski, in 2004, neither police or college students could detect false confessions but police were far more confident that they were right.
Pluralistic ignorance – a group effect, when no one else responds, individuals feel compelled not to respond as well, i.e., silent classroom scenario, when asked if anyone has a question, even students who do, feel compelled not to ask.
After hearing a lecture on bystander intervention aspect of pluralistic ignorance, in an experiment, students helped a man in trouble 43% of the time as opposed to students who didn’t 25%.
Pigeons can be taught to tell paintings from different artists (Monet from Picasso) and different composers (Bach and Stravinsky)
Koro – psychological condition where a man believes his penis and testicles are disappearing or a woman believes her breasts are shrinking away. Indian authorities used loudspeakers in the streets to tell men that their genitals were not disappearing in 1982 and in 1994 sent out officials to measure men’s penises to prove they weren’t.
Here’s my second take on Evelyn McFarlane and James Saywell’s If2: 500 Questions for the Game of Life:
If you had to fight to duel tomorrow at dawn, and you could determine the type of weapons you both would use, what would they be?
I don’t have any real fighting skills and I’m not very fast but I do have better than average strength and endurance. I’d go with a heavy, blunt weapon like a large club.
If you had to constantly carry a weapon of some kind, what would it be?
With this, I’d forget the club. With imaginary weapons, I’d go with a phaser. With real, a Swiss Army knife would probably be the most useful.
If you were to spend the rest of your life in the company of a single type of animal, which would you choose?
Currently, I have rabbits, hamsters, a gerbil, two species of frogs, a turtle, a parakeet, hissing cockroaches, millipedes, and planaria (plus meal worms and night crawlers as pet food). But, if I could only have one animal for the rest of my life, I’d have to go with a dog.
If you could personally see one naturally phenomenon that you have never seen, what would it be?
I’d go with the Green Flash. I’ve never even met someone who has seen it.
After a long round of grading, I finally got a chance to read the Bible again. I’d forgotten how explicit the 16th chapter of Ezekiel is:
25: At every street corner you built your lofty shrines and degraded your beauty,spreading your legs with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by.
26: You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your neighbors with large genitals.”
36: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your naked body in your promiscuity with your lovers…”
It also goes on about sacrificing children but, this being America, the sex is probably more offensive to most.