Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Out of a Job, and Realizing Change Is Good"

With the increasing banking crisis, more and more professionals on Wall Street are finding themselves jobless. Jenny Hourihan Bailin writes about her career change:

...The next day, relief poured over me because, after 26 years, I had actually wanted a change. Now I didn’t have to justify leaving an admirable career and a high-paying job. I was free to think about what my next chapter should be. Having been conservative with money, I was well prepared to withstand a long period of joblessness...

...I no longer had the same grueling work hours, and it was delicious to have time to myself. I resolved to enjoy the summer with my husband and our two girls: we went to the beach and studied Spanish in Guatemala. I took yoga and read “War and Peace.” There was no more corporate box at the U.S. Open, but we bought the cheap seats, went as a family for the first time, baked in the sun and had a great time...

...My outplacement counselor says that finding a job is a numbers game and that it will take time, as I am not a traditional candidate for many nonprofit jobs. The job won’t find me, and I have to make the case for how I could make a contribution. Renewed by rest, my confidence bolstered by the generosity of people I meet, I feel energized, eager to start a new career, and open to possibility...

Read the rest of the NY Times article here.

"'Stayin' Alive' has near-perfect rhythm to help jump-start heart"

Here are some of the highlights:
  • At 103 beats per minute, "Stayin' Alive" has the almost perfect rhythm
  • In small study, people doing CPR chest compressions listen to old disco song
  • Doctors, students maintain close to the ideal number of compressions
  • Doctor: "Another One Bites the Dust" has right beat, but wrong message
Watch the video here.

Did men and testosterone cause the current finanical crisis?

...But testosterone not only helps to build the male brain, it also plays a key role in activating it. In one experiment, researchers followed 17 male City traders and found that when they had high morning levels of testosterone they made greater profits for the rest of that day. They reasoned that this could be because higher testosterone increases the appetite for risk - a phenomenon that could be extremely dangerous in certain market conditions...

...The problem is that the market became too primal, too dominated by men and their baser instincts, too preoccupied with greed and too little with the consequences. But have I not implied that this is unalterable and that men are slaves to their impulses? Well, no. I did not suggest that culture and ethics are impotent, merely that they are rarely sufficient to eradicate the evolved differences between men and women. Take physical aggression. Although absolute levels of aggression vary from nation to nation, the difference between male and female aggression is pretty consistent (the ratio of men's to women's same-sex murders, for example, is remarkably constant at about 10-1)...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"Spermicide Coke, stale chips research wins Ig Nobels"

The Ig Nobel Prize Awards came out this week. Here are a few description of the winners:
A researcher who figured out that Coke explodes sperm and scientists who discovered that people will happily eat stale chips if they crunch loudly enough won alternative "Ig Nobel" prizes Thursday.

Other winners included physicists who found out that anything that can tangle, will tangle and a team of biologists who ascertained that dog fleas jump farther than cat fleas.

The Ig Nobels honor real research, but are meant as a funny alternative to next week's deadly serious Nobel prizes for medicine, chemistry, physics, economics, literature and peace...

Read about more Ig Nobel winners here.

Does a mathematical formula for beauty exist?

Computer scientists have created a "Beautification Engine," which uses math to find a theoretically more attractive version of a person's face. Here are some of the results:
Studies have shown that there is surprising agreement about what makes a face attractive. Symmetry is at the core, along with youthfulness; clarity or smoothness of skin; and vivid color, say, in the eyes and hair. There is little dissent among people of different cultures, ethnicities, races, ages and gender.
See more photos and read the NY Times article here.

"Right Thing to Wear at the Wrong End of a Gun"

"Jackets at the Mexico City outlet of Miguel Caballero, a Colombian retailer who specializes in bulletproof clothing. The company’s customers include politicians, royalty and movie stars."
Read the article here.

Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .