Spendthrifts & Tightwads Are Unhappy

Recent marketing research suggests that both profligate spenders and penny pinchers will leave shopping malls with a sinking feeling this holiday season.

As the mega-sales ramp up for Black Friday, some shoppers will rush to the malls ready to spend. Others will stay home and pinch their pennies. Both groups, according to a growing body of research, will probably end up unhappy. "Some people experience this distress a lot, where they typically spend less than they would like to, they pass up on indulgences, they buy cheaper versions when they could have bought higher quality items, and they end up kicking themselves afterwards," said Scott Rick, a marketing professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "On the other end of the spectrum," he said, people "chronically spend more than they should and end up kicking themselves, too."

Top 4 candidates in our solar system for terraforming

When it comes time for humanity to pick a new home, where will we go?

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Surprising Science
  • Regardless of whether you think the Earth will suffer some catastrophe or not, most individuals believe that humanity will eventually have to live on another planet.
  • There is no nearby planet that can support human life, however; we'll have to pick a good candidate and terraform it.
  • Each celestial body presents its own unique challenges and requirements. Some need more carbon dioxide, others need less; some would become water worlds, others more Earth-like; and so on.
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Photo by Callum Shaw on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

During the pandemic, many college professors abandoned assignments from printed textbooks and turned instead to digital texts or multimedia coursework.

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The science behind ‘us vs. them’

Humans may have evolved to be tribalistic. Is that a bad thing?

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  • From politics to every day life, humans have a tendency to form social groups that are defined in part by how they differ from other groups.
  • Neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky, author Dan Shapiro, and others explore the ways that tribalism functions in society, and discuss how—as social creatures—humans have evolved for bias.
  • But bias is not inherently bad. The key to seeing things differently, according to Beau Lotto, is to "embody the fact" that everything is grounded in assumptions, to identify those assumptions, and then to question them.
Strange Maps

Catacombs of Paris: The city of darkness finds its new raison d'être

Ancient corridors below the French capital have served as its ossuary, playground, brewery, and perhaps soon, air conditioning.

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