Why are people sexually attracted to cartoons? Evolution.

Nikolaas Tinbergen's concept of "supernormal stimulus" explains why humans are attracted to a heightened version of reality.

(Photo: Walt Disney Pictures)
  • According to Pornhub's annual statistics, "hentai" and "cartoons" were among the most popular categories in 2018.
  • Such pornography is a supernormal stimulus, an artificial object that triggers an animal's instinctual response more intensely than natural analogs.
  • Supernormal stimuli not only explain our heightened response to pornography, but also art, junk food, and social media.
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10 Golden Age science fiction novels

Transport yourself to other worlds and states of mind.

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  • The early 20th century saw explosive growth for the science fiction genre.
  • A wide range of these books would go on to become classics.
  • These great works explore the strange, zany and absurd profundities of our existence.
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How to use a thesaurus to actually improve your writing

Looking up big, fancy words won't make your writing better. But a thesaurus can help – if you use it like this.

  • Using a thesaurus to find larger or more impressive words is misguided, says Martin Amis. Instead, use a thesaurus to find words with the perfect rhythm for your sentence.
  • For example, the Nabokov novel "Invitation to a Beheading" was originally called – not for very long – "Invitation to an Execution". Nabokov nixed the repetitive suffix.
  • A dictionary is also a writer's best friend; looking up words has a rejuvenating effect on your mind, says Amis. "When you look up a word in the dictionary you own it in a way you didn't before. You know what it comes from and you know its exact meaning."
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9 weird and terrifying monsters from Japanese mythology

From animated umbrellas to polite-but-violent turtle-people, Japan's folklore contains some extremely creative monsters.

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  • Compared to Japan's menagerie of creatures, Western folklore can feel a little drab.
  • The collection of yōkai—supernatural beasts or spirits—has a staggering amount of variety.
  • Although there are many more creative folkloric creatures, here are nine that caught our attention.
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5 favorite books of Albert Einstein

Some books had a profound influence on Einstein's thinking and theories.

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  • Einstein had a large library and was a voracious reader.
  • The famous physicist admitted that some books influenced his thinking.
  • The books he preferred were mostly philosophical and scientific in nature.
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