Kama muta: A new term for that warm, fuzzy feeling we all get

Social media posts that evoke strong kama muta often go viral – for example, cute kittens, puppies and special animal friendships.

Photo by Ramiz Dedaković on Unsplash

Some emotions you seem to recognise the moment you feel them – you know when you're angry, surprised, embarrassed or jealous.

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William Shatner: Empathy must be taught

What a group of orphaned elephants can teach us about emotion and learned social skills.

  • Empathy is defined as the act of recognizing, understanding, and being sensitive to the feelings and experiences of others.
  • Sharing a story about young elephants at a nature preserve, William Shatner argues that empathy is a learned skill, not an inherited trait.
  • "That has to be learned, and I don't think it's any different from a boy to a girl. You have to walk in the shoes to experience what the other person is experiencing."
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A New Year’s resolution to make a difference: Help others.

Charity and volunteering not only benefit the recipient but help you become happier and healthier in the new year.

  • Most New Year's resolutions are self-directed and enjoy a failure rate of about 80 percent.
  • Research has shown that selfless giving can enhance happiness, improve your health, and even extend your life.
  • Resolving to help others can help you keep your resolution this year.
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Trump signs PACT Act, making animal torture a federal crime

"For decades, a national anti-cruelty law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality."

Pixabay
  • All 50 states and local governments have animal cruelty laws, but before this week it was only a federal crime to torture animals in conjunction with so-called "animal crushing" videos.
  • Now, the act of animal torture itself is a federal crime punishable by up to seven years in prison.
  • The bill passed unanimously in the House and the Senate.
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Sign of the times: Can hugging machines solve the touch crisis?

As the American loneliness epidemic reaches alarming new heights, one artist theorizes on what connection might look like in the future.

Photography: Scottie Cameron
  • The Compression Carpet is a machine created by Los Angeles-based artist Lucy McRae that simulates a hug to a person craving intimacy.
  • Research indicates that nearly half of Americans lack daily meaningful interpersonal interactions with a friend or family member. This loneliness epidemic is accompanied by a touch crisis.
  • McRae's art and neuroscience suggest that it is affectionate touch that we are deprived of in our increasingly touch-phobic society. New sensory technology seeks to solve this problem.
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