Nikolaas Tinbergen's concept of "supernormal stimulus" explains why humans are attracted to a heightened version of reality.
- 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.
A study looks at the chemistry of couples engaged in different activities.
- Leisure activities can help release more oxytocin, say researchers.
- Oxytocin is a hormone linked to social and sexual interaction.
- Couples who took art classes and played board games together released oxytocin.
Romans didn't do festivals half-way.
- Modern Valentine's Day is a far more restrained version of the pagan holiday it replaced.
- During Lupercalia, Romans got naked, drunk, and there was whipping involved.
- Romantic cards? How about simulated penetration?
A new book about life under communism reveals an unexpected benefit.
- A new book by Kristen Ghodsee argues that women had much better sex in communist Eastern Europe than in the West.
- She attributes this to steps those states took to empower women and their resulting economic independence.
- While rebuilding the Iron Curtain isn't called for, the author suggests we can learn ways to empower women from these communist regimes.
"Dinner and drinks" may take on a new, more provocative meaning.
- Scientist propose a layered cocktail as a future male contraceptive.
- Chemical layers block the flow of sperm and can be dissolved with near-infrared light.
- Tiny umbrella not included.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.