The Most Effective Pickup Line?

It may be, "I'm taken."  The New Scientist reports today on a Journal of Experimental Social Psychology study finding that single heterosexual women prefer men who are identified as taken by a wide margin over men identified as single.  Single men were far less picky in their choices generally, but their preferences were not affected by whether or not a woman was single.  Big Think has enlisted several experts to weigh in on the mysteries of relationships. 

Elizabeth Gilbert settled down in the wake of her bestseller Eat, Pray, Love.  She delivered a memoir about her romance to be released in January, and gave Big Think a preview of the relationship tale. 

Last year, Rachel Resnik, author of Love Junkie, a memoir of her lifelong attraction to unsuitable men, told Big Think what kind of men attract love addicts like herself.  Meanwhile, for the mathematically inclined, Yale economist Barry Nalebuff discussed game theory's applications to relationships.

California wildfires death toll climbs to 50

Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.

(Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
  • 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
  • On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
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Too much sleep results in cognitive decline, researchers find

We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.

Photo: Vladislav Muslakvo / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
  • Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
  • Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
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Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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