Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
~Hans Christian Anderson
With overworked honeybees declining in numbers, scientists are looking at other insect species for help in pollinating food crops. The Osmia bees, for example, (Osmia ribifloris shown here) diligently pollinate a range of crops if a farmer can adjust for their solitary ways.
An artificial "leaf" that collects energy in much the same way as a natural one could provide a day's worth of power for homes without access to an electricity grid.
The leaf, a silicon-based square the size of a playing card, closely mimics the way plants use the process of photosynthesis to create energy. The device is dropped into a bucket of water, or even a muddy puddle, and placed in direct sunlight.
A recent Journal of Experimental Social Psychology article by Larry Sanna and his associates at the University of North Carolina suggests a more surprising factor that you might want to consider – proximity to an escalator.
Building on research showing the power of metaphors to shape our thinking, Sanna and his colleagues noted that height is often used as a metaphor for virtue: moral high ground, God on high, looking up to good people, etc. If people were primed to think about height, they wondered, might people be more virtuous?
In a series of four different studies, the authors found consistent support for their predictions. In the first study they found that twice as many mall shoppers who had just ridden an up escalator contributed to the Salvation Army than shoppers who had just ridden the down escalator. In a second study, participants who had been taken up a short flight of stairs to an auditorium stage to complete a series of questionnaires volunteered more than 50 percent more of their time than participants who had been led down to the orchestra pit.
Love & Sex
A new study out in the Social Psychological and Personality Science says that Americans regret love the most.
In addition to be asked what their one regret was, participants were also asked to answer when it happened and whether or not the regret was the result of an action or inaction, Physorg.com reported.
The study found the that a regret of romance was number one, the study also revealed that 44 percent of women had the romance regret, while only 19 percent of men did.
25 Years of Pixar
The LA Times did a big profile on new Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov. They talk about a few things in it, from his managerial style to controversial decisions he has made such as passing on Slumdog Millionaire and refusing to work with David Fincher. But what is most interesting about the piece is that it slips in some pretty major news about the direction of Warner’s big, tentpole DC Comics properties.
According to Rubinov, he wants both new Superman and Batman films to come out in 2012, and then he’s aiming for a Justice League movie to come out in 2013. There’s even mention of spinning off Flash and Wonder Woman films after that. We already know that the Superman movie is being overseen by Christopher Nolan and is going to be directed by Zack Snyder, and the Batman movie is Nolan’s next directorial effort The Dark Knight Rises, but will these be the same characters that appear in the Justice League movie?
On this day in History
1842 – Anesthesia is used for the first time, in an operation by Dr. Crawford Long.
1867 – Alaska is purchased from Russia for $7.2 million, about 2 cent/acre ($4.19/km²), by United States Secretary of State William H. Seward. The media call this Seward's Folly.
Quote of the Day
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.