To-do Lists: The Sleep Aid of the 21st Century?

Image Writing a 'to-do' list at bedtime may aid in falling asleep, according to a new study. 
Can't get your mind to slow down and let you get some sleep?  Write out a to-do list.

According to this research, this simple chore will help you sleep.  Either because it clears your mind of random thoughts about what you have to do tomorrow, or, as in my case, my life is so tedious and unremarkable, I fall asleep from simple boredom.

But no matter why it works, give it a try.
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Can writing your 'to-do's' help you to doze? Study suggests jotting down tasks can
Some 40 percent of American adults report difficulty falling asleep at least a few times each month, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Writing a "to-do" list at bedtime may aid in falling asleep, according to a Baylor University study. Research compared sleep patterns of participants who took five minutes to write down upcoming duties versus participants who chronicled completed activi…

Selective Forgetting? We All Exhibit Amnesia On Demand.

An interesting facet of the human mind - that might impact a story you're working on. 

Jeans made with child labor? People choose willful ignorance Consumers 'forget' when products have ethical issues
"Consumers not only forget the uncomfortable truth, but sometimes 'mis-remember'  the facts and believe that the offending product was made ethically."
Many consumers have found a way to cope with the knowledge that products they like have been made unethically: They simply forget they ever knew it.  In a series of studies, researchers found that consumers conveniently "forgot" that brands of desks were made with wood from rain forests or that jeans may have been made with child labor.
In fact, consumers not only forget the uncomfortable truth, but sometimes misremember (sic) the facts and believe that the offending product was made ethically.

"It's not necessarily a conscious decision by consumers to forget what they don't want to know,&q…

How to Create an Out-of-body Experience

While significantly more expensive than my favorite method for experiencing an out of body experience, my technique can be used anywhere a solid brick wall is found.  Head butting a solid object doesn't cost much (if you exclude medical costs) but you are limited to how many times you can achieve this illusion before the top of your head is permanently flat.

Here's the story.  I'm off to look for a really beefy, well-built wall.  Ciao.

Brain scan reveals out-of-body illusion
The feeling of being inside one's own body is not as self-evident as one might think. In a study from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, neuroscientists created an out-of-body illusion in participants placed inside a brain scanner. They then used the illusion to perceptually 'teleport' the participants to different locations in a room and show that the perceived location of the bodily self can be decoded from activity patterns in specific brain regions.
The sense of owning one's body an…

How to create a sense of awe in your fiction

Does the true-crime and crime fiction you research and write help criminals get smarter?  Does breaking down how a crime is investigated teach perps how to avoid detection?  To clean up clues left in a crime site?
The answer seems to be no, they are still the lovable, inept dolts we've always made a buck off.  And will continue to exploit as there is no cure for outbursts of rage, greed, and just plain human stupidity anywhere on the scientific horizon.
Here's the story:
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The CSI effect: Watching TV crime shows does not make better criminals
Does watching the work of fictional forensic investigators on TV influence viewers? There is a belief that this is the case and that the consequences of people watching shows such as the American crime drama television series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" are filtering through into real life, a phenomenon that has been called the CSI effect. In the worst case, it is feared, potential criminals will learn how to bett…

Verbally Creative People Need More Sleep

Creative people sleep more, later, and less well
"In the case of verbally creative people, we found that  they sleep more hours and go to sleep and get up later."
Do you ever dream of becoming the next Picasso? A new study at the University of Haifa comparing art and social science students has found that visually creative students evaluate their sleep as of lower quality. "Visually creative people reported disturbed sleep leading to difficulties in daytime functioning," explains doctorate student Neta Ram-Vlasov, one of the authors of the study. "In the case of verbally creative people, we found that they sleep more hours and go to sleep and get up later. In other words, the two types of creativity were associated with different sleep patterns. This strengthens the hypothesis that the processing and expression of visual creativity involves different psychobiological mechanisms to those found in verbal creativity."
One of the leading approaches to the subjec…

We're running out of water - and global warming IS NOT the major cause.

How to sound the alarm about a possible future crisis without being a Jeremiah?  Stand up and rant and rave and most people tune you out.

Future problems are something that the writers of fiction and non-fiction can address without being totally off-putting.  We all know that, so the trick for a working writer is to stay current on possible issues and weave these possibilities into your stories.  Besides, some of these potential crises offer some pretty cool possibilities.

What's interesting in this study is that global warming isn't blamed, though it certainly is playing a part.  For example, rather than having snow in the mountains of California, they're getting rain.  Snow provides water through the dry season; rain runs off into the ocean creating a water shortage despite the total precipitation level remaining constant.

A link to the full study is found in the story source.
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Affordable water in the US: A burgeoning crisis
"Water rates have increased …