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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.

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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 …

Einstein, Santa Claus, and Relativity.

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Mysteries of Father Christmas/Santa Claus 'solved' by relativity theory
The mystery of how Father Christmas (Santa Claus) can deliver presents to 700 million children in one night, fit down the chimney and arrive without being seen or heard has been 'solved' by a physicist at the University of Exeter.
Santa and his reindeer zoom around the world at such speed that -- according to relativity theory -- they would shrink, enabling Father Christmas and a huge sack of presents to fit down chimneys.

Dr Katy Sheen, a physicist in the Geography department at the University of Exeter, has also found a scientific explanation for why Santa is not heard arriving by children, and why they rarely catch a glimpse of him on Christmas eve.

Santa and Special Relativity
She recently explained to children at the University of Exeter that Santa's stealth delivery is partly explained by special relativity theory devised by Albert Einstein, whom Dr Sheen thinks bares a passing resemblance …

ADHD and Creativity. You can't have one without the other.

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Analysis of mind-wandering studies offers new perspective on mental disorders
". . .The ADHD mind allows us to think freely and creatively."
During downtime, some of us daydream while others might focus on a to-do list, or get stuck in a negative loop. Psychology has traditionally defined all these thought patterns as variations of "mind-wandering."
But a review of brain imaging studies led by researchers at UC Berkeley and the University of British Columbia offers a new way of looking at spontaneous versus controlled thinking, challenging the adage that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.

It suggests that increased awareness of how our thoughts move when our brains are at rest could lead to better diagnoses and targeted treatments for such mental illnesses as depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


"It's important to know not only the difference between free-ranging mind-wandering and sticky, obsessive thoughts, but also to …

Consciousness, Fractals and Great Literature

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You want mathematics in your understanding of writing, you got mathematics.  You want hard science?  This science is hard.  And to paraphrase that pithyest of pithers, S.J. Perelman: "There is nothing like a report (see below) filled with decimal points and guarded generalizations to put a glaze on your eye like a sung vase (long a, please).

I'm of the school that writers write, editors edit, readers read, agents take ten percent of the gross, and reviewers do something, no one is sure exactly what. Literary theoreticians, to continue the cascade, scare the hell out of everyone.  I have images of graduate assistants assigning nascent authors underlining the fractals, mono-fractals and multi-fractals in a story.  And you thought parsing a sentence was a chore.

Finally, if you understand any of this research, anything at all, even one pseudo-fractal, kindly post your explanation for the rest of us at the end of this story.  In the meantime, I need a drink.  Perhaps a double.  …

How "beardedness" affects women's attraction to men

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To many authors it appears designing a protagonist is a process of making them über-masculine, often to the point of parody.  What this research points out is that a man with a beard is seen by most women as a better match than the hyper-masculine.  Or the almost feminine.  A small point perhaps, but something to consider.



How beardedness affects women's attraction to men
"Extremely masculine and extremely feminine-looking males were least attractive."
New research suggests that women tend to find beardedness attractive when judging long-term relationships, perhaps as a signal of formidability among males and the potential to provide direct benefits, such as enhanced fertility and survival, to females.
For the study, investigators used computer graphic manipulation to morph male faces varying in facial hair from clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, and full beards, with additional differences in brow ridge, cheekbones, jawline, and other features so that the same ma…

Should gay candidates come out of the (political) closet? Study says yes

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Should gay candidates come out of the (political) closet? Study says yes
"LGBT elected officials make tremendous public servants because they are painfully aware of the impact policies have on people's lives."
A political science researcher finds that the sexual orientation of LGBT candidates no longer poses an impediment to being elected to public office -- and, in some cases, may actually help them win.  Drastic shifts in public opinion in the last decade have seen an uptick in gay and lesbian candidates running for -- and winning -- public office as never before.
But experts often advise even openly gay and lesbian candidates to downplay their sexual orientation or risk losing votes.

Now, a new study by David Niven, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati, calls that advice into question.

The research suggests that not only does a gay or lesbian candidate's sexual orientation no longer pose a political disadvantage, but that, in som…