Latest notes for busy minds

Why dogs are loved and valued more than cats
  • At the New York Institute of Technology, Colleen Kirk has found the reason why most people prefer dogs to cats - dogs are much easier to control.
  • She performed three experiments to test a theory that lack of control over cats leads to lower ‘psychological ownership’ and ultimately lesser feelings for felines.
  • The most fascinating finding came from her third experiment, which showed that dogs which behave like cats were less valued, and vice versa - cats behaving like dogs generated a bigger emotional attachment.

Fear of hospitalization keeps men from talking about suicide
  • Research shows that men do not tell their doctors about suicidal thoughts because they’re afraid of being hospitalized.
  • This was uncovered during the launch of a multimedia program aimed to encourage men to talk about suicidal thoughts.
  • The program is called MAPS - Men and Providers Preventing Suicide - and the plan is to integrate it into doctors’ office waiting areas.
  • It was inspired by data that says 80% of suicide deaths occur in men, and that nearly half of all adult victims saw a doctor in the month prior to their deaths.

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Levitating objects with light
  • Physicists have devised a new method of using a light beam to levitate objects of many shapes and sizes - from micrometers to meters.
  • By creating specific nanoscale patterns on an object’s surface, the object can be “encoded” to stay within a light beam.
  • This could even work if the light source were millions of miles away, possibly making way for a new generation of spacecraft in the future.
  • The technology could also be used for manufacturing small scale objects like circuit boards.

UK's air-breathing rocket engine set for key tests
  • Private UK company, Reaction Engines Ltd (REL), is finishing new facilities to test their innovative hypersonic engine, Sabre.
  • REL is supported by giants like BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Boeing, and the UK government.
  • The engine could enable fast A-to-B transport within the atmosphere, but also jump reusable vehicles into orbit without multiple propellant stages.
  • Sabre combines a jet, a rocket, and a pre-cooler heat-exchanger that can take an incoming airstream of ~1,000C and cool it to -150C in less than 1/100th of a second.

Giving parents therapy can help their anxious children
  • A new study found that parents are a big cause of anxiety disorders in their children.
  • Researchers assigned one group of kids with anxiety disorders to typical cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • The second group didn’t have therapy themselves, but their parents took part in SPACE - Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions.
  • It turned out that children whose parents did SPACE reduced their anxiety as much as children who took 12 therapy sessions.