Holiday Instability
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The reason Christmas trees topple so easily is because their base is so small. Anything making small contact with the ground relative to its size is going to be fairly unstable. It only has to be pushed past its edge of contact with the ground before it starts to tip over. Likewise, an object will tip over more slowly when it's center of mass is further away from the pivot point. That means the menorah, with the higher center of mass, will be easiest to control and easiest to juggle.

Vaccines Need Not Completely Stop COVID Transmission to Curb the Pandemic
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According to Dawn Bowdish, a professor of pathology and molecular medicine at McMaster University, this so-called sterilizing immunity was a key factor in eliminating smallpox. “The [smallpox] vaccination caused sterilizing immunity, meaning that you don’t carry any of the virus. Sterilizing immunity may have been a lofty goal for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, though not necessary to curb disease. The oral polio vaccine (OPV) generates localized intestinal immunity, preventing infection and protecting against disease and transmission. But ample precedent points to vaccines driving successful containment of infectious diseases even when they do not provide perfectly sterilizing immunity.

Coronavirus News Roundup: January 9–January 15
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People “should not really consider themselves protected until after a week or two following dose two,” he adds. The researchers now are studying whether outcomes vary for people on specific types of these drugs, the release states. Experts call this a One Health approach or concept, and they want governments to factor it into policies, Robbins reports. As humans move into more of Earth’s natural environments, more spillovers of animal diseases into humans are expected. “The spillover of animal, or zoonotic, viruses into humans causes some 75% of emerging infectious diseases,” Robbins writes.

The ‘Shared Psychosis’ of Donald Trump and His Loyalists
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The violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building last week, incited by President Donald Trump, serves as the grimmest moment in one of the darkest chapters in the nation’s history. One such person is Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist and president of the World Mental Health Coalition. Expert on the psychology of Donald Trump and his supporters says their behavior can be explained by a “narcissistic symbiosis” and “shared psychosis.” Tayfun Coskun Getty ImagesDo you think Trump is truly exhibiting delusional or psychotic behavior? And (3) fixing the socioeconomic conditions that give rise to poor collective mental health in the first place. And the situation with Trump supporters is very similar.

How Science Explains Trump’s Grip on White Males
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Slovic and his team found that White males differed from White women and non-White men and women in how they perceived risks. For every category of threat, White men saw risk as much smaller and much more acceptable than did other demographic groups. And in the case of White men, it is often a lens that seeks to preserve institutionalized cultural identity and societal status. And it’s not hard to imagine why the term “White male effect” would struggle to gain traction in a media landscape dominated by White men. Virtuous violence is still violence and there is nothing abstract about identity protective cognition’s role in White male supremacy.

Should Your Kidney Doctor Have a Financial Stake in Dialysis?
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By 2008, the average zip code in the U.S. had 1.2 dialysis clinics, with some having as many as seven. Especially for young nephrologists, joint venture dialysis clinics can seem like the only viable path. Joint venture dialysis facilities take advantage of certain exceptions written into Stark Law rules, but a closely related federal law, the Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits payments for patient referrals. But the database didn’t include any information about which dialysis clinics were joint ventures, let alone the parties that owned them. With everyone profiting from the current arrangement except for patients, dialysis clinics have little incentive to change.

Bees Use ‘Bullshit’ Defense to Keep Giant Hornets at Bay
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Wellesley College biologist Heather Mattila went to Vietnam to understand how Asian honeybees defend themselves from the hornets there. “Giant hornets will hunt honeybees on their own and grab them one by one. The alternative to covering their house in ...[CLIP: Censored beep sound]... was annihilation of the colony in the face of overwhelming giant hornet invasion. Asian honeybees are a different species than the Western honeybees in Europe and North America. I didn’t have a lot of personal experience with Asian bees, and so meeting them was kind of like meeting the crazy cousin of the bees you know really well.

How to Avoid Becoming a Meal for a Cheetah
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Think of it this way: for every cheetah on the planet, there are more than four Starbucks coffee shops. Even though these communication hubs only comprise around 10 percent of the landscape, cheetahs spend most—sometimes all—of their time within them. “This is basically a long-term tradition, which is passed on from cheetah generation to cheetah generation. “I told him, ‘Look, Wilfred, I have the idea that they are actually there because of these marking trees. In all, the number of calves lost to cheetah predation fell by a whopping 86 percent.

How the Coronavirus Pandemic Shaped Our Language in 2020
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The pandemic has transformed lives and livelihoods. He says a lot of the words that came up fresh to many people in 2020 had existed in scholarly literature for decades. “So, for example, ‘contact tracing’ is attested from 1910—been in use for well over a century. But it took on new life during the pandemic. At a recent virtual meeting, they voted on the 2020 Word of the Year.

Time Has No Meaning at the North Pole
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At the North Pole, 24 time zones collide at a single point, rendering them meaningless. At Earth’s other pole, time zones are quirky but rooted in utility. At the North Pole, it’s all ocean, visited only rarely by an occasional research vessel or a lonely supply ship that strayed from the Northwest Passage. What we think of as a single day, flanked by sunrise and sunset, happens just once per year around the North Pole. So I can’t help but wonder: Does a single day up North last for months?

Laziness May Have Doomed This Human Ancestor
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\" \" Homo erectus specimen at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins ( CC By-SA 2.0 The reconstructed skull of aspecimen at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. About 20 human species have roamed this planet over the past 7 million years or so, and all but one — here's looking at you! As a species, Homo erectus might have gone extinct because it simply couldn't get its act together. According to Shipton, the sheer laziness of Homo erectus can be observed in the manner in which they made their tools.

How Leonard Bernstein Opposed Richard Nixon With 1973 'Anti-inaugural' Concert
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\" \" Composer Leonard Bernstein used a performance the night before Richard Nixon's inauguration as an \"anti-inaugural.\" On January 20, 1973, the second presidential inauguration of Richard Nixon — elected in a landslide victory — took place amidst shaking signs and shouting protestors. But at the exact same time a free and unofficial inauguration concert at the National Cathedral took place thanks to legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein. For even more on the animosity between Leonard Bernstein and Richard Nixon, we'd recommend a deep dive into \"The Bernstein Files,\" a three-part multimedia series in The New Yorker from classical music expert Alex Ross. Now That's Interesting When the Philadelphia Orchestra was asked to perform President Richard Nixon's 1973 inauguration concert, 16 members requested the night off.

Can Your Car Have Too Many Bumper Stickers?
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In the U.S., each state has different regulations governing the use of stickers on car windows. AdvertisementAdvertisementAccording to psychologist William Szlemko and a team of other researchers at Colorado State University, there's definitely such a thing as too many bumper stickers. That's because a study they conducted in 2008 found that the quantity of stickers on a car was a predictor of road rage. Bumper stickers represent a mainstream, and sometimes humorous, way for people to express themselves on every subject under the sun. But bumper stickers featuring profanity, a protected form of speech, occasionally lead to a citation or arrest.

What's the Difference Between Enabling and Supporting?
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Although enabling behaviors are usually done out of love, they can actually backfire for everyone involved. AdvertisementAdvertisementThe Difference Between Enabling and SupportingIt's often tough for a person in the thick of it to realize which type of behavior they're engaged in. Another reason that enabling behaviors persist is because often it's easier to go along with the problem than trying to fight it. Wedding photographer Erica Hartwig calls stopping the cycle of enabling \"emotionally one of the hardest things you can do. The website DrugAbuse.com has a lot of resources for people looking for treatment options for loved ones, as does the U.S.-government-run SAMHSA.gov.

Why Does the Secret Service Protect a President's Adult Children?
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The Secret Service has, during the four years of Trump's tenure, spent enormous amounts of money providing protection to Trump's children. The adult Trump children have caught plenty of flak during their father's administration for hauling their Secret Service details all over the world at the U.S. taxpayer's expense. While in office, neither the president nor the vice president can decline Secret Service protection, but their spouses and adult children can. Almost all presidential families have accepted full Secret Service protection for as long as the law allows. Despite the cost, the Trump family is doing nothing unusual by accepting Secret Service protection at home and while traveling abroad.

How to Fill Out a Money Order
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You also must fill out a money order correctly, otherwise it will have to be canceled and refunded, and then repurchased. AdvertisementAdvertisementBefore you go to buy a money order, make sure you know what types of payment are accepted. The amount will be printed when the money order is prepared by the issuer, but you'll fill in everything else. Fill in the recipient's address and your address, if required, depending on the type of money order. Sign the money order in a \"Signature\" or \"Purchaser\" field, if one is required.

Are Small Modular Reactors the Future of Nuclear Power?
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According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration , nuclear power plants produced 19.6% of the total electricity generated in the U.S. in 2019. Over the last several years, however, there has been a decline in the number of operating nuclear power plants. If conventional nuclear power plants continue to be shuttered, then how will we replace this energy source? Nuclear reactors are, effectively, costly boilers.While the debate about nuclear power is contentious, one thing remains clear: it remains a critical part of our energy infrastructure. The continued development of SMR technologies may be an important and beneficial upgrade to commercial nuclear energy production.

December’s Total Solar Eclipse as Seen from Space
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On December 14, 2020, a camera onboard a satellite recorded something that looked like a brown blob streaking across South America. Individuals on the ground witnessed something more striking: a total solar eclipse, or a daytime blackout triggered by the moon blocking the sun and throwing its shadow on Earth. Though total solar eclipses happen relatively frequently—about once every 18 months—seeing them is lucky. In about 600 million years, total eclipses will stop. The temporary nature of these alignments makes all their recordings valuable, even when the perspective makes what feels like a boundary-breaking moment—shocking darkness in the middle of the day—seem small.

The Evolutionary Origins of Friendship
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As awful as 2020 was, its ability to reveal the genuine strengths and weaknesses of our relationships was an unexpected boon. They enable us to discern fair-weather friends from friends tried and true. As an evolutionary psychologist, I have conducted research on social relationships and emotions for over 20 years. If I demonstrate that I value you, then, all else equal, it pays for you to value me in return. The pandemic has therefore been an unexpected (albeit unwanted) opportunity to test the tensile strength of our relationships.

How We Can Deal with 'Pandemic Fatigue'
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Public health experts term this phenomenon “pandemic fatigue” and cite it as a contributor to the increase in incidence rates being witnessed here and in Europe. Understanding pandemic fatigue is challenging because it is not one phenomenon and likely stems from several causes. However, pandemic fatigue also occurs for people who are ostensibly on board with societal attempts to control spread of the virus. Despite its name, pandemic fatigue in these cases is not really about exhaustion or tiredness or depleting a mental resource. One fundamental facet of pandemic fatigue is motivational in nature and is related to the demands life during a pandemic places on our systems for cognitive control and the mental effort costs this incurs.

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