Spiraling difficulty of reliably interpreting scans of people’s brains

This new study suggests that some people’s personalities make it more difficult to get accurate MRI (and fMRI) pictures of their heads: “Individual Differences in Impulsivity Predict Head Motion during Magnetic Resonance Imaging,” Kong X-z, Zhen Z, Li X, Lu H-h, Wang R, et al., (2014) PLoS ONE, 9(8): e104989. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104989. The authors are at Beijing […]

New Hip, Safe Sex Motion Study

A hip new hip project carefully studied people having sex, doing it for safety’s sake. The study is: “Sexual Activity after Total Hip Arthroplasty:  A Motion Capture Study,” Caecilia Charbonnier, Sylvain Chagué, Matteo Ponzoni, Massimiliano Bernardoni, Pierre Hoffmeyer, Panayiotis Christofilopoulos, Journal of Arthroplasty, epub September 6, 2013. This chart sums up the study’s medical insights, […]

“Humans will befriend a stick — as long as it moves properly”

Maggie Koerth-Baker profiles, in BoingBoing, the story behind this moving video of how people respond to a stick that moves in ways that seem un-stick-likely. BoingBoing sums it up with the headline “Humans will befriend a stick — as long as it moves properly“: A 2011 paper, by scientists at the University of Calgary, documenting […]

Modern Time&Motion Men: The socially mobile coffee pot

Distantly descended from the Time and Motion Men, Ben Waber [pictured here] writes, in Technology Review: A new line of research examines what happens in an office where the positions of the cubicles and walls—even the coffee pot—are all determined by data. …For instance, what if office coffee machines moved around according to the social context? […]

The broken-spaghetti physics behind Illustrator

Research on how spaghetti breaks (research that was honored with the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize in physics) had an influence on modern computer-aided drawing tools. Melanie Kaplan in SmartPlanet reports: During a recent conversation with Eitan Grinspun [pictured, spaghetti-less, here], I found myself wondering whether he is more obsessed with food or with movement. But then […]