2. Torture is good for two things: intimidation and extracting false confessions. As an intelligence-gathering mechanism, it’s much worse than worthless. You get no good intelligence, while what you do get is decidedly bad, including a corrosion of the legitimacy of security agencies and a weakening of the foundation of liberal democracy itself.



  5. So why does an equal marriage mean less sex? John Aziz explores this strange correlation.


  6. Scientists: Why penis size does matter 

    Women prefer big penises, thunders a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS. (Say it out loud.) Researchers had 105 women rate computer-generated nude images of male bodies on a scale of 1 to 7.

    As you increase penis size, the amount of attractiveness scores gets bigger,” said post-doctoral researcher Brian Mautz. 

    Since early humans didn’t wear clothes, male penises were obvious to women. So if women chose their mates based on the size of their genitalia, it’s possible that these decisions influenced the evolution of bigger penises, according to National Geographic.

    Oh. Thank goodness for clothes, then. And having a face.

    Read more…


  7. A new study asked an old question: Do orchestra conductors actually serve a purpose, or are they pure spectacle? 

    To answer that question, the University of Maryland analyzed whether the conductor leads the orchestra or the orchestra leads the conductor. In this experiment, researcher Yiannis Aloimonos and his colleagues installed tiny infrared lights at the tip of a conductor’s baton as well as on the bows of violinists. While the orchestra played, infrared cameras captured every movement, which were then analyzed using mathematical techniques pioneered by Nobel-Prize winning economist Clive Granger. The scientists in this study theorized that if the movements of the conductor predicted the movements of the violinists, then the guy holding the baton was clearly in charge. 

    So what happened? It turns out the purists were right all along — the movements of the violinists were indeed predicated on the movements of the conductor. 

    Keep reading…

    (Source: theweek.com)


  8. According to a new study, U.S. males are starting puberty two years younger than the previous national average age. 

    "This should perhaps set a standard going forward for being very attentive to puberty in boys and being mindful that they’re developing earlier," says Dolores J. Lamb, a molecular endocrinologist at Baylor College of Medicine and president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the study. On the contrary, says lead author Marcia Herman-Giddens, a researcher at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The results shouldn’t be interpreted to establish a “new normal,” says Herman-Giddens. "Just because this is happening doesn’t mean this is normal or healthy."

    Keep reading