Monday, July 3, 2017

Humans, monkeys, and rats laugh, but why?

I am asked this question often, "Why do we laugh?" My common answer is, "As social animals it helps us deal with the stress of being social animals."

In this 17 minute TED Talk, Dr. Sophie Scott, talks about her own and other's research into the subject.

Most of this TED talk is information based and quite interesting, but by the end I was gasping for air in full laughter. Then she explained why. Educational and fun... not a bad way to learn.

Sophie Scott, Ph.D is the deputy director of the University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Did you hear about the lady that said she was haunted in L.A. California?

In this TED talk we meet Carrie Poppy. She feared she was haunted. Her story is fascinating.

Even after a home cleansing ritual she heard voices, she felt uncomfortable, she was scared and confused... She needed to know the truth.

(13 minutes long, worth every second.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What makes a happy and healthy life... Long term study says:

Robert Waldinger is the Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, a 77 year longitudinal study looking at what makes us happy and healthy throughout out lives.

Some of the original subjects were Harverd College men, others were the poor of the poor from inner city Boston. 

In this 13 minute TED talk you get an update on this study and what it means for you personally. What makes people happy and healthy over a lifetime isn't, money or wealth its is... 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A funny look at human perception and behavior through the eyes of an ad man.

Enjoy this TEDGlobal 2009 ·  16:39 · Filmed Jul 2009

A fun look at how we humans can be "encouraged" to act in a particular way. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Does exercise help memory of people over 50?

According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the answer is, yes. 
The researchers conducted a systematic review with multilevel meta-analysis. This is fancy speak for looking at many studies and redoing the math to see if the combined data confirmed what the individual studies showed.

The research group was just under 13,000 adults, 50-years of age and older. A total of 39 studies were evaluated. 
  • 18 studies looked at aerobic exercise (walking, running, or swimming).
  • 13 studies looked at resistance training in the form of weightlifting.
  • 10 studies focused on a combination of exercise programs.
  • The rest of the studies analyzed tai chi and yoga.
All exercises helped, but the type mattered
The analysis showed that aerobic exercise and tai chi helped overall brain function, while resistance training increased the participants’ memory.
In conclusion:
This is another study which shows that as we age it is important to keep moving. As I have said many times before, the best exercise for you is the one that you will keep doing, day after day. 
I think I will go for a walk now …

Read the full article:

Monday, May 8, 2017

Suicide often harms surviving spouse mentally and physically

A report was published online in JAMA Psychiatry. It looked at the effects of suicide on the surviving spouse.
The researches combed a national register that included almost 7 million people in Denmark from 1980 to 2014. The registry looked at nearly 5,000 men and 11,000 women whose spouses committed suicide.
The study found male spouses of partners who died by suicide had a 70 percent higher risk of developing mental health problems than partners of those who succumbed to other causes of death, such as illness or accident. For women, the risk of developing a mental health disorder was 50 percent higher.
The researchers noted that surviving spouses are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Surviving spouses were themselves at an increased risk of suicide.
Additionally, physical ailments, including cirrhosis of the liver, sleeping disorders, cancer, and back pain developed at a higher rate in surviving spouses than the population at large.