Two ideas, one gut-wrenching disease

August 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm (psychology, research, science) (, , , , )

I stumbled into working with people with schizophrenia in 2007, and it was one of the roughest years of my life.  Schizophrenia fascinates me, makes me feel so helpless and useless as a clinician, and makes me grateful that medications exist.  The disease is a monster, so I have high respect for anyone searching for answers.

Some amazing research about schizophrenia has come out recently, and though both studies kinda say different things, both are relevant and both can be right.  See, the problem with schizophrenia is that it seems to be many different causes of it, both genetic and environmental.

Having multiple origins makes sense to me: people with schizophrenia aren’t exactly procreating constantly, so if it was just a genetic disorder, it would have selected itself out by now.  So here we have two possible links to schizophrenia- cats and marijuana.  Read on if this stuff interests you, and also, it should.  It’s amazing stuff.

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Things to Read on a Friday

July 2, 2010 at 10:12 am (Los Angeles, movies, pop culture, research, science, television) (, , , , , , , , )

So many amazing things to share today.  Click click click!

First up, this AMAZING post detailing research that’s been done for decades on the one thing that truly separates us from primates: masturbation.  If you think about it, if our evolutionary purpose is to make more life, spilling the stuff that makes life when you’re not in the presence of ovaries doesn’t seem to make sense, but these guys have figured out why masturbation is adaptive for humans.  Plus you’ll learn the definition of the word “flowback”, and nothing will ever be the same again.

To cleanse the palate, a preview of the Christina Hendricks profile in LA Times Magazine this weekend.  Guess what kids, that’s not her real hair color! More to the point: gorgeous shots that are of her face and not just her cleavage.

Next, my weekly Lemondrop column with the Guyspeak guys.  This week I was asked to defend a girl who wants to stay with a man who cheated on her, and my Guyspeaker Michael instead advised our heroine to leave his ass.  Naturally, the commenters think I’m a moron.

Here’s a well written post explaining why Kevin Spacey is not that good of an actor.  I haven’t watched American Beauty in years, and I’m afraid to.  I know I’ll end up finding it schlocky and overwrought, and I prefer to remember it as my 20 year old self did, wishing the weirdo boyfriend character would be entranced by my extraordinariness that no one else sees.

Yesterday was the first day you could sign up for insurance even if you have a pre-existing condition.  As a girl with a pre-existing condition who has been turned down for insurance (sometimes after lengthy, invasive interviewing), I am proud and happy that us sickies are finally getting equal treatment.

Finally, an interesting look at mut’a, the temporary marriage contract that is allowed in the Muslim faith.   Mut’as can last from one hour to 99 years, and are said to provide a “necessary release” for men.  “Islam is in no way indifferent to the needs of a 15-year-old youth in whom God has placed the sex drive.”  Muslim feminists have many complex opinions about it.

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Graphic Designers Should Never Show Up Psychologists, but This One Did

June 25, 2010 at 8:53 am (research) (, , )

Orlagh O’Brien, a British graphic designer, decided to find out about how people feel different emotions.  So he gave people from all different cultures basic outlines of the human form and asked them to draw, among other things, where they feel joy, sadness, anger, and fear.  Then he layered all the drawings on top of each other to find an aggregate of where people feel emotions in their body.

Brilliant.

Jump to see where people feel these four emotions in their bodies, and then go to the site, Emotionally Vague, to see other things like colors associated with different emotions and whether or not emotions move, and if so, how.  Really really fascinating stuff.

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The evolution of homosexuality.

March 20, 2010 at 8:38 am (relationships, research, science) (, , , , , , , )

For years, researchers have been looking for how homosexuality evolved, which is awesome and hella useful.  On the island of Samoa, homosexual men are recognized as a separate gender called fa’afafine.  The University of Lethbridge in Canada decided to do some studies on the role that the fa’afafine play in Samoan culture, and here’s what they found.

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You know what makes women feel bad about themselves? Everything.

March 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm (research, science) (, , , )

Two different studies, same results.

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You can stop stressing out about it- we finally know what killed the dinosaurs

March 6, 2010 at 8:51 am (research, science) (, , , )

A group of 41 scientists got together (they invited 40, one asshole invited himself) to review the 20 years of research, and they decided definitively that an asteroid 9 miles wide destroyed all of the dinosaurs.

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I love when good, rigorous, important research is accomplished.

December 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm (cuteness, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I love Lemondrop, both for employing me and for showing me this gem.

For those of you that have cats and day jobs, I’m sure you wonder what the hell your cat does all day while you are gone.  Well, wonder no more.  Science took care of this mystery, via Friskies Cat Food’s Research Department.

Cat. With camera.

To solve this mystery, fifty house cats were given collar cameras that took a photo every 15 minutes, and based on the photos, we now know how kitty cats spend their days without you.  The answer may warm your soul, and it may break your heart.

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Rom-Com research, comin right up!

September 8, 2009 at 10:41 am (research, science) (, , , )

Some psychologists in the Netherlands decided to see if talking to pretty women actually made them stupid, or if it was just a myth.

littlered

Now this is research.

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Depression = a good thing?

August 29, 2009 at 9:31 am (ask gynomite, research, science) (, , , , , )

As some of you know, I’m kinda fascinated with the benefits of emotional problems, from small things like choosing the wrong romantic partners over and over to big things, like schizophrenia.  These benefits are real (if not overshadowed by their huge costs), because not only have some of the greatest works of art been created by people in the throes of mania or depression, but evolutionarily, mental illness has continued to survive natural selection.  Why?

Why would it ever be helpful to have hallucinations, or not sleep, or feel so sad that you cannot work?

Welp, people are working on that right now.

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This just in: hard-hitting, hard-rocking research

March 3, 2009 at 7:50 am (music) (, , )

Two gentlemen at the University of New South Wales published an adorable piece of research in an article called  Head and neck injury risks in heavy metal: head bangers stuck between rock and a hard bass.

Awwww, cute!  Cute and hardcore research!

The objective? To investigate the risks of mild traumatic brain injury and neck injury associated with head banging, a popular dance form accompanying heavy metal music.

And how did they measure this?  Head Injury Criterion and Neck Injury Criterion were derived for head banging styles and both popular heavy metal songs and easy listening music controls.

Jump to find out the completely surprising results!

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