How is teenage brain different

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Dude, Where’s My Frontal Cortex?

In the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, a few hours east of San Francisco, are the Moaning Caverns, a cave system that begins, after a narrow, twisting descent of 30-some feet, with an abrupt 180-foot drop. The Park Service has found ancient human skeletons at the bottom of the drop. Native Americans living there at the time didn’t make human sacrifices. Instead, these explorers took one step too far in the gloom. The skeletons belonged to adolescents. No surprises there. After all, adolescence is the time of life when someone is most likely to join a cult, kill, be killed, invent an art form, help overthrow a dictator, ethnically cleanse a village, care for the needy, transform physics, adopt a hideous fashion style, commit to God, and be convinced that all the forces of history have converged to make this moment the most consequential ever, fraught with peril and promise. For all this we can thank the teenage brain. ….[READ]

Does gender pay gap still exist?

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Cut the crap about the gender pay gap

Where would we be without the gender pay gap? With girls outperforming boys at school, outnumbering male students at university, and women experiencing no more practical hindrances than men to achieving anything they want in life, feminists have been forced to shift their attention to the more nebulous cultural sphere in order to prove that women remain victims of a patriarchal conspiracy. Often played out in the messy virtual world, feminism has been reduced to a question of lifestyle choice and personal identity, with the supporters of the Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen hysterically pitched against those in the #WomenAgainstFeminism camp. So, apparent evidence that women really are disadvantaged in a way that can be counted and measured, through the pay gap, is greeted with an almost audible sigh of relief. Whatever people’s views on stay-at-home mothers, glamour models or body hair, it seems there is one thing on which all can agree: men being paid more than women is a very bad thing indeed. ….[READ]

Does the language of finance hide the truth?

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Money Talks. Learning the language of finance.

The most important mystery of ancient Egypt concerned the annual inundation of the Nile floodplain. The calendar was divided into three seasons linked to the river and the agricultural cycle it determined: akhet, or the inundation; peret, the growing season; and shemu, the harvest. The size of the harvest depended on the size of the flood: too little water, and there would be famine; too much, and there would be catastrophe; just the right amount, and the whole country would bloom and prosper. Every detail of Egyptian life was shaped by the flood. Even the tax system was based on the level of the water, which dictated how successful farmers would be in the subsequent season. Priests performed complicated rituals to divine the nature of that year’s flood and the resulting harvest. The religious élite had at their disposal a rich, emotionally satisfying mythological system; a subtle language of symbols which drew on that mythology; and a position of unchallenged power at the center of their extraordinarily stable society, one that remained in an essentially static condition for thousands of years. …..[READ]

Is there a latent mental energy?

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All You Need To Know About the 10 Percent Brain Myth, in 60 Seconds

The new Luc Besson movie Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, opens tomorrow in theaters countrywide. It’s based on the immortal myth that we use only 10 percent of our brains. Johansson’s character is implanted with drugs that allow her to access 100 percent of her brain capacity. She subsequently gains the ability to learn Chinese in an instant, beat up bad guys, and throw cars with her mind (among other new talents). Morgan Freeman plays neuroscientist Professor Norman, who’s built his career around the 10 percent claim. “It is estimated most human beings use only 10 percent of the brain’s capacity,” he says, “Imagine if we could access 100 percent.” ….[READ]

 

Are our brains computing machines?

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From photography to supercomputers: how we see ourselves in our inventions

Back in 2008, the technologist Ray Kurzweil estimated that the processing power of the human brain was in the region of 20 quadrillion calculations per second and that, as soon as we developed a supercomputer fast enough, simulating the brain would just be a problem of getting the software right. It was announced last month that the world’s fastest supercomputer, China’s Tianhe-2, can carry out almost 34 quadrillion calculations per second, meaning that, according to Kurzweil, we have the potential to simulate one and two-thirds of a human brain inside a single machine. The idea that we could fit “one and two-thirds” of our brain function in a computer may seem a little flippant but it is not an unreasonable conclusion if you think of the brain as primarily a calculating engine. If this seems a little distant from your everyday experience, the idea that the mind is this “computation at work” is an assumption so embedded in modern neuroscience that it’s almost impossible to find anyone arguing for a non-computational science of the brain. …[READ]

Tips for relieving stress

 

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How to Deal With Stress and Anxiety: 10 Proven Psychological Techniques

The best way to reduce stress is, of course, to identify the source and get rid of it. If only this were possible. You can try to avoid people who stress you out, say ‘no’ to things you know will cause you stress, and generally do less stuff. Unfortunately, this is often out of the question or you would have already done it. So, here are 10 techniques you can use to deal with stress that you can’t avoid. 1. Develop awareness. This is the step most people skip. Why? Because it feels like we already know the answer. But sometimes the situations, physical signs and emotions that accompany anxiety aren’t as obvious in the moment. Here are a few common symptoms of stress and anxiety: excessive sweating. dizziness. tension and muscle aches. tiredness. insomnia. trembling or shaking. a dry mouth. headaches. So, try keeping a kind of ‘anxiety and stress journal’, whether real or virtual. When do you feel anxious and stressed and what are those physical signs of anxiety? When you can identify what’s stressing you out and how you react, you’ll know when to use the techniques below. 2. Simple power of your breath …..[READ]

Are procrastination and self-discipline the same phenomenon?

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Getting over procrastination

Want to hear my favorite procrastination joke? I’ll tell you later. Piers Steel, a psychologist at the University of Calgary, has saved up countless such lines while researching the nature of procrastination. Formerly a terrible procrastinator himself, he figures a dose of humor can’t hurt. It’s certainly better than continually building up anxiety about work you should do now but put off until later and later, as your chances of completing it grow ever slimmer, and the consequences loom ever larger. The tendency to procrastinate dates back to the very beginnings of civilization. As early as 1400 B.C., Steel told me, ancient Egyptians were struggling with basic time management. “Friend, stop putting off work and allow us to go home in good time,” read some hieroglyphs, translated by the University of Toronto Egyptologist Ronald Leprohon. …..[READ]