The unreality of luck

Fifteen-year-old Sangita stands in the remains of her room after the earthquake that struck central Nepal in April 2015. ‘I am lucky that I’m still alive… Our neighbours died, their bodies are still under the rubble.’ Photo by Vlad Sokhin/Panos by Optimists believe in good luck, pessimists in bad. But if it’s all a matter of perspective, does luck even exist? Steven Hales is professor and chair of philosophy at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. His latest book is This Is Philosophy: An Introduction(2012). Edited by Nigel Warburton Tsutomu Yamaguchi was a technical draughtsman for oil tankers when in the summer of 1945 his employer … Continue reading The unreality of luck

Potential Reasons Why Your Girlfriend Is Suddenly Horny

by Tracy Moore Contrary to age-old, legendary tales of stiff breezes and brushed-against boners, men do not have the monopoly on spontaneously induced horniness. Women, too, “turn horny” or “get a horn on” or “horn it up,” for as many varied and random reasons as men do. Sure, we may generally be too repressed to express it like sports commentators narrating our own horny memoir, but that doesn’t mean we are immune to the horn-inducing moments of life. Still, it appears to puzzle men when they witness a woman copping to her own horn identity. On one forum, a man … Continue reading Potential Reasons Why Your Girlfriend Is Suddenly Horny

The Obliteration of Night: On the Consequences of Electric Light

BY Richard G ‘Bugs’ Stevens  LIGHT POLLUTION is often characterized as a soft issue in environmentalism. This perception needs to change. Light at night constitutes a massive assault on the ecology of the planet, including us. It also has indirect impacts because, while 20 percent of electricity is used for lighting worldwide, at least 30 percentof that light is wasted. Wasted light serves no purpose at all, and excessive lighting is too often used beyond what is needed for driving, or shopping, or Friday-night football. . It might be that virtually all aspects of health and wellbeing are dependent to one extent or another on a synchronized … Continue reading The Obliteration of Night: On the Consequences of Electric Light

Study: Women peak at 18 on dating apps. Men peak at 50.

by STEPHEN JOHNSON The world of online dating can be many things: a place to start a serious relationship, a market for one-night stands, a nightmarish hellscape of rejection and awkward encounters, or, for most people, a combination of the three. But for sociologists who study how people find and choose romantic partners, online dating amounts to a paradise of data. In a new study published in the journal Science Advances, sociologists used that data—taken from heterosexual online daters who lived in Boston, New York City, Seattle or Chicago in 2014—to examine desirability in online dating markets and the strategies that people … Continue reading Study: Women peak at 18 on dating apps. Men peak at 50.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Revenge

Is it better served hot, cold, or not at all? by Andrew Fiouzi Usually a trope reserved for telenovellas, thrillers and basically every Tarantino movie, revenge has recently made its way into national headlines. After being unceremoniously fired from her White House gig, former Celebrity Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault-Newman swiftly got her vengeance: “Former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman released another alleged secret recording — that she claims took place one day after her firing by Chief of Staff John Kelly — of a phone call with President Trump, who seems unaware of her departure from the administration,” reported Axios. The tape was just another instance of a former Trump … Continue reading A Gentleman’s Guide to Revenge

Are Cities Making Animals Smarter?

Vidhya Nagarajan A mysterious wild cat in Sri Lanka may hold a clue. by PAUL BISCEGLIO The goldfish were the first to vanish. Every so often, a few would go missing overnight from the office’s tiny outdoor pond. But goldfish were cheap, so no one in the building—an environmental nonprofit in the bustling, sweaty center of Colombo, Sri Lanka—bothered investigating. Then the dragon koi began to disappear. Lustrous and ethereal, each of these whiskered Japanese carp cost around 10,000 Sri Lankan rupees, or $65. In a fit of extravagance, the building’s landlord had bought 10. Soon, he had seven. Then three. … Continue reading Are Cities Making Animals Smarter?

Robot says: Whatever

Chief priest Bungen Oi holds a robot AIBO dog prior to its funeral ceremony at the Kofukuji temple in Isumi, Japan, on 26 April 2018. Photo by Nicolas Datiche /AFP/Getty What stands in the way of all-powerful AI isn’t a lack of smarts: it’s that computers can’t have needs, cravings or desires by Margaret Boden is research professor of cognitive science at University of Sussex. She is a fellow of the British Academy, and of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Her latest book is AI: Its Nature and Future (2016). Edited by Sally Davies In Henry James’s intriguing novella The Beast in the Jungle (1903), … Continue reading Robot says: Whatever