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2010-08-10 13:04:45

What makes something funny? Philosophers have been tossing that question around since Plato. Now two psychological scientists think they've come up with the formula: humor comes from a violation or threat to the way the world ought to be that is, at the same time, benign. Most older theories of humor all come up short in one way or another, says A. Peter McGraw, of the University of Colorado-Boulder, who coauthored the study with Caleb Warren. Freud thought humor came from a release of...

2010-06-21 15:49:50

A new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that, in contrast to traditional scholarly claims, Dionysian cultic activities may very well have occurred in archaic Rome in the decades around 500 BC. A strong scholarly tradition rooted in the 19th century denies the presence of Dionysian ecstatic rites, cults, and satyr plays in Roman society. Although people in nearby societies evidently engaged in such behaviour around the same time in history, the Romans simply did...

2009-09-10 10:26:24

The quality of a person's social life could have an even greater impact than diet and exercise on their health and well-being. There is growing evidence that being a member of a social group can significantly reduce the risk of conditions like stroke, dementia and even the common cold. New research by the Universities of Exeter and Queensland, Australia, shows that membership of social groups has a positive impact on health and well-being. The work highlights the importance of belonging to a...

2009-08-27 09:35:00

Lifetime of Achievement Traces Arc of American Dream Parade to be Held on October 12 on Fifth Ave. in New York City NEW YORK, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kenneth G. Langone, investment banker, venture capitalist and philanthropist, will be Grand Marshal of the 2009 Columbus Day Parade in New York City. Mr. Langone, a co-founder of Home Depot and chairman of the NYU Langone Medical Center, will lead contingents of folk dancers, musicians, dignitaries, and civil servants nearly...

2009-04-17 10:50:00

PHILADELPHIA, April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Bobby Mackey's Music World in Wilder, Kentucky, probably isn't the first place that people think of when they hear the phrase "most haunted." In fact, many people have never even heard of the legends surrounding this place - even some seasoned ghost hunters. Of course, that doesn't stop tons of people who arrive in this small town hoping for a glimpse into the paranormal. Bobby Mackey will be joining host Jacqueline Foreman of Your Mental Health Talk...

2006-08-18 01:17:15

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Tokyo court on Friday upheld the death sentence for a top member of the doomsday cult charged with a nerve gas attack on Tokyo subway trains in 1995 that killed 12, sickened thousands and shattered Japan's myth of public safety. The Tokyo High Court rejected an appeal by Masami Tsuchiya, a top chemist in the cult, against a lower court ruling in January 2004 sentencing him to hang. The courts said Tsuchiya had played a key role in producing sarin nerve gas and...

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2006-05-29 10:25:00

By Charnicia Huggins NEW YORK -- When recalling memories of negative or positive events that helped to shape our identity, such as a break-up or marriage, we tend to downplay the fear, anger or other negative emotions experienced at the time and remember more of the positive emotions, new study findings indicate. "These findings suggest that healthy individuals work to build a positive narrative identity that will yield an overall optimistic tone to the most important recalled events from...

2005-08-11 21:55:00

Scientists in the social sciences are more likely to believe in God and attend religious services than are scientists in the natural sciences, according to a survey of 1,646 faculty members at elite research universities by a Rice University sociologist. "Based on previous research, we thought that social scientists would be less likely to practice religion than natural scientists are, but our data showed just the opposite," said Elaine Howard Ecklund, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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