Singing in groups could make you happier - according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA). Researchers examined the benefits of singing among people with mental health conditions including anxiety and depression. They found that people who took part in a community singing group maintained or improved their mental health. And that the combination of singing and socialising was an essential part of recovery because it promoted an ongoing feeling of belonging and wellbeing. Lead researcher Prof Tom Shakespeare from UEA's Norwich Medical School and his researcher Dr Alice Whieldon worked in collaboration with the Sing Your Heart Out (SYHO) project, based in Norfolk. The grassroots initiative runs weekly singing workshops, aimed at people with mental health conditions as well as the general public. It originally began at Hellesdon psychiatric hospital in 2005, but afterwards moved into the community. Around 120 people now attend four free workshops each week across … [Read more...] about How singing your heart out could make you happier
Why does shaving make you itchy
By Adam ShererPopular Mechanics examined this topic in 2011, focusing mostly on packaging and other physical conditions. “Poor signal, intense workload and battery charging” were quoted, but the verification engineer knows the part of that list that was glossed over—intense workload. The author of that article waved away that aspect, saying the operating system usually can handle the software issues and the user just needs to live with the other two. Yikes! If I’m building a smartphone I surely need to worry about all three because I know my competitors are. But because I’m a verification engineer, I’ll worry most about this mysterious “intense workload.”To solve this mystery we need to start by looking at the SoC verification process itself. Greatly simplified, the process starts with a foundation of confidence in each individual block of IP, moving on to subsystems, and then building to the full SoC including software. It must be … [Read more...] about Why Does That App Make My Phone Hot?
For whatever reason, a number of articles appeared this past weekend in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and New York Times on the cognitive impacts of the Internet. Negative impacts seem to be outweighing the positive, if you read the stories. On Saturday, for instance, there were two essays in the Wall Street Journal debating whether the Internet makes you smart or dumb. Arguing that Internet makes you smarter was Clay Shirky, author of the book, "Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age." Mr. Shirky argues that while, "The bulk of publicly available media is now created by people who understand little of the professional standards and practices for media," over the long-term, the Internet will eventually make "the good stuff possible." Mr. Shirky argues that all media technology revolutions from Gutenberg's press onward have given rise to complaints about "eroding cultural norms about quality and acceptability, and leading to increasingly … [Read more...] about Does The Internet Make You Smart or Stupid, Thoughtful or Forgetful?
The unmanageable in-box, the cellphone and laptop that keep you electronically tethered to the office, the endless 30-second distractions from incoming e-mail and text messages. Sound familiar? The same advances in computers and telecommunications that have brought about tremendous gains in productivity have also made the work lives of professionals a misery. No wonder that these days many people’s dream vacations include thoughts of tossing their mobile phones into a mountain stream and fully unplugging. But what if instead of creating stress, technology made people enjoy life more? Engineering happiness is not as radical as it sounds. Over the last decade, engineers, computer scientists, psychologists, and other researchers have shown they can do just that. Specifically, by monitoring and analyzing a person’s sleep patterns, exercise and dietary habits, and vital statistics like body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate, they can pinpoint trouble spots in the … [Read more...] about Can Technology Make You Happy?
Steve Mann built his first smart eyeglasses when he was still in high school and has continued to improve on his designs ever since—as a graduate student at MIT and now as a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Toronto. The author of Cyborg: Digital Destiny and Human Potential in the Age of the Wearable Computer, he’s considered one of the world’s foremost experts on how the use of computer prostheses can extend human abilities. He’s also been wearing one version or another of his smart eyeglasses for more than three decades. In June, he’ll be hosting the 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society in Toronto, which will focus on wearable computing and the rise of augmented and mediated reality. Mann recently spoke with IEEE Spectrum about the new wave of head-up displays coming on the market, such as Google Glass. He talked about the benefits they might offer as well as possible design flaws and the … [Read more...] about Why Smart Glasses Might Not Make You Smarter
Brain-training apps promise to give your mind a workout over fun and frivolous activities, while also giving rise to deeper-seated improvements in your cognitive abilities. But there’s always been a nagging question hovering over them: do they really work? Now NPR reports that seven psychologists have spent two years sifting through 374 scientific studies cited by companies like Lumos Labs and Posit Science, which make the world’s leading brain-training products.The results? According to the researchers, brain-training games certainly make people better at playing brain-training games. But the study, published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, found “little evidence that training enhances performance on distantly related tasks or that training improves everyday cognitive performance.” The research also found problems with the studies themselves, with many investigations designed in such a way that definitive conclusions should not be drawn … [Read more...] about Brain-Training Apps Won’t Make You Smarter …
A new "Blog Trends Survey," conducted for online giant America Online July 17 to 22, 2005 through Opinion Place by Digital Marketing Services found that most bloggers aren’t hanging shingles as wanna-be cyber-journalists, political activists, or covering news. Instead, nearly half surveyed bloggers say they use the online journals as a form of therapy, writing about personal issues and events. The survey questioned 600 people over 18 years of age who write one or more blogs on the Web. The resuls showed nearly 50 percent of bloggers write online journals as a form of self-therapy, with fully one third writing about self-help and self-esteem topics. In times of high anxiety or need, 32 percent of surveyed bloggers said they turn to family and friends, but nearly as many (31 percent) said they turn to writing in their blog or reading blogs of people experiencing similar issues. (In contrast, only five percent said they seek counseling or professional help during these times.) … [Read more...] about And How Does Blogging Make You Feel?
Are you hoping to spend a summer plotting vengeance on the diabolical, wealthy family who destroyed your father’s life? You could get a beach house with mysterious infinity symbols carved into the porch à la Revenge, but that’s bound to cost you a pretty significant chunk of change. In the Hamptons, even the trailers cost seven figures.Case in point: this 700-square-footer that’s going for $1.2 million. Sitting next to a $4 million home, the trailer is just about a mile from the ocean. A shed and boat also sit on the property. The home is over 50 years old and belongs to a 79-year-old bayman whose grandfather used to harpoon whales. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom residence has quilts, knickknacks, and vases, but it’s not about what’s inside the trailer. It’s about what the trailer is on: 0.36 acres of prime real estate not far from Jerry Seinfeld’s place.“Everything’s about the land here,” agent Ray Lord of Douglas Elliman … [Read more...] about Why does this 700-square-foot trailer cost $1.2 million?
“Why does everyone pick on Apple products?”This was an implied question I got from @Scionwest on Twitter recently. In light of last week’s column on the new iPad overheating, I thought it was a fair observation: We clearly have had laptops that seemed to get hotter than the iPad 3, and we sure didn’t pound on them as hard.Part of that is likely because you don’t typically hold a laptop. But there are other examples of Apple catching an especially hard break, like Antenna Gate. The same issue existed in other products at the time, yet generally didn’t get much ink. Why?It’s a downside to Apple’s homogenous product line.It’s ironic when you look back at Apple’s iconic 1984 ad that the company has stopped being the rebel and is now even more consistent than IBM, the company it was making fun of in the original ad. It also showcases that the one-time IBM model, now Apple model, works.Every strategy has advantages and … [Read more...] about Opinion: Why does everyone pick on Apple products?
Remember the very first time someone mentioned that Google’s headquarters in Mountain View were so awesome, it had an indoor slide? You probably took a gander at your own cubicle and shook your head in resignation and disgust. As it turns out, the new Google Tel-Aviv, Israel offices are going to make you just as – if not more – jealous.Much like the company’s work spaces strewn all over the world, the new Tel-Aviv office has amenities only Googlers can brag about: An indoor slide that connects floors, a state-of-the-art gym, a music room, and so much more. They even have a Lego room and a rooftop deck with a fantastic view of the Mediterranean Sea.The genius behind this particular space is thanks to the people over at Camenzind Evolution. The architectural firm is also responsible for designing other offices for Google, namely those located in Dublin, Moscow, Oslo, Stockholm, and Zurich. Known as “the city that never … [Read more...] about Why does everyone want to work at Google? Oh yeah … this is why