Your romantic partner is probably not as smart as you think they are, suggests new study

It's now well known that many of us over-estimate our own brainpower. In one study, more than 90 per cent of US college professors famously claimed to be better than average at teaching, for instance - which would be highly unlikely. Our egos blind us to our own flaws. But do we have an even more inflated view of our nearest and dearest? It seems we do - that's the conclusion of a new paper published in Intelligence journal, which has shown that we consistently view our romantic partners as being much smarter than they really are. The researchers, Gilles Gignac at the University of Western Australia and Marcin Zajenkowski at the University of Warsaw, also tested whether the couples' actual IQs influenced their relationship satisfaction - with surprising results. There had been some previous signs that we are especially...

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Propaganda Alert! UNICEF blames ‘vaccine hesitancy’ for measles uptick

Global progress in the fight against measles eroded last year and "vaccine hesitancy" is among the reasons, according to a report released Friday by the United Nations Children's Fund on an alarming spike in the disease. The report says 98 percent of countries reported an uptick in measles cases in 2018. Ukraine, the Philippines and Brazil had the largest increases. "This is a wake up call. We have a safe, effective and inexpensive vaccine against a highly contagious disease - a vaccine that has saved almost a million lives every year over the last two decades," the release quotes Henrietta Fore, UNICEF's executive director. Measles is becoming more common in both developed and developing countries, UNICEF reports. Reasons for the disease's uptick include inadequate health infrastructure and civil unrest in addition to "low community awareness, complacency and vaccine hesitancy" in...

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The age of anxiety: Fake news plays its part

Authors have many images to describe distorted mental states, but that of a glass enclosure, which warps vision and sound, is among the most common. In his searing essay on the loss of his daughter, Aleksandar Hemon uses the metaphor of an aquarium to describe the detached sensations caused by profound grief. Sylvia Plath's titular bell jar is her symbol for the airless perceptions of suicidal depression. The intercession of glass between human sight and the world is present even in the New Testament, when, in 1 Corinthians, we are told that earthly life is seen "through a glass, darkly." In a heavenly future, no glazier's hand will intercede before the face of God. Anxiety, too, can have this distorting, glassy quality. When I had my first panic attack, in Russia in the summer of 2010, the entire world shrank...

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The power of neuroplasticity: Boy’s brain rewires itself even with 1/6th of its contents missing

I put my hand on a bishop and slide it several squares before moving it back. "Should I move a different piece instead?" I wonder to myself. "You have to move that piece if you've touched it," my opponent says, flashing a wry grin. Fine. I move the bishop. It's becoming increasingly obvious to me now - I'm going to lose a game of chess to a 12-year-old. My opponent is Tanner Collins, a seventh-grade student growing up in a Pittsburgh suburb. Besides playing chess, Collins likes building with Legos. One such set, a replica of Hogwarts Castle from the Harry Potter books, is displayed on a hutch in the dining room of his parents' house. He points out to me a critical flaw in the design: The back of the castle isn't closed off. "If you turn it around,"...

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SOTT FOCUS: The Truth Perspective: How to Numb Your Conscience with Totalitarian Religion

Religions provide a collection of values by which their adherents strive to live, a story in which they play an important role. These timeless values and stories are some of humanity's greatest achievements. But they can also go wrong - very wrong. Just as religions can offer the impetus towards the development of conscience, they can also be distorted to such a degree that they actively stifle conscience, elevating a group of believers to a chosen status denied to all others, and thus justifying the worst of attitudes and behaviors towards such outsiders, regardless of such individuals' individual character. Today on the Truth Perspective we continue our discussion of Israel Shahak's Jewish History, Jewish Religion and Shiraz Maher's Salafi-Jihadism, and the two religious ideologies they criticize. Both are founded on a distorted view of human nature, a demonization of outsiders,...

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