Bad Science – Psychopaths and successful creative types have one thing in common

They say you should never meet your heroes. There's plenty of reasons why, but in the case of your creative heroes, it might be because they're jerks. The idea of the "cantankerous creative" has likely been around since the first arrogant caveman learned to make fire. Pablo Picasso carried around a revolver loaded with blanks that he'd fire at people he disliked. H.P. Lovecraft was a staggering racist, even for his time. Thomas Edison happily electrocuted an elephant to discredit his rival, Nikola Tesla. It seems like creative people - whether gifted in the visual arts, science, writing, or what have you - are often thoroughly unpleasant people. While creative success may make one bigheaded, an emerging stream of research is showing that creativity and being a real jerk may actually have a more intimate relationship. In fact, for some...

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Cortisol the ‘stress hormone’ linked to early toll on thinking ability

Brain changes, visible on scans, are also associated with Alzheimer's precursors The stresses of everyday life may start taking a toll on the brain in relatively early middle age, new research shows. The study of more than 2,000 people, most of them in their 40s, found those with the highest levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol performed worse on tests of memory, organization, visual perception and attention. Higher cortisol levels, measured in subjects' blood, were also found to be associated with physical changes in the brain that are often seen as precursors to Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, according to the study published in October in Neurology. ...

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Permalink to A lire pour comprendre la Grande Guerre : « Les Somnambules » de Christopher Clark

A lire pour comprendre la Grande Guerre : « Les Somnambules » de Christopher Clark

Comme le signale dans son introduction l'auteur lui-même, les travaux concernant les origines de la première guerre mondiale constituent sans doute l'un des plus importants corpus développés par les historiens jusqu'à aujourd'hui. Avec ce texte de 2012, traduit en français en 2013 par Marie-Anne de Béru chez Flammarion, l'Australien Christopher Clark, prestigieux professeur à l'université britannique de Cambrige, a toutefois renouvelé un champ largement labouré, notamment en minimisant, à l'écart de la vulgate couramment acceptée jusqu'alors, la responsabilité particulière de l'Allemagne dans le déclenchement de la guerre, et en tenant de rendre compte de la formidable richesse de l'écheveau historique constitué par un ensemble de tendances « lourdes », matérielles, et d'idiosyncrasies individuelles, plus contingentes, dans un monde diplomatique de l'époque où beaucoup de responsables se connaissaient ou - aussi souvent - croyaient se connaître, en remontant son horloge de...

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