New Experiences: Awesome or Scary?

What makes someone or something “cool?” It’s a complicated question with several scientific explanations. A large part is explained by the appeal of things that are new and different. New experiences are especially rewarding because they help us gain new physical resources or aid in the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities. There seems to be—across many living creatures—an attraction to the novel […]

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Why You Really Should Apologize for the Polar Vortex

2014 began with a dip in the polar vortex that brought about extremely cold temperatures and a variety of unpleasant outcomes related to such nasty weather. Today, the White House’s “We the Geeks” program brought together a panel of experts for an in-depth discussion of extreme weather events, and how they may be related to broader climate change. As we […]

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Science Explains What it Means to be “Cool”

What makes someone or something “cool?” Even defining it is a challenge. Wikipedia’s entry on the subject provides some cultural and historical context, and a definition that can serve as a decent starting point: “…an admired aesthetic of attitude, behavior, comportment, appearance and style, influenced by and a product of the Zeitgeist.”   However, the entry continues: “Because of the […]

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The Perils of Video Interviewing

With the increasing availability of high-speed internet and videoconferencing technologies, many companies are considering their use for pre-employment interviews and employee selection. While these new technologies likely can help companies save time and money over more traditional face-to-face interviews, there are a number of serious concerns about their use. Most of these concerns are related to the possibility that a […]

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