Science Proves Bass Feels Boss

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to many here but, scientific research has finally upheld that bass heavy music does in fact make you feel more powerful.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to many here but, scientific research has finally upheld that bass heavy music does in fact make you feel more powerful.

While not terribly groundbreaking, this may explain why while …And Justice For All despite being heavy and aggressive fails to ever get anybody amped up because that whole they were more into making a statement than mixing a good record thing.

Read “The Music of Power: Perceptual and Behavioral Consequences of Powerful Music, or listen to the NPR segment here.

Oh and for the record, one of the best bass-heavy tunes for your attitude according to science:

One Year of NYC Cab Trips

HubCab followed all NYC Cab pickups and dropoffs in 2011 and created this interactive map with the help of MIT Senseable City Lab

Enter HubCab, a project of MIT Senseable City Lab who captured year’s worth of data from taxi pickups and dropoffs in New York City. The technical development section of HubCab‘s website provides a detailed explanation of the backend required for this level of data processing if you want to nerd out on that, but the interactive map is the clearly the most fun.

The basis of the HubCab tool is a data set of over 170 million taxi trips of all 13,500 Medallion taxis in New York City in 2011. The data set contains GPS coordinates of all pickup and drop off points and corresponding times.

View HubCab Interactive Map

All taxi pickups and drop offs at JFK airport daily between 3AM and 6AM.
All taxi pickups and drop offs at JFK airport daily between 3AM and 6AM.

Thanks For Sharing

Interesting relationships between what is shared, and what is read online

Analytics are important, as long as you are tracking the proper metrics. Recent research is showing that the correlation between what is shared on social networks versus what people are actually reading is surprisingly low.

A few key findings noted below, click here to read the whole article, sorry I’m going so fast but statistics show you’re going to be gone in the next 5-8 seconds.

Continue reading “Thanks For Sharing”

Science Upholds 5-Second Rule

Scientific research upholds if you pick up dropped food quickly, you’re more likely to be safe from harmful bacteria

Of course I never cook, I only go eat at other restaurants (not entirely true, but mostly) however I am taking note of research from Aston University and their School of Life and Health Sciences.

Also surprising from the research, although this ‘rule’ is entirely anecdotal, the research found 87% of people surveyed said they would eat food dropped on the floor, or already have done so.

Connecting Wealth and Musical Ability

The Guardian shares research showing the connection between wealth, neighborhood, and measurable musical talent.

The Guardian recently posted an article detailing the connections between British postal codes and musical ability. Everybody slow down, Bow E3 is a ‘hype ting’ but there is empirical data and some interesting takeaways. Clearly there are exception to every rule but on this site we are lovers on both music and data and statistics so this seemed in the vein of our typical reporting.

Interestingly, it was the categories that seemed more objective such as ‘melodic memory’ and ‘beat perception’ that showed the strongest statistical correlation with wealth.

The article on The Guardian contains a table of melodic memory as it correlates to geographic region, but the short answer is we need to be hearing grime from Hastings and West Somerset. By the way, yes Hackney did make the top 10 list.

Key Findings

  • People had better “musical sophistication” in periods of their lives with more flexibility, such as at school, university or when they are self-employed.
  • Late adolescence is where a peak stage is reached for sophisticated engagement with music.
  • Gender and ethnicity explained “very little” when it came to musical ability.
  • People working in music, media and education keep their links to music throughout their life.

Science Suggests Better To Be Right Than Happy

I could have told you this a long time ago however, science has proven it is better to be right than to be happy. Ignorance is bliss? Think again.

As part of an unusual experiment, the husband was instructed to “agree with his wife’s every opinion and request without complaint,” and to continue doing so “even if he believed the female participant was wrong,” according to a report on the research that was published Tuesday by the British Medical Journal.

Over the 12 days of the experiment, the husband’s quality of life plummeted from a baseline score of 7 all the way down to 3. The wife started out at 8 and rose to 8.5 by Day 6. She had no desire to share her quality of life with the researchers on Day 12, according to the report.

Not too terribly surprising considering cognitive dissonance tends to make you upset when you have to mentally reconcile being incorrect.

The Physics Behind Traffic Jams

Learn how traffic jams form, how to deal with them, and how to prevent them in this study by William Beaty in Smart Motorist

Here is a rather detailed, but insightful and constructive look at what causes traffic jams and more importantly some tips on preventing them. Read the entire piece by William Beaty, for a whole bunch of sciencey stuff about driving and traffic and some tips backed up by his own experiments in Seattle.

It’s always a good idea to drive without changing speed and without competing with other drivers for bits of headway. But I’d always assumed that the reasons were philosophical rather than practical. A single solitary driver, if they stop “competing” and instead adopt some unusual driving habits, can actually wipe away some of the frustrating traffic

(TL;DR, don’t be rude to other drivers, use common sense, and have patience)

The Physics Behind Traffic Jams [via SmartMotorist]


Understanding Music Is A Learned Trait

A recently reported study from the University of Melbourne was covered in The Atlantic, for its scientific observation of how humans come to hear, understand, and appreciate music. I’m certain this comes to the chagrin of the Sidney Dean  who was quite insistent of Billy Hoyle’s well-established inability to “hear Jimi”

The ability to identify tones and thus enjoy harmonies was positively correlated with musical training. Said study co-author Sarah Wilson, “This showed us that even the ability to hear a musical pitch (or note) is learned.

From a practical standpoint, the results seem to suggest that we can train ourselves to better appreciate music. This includes that of unfamiliar traditions, which, assuming this is not just a clever way of promoting the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, is great news for those who’ve been wanting to get into jazz . [*]

Thanks to our friends at NPR for sharing this with us

Classical Music Unsafe For Driving

A scientific look at how type of music affect the increased danger it subjects to the driver. Classical Music the clear loser here!

via NPR’s Back Off The Bach To Drive Safely

Researchers in London claim that listening to classical music makes for unsafe driving — in fact, that it caused more erratic driving than hip-hop, heavy metal or not listening to music at all...

…also identified individual songs that were even worse for auto safety than classical music; the Black Eyed Peas‘ dancehall-flavored “Hey Mama,” for starters, was judged the single most dangerous song for driving

Thank You Scicnce

Ignorance: How It Drives

Answers have become so easy and so readily available that I think we now have too much emphasis on answers and not enough on questions

Continuing the theme diversifying content, we are sharing a link from NPR‘s Talk of the Nation. Recently, on Science Friday, Ira Flatow spoke with neuroscientist Stuart Firestein on the latter’s recent publication Ignorance: How It Drives Science Forward, outlining an important realization not unique to the scientific community.

“…answers have become so easy and so readily available that I think we now have too much emphasis on answers and not enough on questions” [*]

For more from, including the full interview with Firestein, continue beneath the fold.

Continue reading “Ignorance: How It Drives”

Why Your Mom Keeps Calling / How You Choose Best Friends

Science proves that your mom really does call more often now that she’s older – also, why your tastes in ‘best friends’ change over time. Fun with data mining!

A nice link to Scientific Reports from WaPo today, on a study utilizing cellphone data to analyze how people communicate and age and gender’s role in the process.

Continue reading “Why Your Mom Keeps Calling / How You Choose Best Friends”

Color Judgement Test

See how well you judge colors in a game from Method of Action, a site aiming to teach the fundamentals of good design to programmers

Color Game (Method of Action)Method of Action is an upcoming website promising “Design For Programmers.” A concept I am familiar with; having an understanding of technology but no background in design.

Often this makes it difficult to develop good design on my own simply because I have no fundamental knowledge of the underlying concepts. Admittedly, this site’s design is not unique — I aim to focus on content, and only essential ‘bells-and-whistles’ that benefit the site’s usability.

Have some fun and check out some of the games on the company’s website as they prepare for launch, they offer three examples to teach about Kerning, Text Shape/Bézier, and Color.

FYI: I scored 3.8 based on the following scoring break-down:
Hue: 8, Saturation: 7, Complementary: 4, Analogous: 0, Ternary: 2, Quaternary: 2