BREAKING NEWS: Boy Scouts of America have voted to allow gay members
Choosy developers choose GIF.
Crazy Monster sings a congratulatory song for tumblr.
WSJ reports Yahoo board has approved a $1.1 billion deal — in cash — to purchase Tumblr.
There it is.
The Moral Brain
Consider a failed murder attempt. Or a simple mistake that causes another to die. Is one of these more acceptable than the other?
Neuroscientists don’t pretend to hold the answers as to how people know what is right and what is wrong. But studies show individual biology may influence the ways people process the actions of others.
It turns out we judge others not only for what they do, but also for what we perceive they are thinking while they do it… “Often, what determines moral blame is not what the outcome is, but what [we think] is going on in the mind of the person performing the act,” says Rebecca Saxe, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies how the brain casts judgment.
One way scientists study how we make right-or-wrong judgments is to look at brain regions that are most active when people attempt to interpret the thoughts of others.
In some studies, participants read stories about characters that either accidentally or intentionally cause harm to others while scientists use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to track how brain activity changes. Such studies show that thinking about another’s thoughts increases the activity of nerve cells in a brain region known as the right temporo-parietal junction located behind the right ear.
As it turns out, some of these cells respond differently when presented with an intentional harm versus an accident. By zeroing in on the distinct patterns of activity in these cells, Saxe’s group discovered that they could accurately predict how forgiving the participants would be.
Things Yahoo! Has Made Better
Happy Mothers Day! Here’s some of the best and most interesting moms in the animal kingdom. Send some love to the Homo sapiens that made ya today!
- Harp seals have to care for their fluffy, marshmallow-like pups in an icy, scary world patrolled by polar bears. The little snowy cotton balls have to gain weight fast in order to survive the cold and avoid predators. So their moms help them gain five pounds a day for the first 12 days by feeding them milk that is 48% fat! How is that even liquid?! It’s like feeding them butter. Oh, and the moms don’t eat for the whole time!
- Queen bees are some of the hardest working moms in terms of pure reproduction. If a fertilized (and therefore female) bee egg is laid in a special honeycomb receptacle and continuously fed a secretion called “royal jelly”, it will develop into a queen. That queen will mate with one or many drone males, storing their sperm to lay as many as 2,000 eggs a day (both fertilized female workers and unfertilized drone males) to stock the hive. That’s a lot of kids to look out for.
- Elephants never forget … that they carried their young for 22 months, the longest pregnancy term of all mammals. A 22 month pregnancy. Just let that sink in the next time your back hurts a little. Of course, that’s nothing compared to the frilled shark, who can carry its young for as long as 3.5 years, probably because it’s so terrifying that it doesn’t want to scare its children to death.
- Earwigs aren’t known for being a particularly heartwarming species, but the females are unique among non-social insects for attending to their larva, helping them hatch, feeding them regurgitated food, guarding them until they molt into adults, and even allowing them to eat her if they are starving. Of course, sometimes they have been known to eat their eggs too, so it’s not all cuddles and kisses in earwig families.
- Orangutan moms and babies might take the cake for pure cuteness. I know we aren’t supposed to humanize animals and read our emotions into their lives, but come on. There is something very close to love between mothers and children among these, the most playful of great apes. Orangutan mothers take seven years between pregnancies, and will care for their young for at least two years among the treetops. For the first four months they never break physical contact with their young, and build a new nest of leaves and twigs every night for fresh, comfy orangu-snuggles. Best ape ever (they love puppies!)
(images via Wikipedia, Shutterstock)
Seth Meyers is officially is the new host of NBC’s “Late Night,” replacing the Leno-replacing Jimmy Fallon and proving one thing: “Weekend Update” is a farm system. (AP photo)
Okay, now, John Mulaney gets to do Weekend Update, right?