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Friday, June 19, 2009

Field Notes

"Unambiguous Evidence" of Shoreline on Mars
The first-ever shoreline discovered on Mars would be a prime place to try and dig up proof of past microbial life on the red planet, researchers have announced. (Anne Minard, National Geographic)

Bush's Council on Bioethics Will Be Replaced
President Obama will appoint a new bioethics commission, one with a new mandate and that “offers practical policy options,” Reid Cherlin, a White House press officer, said. (Nicholas Wade, The New York Times)

What Drives Deception?
Intentional deceit is not restricted to humans, say Federica Amici and colleagues of Liverpool John Moores University in the UK. Some monkeys use simple forms of deceit, and the ability depends not on how closely related they are to humans, but on their social structure. (Catherine Brahic, New Scientist)

Welsh Psychologist Devises Formula for Happiness
His complicated mathematic formula is: O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He. Put simply, he gave values to each symbol and added being outdoors (O) to nature (N) multiplied by social interaction (S), added memories of childhood summers (Cpm) divided by the temperature (T), and added excitement about holidays (He). (Telegraph)

Year One

Set in what looks like a succession of B-movie studio sets, the film brings to mind a Hope and Crosby road movie, though only if Bob and Bing, after studying the Bible as children and reading Nietzsche as adults, were grappling with issues of faith. (Manohla Dargis, The New York Times)