Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?


Dolphins join the Russian Navy, again

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CNV00005_14In 2012 the US Navy it was reporters that it had decided to end its marine mammal warfare programme in which dolphins and sea lions were trained to detect mines and enemy divers (although the latest story about military dolphins suggest it might still be ongoing)..

The Russians had been training dolphinsatSevastapol in the Crimea since 1973 using them like the Americans, patrolling open waters but also carrying explosive devices. The Ukrainians were also in the game – although their dolphins went AWOL in the mating season!

Now it’s been announced that the Russian Ministry of Defence has ordered 5 dolphins raising speculation that it is reviving its soviet era programme. It’s prepared to pay 1.75m roubles (about£18,000) for two male and three female bottle-nose dolphins up to 2.7 metres long.

So it looks like the Russians want to pick up where they left off now they…

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Blondes are cleverer but they lie more

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IMGP9497.JPGA study has found that the “dumb blonde” stereotype is unfair. American women with blonde hair seem to be more intelligent than women with other hair colours.

An economist studied 11,000 Americans, male and female, who had completed IQ tests.

The average IQ of a blonde white woman was 103.2 compared to 100.5 for a black-haired woman. 4.3% of blonde women had IQs over 125 compared to just 0.2% of black-haired women.

So why are blondes cleverer?

The answer may be simple – they lied about their hair colour. It turned out there were significantly more blonde females than males and yet hair colour is not linked to gender.

Jay Zagorsky at Ohio University who carried out the study thinks 1 in 6 blonde women were lying about their natural hair colour.

Blondes do benefit from their hair colour: blonde female fundraisers collect more money, blonde waitresses get…

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The Knotted Gun

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S6000450I’d seen, and photographed this bronze sculpture of a Colt Magnum revolver with a knot in the barrel a couple of times on my business trips to Sweden.

But I didn’t know what it was about – although I thought it was probably an anti-gun ownership protest, perhaps typical of a country noted for its neutrality.

It turns out that it was designed by Carl Fredrik Bengt Wilhelm Reuterswärd in response to the murder of John Lennon. Called The Knotted Gun or Non-violence it was seen as a political piece in the manner of Picasso’s Guernica.

Reuterswärd had met Lennon and Ono in Switzerland in 1969 and had discussed creating a piece that depicted the concept of peace. After Lennon’s death Ono asked him to continue.

He said “I was filled with bitterness and anger and immediately began to create a symbol for John Lennon and everyone else who…

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High heels indicate your status

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IMG_1082Scientists claim that you can deduce someone’s social status by checking the size of their heels, especially after they moved to a new area.

A study of 15,000 online shoe purchases in America found that if women moved to a new area they adjusted the height of their heels to the local fashion – but only if they’d gone upmarket.

If the had moved down the socio-economic ladder they keep the same heel height as if to emphasise their superiority. Whether or not the women adjusted their heel height depended almost entirely on the relative wealth of their previous neighbourhood.

The study was carried out to investigate the contradiction in fashion – fitting in or standing out.Kurt Gray, from the University of Carolina and co-author of the study, said “From the beginning of time people … aligned themselves with the powerful and distanced themselves from the powerless. So it…

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Cougars could cut road deaths in USA

Slide1 (1)Not women of a certain age but four-legged beasts which used to roam the eastern states of the USA before they were wiped out.

Those now densely populated states harbour a killer animal which claims 200 deaths a year and over a million traffic collisions.

The USA’s most dangerous mammal is the deer.

Now wildlife scientists are suggesting re-introducing cougars which would hunt down the deer and prevent thousands of injuries and 155 deaths over 30 years.

In South Dakota, which was recently re-colonised by cougars, there has been a 9% drop in deer-related car crashes over eight years.

The downside is that they would occasionally kill a human being. So the balance is this: having on average less than one person a year killed by cougars  but preventing 5 deaths a year and 700 injuries from deer vehicle collisions.

So an interesting dilemma about a biological control method.

Gallery, Picturesque Antelope Canyon in Arizona, U.S.

International Bellhop Travel Magazine

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Antelope Canyon, a natural “slot canyon” just outside of Page, Arizona, is a naturally formed canyon that often referred to as the most photogenic of all of Arizona’s natural wonders and formation. Native Navajo peoples call it “Tsé bighánílíní,” or “Where the water runs through rocks.” The entire canyon system was formed by the erosion of the soft Navajo Sandstone in the area over thousands of years.

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Arizona experiences heavy monsoon rains during the late summer months every year, sending a steady flow of water through this and many other canyons in the area, which keeps the erosion process happening, and continues to create an even more elaborate set of naturally sculpted features inside the canyon.

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Access to the Antelope Canyon is limited only to tours with the permission of the local Navajo authorized tour guides. Access is limited due to the fact that this is one of the most…

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