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I'm gonna wash that sin right outta my hair

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It turns out that dirty deeds really are -- people who feel like they've done something unethical feel the need to bathe more often, according to new research in Science:

Liljenquist and her colleague Chen-Bo Zhong at the University of Toronto in Canada first asked undergraduate student volunteers to focus on ethical or unethical deeds from their past. The volunteers were more likely to interpret the word fragments "W _ _ H" as "wash" and "S _ _ P" as "soap" if they had been thinking of an unethical deed, and to choose an antiseptic wipe instead of a pencil as free gift.

The investigators also asked volunteers to hand-copy a short story written in the first person about either helping or sabotaging a coworker. Zhong and Liljenquist found the students who copied the unethical story were more likely to then rate cleansing products such as toothpaste and detergent as more desirable than noncleansing products such as batteries and candy bars in what the participants thought was an unrelated marketing study.

In their last set of experiments, the researchers asked volunteers to first remember an unethical deed and then either gave them the chance to wash their hands or not. When the students were afterward asked whether they would volunteer without pay for another research study to help out a desperate graduate student, 74 percent of those who had not washed their hands offered to help, while only 41 percent of the participants who had a chance to wash their hands did. This suggested volunteers who did not get the chance to clean themselves felt a need "to absolve their consciences," Liljenquist said.

This "Macbeth effect" suggests that the areas of the brain that process moral disgust and physical disgust overlap. I guess it also explains the whole baptism thing. ... Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go hop in the shower.


via Idle Musings

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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
Can’t See the Eclipse in Person? Watch NASA’s 360° Live Stream
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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, the historic eclipse on August 21 might not look all that impressive from your vantage point. You may be far away from the path of totality, or stuck with heartbreakingly cloudy weather. Maybe you forgot to get your eclipse glasses before they sold out, or can't get away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But fear not. NASA has you covered. The space agency is live streaming a spectacular 4K-resolution 360° live video of the celestial phenomenon on Facebook. The livestream started at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and includes commentary from NASA experts based in South Carolina. It will run until about 4:15 ET.

You can watch it below, on NASA's Facebook page, or on the Facebook video app.

Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former War World II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]


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