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Psychological neoteny

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Sounds like, well, psycho-babble, right? But it describes a unique personality trait that could become invaluable to future generations. What some of us might consider signs of immaturity -- a grandfather who loves video games, or a grown woman who never stopped playing with dolls -- is what psychology professor Bruce Charlton refers to as psychological neoteny, or "the retention of youthful attitudes and behaviors into later adulthood." It turns out that such behaviors correspond to an adaptability to change which is becoming increasingly valuable in our fast-paced new world -- and increasingly common, as well.

It's been noted again and again that people seem to reach "maturity" at 25 or 26 now -- if then -- whereas our parents, and their parents before them, grew up faster. According to Dr. Charlton, this is partially a result of post-secondary and post-graduate education, which requires that students keep an open and adaptable mind in order to succeed. "In a psychological sense, some contemporary individuals never actually become adults," he writes, which is "especially helpful in making the best out of enforced job changes, the need for geographic mobility and the requirement to make new social networks."

So to all you parents of 27-year-olds who've moved back home after college -- count your lucky stars. (Then kick the bums out!)

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

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Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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