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I bet you think this song, er, research is about you...

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When young, beautiful Dorian Gray spies himself in the mirror and realizes he will age while his painting remains ageless, he wishes that he could sell his soul to remain beautiful while the painting ages. Miraculously, Gray's wish is granted, allowing the narcissistic Gray to live a life of beauty. But Dorian Gray may not have possessed the self-awareness that modern day narcissists have—most narcissists know they annoy others.

Erika Carlson, a psychology graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, conducted two studies about narcissism and wrote about them in a paper called "You Probably Think This Paper's About You." In the first study, 110 college students (41 men and 69 women) participated in small groups weekly for an entire semester. When the groups initially met, the students rated one another on 10 personality traits and completed a self-evaluation. Then the groups repeated the exercise during the last week. Narcissists awarded themselves high marks on intelligence, likability, and physical attractiveness during self-assessments, and initially their peers gave the same stellar marks. But by the end of the semester, the narcissists wore on their peers and most lowered their opinions of the more self-involved students. The surprising thing is that the narcissists realized they annoyed the others. (Experts had believed that narcissists weren't able to determine how others thought of them.)

In the second study, 374 Air Force recruits (254 men, 120 women) who spent six months of basic training together evaluated each other at the beginning and end of the time. Because they spent more time together, they were more than mere acquaintances and perhaps better able to evaluate one another. The results were the same—narcissists came off very well at first, but soon became irritations.

Even though they might realize they aggravate others, narcissists most likely believe that they are less popular because others do not realize their genius.
Shown above is Caravaggio's classic painting of Narcissus, the namesake for narcissists

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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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