Via IFLScience: ‘Forget LSD: eyes are the new high. Of course, we’re not talking about consuming them, but rather staring intensely into a pair for a prolonged period of time. Apparently, this can make people enter into an altered state of consciousness.
This intriguing discovery was made by vision researcher Giovanni Caputo from the University of Urbino in Italy, but it isn’t his first staring contest study. A few years ago, the scientist recruited 50 volunteers and got them to gaze upon their reflections in a mirror for 10 minutes in a dimly lit room. For many of them, it took less than one minute to start experiencing something trippy.
Their faces began to warp and change, taking on the appearance of animals, monsters or even deceased family members; a phenomenon imaginatively named the “strange-face illusion.” But it seems the bizarre effects are even more dramatic when the mirror is swapped for another person…’
Via National Geographic: ‘On International Orangutan Day, we take a look at these lovable tree-dwelling apes, whose numbers are plummeting fast due to deforestation.
Solitary and intelligent, the orangutan is the only great ape native to Asia—but it’s possible the continent may soon have none. That’s because orangutan numbers are dwindling as the animals are driven from their habitats by deforestation for palm oil plantations.
The island of Borneo may house only 54,000 of the endangered animal, and on Sumatra (map), just 6,600 remain, according to WWF. That’s a drop from possibly 230,000 of the primates a century ago.
But there’s one bright spot for this fiery-furred ape: Many companies have committed to only using palm oil from areas that weren’t destroyed by logging…’
Via IFLScience: ‘In what is sure to be highly controversial research, a new study claims to be able to predict a person’s risk of committing suicide with over 90% accuracy, using only a blood test coupled with a questionnaire.
According to the researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine, they have developed a simple test that looks for 11 biomarkers in a patient’s blood. When they coupled this with an app-based questionnaire, they say they were able to predict which individuals in a group of patients already being treated for psychiatric disorders would go on to develop suicidal thoughts over a period of two years…’
Via Quanta Magazine: ‘The physicist James Bullock explains how a complicated “dark sector” of interacting particles may illuminate some puzzling observations of the centers of galaxies…’
Via National Geographic: ‘After a Yellowstone grizzly with cubs killed a hiker, the park’s chief faced an agonizing decision—whether to let the bear go free or put her down…’