psychology


Who says that money can’t buy happiness? Well, a couple of psychologists, apparently. But frankly, this would be a more meaningful conclusion if it didn’t suggest that therapy was the only true route to happiness, which is kind of like The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce releasing a study that demonstrates that gambling is the key to happiness.

Consider the source, is all I’m saying.

But realistically, it seems like the researchers involved in this study do have a point. Money, at least money for its own sake, is fairly unlikely to produce true contentment. It is, rather, simply a convenient currency for which real happiness, found most frequently in the in the form of hookers and blow, can be exchanged. Everybody knows that!

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Up yours, everyone who ever told me “You know, it takes more energy to frown than it does to smile.” Turns out, my shitty mood is what has made me a smarter, better person.

Australian psychologist Joe Forgas  has published a paper in Australian Science Magazine detailing the upside of feeling down. While grumpy people might be less creative and more of a general pain in the ass to be around, they are also less gullible, more attentive and assess their problems more carefully. Which is probably because they have more problems, because no one likes them, because they are so goddamned pissy all the time.

Researchers in Germany have developed a drug that, when taken through the nose during a late night cram session, seems to improve retention and memory formation in college students who get a good night’s sleep after taking the drug. In other words, the Germans have invented cocaine, but made it significantly lamer. Good job, Germany.

I guess… nobody told Germany about cocaine? That seems sort of unfair. I mean, they did pretty well fuck up the first half of the twentieth century and all, but seriously, that shit was years ago.

I just hope no one was planning on winning a Nobel Prize in medicine for this, because they already gave those out today, and the team of American researchers who discovered DNA telemorase landed it. It’s  safe bet that, after giving the requisite speech about how this validates the entire field of study they’re engaged in, the winners almost certainly proceeded to revel in wads of money and the adulation of their peers. And you can bet they went out and threw down some of that fat Nobel cash on a bunch of blow like right thinking Americans, who could not be less interested in lame ass German nasal spray for brain function.

Dr. Henry Markram of Switzerland’s Brain Science Institute has suggested that we could see the first fully functioning computer model of a human brain in as little as 10 years. “I absolutely believe it is technically and biologically possible. The only uncertainty is financial,” said Markram.

If Markram is right, we could be just a decade away from an unparalleled tool for understanding the most opaque inner workings of the human brain and diagnosing and treating neurological disorders. Not to mention the means to keep our greatest mad scientists alive and terrorizing the planet with killer robots for centuries to come.

For those of you playing along at home – Ray Kurzweil just got a boner.

Thanks to science for proving this week that what I and the bunch of drunks I associate with have always thought is both actual and factual – sweet mother alcohol is actually good for you.

It’s good for your mind – teetotalers may be more prone to depression than folks who are inclined to knock back a few, news which should come as a surprise to no one anywhere.

Perhaps counterintuitively, booze is also good for your body, and not just in a sissy ‘a glass of red wine a day’ kind of a way. People who consume alcoholic drinks are more likely to exercise than their abstaining counterparts, with heavy drinkers getting the most strenuous workouts.

Of course, there’s no arguing that alcohol does have some detrimental effects. For instance, alcohol consumption makes it harder for hamsters to get up in the morning, according to a recent study. Then again, what’s so pressing about the lives of hamsters that they need to get up at the crack of dawn, anyway?

The first rehabilitation camp for Internet Addiction has opened it’s doors in the United States, and situated in Fall City, Washington, it’s just miles from my own home.

For the low, low price of just $14,500, internet junkies can enroll in a six week treatment regimen at Heavensfield Retreat Center that features lessons in conversation techniques, social skills and dating.

If these techniques sound familiar, it’s because  they’re borrowed from the boot camp style Internet addiction treatment centers that have been springing up throughout China, where Internet addiction is seen as a growing problem among Chinese adolescents. Happily, though, the staff of Heavensfield has decided to replace the “brutal beatings” portion of the treatment itinerary with animal therapy. And while feeding goats might not be as stimulating as raiding Karazhan, it’s certainly preferable to being repeatedly shocked for trying to check your blog traffic or getting beaten to death by Chinese guidance counselors after a sex-ed class.

Still, it seems a lot to ask people to spend nearly fifteen large treating a mental illness that is at least poorly understood, if it even exists, which according to the pyschiatric guidebook  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it doesn’t.

It’s time for a new round of America’s favorite game, Republicans Go Nuts On Twitter! Those of you playing along at home know that it’s just eight short days until Sarah Palin is freed from the shackles of governing and released onto a dismally unprepared populace. And according to her Twitter feed (thanks Wonkette), the Sarah Barracuda is about to take the gloves off and stop being so “politically correct.” That’s right, folks, everything we feared is true – Sarah Palin has been holding back so far. She’s not as crazy as we thought.

She is much, much crazier.

And it would appear that she’s about to stop being polite… and start getting real.

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