I’m running all sorts of behind this week and I apologize. Without further delay, here is this week’s selection of science links:
1) A thought-provoking post at io9.com about why you shouldn’t lie to kids. I tried to convince a friend at work a few weeks ago that lying to your children about Santa is shoddy parenting, but she just couldn’t understand my point. Seriously folks, the myth of Santa is quite damaging if you deconstruct it. You’re teaching kids that presents that you bought were actually delivered by some mythical figure who keeps tally of what you did right and wrong on a list. The canny child will quickly ponder out that all you have to do is do more nice things than naughty things and you’re still in present land. And really, no matter how bad the kid is, doesn’t he still get presents? You’re not fooling anyone. Anyway, I ranted about that more than I intended to, sorry. The thrust of the article is that by convincing children that mythical figures exist, you’re harming their ability to separate truth from fiction.
2) Very cool news about the next step in defeating diabetes in an article from ScienceDaily.com. An artificial pancreas, set to start clinical trials in November, looks like a promising alternative to constant blood sugar testing and insulin shots.
3) An article (and a pretty picture) at arstechnica.com about salt water geysers on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. Enceladus is currently thought the most likely place to find signs of life in the solar system.
4) A tongue-in-cheek post at science20.com about why females shouldn’t have sex with males from the future. The idea is that subsequent generations develop ways to promote an individual’s genetic lines, often to the detriment of the other gender. Keep antagonistic coevolution in mind for your next time-traveling hookup!
5) This one really surprised me. Here’s an article at nature.com regarding how city living might have a detrimental effect on mental health. According to the study, city life causes social stress which activates parts of the brain that process emotions, increasing the risk of schizophrenia.