Why do humans kiss?

Is kissing learned or instinctual?

Was kissing only invented for pleasure or for more life sustaining reasons?

Some people say that it is a learned behavior, used when the first humans roamed the earth. Mothers needed to feed their babies with food, but they couldn’t go to the grocery store and pick up premade baby food, nor did they want to spend their time and energy making the food soft and mushy. They instead used their mouths to chew up the food and kissed, yes kissed their children like mother birds do to feed them. The enzymes in the mother’s saliva helping her children digest their food. Even after they grow their teeth, mothers would press their lips against their babies for comfort.

Others believe kissing is an instinctive behavior, like how animals such as the Bonbos pucker up their lips to exchange spit. They do it to make up after fights, to comfort each other, to develop social bonds, and sometimes for no reason, just like us. Other animals make similar motions, such as nose rubbing, licking each other, and so much more.

The most widely accepted theory is that humans do it to find a quality mate. When our faces press togetehr, our permones communicate with eachotehr, exhcanging biological info about whether or not they will suit eachother, or make the best mates. Helping make children with better immune systems, and better chances for survival.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixQbCXLUUj8

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In the Eyes of Society

In our ever advancing society, everyone has a place where they belong. With humanity’s obsessive need of categorizing and placing everything and everyone into a specific group, each and every one of us is or eventually will be branded with a label we may never be capable of shaking off. What is this? It is the dreaded stereotyping above none else. We have all fallen victim to stereotyping unceasingly, and unconsciously, we reciprocate this sometimes hurtful act as we judge others for their appearance and not who they are underneath.

Think of all the different times a stereotype is thrown out into an open crowd. Look into the eyes of the victims as they shake it off with a laugh. We fix and overgeneralize a particular group or class of people quite naturally because this act helps us to respond quickly to situations in which we have had similar experiences before. It’s an easier way to associate with a stranger because stereotyping will save us time from getting to know an individual better. While this may be true, we are turning a blind eye towards the uniqueness of individuals. How many times have you been stereotyped negatively?

By stereotyping others, we are assuming that they along with the group or class of people they belong with all have that specific trait, and this will often lead to prejudice attitudes and unfair treatment towards individuals. Stereotyping may not always be negative such as how “judges are always respectable and proper,” but these are only the few out of hundreds different classifications we give to each other. Have you heard of any of these?

– Asians where glasses, are smart, are short and have slit eyes

– Arabs and Muslims are terrorists

– Russians and their vodka

– Nerds look dorky, are unsociable and have no friends

– The Irish are drunks

– All Italians love pasta and pizza

– The French are romantic, carry baguettes and where berets

– Germans are Nazis

– Be a man; don’t cry

– Women aren’t as smart

– Girls are not good at sports

– Americans are obese and stupid

– Blondes are stupid

– Teenagers are rebels

– Punks always get in trouble

– A feminine man is gay and a masculine woman is lesbian

These classifications are often untrue and mean. Will it be possible for people to stop judging?

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Multiverses and membranes

Ever since I was a little kid I have always loved looking at the bigger picture of life, or simply existence itself. I think about how humans have observed almost all of our own world and now look to the stars for information about our galaxy and the rest of the  observable universe. Since recently though, I have wondered what next level humans can take this to. Observing other dimensions? Other “universes”? Then I realize I’m getting ahead of myself, I am speculating at almost philosophical matters. So a couple days ago when one of my favorite youtube channels, MinutePhysics, uploaded a video on a very similar topic, I was ecstatic. The theories explained in this video gave me a much better understanding of what kind of universe we live in.

Who are you exactly?

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Who are you? It is quite a simple question, yet who can deny the fact that it is accompanied by one of the hardest responses we will ever have to come up with?

As time passes, many of us go through our everyday lives believing that we are perfectly aware of who we are, be it our names, our interests, or solely our appearances, but when the time comes, and someone asks us this one simple question, how do we, or should we respond?

A name is a label we give ourselves; a label shared by thousands of others in our vast society. Can one Emily be different from another? Yes, but name-wise, no. They may be two extremely different individuals, but unless specified, they will both answer to the same word once it’s uttered. An interest can be a describing factor, yet it changes with time. Think about all of the things you loved and treasured when you were five years old. How many of those interests remained unchanged, unaffected, unaltered? Physical appearance too can change, sometimes drastically. Compare a photo of yourself from when you were an infant to a photo of yourself now for example. How many people can recognize that the two individuals from these separate photos are actually the same person?

If you used any of these factors to represent yourself, when they change with the passing of every day, will you still be you? No, but isn’t the answer supposed to stay as a yes?

Throughout the years, we change. Every morning, we wake up older and more insightful than the day before. Just like how a few tiny grains of sand can eventually gather up to become a whole beach. Your awareness is what you are; the part of you that remained unchanged while the rest of you did not really stay static. You simply can not be your opinions, your past, or your will. Those are all the things you have created and will eventually be left behind in your wake.

The best answer for this short question is perhaps just “me,” but to avoid confusion when a stranger asks, just answer with your name.

Phantom pain

Phantom pain is when a person feels pain from a body part that is not there any more. Doctors used to believe that the pain was caused psycologically. However, doctors now believe that real sensations originate in the spinal cord and brain.

Phanotom pain is usually caused after a few days of amputation. They tend to come and go rather than being constant. They affect the limb farthest from the body, such as the foot of an amputated leg. They may be described as shooting, stabbing, or burning. Sometimes the victim feels as if the phantom part is forced into an uncomfortable position.

There are many ways to cure phantom pain by using medications, noninvasive therapies, minimally invasive therapies, and surgery.

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, but Words Are Far More Hurtful

 

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This childhood saying has since echoed in all of our minds. We’ve heard teachers say it, parents say it, even friends say it so often, we can recite it in our sleep. It has since become so popular as a way to offer a sort of comfort, but is it really true?

Take a moment to think about this; have you ever uttered hurtful words to another individual without a second thought? I’m pretty sure everyone including myself has, but do you regret it? Speech comes so naturally to us we take it for granted. Our words flow so perfectly out of our mouths; many of us often forget to filter what is appropriate to be said. We freely express ourselves and fail to realize the positive and negative effects we have on others around us. Believe it or not, words are powerful! You have more of an influence than you would like to know. Words can have such power, they are perfectly capable of pushing someone over the edge but at the same time, change someone’s life for the better.

The old saying that I mentioned at the start says that “words will never hurt you.” Do you believe it? How many times have you gone home upset or crying because someone at school/work said that you weren’t smart enough, pretty enough, fit enough? How about having your day brightened by a friend, someone you like, or a complete stranger because they commented on how nice of a smile you have? If “words can never hurt you,” then why is it that people break down after hearing that a loved one has passed away or grin with happiness when they hear the three words “I love you?”

Next time we open our mouths, stop and think, “how would I feel if I heard someone say this to me?” “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it” because words can cause wounds thousands of times deeper than physical injuries.

A last note to those that suffer emotionally: You are beautiful no matter what those around you say. Hold your head up high because the hurtful things are just not worth your time to frown over. There is no such thing as being born into this world unloved.

Famous Unethical Psychological Experiments + Manifesto

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What is psychology? It is the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context.

Why psychology? My passion for this subject area has grown after taking classes Sundays and Mondays outside of school. Attending these classes has helped me further grow my knowledge and learn about what my passions are.

What I find really fascinating about psychology are the experiments that have been banned from previous years. There are some interesting experiments that I have listed, all which are banned from being replication; therefore, most of current day psychology doesn’t involve some of the sketchy behavior outlined in my selection.

#10: Monster Study – 1939 (Wendell Johnson)

This psychological experiment was set up as one of ‘talking.’ Orphans were split up and treated differently. One of the groups received positive recognition for their speech, praising them every so often, while the other group received negative output for their speech, despite their decent communication skills. This experiment was nicknamed the Monster Study because Johnson’s peers were sickened that he would experiment on orphans to test his theories. This study was hidden in World War II because of the onset of Nazi Germany. We learned from this study that instructors hold a massive amount of power on students’ self-confidence.

#9: The Aversion Project – 1970s (South African Apartheid Army)

The quick synopsis of this experiment is that the Apartheid Army of South Africa forced lesbian and homosexual soldiers to undergo sex changes and unethical torture. There was an estimated 900 people who changed genders as a fact of the Apartheid Army to weed out homosexuality from within the forces in a secretive fashion. This was done in Ward 22 of 1 Military Hospital at a city near Pretoria. Most of the victims were 16-24 year old men drafted into the army. There were negative consequences to the actions put forward by the SAAF, and their actions can never be erased.

#8: Stanford Prison Experiment – 1971 (Philip Zimbardo)

This study is my favorite psychological experiment of all time. It is about how humans forget about their real lives when they’re placed in a roleplaying scenario. It is very frightening, considering that the people who took part in this experiment were university students at Stanford University in the basement of a student building.

The setup of the experiment was this:

Two groups of students were randomly assigned to be either guards, or prisoners. These individuals were university students and they were asked to simulate the scenario, however, they weren’t expecting anything horrendously bad. They suffered most of the detrimental effects of the study by the 2nd day, where a rebellion was lead by the prisoners. The guards then implemented a system to stop solidarity between prisoners. Jail keepers were constantly paranoid about the motives of the imprisoned. The prisoners were starting to feel the effects of this system, experiencing emotional disturbances, depression and learned helplessness. These individuals also associated themselves with numbers, rather than their own names! They completely assimilated into their roles, and were confused when asked how they planned to leave the prison.

Dr. Zimbardo ended the experiment after five days, realizing the horrendous effects of it. We have since learned how quickly people can abuse their control when they’re put into the right circumstances. A real life example is Abu Ghraib, where US Navy Seals, and recruits abused their prisoners of wars, committing atrocities.

#7: Monkey Drug Trials – 1969 (Deneau et. al)

This demonstration explains why humans no longer use monkeys in our psychological experiments, as our ethics code has changed. In this set of experiments, monkeys and rats were trained to inject themselves with an assortment of drugs including morphine, alcohol, cocaine, codeine, and amphetamines. Once these animals knew how to self-inject, they were left with a large amount of each drug.

These animals lost their minds, and some even lost parts of their bodies. They tried to escape from their spaces, breaking their arms while attempting to do so. Some monkeys tore off parts of their fingers and toes as a consequence of hallucinations of taking cocaine. There were other special cases where monkeys tore off fur from their arms and stomach. If various drugs were combined, death would occur in the near future.

The final outcome of experiments were no surprise, but was it really necessary to inhumanely treat animals in such a manner? We can already observe such behavior in slummy areas.

#6: Landis Facial Expressions Experiments – 1924 (Carney Landis)

Carney Landis, a psychology graduate at the University of Minnesota created an experiment to find out whether different emotions created facial expressions specific to that emotion. There was a twist, however. The students were commanded  to complete offensive tasks. These errands included: smelling ammonia, watching explicit videos, and putting their hands into a bucket of frogs.

There’s an even worse part to this experiment. Participants were given a live rat and were told to kill it. All the students were disturbed by the idea, but a solid ⅓ had completed the task. Many of the mice were killed in an inhumane manner and experienced great suffering. For those who didn’t perform this operation, Landis would kill the animal himself in front of the participant.

This study tells us that people are willing to do almost anything when asked for in a situation. Also, we learned from the results that humans don’t share a common set of unique facial expressions.

#5: Little Albert – 1920 (John Watson)

John Watson was a psychologist who loved using orphans in his experiments. He wanted to test whether fear was innate or conditioned, a theory of behaviorism, which he coined. Watson used a nine-month old as a test subject, which he named Little Albert. He placed Albert in a hospital, where he exposed him to a rabbit, rat, monkey, various masks, wool, burning newspapers, and other items for two months without any conditioning. Conditioning is when a stimulus becomes more and more constant and frequent in a given environment.

Albert was placed on a mattress in the centre of the room. A white lab rat was also place alongside him. At first, he wasn’t afraid of the rat at all. Now, Watson would make a loud noise behind Albert’s back by striking a metal object with a hammer whenever Albert made contact with the rat. After this had been completed several times, Albert associated the white rat with the loud noise, and was now afraid of white, furry objects. Unfortunately, Albert was never desensitized to his fear, and lived with it for the rest of his life.

#4: Learned Helplessness – 1965 (Seligman and Maier)

Seligman and Maier had three groups of dogs that were fastened by harnesses. Group One dogs were released after a short amount of time with no harm done. This was the control group. Group Two dogs were paired up and leashed together, while one from each pair of dogs were given electric shocks, which could be prevented by pressing a lever. Group Three dogs were also paired up and leashed together, one of whom received shocks, but these shocks never ended, even when the lever was pressed. The shocks came randomly and were ‘inevitable,’ which gave the dogs the concept of ‘learned helplessness,’ where they assumed that nothing could be done about the shocks. Group Three dogs had symptoms of clinical depression at the end. Later on, for additional testing, group three dogs were placed in a box by themselves. These animals were shocked but could avoid it by jumping out of the box. They simply gave up, having displayed the concept of learned helplessness.

#3: Milgram Study – 1974 (Stanley Milgram)

I find that this study is extremely fascinating because of its setup. This psychologist, Stanley Milgram, at Yale University wanted to test subjects’ yielding to authority. This test was set up so that participants were teachers, and the learner was an actor. Both the teacher and learner are then told that the study was about memory and learning, when it was truly about administering shocks of increasing intensity to the student, when the student actually wasn’t getting hurt at all! The shrieks and shouts were pre-recorded. After a certain number of shocks, there was no sound emerging from the room, giving the impression that they had died.

Milgram wanted to know whether individuals are capable of harming a stranger, and he got a pretty definitive answer. The vast majority of his test subjects would use the maximum voltage on the student.

#2: The Well of Despair – 1960 (Harry Harlow)

Harlow is notoriously known for his rhesus monkey experiments concerning social isolation. He placed infant monkeys which had bonded with their mothers into devices with no contact with their mothers for periods of up to one year. The majority of these monkeys never recovered. He concluded from his trials that even a normal childhood can still result in depression later on in life. The animal liberation movement was started shortly after Harlow’s experiments as a direct result. He had no respect for animals, or humans in fact, leaving his legacy in psychology books.

#1: David Reimer – (Dr. Money) 1956-2004

This study is extremely disturbing. Dr. Money circumcised an 8-month old boy. While in the procedure, Dr. Money burned off the ‘subject’s’ entire male genitalia. The doctor had intentionally used the wrong tool for this outcome. After this fact, the doctor made up an intricate excuse to lie about the procedure, and suggestion his ‘best’ solution. A sex change. His parents were originally very opposed to the idea but they accepted it later on. The story behind Dr. Money was that he wanted to say that nurture, not nature determined gender identity.

Dr. Money then constructed female genatalia into the subject, who was now Brenda. (This is a frightening thought). Dr. Money then reported this experiment as a success, even though there were many negative effects listed by Brenda. Brenda acted much like a regular boy, and had conflicted feelings about life. Worst of all, she was never informed of the sex change. Her mother was suicidal, her father was an alcoholic, and her brother was severely depressed. She was finally told that she was born a male at age 14! Brenda then stopped taking hormonal supplements, and committed suicide at age 38.

This is a tragic end to a depressing case.

What do we learn from these studies? Well, despite what we think, we may be badly attributing students with characteristics in the high school system.

I am currently in the process of producing a Manifesto about my program at school (Hamber Challenge/Academy), where I will vent my thoughts and write my aspirations about the future.

Can You Concentrate?

Have you noticed that your concentration is starting to slip each time you try to study or something similarity boring? This is because our world if FULL of concentration killers. Because of technology, especially social media, everything is faster, better, and easier to be addicted to.

To avoid these concentration killers
-turn off social media sites on your computer, or just kill the internet connection
-set aside specific times when you have to check your email
-put caller ID on your cell phone so that you only pickup necessary calls. Cellphones are very good distractions, especially if you are a very social animal.
-Don’t try to multitask too much, devote your attention to one project at a time.
-some tasks are very boring, especially work. So make a deal with yourself: If you keep up your task for a certain period of time, you can earn a short break!

Hopefully these tips will help you concentrate!

Is Love Truly Priceless?

Valentine’s Day has just passed a little more than a week ago. It’s a day full of wishes, but maybe not for everyone right? It’s true that you may not have been so lucky this year, but who doesn’t like that feeling of being loved, of being wanted by someone, anyone?

Who doesn’t know that deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude towards a person? It may be towards that special someone or simply just towards your best friend or sibling, but love is still love isn’t it?

Society these days often asks us questions concerning love vs. money. Would you choose money over love or love over money? Everyone’s opinions and experiences are different, so let’s see what yours is:

http://www.blogthings.com/wouldyouchooseloveormoneyquiz/

There really is nothing new about this topic, but money and love aren’t actually that different. You may disagree with me since you can’t buy love, but love is not priceless. Now why don’t I let Vsauce back me up.

NFL Looks for New Helmet Technologies to Combat Concussions

Super Bowl

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130202-football-concussions-nfl-super-bowl-safety-head-injuries-health/