Sadie, the golden retriever, reaches her breaking point and goes berserk when all of her human’s attention goes to a stuffed golden retriever toy. See more of Sadie on her Instagram page.
By Miss Cellania for Mental Floss
We’ve posted enough about the Dunning-Kruger effect that you know the basics: incompetent people don’t recognize how incompetent they are because …they’re incompetent. That’s the simplified version. David Dunning, one of the scientists the effect is named for, designed a TED-Ed lesson that goes a little deeper into the subject.
We are all subject the the Dunning-Kruger effect. People as a whole are very bad at evaluating their own skills and expertise in one area or another due to lack of knowledge. Even experts have a hard time evaluating their relative expertise because, while they may know their own subject well, they have a knowledge gap in evaluating others for comparison. The Dunning-Kruger effect doesn’t have to hold us back, but overcoming it requires an open mind and at least some humility.
This comes from YouTuber Garran Lazar, who says this about it: Here’s another Peanuts music parody. This time they play “Bodhisattva” by Steely Dan! Once again I used Final Cut Pro, to create this video. Hope you all enjoy it!
BY Kirstin Fawcet, Mental Floss
If you carried around a good-luck charm as a kid, you might have noticed that you sometimes performed better on tests or scored more goals at soccer practice. This extra fortune may have just been in your head, but psychologists say that doesn’t matter. In fact, that’s precisely why your lucky charm worked in the first place.
As the SciShow’s Hank Green explains in the video below, talismans do inspire confidence (if not magic), as well as self-assurance. In fact, simply perceiving yourself as a lucky person can lead to success, as self-fulfilling prophecies are way more potent than four-leaf clovers or horseshoes.This phenomenon is backed by science. Take, for instance, a 2010 study in which German psychologists challenged 28 university students to a game of mini golf. Participants who were informed they’d been given a “lucky” ball ended up performing 35 percent better than the subjects who were told they were using ordinary equipment.
The same researchers then did a follow-up study of 40 students who admitted to having lucky charms. They asked them to take a memory test either with or without the charms. Those who had their totems scored better on the test—and had higher confidence.
Learn how the psychology of luck works—and how to make your own—by watching the video below.
What in the world do lava lamps have to do with internet security? It has to do with random numbers. Machines aren’t good at generating random numbers, but flowing liquid is about as random as you get. An entire wall of lava lamps moving colored liquid around is is unpredictable enough to generate random numbers. Learn how it’s done from Tom Scott, who is still in California finding us interesting things to learn about. This is from Cloudflare in San Francisco.
By Mark Pygas, Distractify
It’s pretty expensive to send stuff into space. As much as $43,180 per pound according to some estimates. Though SpaceX is hoping to get that figure down to around $9,100 per pound.
So just how much would it cost to send a fidget spinner to space? Based on that higher figure, and fidget spinners weighing about 16 grams, around $1,500. Which seems like a bargain.
That’s probably why NASA decided to send astronauts on the International Space Station one of the hottest toys of 2017 as an early holiday gift. Adorned with the NASA logo, the video starts with NASA flight engineer Mark Vande Hei having some fun.
But it’s not all about fun. There is some science being done.
As NASA Johnson explained in the YouTube post:
“Allowing the fidget spinner to float reduces the bearing friction by permitting the rate of the central ring and outer spinner to equalize, and the whole thing spins as a unit.”
While the fidget spinner spins longer than on Earth, it still eventually stops because of the air resistance inside the space station.
In the latest episode of their “100 Kids” series, HiHo Kids asks a group of 100 kids of all ages to discuss the one thing that confuses them the most about grown-ups.
Ever the showman, Alfre Hitchcock stirred interest in his 1960 thriller Psycho with carefully stage-managed previews New York, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia. Hitchcock commanded “no late admission”. Stationed outside the box office were 5-foot-tall cardboard standees of Hitchcock posing in the style familiar to viewers of the TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The standee held a sign that read:
WE WON’T ALLOW YOU to cheat yourself! You must see PSYCHO from beginning to end to enjoy it fully.
Therefore, do not expect to be admitted into the theatre after the start of each performance of the picture. We say no one – and we mean no one – not even the manager’s brother, the President of the United States, or the Queen of England (God bless her)!
– Alfred Hitchcock
To further deter any rule breakers, a Pinkerton guard was hired to bar any late comers. And a recording of Hitchcock’s voice reported:
“The manager of this theatre has been instructed, at the risk of his life, not to admit to the theatre any persons after the picture starts. Any spurious attempts to enter by side doors, fire escapes, or ventilating shafts will be met by force. I have been told this is the first time such remarkable measures have been necessary… but then this is the first time they’ve ever seen a picture like Psycho.”
“Psycho has a very interesting construction and that game with the audience was fascinating. I was directing the viewers. You might say I was playing them like an organ”
– Alfred Hitchcock
Success mattered greatly. With Hollywood studios reluctant to back the movie, Hitchcock had invested $806,947.55 of his own money, via his company Shamley Productions.
“Then she did see it there – just a face, peering through the curtains, hanging in midair like a mask. A head-scarf concealed the hair and the glassy eyes stared inhumanly, but it wasn’t a mask, it couldn’t be. The skin had been powdered dead-white and two hectic spots of rouge centered on the cheekbones. It wasn’t a mask. It was the face of a crazy old woman. Mary started to scream, and then the curtains parted further and a hand appeared, holding a butcher’s knife. It was the knife that, a moment later, cut off her scream. And her head.”
— Robert Bloch, Psycho
“Once you began speculation about that, once you admited to yourself that you didn’t really know how another person’s mind operated, then you came up against the ultimate admission—anything was possible.”
— Robert Bloch, Psycho
“You hate people. Because, really, you’re afraid of them, aren’t you? Always have been, ever since you were a little tyke. Rather snuggle up in a chair under the lamp and read. You did it thirty years ago, and you’re still doing it now. Hiding away under the covers of a book.”
— Robert Bloch, Psycho
How Hitchcock Got People to See “Psycho””
In the latest episode of Mental Floss’ “List Show” trivia series, host John Green takes a look at some English words that have completely shifted meaning over the years.