“The newspaper headline screams: “Eighteen-Year-Old Slain by Husband after Giving Birth.” As you continue reading, you learn that the young woman was brainwashed by a strange blood-drinking cult who call themselves a “family,” though none of the members were actually related. The young woman’s husband was much older than she and had a history of violence. In fact, you learn that her husband used to stalk her prior to her marriage, watching her secretly from the woods near her home and climbing into an unsecured window at night to watch her sleep without her knowledge. Once the young woman, then seventeen, was initiated into a relationship with the man and his “family,” she was encouraged to marry right after her high school graduation. The young woman reportedly had bruises all over her body after returning from her honeymoon, where she also reportedly became pregnant. Her husband was not happy about the pregnancy and wanted her to have an abortion. She refused, eventually leading to him ripping the child from her womb, then, draining her of her blood until she finally stopped breathing. Sounds torturous and sick, doesn’t it? But in fact, this is the basis of a tween-teen literary phenomenon called the Twilight saga…”—
Twilight and Philosophy, p.178 (chapter by Rebecca Housel)
Kansas emergency management officials are urging residents to prepare for an invasion of zombies as part of a national disaster readiness campaign.
October is Zombie Preparedness Month, a tongue-in-cheek campaign to get people nationwide to prepare for any type of disaster - including attacks by killer zombies.
The point is to get people to take an all-hazards approach to preparing themselves for things like tornadoes, floods and terrorist attacks.
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management says if people are prepared for zombie attacks, they’re ready for anything.
Several Topeka events are scheduled as part of the awareness effort, including an information booth Saturday, Trunk or Treat on Oct. 27, and a Spooktacular Safety Fair and Zombie Preparedness Day on Oct. 29 in downtown Topeka.
“But a new survey found more than 1 in 10 parents go a different route, refusing the recommended vaccine schedule because of safety concerns. That means more than 2 million infants and young children may not be fully protected against preventable and potentially deadly diseases. Even parents whose kids were fully vaccinated admitted worrying about vaccine safety: 1 in 5 among that group said they think delaying shots is safer than following the recommended schedule.”—
Music is present in all cultures. It’s a very basic thing that nearly all humans enjoy, but unlike, say, food or sex, we can’t connect it to any survival advantage. So why is there music, and what is it we enjoy about it? Those are some questions the Auditory Processing Laboratory at Montreal Neurological Institute is trying to investigate. In a series of papers, scientists from the institute have been experimenting with jaw-dropping, chill-inducing, spine-tingling music, trying to figure out what makes intensely pleasurable music so pleasurable. They’ve figured out that the rewarding aspects of music are related to emotional arousal (well, duh). That intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with brain activity in regions that have to do with emotion and reward, suggesting that music taps into pathways that reward us for doing things that do confer evolutionary survival advantages. And, slightly less obvious, great music triggers dopamine release, and “the anticipation of an abstract reward can result in dopamine release within an anatomical pathway distinct from that associated with the peak pleasure itself.” The anticipation and build-up to a musical peak experience also releases dopamine, but via a different mechanism than the release that happens at the peak.
This is the way basic research works: first, you confirm the things that seem obvious. Then you can start branching out and testing slightly less obvious things. All the surprising, groundbreaking research depends on the kind of “well, duh” research that confirms such things as, yes, music is pleasurable because it is emotionally arousing.
The participants in the “chill-inducing music” study chose their own music, and the site includes a list of the most popular songs and passages in the study. They range from Vivaldi to Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Tiesto.