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Archive for February 10, 2011

Why Am I Only Finding Out About This Now?

February 10, 2011 1 comment

I’m not sure how many people knew about this, but MIT started a revolution in 1999 when they started posting class notes and lectures online. Free. For anyone!

MIT OpenCourseWare

Now, MIT has course materials from over 2000 courses available on their website for you to download. Some have lecture videos and some even have the class quizzes and exams for you to take.

Apparently many other Universities are starting to get in on this trend too. MIT gained a lot of funding and publicity through their OpenCourseWare initiative, and other schools wish to do the same.

Of course, you can’t get a degree or interact with Professors. But still, free University lectures/notes? How can you go wrong?

I’m currently taking a refresher in Electricity and Magnetism with renowned professor Walter Lewin. Professors like this remind you why science can be so fun.

So maybe if you aren’t a huge nerd like me who misses school, this may not be so exciting.

But if you are so inclined, check it out. Some courses are also available on iTunes U (which I also just found out about) so you can download them to your iPod or iPhone and watch them on the way to work.

Happy learning!

Need A Valentine’s Date? Act Like You Don’t Like Her…

February 10, 2011 1 comment

This is a pickup trick that guys have used for a while now, but science has now backed it up.

If a guy likes a girl, you will often hear his friends tell him to “act like you don’t like her” or “ignore her” or “subtlety insult her”.

It sounds a bit cruel, but most guys will swear that it works. Of course, anecdotes should not be considered evidence, so let’s stick to real science.

This study appears in this months issue of Psychological Science and is entitled “‘He Loves Me, He Loves me Not…’ Uncertainty Can Increase Romantic Attraction”.

The study involved showing a group of women the Facebook profile of 4 guys. The guys were not real, however.

The girls were then told that each of the 4 guys had seen their profile as well, and rated how much they liked them. There were 3 categories:

  1. The guys liked the girl “a lot”
  2. The guys thought she was “average”
  3. The guys were uncertain if they liked her “a lot” or  just “average” (called the ‘uncertain condition’)

And the results?

Participants in the uncertain condition were most attracted to the men—even more attracted than were participants who were told that the men liked them a lot.

Why is this? The authors hypothesize that it is because the women reported thinking about the men in the uncertain condition more than the other men, which ma have led them to be more attracted to them.

I guess we can all relate to this because we’ve all had crushes on people who didn’t reciprocate those feelings. Somehow, that just makes you like them more, doesn’t it?

Stupid feelings.