When anthropologists tallied the use of emotional words through a century of literature, they included many books without clear emotional content — technical manuals, for example, and automotive repair guides.
Credit Alberto Acerbi, Vasileios Lampos, Philip Garnett, R. Alexander Bentley / PLOS ONE
Researchers were able to chart historical periods of positive and negative moods through literature. Values above zero indicate generally "happy" periods, and values below the zero indicate generally "sad" periods.
Were people happier in the 1950s than they are today? Or were they more frustrated, repressed and sad?
To find out, you'd have to compare the emotions of one generation to another. British anthropologists think they may have found the answer — embedded in literature.
Several years ago, more or less on a lark, a group of researchers from England used a computer program to analyze the emotional content of books from every year of the 20th century — close to a billion words in millions of books.
The problem with chili has always been this: When you try to eat it with your hands, you get terrible burns and weird looks from the snooty side of your family at the 2007 Chillag Family Reunion. Speaking of which — why don't you guys just go back to your solid gold houses and your Harvard "utensils" and leave me alone? I am who I am.
Anyway, the great Wiener and Still Champion in Evanston, Ill., has solved this problem with the Chili Bomb. It's chili, mixed with melted cheese, wrapped in cornbread and fried.
And now Syria and Iraq on the Opinion Page this week. As we reconsider the 10 years since the invasion of Iraq, Washington Post editor Jackson Diehl says we should learn from that costly experience as we consider the civil war in Syria. About absent U.S. intervention, he argues, Syria could produce a much worse humanitarian disaster than Iraq. The tragedy of the post-Iraq logic embraced by President Obama, writes Diehl, is that it has ruled out not just George W. Bush-style invasions, but also more modest interventions.
With eight accomplished musicians from Argentina and Uruguay, and a sound rooted in tango traditions, Bajofondo lays out a visual and aural feast. Led by Oscar and Grammy winner Gustavo Santaolalla, the group mashes up traditional candombe sounds and other forms with electronica to produce a mix that's hypnotic and danceable.
I love live music. But figuring out who's coming to town and when and where isn't so easy. I could go to every club's website to compile a list of upcoming shows, but that'd be cumbersome. Newspaper listing are often incomplete, don't look ahead and certainly don't filter or highlight who's in town based on my musical tastes.
Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 12:00 pm
Say your one-month-old baby is spitting up and crying a lot. Your usual bag of infant-soothing tricks hasn't worked, and you're worried that there's something wrong with her.
So you head to the pediatrician, who tells you that your otherwise healthy child has gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Would receiving this medical diagnosis make you more interested in giving her drugs than if you never heard the word "disease"?
The United States has sent two F-22 Raptor fighter jets to take part military drills in South Korea, a move that is meant to show U.S. commitment to the defense of the region from its North Korean neighbor, a Pentagon spokesman told the Associated Press.
Also on Monday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye appeared to give her country's military permission to strike back at any attack from the North.
A decision by India's Supreme Court to reject Novartis AG's bid to patent a version of one cancer drug could lead to more exports of cheap medicine from that country to "poor people across the developing world," the BBC writes.
NPR's Julie McCarthy tells our Newscast Desk that the ruling, announced Monday, ends a six-year legal battle that has been closely watched by pharmaceutical firms, humanitarian aid organizations and generic drug manufacturers.
If history proves correct, Magicicada Brood II will emerge this spring after living underground for 17 years.
In many places along the Eastern Seaboard — from North Carolina to Connecticut — the cicadas will fill the skies, breed and then quickly die. National Geographic points out that historically, this group, known as Brood II, has been so prolific that picking up their carcasses can sometimes feel like raking leaves in the fall.
The man was picketing Moscow's Hydrometeorological Center wearing swim trunks and holding a sign that read: "Let Summer Come Faster." Russian forecasters now predict that "everything will thaw fast" — adding, "we are meeting him halfway."