Saturday, March 22, 2008

Money spent on someone else == happiness?

It's true, or so claims this study . Research done in University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School on this very unusual topic shows that money spent on another person significantly boosts happiness compared to that spent on oneself. Seems almost counter-intuitive to me, especially considering how morale boosting self-shopping is.

The more I think about it, I feel maybe there is something to this finding, after all. Another way to interpret the results is, if you spend money on people around you and keep them happy, your life will be made easier as well, and consequently, you are happier. In any case, charity is a wonderful thing, and now that there's research showing that the more you give, the happier you are, and there's no better reason to keep up the good work.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fighting fire with fire

Scientists at Yale University have managed to fight inoperable brain cancer using a modified virus. The above picture shows the virus in green, invading the tumor cells in red. Mice that harbored various kinds of brain tumor, when treated with the virus, were completely tumor-free after three days. This is a very interesting, yet counter-intuitive idea and the dramatic results that it yields makes us hope that it can be applied to humans as well. The concept does have its drawback that the virus would infect the entire animal, and not just the tumor. Notwithstanding that, the results of this study are quite encouraging and could, we hope, improve the treatment options for human brain cancer.

Friday, March 7, 2008


You can follow this algorithm to try and come up with a fancy science name for your new tech company.

This reminds me of one of Ramesh Mahadevan's posts on algorithmic approach to Tamil verses, excerpt from which can be enjoyed below:

Rasathukku uppazhagu, vishathukku warning azhagu
pazhathukku juice azhagu, kizhathukku thadi azhagu
(Salt beautifies rasam; 'warning' beautifies poison; juice beautifies a fruit and a walking stick beautifies an old person)

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