Poker and Your Life

The only way you can be confident you have what it takes is with over a million hands of poker experience and data, showing your progress and your win-rate with a somewhat reasonably high degree of certainty. And, casino cheating takes lots more balls than poker cheating! In psychophysical identity theory, unlike in dual-aspect theory, the subjective and objective natures of consciousness cannot be regarded as two different aspects of the same thing, because they are one and the same thing. When you sleep, your brain is constantly processing information that you couldn't have processed with everything going on up there during the day. After cleaning Lindsay Lohan's vomit off the back seats.

Miranda Lawson

69 Awesome Brain Hacks That Give You Mind-Blowing Powers

So not only will you be content while kicking your water-drinking opponent's ass, you'll actually be kicking it harder. Remember back in high school when you were talking to that cute girl you really liked, but you couldn't tell if she liked you back, and your fear of rejection prevented you from expressing your feelings in any way apart from night after night of tearful masturbation? Remember when you did the same thing last week? Wouldn't asking someone out be so much easier if you knew how they'd answer before you asked them?

Experts will tell you it's all in the body language, but you know better. People -- and especially women -- are really, really good at feigning disinterest.

Anything short of the woman outright grabbing your junk will be lost on most guys. Apparently, people aren't as conscious of their foot movements as they are of other parts of their body, and so their feet can unconsciously send messages about themselves.

They did a study at the University of Manchester on this, observinging subjects' foot movements in various social situations. The angle of her heels says "I put out," but those knees say "not for you. Specifically, they found that if a woman moves her feet apart to adopt a more open-legged stance, it generally means that she's into you.

However, if she finds you utterly repulsive, she will likely cross her legs or keep them tucked underneath her body. We'll, uh, let you figure out the symbolic meaning of those gestures. Yes, that's right, kids! Tell your dealer goodbye and worry no more about winding up naked on the roof of an office building after a bad trip. Now you can be stoned out of your mind by building a homemade deprivation chamber out of some regular, completely harmless household objects.

Follow Ben Franklin and your new friend, Harold the unicorn, into the gumdrop forest, and live happily ever after. It's called the Ganzfeld effect , and it works by blocking out most of the signals that go to your brain. It's the same kind of effect you get when looking into a soft light for a while and lose vision, except on a larger scale.

The sound of the white noise and the light from the outside of the ping pong ball are eventually ignored by your brain. With all those signals out of the picture, your brain has to create its own, and this is where the hallucinations come in.

We can't guarantee they won't involve, say, the ghost of Lizzie Borden trying to hack off your scrotum with an ax, but that's the risk you take, dammit.

What if we told you there was a way to make all your fantasies come true? You could have that sports car you've always wanted and the daily threesome with Sarah Palin and Cannonball Run -era Burt Reynolds. Hell, we'll even throw in a few superpowers for your enjoyment. We never miss an opportunity to use this picture.

Welcome to the wonderful world of lucid dreaming. Most of you reading this have had a lucid dream before. Every once in a while you wind up in a dream but somehow recognize it as a dream, and you may have found yourself able to pretty much program the dream to your specifications.

While there are plenty of tips and tricks to make this happen on purpose , we've narrowed it down to what seems like the most useful, so that you can be riding dinosaurs with Gary Coleman in your sleep in no time:. As soon as you wake up from a dream, write down every little thing you can remember about it. Supposedly by writing it down, your brain recognizes certain patterns that only occur in a dream since most dreams are immediately forgotten and if they are on paper, you can recall them easily.

Think about exactly what you want to dream right before you fall asleep. For instance you've probably fallen asleep watching MythBusters before and immediately dreamed you were flying through the air, using a giant version of Jamie's mustache as a hang glider.

The best time to have a lucid dream is either right before you regularly wake up, or right after. Studies have shown that more people have lucid dreams when they take a nap shortly after they first wake up in the morning. So you can do all that, or if you are the lazy type, get yourself something like the NovaDreamer , a device that detects when you've entered REM sleep and then makes a noise that's supposed to be not quite enough to wake you up, but enough to raise your awareness to, "Hey, this is totally a dream I'm having!

Obviously the big difference between a dream and real life is that if the Hamburglar came bursting out of your refrigerator right now and started screaming at you in Vietnamese, your first thought would be "This is a strange and unusual event that is occurring right now, and I should question my perceptions. Yes, Mel Gibson is dressed like Colonel Sanders. No, this is not a dream. In a dream state, your mind mostly loses the ability to criticize anything that's happening because dreaming just doesn't involve the critical part of your brain.

You're all worried that you're at work in your underwear, and don't even blink at the fact that your boss is a dragon who speaks in the voice of your old middle school gym coach. But if you change your mental state ever so slightly, that critical part of your brain can keep functioning even while in dreamland.

If you can perfect the technique of dreaming while not all the way asleep, the next thing you know you're ordering up a Smurf orgy. Chances are, when summer vacation or the holidays come around and you're given time off work or school, your sleeping patterns falter a little bit "a little bit" is a phrase that here means "you play video games until the 'a.

The thing is, you know you're going to be screwed once the holidays are over and you have to go back to getting up at 6 or 7 a. Sure, you could do the responsible thing and gradually set your alarm earlier and earlier each day until it's just right, giving you a smooth and healthy transition to work-life. Or, you could use one of your body's cheat codes and readjust your sleep cycle. Just starve yourself for about 16 hours.

Don't forget to compensate for the hunger madness. You might know that the main way our body regulates its biological clock and circadian rhythm is through light. So when your brain is detecting light, it has your body behave as it should in the daytime higher energy, greater strength, more bowel movements, etc.

What you might not have known is that scientists recently found a second clock , and instead of depending on light, this one is food-based. The food-clock desires this. Imagine you're a predator out hunting for food and Jesse Ventura , but all the regular animals you would eat are nowhere to be found.

You spend the entire day looking for food and find nothing. About 16 hours later your brain starts freaking out. It knows that if you can't find food, the jig will most certainly be up. So at this point, your brain doesn't give a tinkerer's damn about sunlight and sleep cycles -- it just wants you to find something to eat, and fast.

You stay up well into the night and eventually find some nocturnal prey, devouring it desperately. Your brain through the food-clock makes a note of this time and declares it to be your new biological morning. The slaying of pizza rolls has set countless new biological mornings. It makes sense -- your brain is now under the impression that if you want to survive, you can only go hunting at night. So it decides you should sleep during the day to conserve energy for the hunt and boom, your sleep-wake cycle has been reset.

We previously pointed out that if you're right-handed, you instinctively prefer things that are on your right, and vice versa. The theory is that, while we think with our brains, we use our hands to interact with the world , so the thinking part of your brain gets tricked into liking things that happen to be within reach of the hand you prefer to use. Elsewhere, we mentioned that you're more likely to remember facts if you associate them with a hand gesture , which is probably why some people are so animated with their hands when trying to recount a story.

But how far does this weird hand-brain connection go? Could, say, other people use hand gestures to manipulate you without you knowing it?

Let's say you're an eyewitness to a bank heist. The cops come up to you and ask you to describe the guy. The officer says, "Did he have a beard? And in that moment you think, "Yeah I believe he did have a beard.

The University of Hertfordshire did a series of tests where they interviewed participants about a video they had watched. While asking questions, the researchers deliberately made misleading gestures, like stroking their chin to suggest a beard or touching their wrist to indicate a watch. The test subjects were three times more likely to believe that the guy in the video had a beard if the interviewer pretended to stroke his nonexistent goatee while asking about it.

These weren't mouth farts where you say "bearded" despite thinking "clean shaven," either. The gesture actually brainwashed the subjects into honestly believing that the guy had a beard. And yes, when a politician or lawyer stands up and makes those hand gestures to drive home his point pointing at the audience, slapping his palm with his fist , that totally works.

There are detailed guides on what exactly you should be doing with your hands if you want the audience to buy what you're selling. That's why a president can't simply say, "I've got your cruise missile right here " -- he needs to actually gesture toward his crotch to get the full effect. We're not talking about the obvious here, the way goths and metalheads deal in black boots, hippies have their sandals, and hipsters will tie their grandmother's old curtains around their feet if it gives them an excuse to look down on someone.

According to science, the soled husks that cover a stranger's feet are probably revealing details about how they deal with other people. A study by a pair of colleges found some peculiar trends in our choice of shoes, but not what you might think. Subjects couldn't deduce, say, political affiliation by looking at shoes, but could deduce a shit-ton of extremely personal information, including your potentially insecure, clingy behavior in close relationships.

Some examples, brought to you by science:. If you're reading this and thinking, "Well, my shoes don't say anything deep about my personality, I just picked them because they were comfortable and cheap! That's the point -- no matter what logic you think you're following in your own head when you step into your local mall's Shoes 'N' Shit store, you're still following logic that makes sense to your personality type.

Making that purchase reveals that type to the world. Say you're tired of sleeping like a mere mortal and want to learn how to turn those useless REM cycles into productivity cycles. A very minor change in your schedule can let you use your sleep patterns to your advantage, thus making you smarter.

No, we're not talking about those scams where they have you put a tape recorder under your pillow and let it teach you Spanish while you're asleep. What scientists have found out is if you need to remember a bunch of information say, for a big exam , do NOT study right up until time for the exam. Study at least 24 hours before, and sleep on it. You can sleep in a bed. They did a study at Harvard that proved this technique works. Participants were separated into three different groups after being shown images that they were told to memorize.

One of the groups was tested on the memorization after 20 minutes, the other after 12 hours and the last after 24 hours. You would expect that the ones who were tested just 20 minutes later would do best, but that would, of course, make a really shitty story.

No, the participants who slept on it and had 24 hours for the information to fester in their brain did the best on the test, while those who only had 20 minutes did the worst. Wasting your time, nerds, go to sleep. How is it possible that your brain works like leveling up in Dungeons and Dragons?

Scientists say the ability your brain has to retain information works in three different ways: While the first and last occur while you're awake, it's the middleman that is important during sleep. When you sleep, your brain is constantly processing information that you couldn't have processed with everything going on up there during the day.

This works to strengthen your neurological bonds in the brain. Think of it like downloading something on a computer. When you go to download something while your porn is up, it takes longer, right? Close up any applications that are running and you have a smoother, quicker download. Yeah, kind of like that So does this technique work with the "sleep two hours a day" system we mentioned earlier? We're not sure anyone has tried it, but by our calculations such a person would immediately gain mental superpowers, possibly including telekinesis.

Somebody in the comments try it and let us know. Getting drunk at work may have been the bee's knees in the Don Draper era, but that was a simpler time, before we knew how bad cigarettes, alcoholism, and recreational adultery were.

We've learned a few things since the '60s. Or we did for a while, and then we forgot them all when Mad Men debuted because they make it look so cool! Here he is, doing the thing the article is about and looking like he's nervous about how clean his next fart is going to be. As much as we romanticize the behavior, there are all kinds of reasons drinking during the work day would be bad for you. Foremost is the fact that you'll be drunk afterward.

Ever tried to get anything done while you were drunk? And hey, you assholes who just said "I write all my college papers drunk! You're still a child; you can just drink now. But anyway, in some very specific situations, getting kinda drunk at work will help you out. It's all about finding a balance: Like I've pointed out, allowing your mind to wander a little bit improves creativity, because your thoughts explore new avenues and angles that you just can't achieve by focusing.

It's the same way a light bulb lights up more areas than a flashlight, while the flashlight just makes one specific area brighter. But sadly, it looks like the stiffs have won this fight: Job candidates who order alcoholic beverages during interviews are seen as less intelligent, even if the interviewer is in the process of getting sloshed , meaning that all human resources reps are dicks and that the people who write for the Journal of Consumer Psychology have way more fun job interviews than you.

There comes a time in every man's life when it will be necessary to drink another guy under the table. Maybe you're trying to win a bet, or prove your manliness, or maybe you're in a terrible rom-com and the only thing that stands between you and the woman you love is the varsity liquor drinking team that challenged you to a duel. We merely follow them to their inevitable, disastrous conclusion. So naturally you'll pick out some blond-haired, blue-eyed pretty boy who looks like two Bud Lights would have him over a toilet.

An hour later, you are praying for death. And to think this all could have been avoided if you had known how to pick out a lightweight drinker. Picking the blue-eyed guy was a bad move. It turns out, eye color is an amazing indicator of how much alcohol a person can drink before it affects them. A study of thousands of white men all of them prisoners found that for some reason, those with light eye colors like blue, green, gray or hazel, can handle more alcohol than men with dark eyes.

And a totally different study of almost 2, women found that the same held true for them. We just both have green eyes. Even more interesting is the fact that this result was predicted before the study. Because apparently brown-eyed folks are more sensitive to medication and other stimuli, and that sensitivity is what prompts them to stop when they've had enough. Blue-eyed people, on the other hand, require more alcohol to get buzzed, so they develop a greater tolerance for the stuff.

And according to the study, the blue-eyed people are also more likely to be alcohol abusers. As for what eye color has to do with alcohol tolerance, scientists are still on the fence. One theory is that the amount of melanin in the eyes is directly related to the amount of melanin insulating neurons in the central nervous system, and that more melanin somehow translates to quicker nerve transmissions. In any case, you might want to think again before challenging someone with baby blues to a drinking contest.

You were wearing brown contacts the whole time? One of the reasons it's difficult to lie to someone's face is that it's not just the words you're saying that have to sound convincing. You have to think about eye contact, body movements -- everything has to come together to tell a believable lie. Because of this, psychologists have always known that people are more likely to lie in a letter than face-to-face. But a recent study found that while you might fib with pen and paper you are almost guaranteed to lie over email.

They were told the other participant would not know the amount being split, and had to accept any amount offered. An incredible 92 percent of people using email lied about the amount of money they were splitting.

Only 64 percent of those writing it down did although, 64 percent? We're just bad at being a species, aren't we? Not only that, the email users actually felt justified in lying. It seems that the act of merely staring at a computer screen is like injecting your soul with Botox, removing all emotional investment and guilt about what you type.

It might be worth keeping that in mind the next time your boss emails you to tell you how well he thought your presentation went. Constant, manic paranoia is all that can save your career.

Of course, all of our male readers are already virtual experts on the subject of female sexuality. But for the rare, sheltered fan who isn't, we need to explain something about the female orgasm. When it comes to climaxing, ladies can do it two ways: The inside orgasm comes from the G-spot and is super easy to achieve if her partner's penis is shaped like a letter "J. Some women require more If for some reason you are curious to know whether, say, the lady who delivers your mail has regular vaginal orgasms, there's an easy way to tell.

Rascal-bound women remain as damnably incomprehensible as ever. A group of sexologists which is apparently a thing from the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium studied the connection between the way a woman walks and her vaginal orgasm history. What else did you think sexologists studied? They gathered a group of women -- half had never had vaginal orgasms, half had.

And then, we shit you not, the scientists had to guess which group each lady fell into by the way she sashayed her stuff across the room. Stodgson, but I suddenly feel like this might be the most important study we've ever conducted. And here was the kicker: The sexologists could determine whether or not the woman in question could have a vaginal orgasm with freaking Now, we caution you against trying this if you're not a trained sexologist yourself -- we're not responsible for any injuries or incorrect conclusions drawn.

But the experts say women who were climaxing from the inside had longer stride lengths, greater pelvic rotation and an "absence of both flaccid and locked muscles. A loose but confident walk.

Now you know, and you'll never, never un-know. This is the guy who stumbles into the office sometime in the afternoon with a three-day beard and hangover shades. The dude who never comes in close to on time and just assumes that everyone else will adjust to compensate. But hey, it turns out that guy is actually a better worker. Everybody has different body clocks. Not only does your natural wake-up time get earlier as you grow older, but that rate is different for everyone -- so keeping everyone on the same schedule makes about as much sense as insisting that they're all named "Sven" to save money on name tags.

It's actually just basic common sense: If you let people work when their body is ready for them to work instead of when their brain is screaming at them to get some sleep, they'll work more efficiently and be in better moods. Scientists have found that most people do their best thinking in the late morning, and asking adults to focus between noon 4 p.

People start to get tired after lunch, and if they don't take time for a siesta, their productivity plummets. A study found that students who were asked to solve problems requiring novel thinking during non-peak hours of the day performed worse on those tasks.

Since everyone hits those peak hours at slightly different times, people work best when they can function according to their natural clocks. We've already covered how wearing red makes you more attractive to the opposite sex, but now it looks like we might as well throw away any non-rose toned clothing because it turns out it makes you more likely to win at sports too.

This man will humiliate you on the field and then take your girlfriend. Two British researchers studied the results of the Olympics and found that the team or person wearing red was more likely to win in close matches -- and that's across a huge variety of team and individual sports, like soccer, tae kwon do, and wresting. The key, though, is close matches; if you were ranked 23rd and had to wrestle the 1 guy in the world, no amount of red would save you. No one's buying it, Cleveland.

But in an even match-up, wearing red is a statistically significant factor in winning. The researchers think the reason for this might not be all that different from why red attracts us to people: We see it in species of monkeys, too, where the males have red colorations in their face and butts.

The more dominant males tend to be much redder then the ones lower down the hierarchy. In humans, our faces turn red when we are all riled up, angry or ready for a fight.

The association of red uniforms with dominance and aggression may send subconscious signals to an opponent that they are being really stupid and challenging the alpha male. Imagine a likeable person. Pay particular attention to the qualities that make people perceive her as "nice. Honest when it counts, malleable enough to take the punches while you run away from the MMA fighter you just drunkenly mooned. All that goes with the territory. Perhaps, if you're feeling sappy enough, you might even describe the person as "sweet.

That's a funny word in this context, now that we come to think of it. There's nothing about nice people that makes them sweet, unless you go out of your way to caramelize them.

So what started this association between "sweet" and "nice"? Their everyday behavior, apparently -- it looks like munching on candy can turn a person into a regular good Samaritan. I'll pack his chest wound with gauze, if you insist. To be clear, we're not talking about how giving somebody a candy bar will put them in a better mood and thus make them more willing to do nice things although one experiment did find that, it's also kind of obvious.

No, they actually did five different studies the abstract of which hilariously points out that nice people indeed rarely taste sweeter than others, thus gently alluding to another, far darker research project behind this one and found that a general preference for candy means the person is also more likely to be agreeable and do good deeds, just because. They were just nicer people than the ones who, say, prefer potato chips instead of chocolate at snack time.

And it gets weirder: Test subjects already knew that this would be the result. The subjects they surveyed anticipated that the candy-loving subjects would be more selfless and agreeable than people who liked savory or salty snacks. The experiment was just confirming what people had already observed in their everyday lives, even though it makes no sense.

So maybe the innate goodness that lies in the heart of mankind is actually diabetes. Really persuasive people know that it's all about touch: If the thing they're selling is a physical product, they know they'd better let us customers put our greasy mitts on it.

This is why car salespeople are so big on making you test drive the vehicle they literally phrase the technique as " The feel of the wheel will seal the deal ". Because in humans, touch is almost a form of goddamn mind control. Whatever it is, if you touch it for a while, you'll become attached to it.

Not only are people more likely to buy something they've touched, but they're actually willing to pay more -- this is why, if the product comes in a box, the store will try to put a display model out that you can handle to your heart's content. Even if you can't actually gain any information about the usefulness of the product, it doesn't matter.

Running your paws over an object makes you feel connected to it, and can even give you a false sense of ownership. This is exactly how Hitler started out. Oh, and it also makes a difference how the object feels under our hands. We don't just mean that we judge a new shirt based on how soft it is -- that sort of makes sense. We mean that one study showed that water in a firm cup tasted better than water in a flimsy cup, regardless of the fact that it was the same water.

Even when people were just told about the firmer cup, they declared its water superior -- just because the container felt better under their hands. Hey, do you think this is why super-expensive Fiji water comes in thicker bottles that contain twice as much plastic? Or why Perrier still uses freaking glass? If you want to know what the future of touch-based brainwashing is, well, it involves products that enjoy making you touch them. Sony tried this with their QRIO robot -- a vaguely canine mecha-creature that recognizes faces and responds to touch -- by letting it loose among a bunch of 2-year-olds.

Usually, toddlers treat robots like regular toys, tossing them around and using them as blunt weapons before quickly getting bored with them. But QRIO is different -- it senses touch and gives little giggles of pleasure.

When it started doing that, the kids accepted it as a living being. Instead of throwing it around, the kids gently touched it, just like it was another child , and even put a blanket over it when it "laid down for a nap.

We'll just let you make your own child molestation joke here. At some point you've probably seen that spinning ballerina GIF floating around online, the one that supposedly tells you whether you're "left-brained" or "right-brained. In reality, both hemispheres work together for pretty much everything. It takes a full brain to make us as gullible as we are.

However, it is true that your two hemispheres aren't identical. In the case of sound, it's long been known that your left hemisphere kicks ass at deciphering verbal information like speech, and the right hemisphere excels with tones and music.

It is also known that your left brain controls the right side of your body and vice versa. But because the information between the hemispheres is shared through the corpus callosum -- yea, Latin , it shouldn't make much difference which ear you use to listen to things, right? Each ear hears in a different way, and you can use that to your advantage. It turns out that because the left ear is always sending shit music to the right hemisphere and the right ear is always sending shit speech to the left hemisphere, the ears themselves have actually evolved in the way they process sounds.

Which means you're paying 50 percent too much for headphones. As a result, your right ear is measurably better at processing speech, and your left ear more so at tones and music. Now, don't go expecting that turning your head to give the appropriate ear will produce a surround sound digitally remastered version of what you've normally been hearing, but there will be an improvement.

This is important to remember the next time you're sneaking through the air vents of an evil corporation, or just trying to figure out whether that is in fact a Peter Gabriel song you're hearing in the supermarket. If you want music to help you but refuse to stop smoking pot, perhaps you can at least remember where you put your car keys.

Or, more applicably, if you have Alzheimer's , it could help you remember pieces of your past. Medical practitioners have found that music shows the potential to unearth memories associated with music for patients, even ones in late stages of dementia. So if you had your first kiss to the dulcet tones of Jefferson Starship, their terrible, terrible music could bring that memory right back for you. Listening to music engages many areas of the brain in both hemispheres, which is why it can create brain activity other methods, like conversation, can't.

Another area it engages is the hippocampus, which would be a hilarious name for a school for aquatic mammals but in reality is the less impressive region of the brain which handles long-term memory storage.

When you listen to music you know, feelings associated with the song are returned by the hippocampus. Sometimes the memories even manage to come along with the relevant feelings, so hopefully no music was playing the first time anyone ever kicked you in the junk.

Even if memories aren't recovered, emotions and attitudes are, allowing people who can't even remember who they are from day to day or why they loathe the FOX network so much to at least laugh and sing along with off key hopefuls on American Idol.

Maybe you're one of those hippy types who couldn't care less about the socioeconomic status of everyone around you. We're really happy for you if that's the case. But for most of us, knowing where we stand among our peers actually helps us avoid embarrassing gaffes or rage-inducing insults.

For example, if you're rolling in the benjamins daily and nightly, it would be nice if you didn't brag about a caviar breakfast to someone who's been looking for work for six months. No one wants to be that guy.

Which is why it would be nice if you could tell how rich a guy is just by looking at him. By looking at what kind of car he drives!

In , two University of California psychologists performed a study on the relationship between nonverbal cues and socioeconomic status. To do this, they placed participants in pairs and videotaped them talking as they got to know each other. What they discovered was that the richer person in the pair was more likely to display "disengagement" behaviors, like fidgeting or doodling or playing with a damned pencil while someone was trying to talk to them.

The poorer of the two engaged in not being a jerk behaviors, like nodding and smiling and actually listening to the other person. Money is the root of all assholes.

Not only could the researchers pick out which conversationalist had the higher socioeconomic background, an entirely separate group of observers could watch the tapes and pick the richies as well.

The theory goes that people of a higher socioeconomic status are less dependent on others, due to their wealth and higher education. As such, they aren't as invested in conversing with others, as they have no need for it.

If the other person is acting that way and you know for a fact that they're broke, well, maybe they just hate you. Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one. The human brain sucks at remembering lists. When you go to the grocery store, how many items can you manage before you have to write them down? For most of us, if there's any more than that, we're going to get back home and find out we forgot the milk which by the way was the whole fucking reason we went to the store in the first place.

That's weird, because there are other things in life we have no problem with. For instance, we don't have much trouble remembering the locations of a hundred different spots around town, even if we don't know the addresses do you even know the street address of your favorite coffee shop?

Sure, you couldn't write them all down, but if a friend asks you where they can find a flashlight, you're probably going to have an answer. If only there was a way to exploit this strength to overcome the other weakness There's only so much room on the human body to write it all down.

Unless you constantly eat, we guess. You're able to find your way around because a whole lot of your mental horsepower is devoted to spatial memory -- learning the layout of your environment. And there is totally a way you can tap into it as a hack to remember long lists. So-called memory champions have been doing it forever. They call it creating a memory palace. Here's how it works: You pick a familiar place that you know well and can imagine without much problem -- the inside of your house, the layout of your neighborhood, whatever.

You then imagine yourself walking along a specific route in that place and associate an item on your list with each location. So let's say you're trying to remember a long grocery list, and you choose to use your neighborhood to mentally visualize it.

You could imagine the first item on your list -- condoms -- scattered willy-nilly along your driveway. The next thing on your list might be beer -- you could picture your neighbor passed out drunk on his lawn, pants down, if you want. Next up is frozen pizza, so you picture pizza pies replacing all the windows at your drunken neighbor's house. It all sounds like a ridiculous extra step, but you soon realize how incredibly easy it suddenly makes it to recite a list.

You're simply forcing the spatial memory part of your brain to help out. And you can start doing it at any time -- the memory palace or method of loci memorization technique isn't something that requires years of practice. In one study , college students were asked to memorize a list of 40 items by associating each item with a specific location around campus. Not only were the students able to memorize an average of 38 of the 40 items, but the next day they were able to name 34 of the original list and that was in -- imagine how much more they would have remembered if the kids hadn't been on so much pot.

I can remember two things. In another study , German senior citizens were also asked to memorize a list of 40 words by associating each word with Berlin landmarks. Before using the method, they could only recall an average of three words.

After associating the German word for "father" with the Berlin zoo, for example, participants could remember an average of 23 words from the list. Oh, and you don't have to have one location for each list item, either.

In yet another study, subjects just took their imaginary walk twice and were still able to remember 34 of the 40 items. Seriously, go try this. Man, chewing gum is just Everyone considers it incredibly unprofessional. Chew up, and people will say you're worse than a Nazi. But apparently all those people hate gum chewing because they can sense the chewers growing more powerful by the minute. That stick of Big Red is like meth for your brain , if meth didn't have any negative side effects. In a study where subjects were given demanding cognitive tasks to perform with or without gum, the people with gum performed better in every single category except verbal fluency because, duh, their mouths were full of gum.

Ew, no, don't take it out of your mouth, that's worse. It didn't matter if the gum had sugar in it, so scientists base this finding on "mastication-induced arousal" hee hee. Chewing jump-starts your brain for a solid 20 minutes or so the effect is short-lived, sadly and allows you to handle stress and distraction far better.

So basically if everyone was chewing gum, no one would mind that everyone was chewing gum. The human mind loves to see human faces in everything; tortillas, clouds, cat butts, the moon, other faces, everything. The phenomenon even has a name: Knowing this, would you want to live in the Hitler house? Number nein, on the reich.

Even the homeless have their standards. When making faces out of things, we don't just say, "Hey, that cloud looks like Abraham Lincoln " or "That scab looks like Al Roker. And researchers at the University of Vienna found that we therefore subconsciously tack on those emotions to, say, cars.

In other words, we did half of Pixar's work for them in We had to, because they clearly couldn't give a shit whether these guys were relatable. It's easy to see it -- every car has two headlights eyes , a grill mouth and maybe something that looks like a nose. So, knowing we assign emotions to objects, you'd think that most of us would pick the happiest-looking cars we could find.

Like we'd all be clamoring for vintage Volkswagen Beetles. After cleaning Lindsay Lohan's vomit off the back seats. When we drive, we're not out there to make friends, unless you're a hippie, and then shouldn't you be on a bike or a donkey or something? Nope, what we want to convey is toughness, speed, aggression.

So we want our cars to have the face of a monster. Or at least a mean dude. Researchers found that lower, wider cars with a wide air intake and angled or slit-like headlights give a picture of power. Not sleepiness, as you'd expect, but power.

And that's what drivers are looking for when picking out new vehicles. At least, when picking out certain kinds of vehicles. You can even see this in the boring, tame old Honda Civic. Here's the standard sedan model, for the moms out there:. Watch out when you find yourself inexplicably drawn to some huge, pissed-off SUV in the front of the car lot.

On the other hand, you can use this to your advantage when selling an old car. Just do whatever you can to make it look as pissed off as possible. According to a study published in the Creativity Research Journal , the simple act of widening your eyeholes can actually serve as an adrenaline boost for your creative thinking.

You see, there are two different types of attention -- perceptual attention, which is given to your physical experiences, and conceptual attention, which is allotted to your mental processes. The two are inextricably linked, like conjoined twins jumping rope with their umbilical cord. If one speeds up or slows down, so does the other. Likewise, if you increase your spectrum of perceptual attention by opening your eyes really wide, for example, or going to see one of those panoramic documentaries at Epcot Center , it should kick-start your brain into broadening its scope as well, allowing you to make all kinds of creative connections that you wouldn't have been able to otherwise.

Hey, wait, where are you going? The study tested this theory using two groups, one of which was asked to raise their eyebrows, while the other was told to keep their brows furrowed like a bunch of bitter old railroad tycoons in perpetual disapproval of their daughters' common-folk husbands.

The groups were then asked to come up with a caption for an image of a dog lying on a bed with a bagel in its mouth, because the really good science is only made by crazy people. Anyway, the group with the raised eyebrows suggested things like "Betty the Beagle Beds a Bagel," which, as you may have noticed, is a blazingly hilarious piece of sexual innuendo. The narrowed-eyed group, however, offered baffling captions, such as "Dog Who Breaks Rules," which isn't even a complete sentence.

It also mysteriously refers to some prohibitive legislation governing dogs and the eating of breakfast food that, to our knowledge, has never existed at any point in the history of civilization. The point is, the first answer is clever and unobvious, while the second is lazy to the point of being meaningless. The idea is that the group whose members had their eyebrows raised were receiving a greater amount of perceptual attention that they were subsequently able to translate into a greater amount of conceptual attention, thereby enhancing their nonlinear thinking.

The other group was more or less squinting at the picture, which diminished their perceptual attention, and the best they could manage creatively was scribbling down some B. Hey, give it a shot -- who knows? If anyone sees you staring wide-eyed at your computer screen like it's a doorway into a magic kingdom, they'll just assume you're really into your work, or that you're having a stroke.

Or at the very least, they'll think you're psychotic and just leave you alone. Granted, most of the time you know somebody's political leanings because they goddamn tell you.

But not everybody broadcasts their beliefs via shouted slogans and bumper stickers. Some of us prefer to start loud political arguments in the middle of crowded restaurants. Fortunately, it turns out that there are subtle clues that indicate if a person is liberal or conservative -- you just have to know what to look for. And by "look" we literally mean "look," because eye contact is a great indicator of political beliefs. The enlarged cornea means this person is extremely concerned with the deficit.

Researchers have found that, during conversations, left-leaning people were more likely to follow the other person's "eye cues" than conservatives. Let's say you are having a conversation with someone and you suddenly take your gaze off them to look at something slightly to the right, say a cute person or a passing zebra. Liberals are more likely to follow your gaze and look as well, even if what you are looking at has no bearing on the conversation.

If you look away again, they will follow your gaze again, and so on and so on, like two little puppies distracted by shiny passing balloons.

Statistically speaking, about half of you just glanced up at the ceiling. Conservatives are almost never going to follow your gaze, but will continue looking straight at you, like robots. Those conducting the study speculated that conservatives held their gaze because, no lie, they don't like being told what to do. As science is fond of reminding us , symmetrical faces are to heads what sculpted abs and perfect boobs are to torsos.

They're the ultimate in beauty, leaving us asymmetrical slobs meaning pretty much everyone to tread yellow water at the ugly end of the pool. And of course it gets even worse: Not content with just looking better than the vast, asymmetrical majority, you now know that the next time you see a Symmetrical screw it, we're just going to call them that from now on , they're also probably richer than you. On the other hand, the weird-looking dude you run into is the one you want leading you into war -- his leadership skills tend to be better.

While a good gene pool certainly helps, throwing boxcars in the genetic crapshoot is only the beginning of the road to facial symmetry. The really important part comes in the form of your conditions of development. When everything -- including tobacco smoke, childhood nutrition, socioeconomic status, and illnesses -- can shape the way your face looks for the worse, your best bet for a mug that doesn't break mirrors is plain and simple: Don't blame us, we've got the research to back it up: People with symmetrical faces generally have privileged childhoods, and therefore stand a greater chance of being wealthy themselves.

Yes, even without going under the knife, the easiest road to beauty remains a well-endowed bank account. But let's say they grew up underprivileged and end up with one of those plain, ordinary asymmetrical mugs. They have neither trust funds nor a perfect smile to rely on -- it's their guts and personality that matter now. What's more, just because they're not as pretty as those Symmetrical dicks, people expect them to do worse in life. That, incidentally, is what makes them the most effective leaders there are.

And now I mean to run it. Yep, the never-ending stream of tiny struggles that a symmetrically featured person will never face thanks to his angelic looks and padded wallet is custom made to turn a person's asymmetrical melon into a bona fide, super-effective leader , scientifically giving him an easy 20 percent edge as opposed to groups under Symmetrical leadership.

Of course, having an asymmetrical face doesn't mean that somebody is automatically a Winston Churchill. It just means that they have the tools to become one. So the dude at the bar with the burns down one side of his face -- don't immediately put him in charge of your multinational corporation.

The hell of trying to learn anything is that time randomly wipes important information you've committed to memory -- you can't remember the Pythagorean theorem, but you remember the base stats of Pokemon.

This is why so many of us wind up cramming at the last minute for exams -- it's not just procrastination, it's fear that if we study a month ahead of time, we'll forget part of it by exam day. So our only answer is to cram everything into our short-term memory, knowing that we'll lose it right after the test. A hundred grand in tuition well spent! No, what we need is a way to retain information for the long haul, without doing a lot of work.

In other words, we need a scientific method to arrive at the exact minimum amount of time and energy we need to successfully retain important information. There is a measurable process by which your brain drops information, a "forgetting curve. It takes a bit more practice than the memory palace thing above, but if your job or degree depends on it, it's worth it.

Basically, it's a matter of figuring out the rate at which your brain forgets things and adapting to it. They call it spaced repetition , and here's an animated gif showing off the simplest form:. You are now a memory master. So let's say you're trying to learn Spanish, and you're going to have a big final on it in four months.

The most rudimentary way to practice spaced repetition is to put the words you need to learn on note cards with the English on the front and the Spanish on the back flash cards, basically and get three boxes or create three piles, if you don't have any boxes sitting around marked:.

The labels tell you how often you're going to look at the flash cards. Besides, I know I can hold this stuff in my brain longer than that!

This method will tell you exactly how long. So, the first time you study, yes, you drill yourself with all of the flash cards. The ones you get right you promote to the Every Week pile. Ones you get wrong go in the Every Day pile. The next day you try it again, but now you've got a smaller pile. The next day, it will be smaller still. A week later, you'll try the Every Week pile again, and the ones you get right you stuff into the Once a Month pile.

You're just filtering this shit right on down the line, giving yourself less and less to do. A month later, you go through the Once a Month pile to make sure you remember it. The stuff you've forgotten goes into the weekly rotation again.

See what you're doing? You're figuring out the exact rate at which this stuff falls out of your brain. Breezing through that monthly box? Great, make it every two months. The spans of time are flexible conversely, if you have an exam or presentation in two weeks, you can shorten the whole process -- make your three piles Daily, Every Other Day, Every Three Days.

If that still sounds too complicated, a Polish psychologist named Piotr Wozniak created computer software that does it for you:. Charts are scientists' way of smugly yelling "suck it" at you. That's just an example graph; yours will be different.

But yes, it works. Wozniak actually conducted an experiment on himself by memorizing thousands of nonsensical syllables So when you're walking around the city and you see filthy people mumbling nonsense syllables to themselves all day, this is probably what they're doing. Ask them about it! It may come as no surprise to all the Cracked readers who are also neuroscientists that music helps boost your immune system.

For the rest of you, word is that intangible plinking noises can create a noticeable increase in recovery from a wide range of conditions, including heart disease , lung ailments and even the common cold. Music, like Jurassic Park's raptors, doesn't just attack from one side. That shit brings out a multi-pronged assault. To start, music reduces stress by reducing cortisol levels, a chemical in your brain that causes you to feel stress in the first place.

Jazz, bluegrass and soft rock have been found to be especially effective at reducing stress and increasing health because of their similar musical qualities that quality being that you don't listen to any of them. If you're wondering if your favorite music is helping your health, a good question to ask is, "Does this music make me want to riot?

Likewise, if your favorite musician's last name is Cyrus you're probably dooming yourself to a life of erectile dysfunction and diabetes. In addition to simply lowering stress levels, music also raises immune markers in your system, creating more antibodies to fight disease. Miranda warns him not to display his Alliance clothes at the planet they're going, supplying him with combat armor and revealing the ship's armory of Cerberus weapons. When Jacob asks about her methods on the way to the next location, she claims it's harder to turn down credits when you're holding them.

Miranda wants to make certain of Shepard's fate regardless of circumstances, pointing out that the intel she knew mentioned a stasis pod holding the body. Her partner is beginning to see the pointlessness of the effort and questions why he's even around, so Miranda reassures him that Cerberus needs people of his character.

To that end, she says, he needs to see the group's capabilities. A flustered Miranda realizes they're lost in the streets. A street urchin begs her for credits but she curtly dismisses the kid. Jacob, on the other hand, successfully coaxes the girl for info on their next location, a slaver place. He's disquieted about the existence of human slaves and calls Cerberus out for ignoring the issue.

Miranda takes the tack that Cerberus does help when it can but prioritizes missions of greater import for humanity. Before their debate goes further Miranda spots a gang of batarians converging on their location, readying her sidearm. The duo find their ship being booby-trapped by the batarians they've been dealing with. Miranda sneaks behind the scarred batarian and points a gun at his head, demanding the explosives be taken off. Her hostage is unfazed by her actions and the ship explodes.

Jacob recovers from the blast but Miranda is nowhere to be found; only her burning green garment. Miranda gives her captors nothing despite being beaten, so Torthak orders his minions to dispose of her. Miranda calls him coward and ballsless for his seeming reluctance to kill her himself, but Torthak just claims he knows she's stalling.

Torthak stuck a knife into Miranda's batarian contact earlier, leaving it and the corpse nearby, and her interrogator Taleed dares her to take the knife before he kills her. Miranda sees a flashbang bounce off the corpse, shields her senses accordingly instead of rising up to Taleed's bait, and in comes Jacob with guns blazing for the rescue.

Miranda silently observes Jacob as he herds the slaves away from their captivity. On their way out they're stopped by the sight of Torthak holding a familiar street urchin hostage. Miranda taunts how he's stooped to killing kids now that even women seemed to be too difficult for him, and while Torthak's attention is on her Jacob takes the shot that puts a bullet through his chest.

Miranda "thanks" the batarian for stalling for her, quipping he should've killed her when he had the chance. Miranda brushes off Jacob's concerns for her well-being, claiming she's had worse, but appreciates his rescue nonetheless. She then asks if he's still glad he came, hearing that he is before he steers the conversation to their original mission. Miranda confirms that Shepard's body was indeed sold to another bidder, already long gone from the planet. She reiterates her vow to get the Commander back, and Jacob is taken aback by his inclusion.

Miranda still wants him to join Cerberus but wants nothing less than his certain commitment. If he's interested, she promises to arrange a meeting between him and the Illusive Man.

As their transport is destroyed, Miranda gives Jacob until their extraction to decide whether he wants in. In the meantime, as they approach an establishment labeled "Oasis" in blue neon lights, Miranda prompts him to voice any further questions he has. At the station's labs, Miranda outlines the Lazarus Project's purpose to Rasa, going so far as to show her Shepard's operated-on body as well as the Commander's backup clone. However, the Illusive Man isn't satisfied with a copy: Miranda takes Rasa to her office and explains the details of the op.

Shepard's records are in the Spectre offices on the Citadel. She gives Rasa a disc containing highly-classified but outdated Cerberus secrets and instructs her to bring it to Tela Vasir. The Spectre can get Rasa inside their offices, and it will be up to her to find a way to get the files. A few more days pass before Miranda gets hold of Rasa again back aboard the Minuteman Station, ordering medical help on the half-conscious agent.

She gets the disc back from Rasa, who tries to warn her about its tainted contents. Miranda assures her she's got it covered, telling her to focus on getting well. Another set of days pass, and on the Illusive Man's sanctum Miranda reports on the completeness of the intel Rasa has procured.

She has managed to counteract Vasir's hidden virus and obtained additional funding for the Lazarus Project while she's at it.

The Illusive Man is pleased: Miranda assumes the clone project is no longer a priority, and her boss allows her to continue using it for testing. Rasa's cover, however, is blown, and Miranda reckons she'll never work in the field again. The Illusive Man agrees, but tells her not to worry as he still has a use for her.

While on the subject of service to Cerberus, Miranda hands Rasa a dossier on Mordin Solus , expecting her to do her job before returning to active duty. Her purpose complete, she departs Rasa's room. Miranda signs an order placing Rasa under indefinite medical observation. The newly-recovered agent learns about it and confronts Miranda while she is attending to Lazarus Project matters. Miranda claims it is for Rasa's own protection as the poison she received is yet unknown to Cerberus: Rasa doesn't buy it and insists on more disclosure.

Miranda warily confronts her with the fact she's aware of Rasa's repeated attempts to access restricted Lazarus Project files. She warns Rasa to resume her work with the dossiers: Rasa has just concluded reading Zaeed Massani 's dossier, returning her attention to the tank containing Commander Shepard's clone.

Miranda watches her from a live feed, and comms the Illusive Man to report a problem with the agent. In her correspondence with the Illusive Man, Miranda reports Rasa's dangerous levels of savvy and knowledge about the Lazarus Project. She receives the advice to cut Cerberus losses if Rasa becomes a liability.

Miranda and her team find Rasa at an airlock, suiting up for a spacewalk. Rasa's LOKI opens fire, catching one of Miranda's soldiers, but Miranda projects a barrier for herself and gives the kill order to the rest of her squad. Miranda angrily pries into Rasa's reasons for deserting, who replies she is taking her life back.

After somehow dealing with the mechs Miranda suits up, takes an M Raptor , and resumes pursuit at the station's outer hull. Rasa tries to erode Miranda's loyalty to the Illusive Man, to no effect as Miranda credits the Cerberus leader for saving her when she was young.

She listens to Rasa prattle on with her notions of freedom while on the approach. However, the LOKI manages to restrain her at the last moment. Miranda destroys it, but it's already too late. Her biotic shots at Rasa's fleeing Kodiak miss. Miranda tracks the shuttle to its last known location at the Arcturus system. She assembles a retrieval team as she speaks with the Illusive Man, but he tells her to cancel as he already deems the issue irrelevant. Miranda silently absorbs her boss' assessment.

Then she sees Feron's ship and asks Illusive Man to follow it but once again he tells Miranda to wait. After Liara acquires Shepard's body, Miranda meets Liara at Lazarus Research Station , where Shepard's body is transferred for recovery, and tells her that they may not be able to restore Shepard and that the body is in worse shape than expected.

Liara tells Miranda to let the dead rest and that what Cerberus does is not what she brought Shepard back for. Miranda interrupts and tells her that maybe the Collectors would have done the same.

She also explains that the Illusive Man is more hopeful about Shepard's prospects and they're going to spend everything they have but it will still take a very long time if it works at all. When Liara asks what will the boss do about Feron, Miranda answers that the drell knew the risks and if Liara wants to go after him, that's her business and suggests that she do what she wants. Unlike Shepard's other squadmates, save for Jacob Taylor , Miranda Lawson has 31 points available for distribution.

He always expected more and better from her — forever chiding her to be greater than she already was. He also imposed a very strict lifestyle on Miranda, and forbade her from making friends and having a social life.

Miranda remarks that he didn't want a daughter as much as a dynasty, which was why he used his own genetic template to create her. The constant pressure and lack of affection led Miranda to relinquish her privileged lifestyle and run away from home as soon as she could — although some gunfire was involved. Her father used his extensive network of contacts to chase her across the galaxy, but she managed to elude him nonetheless. At some point Miranda approached Cerberus and joined them in exchange for protection.

Miranda knew of them since her father sympathized with their human-centric agenda and was a major backer. When she enlisted with Cerberus, he stopped pursuing her but severed his ties to the group. Despite their past dealings with her father, Miranda agrees with Cerberus' desire to help humanity.

Miranda also enjoys the opportunity to work with people as smart as she is and the amount of latitude their clandestine operations afford her; she is given an objective, all the resources she needs, and nothing more. Evidently, Miranda has advanced far enough to become one of the few in the organization, much less the galaxy, that meets and answers directly to the Illusive Man, who appreciates her abilities.

Over the course of two years, Miranda oversees the development and implementation of Cerberus' vast resources towards bringing Shepard back to life. When Shepard briefly wakes for the first time, Miranda is the first and last person seen by Shepard before falling back to sleep.

At some point, the research base comes under attack by a saboteur. Miranda wakes Shepard over an intercom and guides the Commander to the base's last shuttle. Miranda takes Shepard to be briefed by the Illusive Man, but not before killing the traitor who instigated the attack. When Shepard goes to investigate the colony of Freedom's Progress , Miranda becomes a permanent squad member. Aboard the Normandy SR-2 she functions as Shepard's second-in-command, but also serves as a proxy for the Illusive Man, which means she can override Commander Shepard's orders in certain situations.

Initially, Miranda expresses skepticism towards the level of importance the Illusive Man has placed on Shepard, especially since the Lazarus Project required a huge investment of Cerberus's resources and her own time. She also notes that she wanted to implant Shepard with a control device to regulate the Commander's actions, but the Illusive Man declined her suggestion.

Soon after their mission gets underway, Miranda admits that the Illusive Man's estimation of Shepard's value to their cause was accurate. Because of her father's genetic tampering which gave her the innate advantage to succeed, she still feels like she's living under his shadow, and that her failures are the only thing she truly owns. Miranda admits this has made her somewhat jealous of Shepard, whose vast accomplishments can be credited to skill, talent, and drive.

After gaining the loyalty of both Miranda and Jack , the next time Shepard boards the Normandy Joker will radio in about a fight aboard the ship.

Jack wants Miranda to admit what was done to her by Cerberus was wrong, but Miranda refuses to acknowledge that Cerberus was at fault claiming it was a splinter group, not Cerberus, calling the shots. Shepard can either resolve the conflict without picking sides, in which case, both Jack and Miranda agree to put off their fight until after the mission with the Collectors is over.

If Shepard sides with Jack, then the Commander will lose Miranda's loyalty, but has the opportunity to regain her loyalty in a later conversation. In addition, if Shepard was in a relationship with Miranda and sides with Jack, then Miranda ends the relationship and will refuse to rekindle the relationship even if her loyalty is regained.

After her sister has been relocated, a male Shepard can talk to Miranda and show a romantic interest in her. He can tell Miranda that she gives herself too little credit for her accomplishments and that she should allow people to appreciate her body and mind, resulting in Miranda "wanting Shepard to admire her body.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

Leave a Reply