Researchers from Goldsmiths College in the UK have attempted to build a "haunted" room. When people say homes are haunted, they often describe strange smells, odd dizziness spells, and other unusual physical phenomena. Ghostbusters frequently associate those experiences with anomalous electromagnetic fields (EMF) and infrasound. To test out the reported connection, Chris French and colleagues in the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit built a room outfitted with EMF and infrasound generators. Then they sent test subjects into the "haunted room" and analyzed their reactions. Greg Taylor at The Daily Grail has more on The Haunt Project. From The Daily Grail:
Unfortunately, although most participants reported some unusual sensations, there seemed to be no correlation between feelings of being haunted and the presence of EMF/infrasound (or lack of, as the case may be). Despite such a kick-ass experimental setup, it would seem the unusual sensations were probably just a result of suggestion, with participants expecting to feel something after being told pre-experiment. The only significant predictor of unusual experiences in 'the haunt' was the temporal lobe lability of the participant. French and his team see this as simply being most likely due to the the psychological profile of these people (increased suggestibility, belief in paranormal events, seeing stimuli in noise). What would be nice to see considered is whether the causation runs the other way (yes, I am a trouble-maker)...
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Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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