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Space Junk


[Astronaut] Clayton Anderson... heaved a 1,400-pound, refrigerator-size ammonia tank away from the station. His first toss was a 200-pound camera mounting.
NASA normally tries to avoid adding to the orbiting junkyard, but officials felt they had no choice in this case. The equipment had to be removed, and because of a looming 2010 deadline for ending all shuttle flights, NASA does not have room on its remaining missions to return the tank to Earth.

More garbage floating around the earth. But that second paragraph, about no more shuttle flights, makes me sad.

By fnord12 | July 23, 2007, 12:50 PM | Science | Comments (0)| Link


People from Western cultures such as the United States are particularly challenged in their ability to understand someone else's point of view because they are part of a culture that encourages individualism, new research at the University of Chicago shows.

In contrast, Chinese, who live in a society that encourages a collectivist attitude among its members, are much more adept at determining another person's perspective, according to a new study.


The researchers tested a hypothesis that suggested interdependence would make people focus on others and away from themselves. They did that by having people from the same cultural group pair up and work together to move objects around in a grid of squares placed between them.

The Chinese subjects almost immediately focused on the objects the director could see and moved the correct objects. When Americans were asked to move an object and there were two similar objects on the grid, they paused and often had to work to figure out which object the director could not see before moving the correct object. Taking into account the other person's perspective was more work for the Americans, who spent on average about twice as much time completing the moves than did the Chinese.

Even more startling for the researchers was the frequency with which many of the Americans ignored the fact that the director could not see all the objects.

"Despite the obvious simplicity of the task, the majority of American subjects (65 percent) failed to consider the director's pespective at least once during the experiment."


I wouldn't call the results of one test conclusive evidence that Americans just suck at seeing someone else's perspective because of our society, but the results are interesting. Must be all the pork buns*.

*don't worry. i'm sure when they find the guy they'll shoot him in the head and tell all the other food stall owners not to do what the dead guy did and it'll all be fine again. besides, if your pork bun doesn't contain recognizable pieces of meat, it's prolly an inferior product anyway and you shouldn't be eating it. duh. go home and do some more dittos.

By min | July 16, 2007, 2:37 PM | Science | Comments (0)| Link

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