11 Stories

Scientists Discover 'New' Area of Brain

Region helps us ponder what could have been

(Newser) - Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? If you find yourself plagued by the question, thank the lateral frontal pole behind each of your eyebrows, says Oxford researcher Matthew Rushworth. The lateral frontal pole is a newly identified part of your brain which, scientists believe,... More »

Teens Make Better Decisions Than Seniors

Study suggests older adults are less rational

(Newser) - The notion of a teenager seeking the counsel of a wise elder might seem like a good idea, but a new study suggests those roles should be reversed. Australian researchers gave people from various age groups a series of decisions to make on hypothetical wagers, and those older than 65... More »

Gotta Pee? Then You'll Likely Make Better Decisions

Those with full bladders apparently exercise better self-control

(Newser) - If you're going to make an important decision in the near future, you might want to drink a lot of water first. A new study shows that people who really, really have to pee actually make better long-term decisions, the Atlantic Wire reports. Study participants either drank a lot of... More »

Court: iPod Can't Be Faulted for Hearing Loss

Appeal decision finds nothing wrong with enabling high volume

(Newser) - Apple has won an appeals court decision in a case in which plaintiffs argued that the iPod endangered people's hearing. The court found no merit to the argument, ComputerWorld reports. Critics of the iPod didn't make the case that anyone's hearing had been damaged, only that the iPod's ability to... More »

Green Buying Leads to Bad Behavior

After earning 'moral credits,' subjects more likely to cheat, steal

(Newser) - The satisfaction people get from purchasing environmentally friendly products is apt to lead to other selfish, even morally repugnant decisions later, writes Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow on Slate . It's not just the complacency that comes from thinking you've done your part for the planet, however insignificant. It's something researchers call "moral... More »

On the Fence? Play a

Site asks questions, then makes recommendations

(Newser) - A new website is ready to answer your queries, but it wants to get to know you first., created by MIT scientists, asks a series of questions before making a recommendation—say, which car to buy, where to go on vacation, what campy movie to watch. It offers... More »

Sotomayor's Record Reveals Rigor, Little Else

Dispassionate rulings exhaustive, but show no larger vision

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor’s decisions “are not always a pleasure to read,” writes Adam Liptak of the New York Times, but “they are usually models of modern judicial craftsmanship.” They are exhaustive and technical, with even uncontroversial propositions justified with detailed footnotes. They also reveal strikingly little... More »

Obama Reverses, Will Block Release of Abuse Photos

In reversal, president says images would endanger US troops

(Newser) - President Obama has reversed position and will oppose the release of abuse photos of detainees in US custody, the Washington Post reports. "The publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of... More »

Clarence Thomas Strays From Righty Line

Slams Bush team, backs consumer protection in recent case

(Newser) - Clarence Thomas might be the Supreme Court’s rightmost justice, but he’s “never been shy about breaking with conventional wisdom,” writes David G. Savage in the Los Angeles Times. In the latest such instance, he upheld injured patients’ right to sue drug companies, arguing that “agency... More »

Supreme Court: It's a Dialog, Not an Isolated Oracle

Reporter looks back at 30 years and 2,691 decisions

(Newser) - Rather than boldly paving new roads, the Supreme Court functions largely as a bellwether of public opinion, cementing change “rather than propelling it,” writes Linda Greenhouse, looking back on some 30 years of reporting on the court for the New York Times. The justices don’t constitute a... More »

Supreme Court's Gay Rights Revolution

5 years later profound change still rippling though society

(Newser) - It’s been five years since the Supreme Court heard Lawrence v. Texas and handed down a landmark decision in effect decriminalizing homosexual activity and paving the way for gay marriage legislation in Massachusetts and California. The decision has been cited in numerous cases around the country challenging morals legislation,... More »

11 Stories