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American Trait May Explain Imposter Syndrome

We tend to inflate our self-worth, and some see the truth, explains social psychologist

(Newser) - Ask an American to rate their own competency at work, and it's a safe bet you'll get an answer that is, to put it delicately, inflated. Generally speaking, "superstars and underperformers alike tend to think they are better than they truly are," writes social psychologist Shinobu...

Even Insects Have Culture
Even Insects Have Culture

Even Insects Have Culture

Social learning among bumblebees suggests animal culture might be 'widespread'

(Newser) - A new study is helping transform the idea that culture is reserved for humans, primates, and birds, offering evidence of "culture-like phenomena" including social learning in bumblebees. Researchers at London's Queen Mary University trained bumblebees to open a puzzle box holding a sugar solution, either by pushing a...

Wednesday Was a Big Day for the French Baguette

Bread received UNESCO heritage status

(Newser) - The announcement was celebrated in the most appropriate way, per Axios : with baguettes waved in the air. (See photo evidence here .) UNESCO on Wednesday voted to add the baguette to its "intangible cultural heritage" list, which now numbers 600 items. Reuters notes that some 16 million baguettes are...

Canceling Russian Culture Plays Into Putin's Hands

Boycotts even of war's opponents wrongly divide art by nation, professor writes

(Newser) - There's a problem with canceling performances by Russian artists, which the Western allies have been doing since Ukraine was invaded. It's Vladimir Putin's kind of thinking, Kevin M.F. Platt writes in an opinion piece in the New York Times . That logic is reflected in Putin's...

Afghans Hide Books, Paintings as Crackdown on Culture Looms

Taliban says Islamic law will determine what kinds of art are allowed

(Newser) - The bad old days are back in Afghanistan, where artists have hidden or destroyed paintings, musicians have stopped working, and residents are hiding books ahead of an expected Taliban crackdown on art and culture deemed un-Islamic. The group—which banned movies, television, and music during its rule from 1996 to...

Trump Threat About Iranian Cultural Sites Is Controversial

World bodies have prohibited attacks on heritage sites

(Newser) - Iran's ancient and rich cultural landscape has become a potential US military target as Washington and Tehran lob threats and take steps toward a possible open conflict, the AP reports. President Trump tweeted Saturday that the US has a list of 52 potential targets should Iran retaliate for the...

Want to Live Longer? Go to a Concert or Art Gallery
New Proof of 'How
Powerful the Arts Are'

New Proof of 'How Powerful the Arts Are'

Researchers say engaging in art, music, theater can lower risk of dying early

(Newser) - It doesn't seem like a stretch to say most people feel pretty good after a stimulating afternoon at the museum or rousing Broadway production. Now, research out of University College London suggests that exposing oneself to the arts—be it going to museums, art galleries, concerts, the opera, or...

Route 66 Makes It Onto a Dubious List

It's one of 11 historic US sites considered 'endangered'

(Newser) - Hundreds of historic sites have found their way over the past three decades onto the annual "endangered sites" list put out by the National Trust for Historic Preservation , and this year's lineup includes one of America's most famous thoroughfares. Route 66 joins 10 other cultural or architectural...

Can You Name 'Light Blue' Using Just One Word?

The Japanese call light blue "mizu," or water

(Newser) - In Japan, there are a dozen basic colors that almost everyone in a recent survey was able to name using one word. And 11 of them—black, white, gray, blue, green, yellow, red, purple, brown, pink, and orange—all overlap with the basic colors Americans can describe in one word....

Japan's Antidote to Overwork: 'Inemuri' Naps

But there are rules to follow

(Newser) - People who can nod off in any situation may consider a move to Japan, where public napping, so long as one follows certain rules of etiquette, is basically seen as virtuous. So reports the New York Times , which calls such napping a "subtle sign of diligence." The word...

5 Best Cities in the World for Culture

Kyoto tops the list

(Newser) - Looking for some culture in the new year? Travel + Leisure lists the 10 best world cities offering just that. The top five:
  1. Kyoto, Japan
  2. Rome, Italy
  3. Jerusalem
  4. Florence, Italy
  5. Paris, France
Click for the complete list , which does include two US cities.

Bumble Bees Learn Trick, Surprise Researchers

Most figured out how to pull string for reward after seeing how it's done

(Newser) - Ever wondered how tiny a bumble bee's brain is? Imagine a sesame seed clinging to a burger bun, reports the Washington Post —in other words, it's about 0.0002% the volume of a human brain, as calculated by Science . But that doesn't mean you can't...

Italy to Give All 18-Year-Olds Money to Spend on Art, Books

'Beauty is more tenacious than barbarism'

(Newser) - Italy thinks "cultural consumption" is important, and it's putting its money where its mouth is, to the tune of $330 million. The country is moving forward with its pledge to give every kid turning 18 this year in Italy €500 (roughly $560) to spend on "cultural...

Word of the Year: Culture
 Word of the Year: Culture 

Word of the Year: Culture

Merriam-Webster unveils its choice for 2014

(Newser) - A nation, a workplace, an ethnicity, a passion, an outsized personality. The people who comprise these things, who fawn or rail against them, are behind Merriam-Webster's 2014 word of the year: culture. The word joins Oxford Dictionaries' "vape," a darling of the e-cigarette movement, and "exposure,...

Top 10 US Cities for Culture
 Top 10 US Cities for Culture 

Top 10 US Cities for Culture

Seattle is No. 1, at least on a per-capita basis

(Newser) - How would Columbus, Ohio, outrank New York City in a list of the top cities for culture and recreation in the US? When the words "per capita" are involved. New York may have 2,693 places dedicated to those pursuits, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Central Park,...

Quit Calling Things 'Guilty Pleasures'
Quit Calling Things
'Guilty Pleasures'

Quit Calling Things 'Guilty Pleasures'

Jennifer Szalai: Drop the artifice; you're not impressing anyone

(Newser) - If you want to feel guilty, fine. If you want to feel pleasure, more power to you. But if you want to toss around the phrase "guilty pleasure," then Jennifer Szalai requests that you resist the urge. In a New Yorker essay about how much she hates the...

Word Choices Show We're Me-Centric, Less Moral
Word Choices Show We're
Me-Centric, Less Moral

Word Choices Show We're Me-Centric, Less Moral

And those long-term trends should worry left and right: David Brooks

(Newser) - Lexicologists poring over a Google database of books and word usage suggest three general traits of the past half-century, writes David Brooks in the New York Times . Society has become more individualistic (with words and phrases such as "self" and "I come first" on the rise), less moral...

Introducing the 'World's Dullest Culture'

The Baining of Papua New Guinea ban kids from playing

(Newser) - A Papua New Guinea group known to anthropologists as "the dullest people on Earth" do everything they can to discourage children from playing, writes Peter Gray at Psychology Today . The Baining—who have caused at least one frustrated anthropologist to give up studying them—are small-scale farmers almost entirely...

Author: Romney Utterly Misread My Book
Author: Romney Utterly Misread My Book

Author: Romney Utterly Misread My Book

Jared Diamond says candidate misquoted Guns, Germs, and Steel

(Newser) - In making his recent controversial comments about Israel's cultural superiority , Mitt Romney cited Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, which he said argued that "physical characteristics of the land" like iron ore deposits determined nations' economic success. "That is so different from what my book actually...

Binging on TV Is Highbrow, Not Pandemic

Meaghan Daum on why it's OK, and why we care

(Newser) - When Slate intern Jim Pagels wrote last week that "TV binge-watching is a pandemic" that ruins "the integrity of the art form," condemnation rained down from some of the mightiest media outlets in the land. How dare he! We are, after all "in an oft-noted '...

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