mike kostyo

I know food.

Filtering by Category: Society

leaves a bad taste

In a recent experiment, 82 undergrads, all self-described Christians, filed in for a test that researchers billed as a handwriting personality assessment.

First, though, the test-takers were offered a drink, a very diluted lemon-flavored glass of water, and asked to rate its sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and disgusting-ness. Then, they were asked to copy a short passage from either the Bible, The God Delusion, the Quran, or the dictionary. Finally, they were given another drink, which was supposedly different (but actually the same exact flavor).

What's remarkable is that the students found that second drink of lemony water tasted more disgusting after reading about Islam or atheism, according to Miller-McCune's Tom Jacobs report on the paper “Gross Gods and Icky Atheism," suggesting a link between moral taste and our literal taste taste.

- Why Reading About the Rapture Leaves a Bad Taste in Your Mouth at Good Magazine

willy wonka of social control

In January it was revealed that West Park School, in Derby in the midlands of England, was “subjecting” (its words) badly behaved children to Mozart and others. In “special detentions,” the children are forced to endure two hours of classical music both as a relaxant (the headmaster claims it calms them down) and as a deterrent against future bad behavior (apparently the number of disruptive pupils has fallen by 60 per cent since the detentions were introduced.)

One news report says some of the children who have endured this Mozart authoritarianism now find classical music unbearable. As one critical commentator said, they will probably “go into adulthood associating great music—the most bewitchingly lovely sounds on Earth—with a punitive slap on the chops.” This is what passes for education in Britain today: teaching kids to think “Danger!” whenever they hear Mozart’s Requiem or some other piece of musical genius.

- Weaponizing Mozart: How Britain is using classical music as a form of social control

treasure hunt

Williams spent the next few weeks gradually slotting ideas together in his mind. If the book was going to be a puzzle, he decided, then there should be a real prize at the end of it - and that prize should be genuine buried treasure. He was determined not to produce the same disappointment he'd felt as a child, when the cereal packet's promise of “buried treasure” turned out to be something as mundane as a cheap transistor radio sent by post. “I thought it'd be nice to really, really, bury treasure,” he told Radio 4's Profile. “Actually put gold in the cold, wet earth.”

- Hare-brained: Kit Williams' Masquerade