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Weekend Reads 6/13/15

Are all atheists simply angry, or just the ones to whom you're listening?

The idea of the angry atheist is a myth.

I'm a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me

The student-teacher dynamic has been reenvisioned along a line that's simultaneously consumerist and hyper-protective, giving each and every student the ability to claim Grievous Harm in nearly any circumstance, after any affront, and a teacher's formal ability to respond to these claims is limited at best.

Why Superstitions Help Athletes Perform Better

Van Lange also points to a 1986 experiment in which rituals carried out just before taking a free throw during a basketball game appeared to have a positive influence on subsequent performance. “Rituals ‘work,'” he says, "because the person believes in them and expects this.” Indeed, that 1986 study found that there was only an effect if the person believed there would be.

Is The Moon To Blame?

Most studies have exonerated the moon. Academics have ruled out an effect of the lunar cycle on psychosis, depression and anxiety; violent behavior and aggression; seizures; suicide; absenteeism rates; coronary failure; in vitro fertilization conception; birth; menstruation; surgery and survival of breast cancer; postoperative outcome (general); renal colic; outpatient admissions (general); and automobile accidents — to name just some of the studies noted in a 2008 literature review.

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