Climate Change May Make Us Dumber

Jisung Park did a remarkable study on the impact that heat has on academic performance: Data indicat

The Snapchat Election

Rich McCormick looked at the use of Snapchat by America’s Presidential candidates: In the lead

The Wi-Fi At The Presidential Debate Cost $200 And Alternatives Were Banned

There was an American Presidential debate yesterday! Centives is here to bring you coverage of the i


Climate Change May Make Us Dumber

September 30, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Jisung Park did a remarkable study on the impact that heat has on academic performance:

  • Data indicates that if on the day of an exam, temperatures are as high as 32 degrees Celsius, then students will score 4.5% less on their exams.
  • Having a school year with five more hot days than normal, causes students in that classroom to lose $37,000 in lifetime earnings.
  • All of this is particularly concerning since in cities such as New York, fewer than 62% of classrooms have air conditioning.

Read the full Harvard summary here.

Via: Marginal Revolution

The Snapchat Election

September 29, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Rich McCormick looked at the use of Snapchat by America’s Presidential candidates:

  • In the lead up to 2016’s first American Presidential Debate, the Trump campaign bought Snapchat filters titled “Donald J. Trump vs. Crooked Hillary”, that were available across America
  • In an apparent concession to the makers of Snapchat, who likely want to remain as neutral as possible, during the debate itself the filter turned into a generic pro-Trump filter, with the attack on Clinton removed.
  • Clinton too has bought Snapchat filters, but has limited them to region specific ones, that can only be accessed in certain locations, such as at football games.
  • Outside groups such as the conservative Judicial Watch have also used the filters – during the Benghazi hearings those inside the room where Clinton was testifying were able to use a filter that said “this message will disappear – just like Hillary Clinton’s emails”.
  • According to one study, two thirds of millennials who use Snapchat will likely vote in the 2016 elections.

Read more at The Verge.

The Wi-Fi At The Presidential Debate Cost $200 And Alternatives Were Banned

September 27, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

There was an American Presidential debate yesterday! Centives is here to bring you coverage of the important issues:

  • The logisticians behind the first Presidential debate required journalists to pay $200 if they wanted to use the Wi-Fi.
  • Worse; they explicitly banned the use of personal hot spots created through cell phones and other devices. A $2,000 hot-spot scanner was used to find and kick out journalists breaking the rules.
  • There are still workarounds. A hard wire or a Bluetooth tether can be used to create a Wi-Fi hot-spot that’s undetectable.
  • And it’s a good thing that the workarounds existed. Before the debate started the $200 Wi-Fi network went down.

Read more about the (il)legality of the practice and other details at ArsTechnica.

Why British Actors Have Great American Accents But The Reverse Isn’t True

September 26, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

The yanks have it easy writes Rebecca Schuman:

  • British actors can do great American accents (both Christian Bale and Henry Cavill – the quintessential American heroes, Batman and Superman – are actually British) but the opposite isn’t quite true.
  • This is in part because if aspiring British actors want to make it big; they have to be able to appeal to Hollywood and the massive American market.
  • The Brits have more of a tradition of actors being formally trained in the art of theater – including dialects. Americans often pick it up as they go along.
  • Great Britain with all of its history also has more diversity in accents than America, despite the size of the United States. The British thus learn to adapt early on to different speaking styles.

Read the full article on Slate.

Why Don’t Any Of The Avengers Have A Memorable Soundtrack?

September 25, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Star Wars, Batman, and James Bond all have iconic movie themes that most can hum on command. But can you remember Iron Man’s theme song? Every Frame a Painting examined why Marvel’s music is so forgettable:

  • In an earlier age of cinema there were moments where there was nothing but on-screen visuals accompanied by music – such as in the Star Wars opening crawl. Marvel’s movies though rush to have someone talking, leaving little time for a film’s score to breathe.
  • Movies are typically scored after they are shot. In the process of editing, the film director’s will use scores from other movies as a stand in for what they want their score to sound like. Sometimes they’ll become so attached to the old score that they’ll ask their film’s composer to come up with something similar. Some remarkable examples can be heard here.
  • There’s been a general cultural shift in movies where filmmakers want music to fade in the background and be unnoticeable, rather than be a main component of it.
  • Composers themselves have been less interested in writing individual memorable motifs for each of the characters, opting instead for more thematic music.

Via: Kotaku

Japan Has More Electric Car Charging Stations Than Petrol Pumps

September 22, 2016 in Daily Bulletin


Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield wrote about electric car charging in Japan:

  • At last count Japan had 40,000 electric car charging stations (to the US’s 900) and 34,000 petrol pumps.
  • There’s a catch though. The count of electric car chargers includes those in people’s homes.
  • While you’d think that those don’t count because they’re not accessible to the general public, there are actually various services that allow individuals to rent out their charging stations.
  • Also you won’t need as many electric chargers in a country because one of the advantages of electric cars is that you can have a personal refueling station at home.
  • The number of electric cars on the road in Japan is still small, but is growing fast.

Read more here.

Source: Transport Evolved

How To Manipulate Teens Into Eating Vegetables

September 21, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Daughter looking a phone and ignoring her mother


Roheeni Saxena wrote that the thing that makes teens difficult to deal with can be used against them:

  • In an experiment teens were shown how unhealthy foods can be misleadingly marketed by companies.  They were then told that eating healthy is an act of rebellion and “sticking it to the man”.
  • The strategy worked. Teens were more likely to pick carrots over cookies after the training.
  • Health campaigns typically focus on the long term well being effects of unhealthy eating, but this experiment indicated that alternative strategies with more immediate rewards should be considered.

Read more here.

Source: ArsTechnica

Burger King In A Sauna

September 19, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Maureen O’Hare looked at Burger King’s latest store concept:

  • Burger King has opened up a 15 person sauna in Finland. Patrons can give servers their orders and eat the chain’s grilled burgers in the steamed saunas.
  • It sort of makes sense. Saunas are extremely popular in Finland with one available for every three people in the country.
  • It is a place where Finns socialize and host business meetings.
  • The spa offers Burger King branded towels and can be rented out for three hours for the equivalent of $280.

Read more here.

Source: CNN

Via: Marginal Revolution

We’re Living In A Golden Age For Cereal

September 18, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Erik Rood put together figures on the cereal market:

  • There is no better time for cereal aficionados to live. Since 2000 between ten and twenty new cereals have been released every year – the highest rate in the past 100 years.
  • Just five companies, led by General Mills and Kellogg’s, are responsible for 95% of cereals that go to market.
  • These companies operate in a cut-throat environment. Almost half of all cereals survive for less than five years before they’re pulled from the shelves.
  • Once you find a winning cereal formula though, the rewards are lucrative. Kellogg’s Corn Flames have been going strong in the market for 109 years.
  • Surprisingly though that isn’t the oldest cereal on the market. This distinction goes to Grape-Nuts which were introduced ten years before Corn Flakes, in 1897.

Read more here.

Source: Data-Driven Thoughts


Cadbury Insured Its Chief Tasters’ Taste Buds For £1 Million

September 15, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Cadbury, the brand behind Dairy Milk, put its money where its mouth – well, tongue – is, writes Rosie Vare:

  • Cadbury has bought out a £1 Million insurance policy on the taste buds of its chief taste scientist.
  • As a condition to selling the policy, the insurer Lloyds requires that she not take up sword swallowing as a hobby, or eat certain types of hot peppers.
  • Cadbury considers her taste buds key to ensuring that their chocolate has the right “mouth feel” and melts at the right temperature.

Read more at the source link.

Source: AOL (Auto-play video warning).