Best of PubMed #3

PLoS One. 2013 Jul 24;8(7):e68989. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068989. Print 2013.

Shoe sole tread designs and outcomes of slipping and falling on slippery floor surfaces.

Liu LW, Lee YH, Lin CJ, Li KW, Chen CY.


Department of Industrial Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


A gait experiment was conducted under two shoe sole and three floor conditions. The shoe soles and floors were characterized by the tread and groove designs on the surface. The coefficients of friction (COF) on the floor in the target area were measured. The subjects were required to walk on a walkway and stepping on a target area covered with glycerol. The motions of the feet of the subjects were captured. Gait parameters were calculated based on the motion data. Among the 240 trials, there were 37 no-slips, 81 microslips, 45 slides, and 77 slips. It was found that the condition with shoe sole and floor had both tread grooves perpendicular to the walking direction had the highest COF, the shortest slip distance, and the lowest percentages of slide and slip. The condition with shoe sole and floor had both tread grooves parallel to the walking direction had the lowest COF and the longest slip distance among all experimental conditions.

PMID: 23894388 [PubMed – in process] PMCID: PMC3722216 Free PMC Article


Front Psychol. 2013 May 21;4:279. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00279. eCollection 2013.

Measuring belief in conspiracy theories: the generic conspiracist beliefs scale.

Brotherton R, French CC, Pickering AD.


PMID: 23734136 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC3659314 Free PMC Article


Psychol Sci. 2013 May;24(5):622-33. doi: 10.1177/0956797612457686. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

NASA faked the moon landing–therefore, (climate) science is a hoax: an anatomy of the motivated rejection of science.

Lewandowsky S, Oberauer K, Gignac GE.


School of Psychology, University of Western Australia. Western Australia 6009, Australia.


Although nearly all domain experts agree that carbon dioxide emissions are altering the world’s climate, segments of the public remain unconvinced by the scientific evidence. Internet blogs have become a platform for denial of climate change, and bloggers have taken a prominent role in questioning climate science. We report a survey of climate-blog visitors to identify the variables underlying acceptance and rejection of climate science. Our findings parallel those of previous work and show that endorsement of free-market economics predicted rejection of climate science. Endorsement of free markets also predicted the rejection of other established scientific findings, such as the facts that HIV causes AIDS and that smoking causes lung cancer. We additionally show that, above and beyond endorsement of free markets, endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the Federal Bureau of Investigation killed Martin Luther King, Jr.) predicted rejection of climate science as well as other scientific findings. Our results provide empirical support for previous suggestions that conspiratorial thinking contributes to the rejection of science.



Lancet. 2008 Oct 18;372(9647):1371-2. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61570-6.

Advances in conspiracy theory.

Sharp D.

PMID: 18940455 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


Br J Soc Psychol. 2011 Sep;50(3):544-52. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8309.2010.02018.x. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

Does it take one to know one? Endorsement of conspiracy theories is influenced by personal willingness to conspire.

Douglas KM, Sutton RM.


School of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NP, United Kingdom.


We advance a new account of why people endorse conspiracy theories, arguing that individuals use the social-cognitive tool of projection when making social judgements about others. In two studies, we found that individuals were more likely to endorse conspiracy theories if they thought they would be willing, personally, to participate in the alleged conspiracies. Study 1 established an association between conspiracy beliefs and personal willingness to conspire, which fully mediated a relationship between Machiavellianism and conspiracy beliefs. In Study 2, participants primed with their own morality were less inclined than controls to endorse conspiracy theories – a finding fully mediated by personal willingness to conspire. These results suggest that some people think ‘they conspired’ because they think ‘I would conspire’.

©2011 The British Psychological Society.

PMID: 21486312 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


Science. 2001 Sep 7;293(5536):1753-4.

Food science. Why is a soggy potato chip unappetizing?

Weiss G.

N Engl J Med. 1986 Nov 20;315(21):1359.



Poult Sci. 1991 Dec;70(12):2509-15.

Effect of overcooked soybean meal on turkey performance.

Lee H, Garlich JD, Ferket PR.


Department of Poultry Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7608.

PMID: 1784573 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


Sleep Med. 2007 Aug;8(5):531-6. Epub 2007 May 18.

REM sleep behavior disorder and other sleep disturbances in Disney animated films.

Iranzo A, Schenck CH, Fonte J.


Neurology Service, Hospital Clinic and Institut D’Investigació Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), C/Villarroel 170, Barcelona 08036, Spain.


During a viewing of Disney’s animated film Cinderella (1950), one author (AI) noticed a dog having nightmares with dream-enactment that strongly resembled RBD. This prompted a study in which all Disney classic full-length animated films and shorts were analyzed for other examples of RBD. Three additional dogs were found with presumed RBD in the classic films Lady and the Tramp (1955) and The Fox and the Hound (1981), and in the short Pluto’s Judgment Day (1935). These dogs were elderly males who would pant, whine, snuffle, howl, laugh, paddle, kick, and propel themselves while dreaming that they were chasing someone or running away. In Lady and the Tramp the dog was also losing both his sense of smell and his memory, two associated features of human RBD. These four films were released before RBD was first formally described in humans and dogs. In addition, systematic viewing of the Disney films identified a broad range of sleep disorders, including nightmares, sleepwalking, sleep related seizures, disruptive snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia and circadian rhythm sleep disorder. These sleep disorders were inserted as comic elements. The inclusion of a broad range of accurately depicted sleep disorders in these films indicates that the Disney screenwriters were astute observers of sleep and its disorders.

PMID: 17512793 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Health Place. 2000 Sep;6(3):213-24.

Burger King, Dunkin Donuts and community mental health care.

Knowles C.


Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK.


This paper describes the patchwork of cottage industries and human warehousing composing Montréal’s ‘community mental health care’ system. It examines the ways in which this system’s clients assemble a collage of ad hoc facilities including homeless shelters, rooming houses, food banks and soup kitchens through which they pursue the fragmented task of daily survival. In their various forms of transit around the city, released psychiatric patients, who rotate in and out of the local psychiatric wards, construe the grammar of urban space. In examining their use of key city sites – malls, fast food outlets, churches and the streets – it becomes apparent that the ‘mad’ have a particular relationship to these places which they pass through and use on certain terms. Examining the nature of their journeys, the scenes on which they are set and the social relationships of space in play, it is evident that the ‘mad’ have a particular (dialogical) relationship to the city: a relationship which they share with other, multiply disenfranchised people. This raises significant social questions concerning the politics of city space, and the kinds of fragmented lives and forms of subjectivity that they produce.

PMID: 10936776 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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I am a science writer at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, author of fiction and popular science books, an artist, and a professional musician who performs on the viola da gamba and Medieval and Renaissance stringed instruments. I edit manuscripts of all types and teach the full range of scientific communication skills. I am doing theoretical work in this subject - see for example

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