Why Things Cost $19.95

From Scientific American:

But how does life’s dickering play out in the brain? And is it a trustworthy tool for getting what we want? Psychologists have been studying cognitive bartering for some time, and several basics are well established. For example, an opening “bid” of any sort is usually perceived as a mental anchor, a starting point for the psychological jockeying to follow. If we perceive an opening bid as fundamentally inaccurate or unfair, we reject it by countering with something in another ballpark altogether. But what about less dramatic counter offers? What makes us settle on a response?

University of Florida marketing professors Chris Janiszewski and Dan Uy suspected that something fundamental might be going on, that some characteristic of the opening bid itself might influence the way the brain thinks about value and shapes bidding behavior. In particular, they wanted to see if the degree of precision of the opening bid might be important to how the brain acts at an auction. Or, to put it in more familiar terms: Are we really fooled when storekeepers price something at $19.95 instead of a round 20 bucks?

Werner von Braun on Designing a Rocket

Werner von Braun shows how they are designing a rocket for near earth travel.

Rare Walt Disney Space series from 1955, speculating about going into Space. Remember, more than 50 years ago, Sputnik hadn’t even gone up yet!

The clip is part 6 of 8 from Disney’s “Man in Space” episode of the Disneyland TV Show. Here are the rest of the clips:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 7

Part 8

Teens Film Beating of 16 Year Old Girl. Sheriff and Parents Blame YouTube

From TheLedger.com:

A battered and bruised Victoria Lindsay will not be returning to public school following an incident in which six other girls have been accused of videotaping a beating of the 16-year-old Mulberry High cheerleader.

While a week has passed since the pummeling, Lindsay is still recovering from a concussion and has not fully regained her hearing and vision on her left side.

But as swelling subsides, doctors hope those will return, her parents said Monday.

“When I saw my daughter in the emergency room, I didn’t recognize my own daughter,” said Patrick Lindsay, Victoria’s father.

Almost immediately, he handed her a pen and paper to write down the names of who was responsible and how it all happened to give to police.

“She was in fear for her life,” he said. “She thought she was going to die.”

Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said Monday the argument between the teens erupted from “trash talking” on MySpace and through text messaging.

The Sheriff’s Office declined to elaborate on what specifically was said, citing its ongoing investigation.

But Judd said the video was created for use on YouTube and MySpace, which has become a growing trend among teens.

“This is animalistic behavior,” he said while showing a clip of the recorded video at a press conference Monday. “That is pack mentality.”

“It’s incumbent upon YouTube and MySpace to make drastic changes,” Judd said. “If we desensitize kids to this kind of beating today, what’s next?”

That’s true. There was no such thing as violence before YouTube.