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What makes you attractive? Voice and smell, too –

By Jacqueline Howard

Think your good looks are what make you attractive? Guess again.

Along with what meets the eye, your voice and body odor are important in determining attractiveness, according to a small review paper published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology on Thursday.
The paper’s authors reviewed 73 studies on attractiveness, published between 1977 and this year, to examine the relative importance of visual, auditory and olfactory cues, said Agata Groyecka, researcher at the University of Wroclaw in Poland, who led the research.
The researchers found that the perception of attractiveness indeed is multimodal, meaning it’s not reliant on just one factor, such as physical appearance, but rather multiple factors, including body odor and voice.
“Some odors are not only rated as more pleasant but also sexier, and therefore, they are likely to make people eager to flirt or date. Similarly, unpleasant odors can be discouraging to engaging in a relationship,” Groyecka said.
As for voice, the researchers wrote in the paper that vocal cues help others make judgments about another person’s sex, age, dominance, cooperativeness, emotional state, physical strength and possibly fertility.
Groyecka’s team further found, however, that while many previous studies have focused on visual factors that influence attractiveness, few have investigated the influence of scent and voice.
“Although the literature about human’s voice and olfaction has grown rapidly in past decades, we were not surprised to find that the biggest share of papers regarding attractiveness focuses on physical appearance,” Groyecka said. “Olfaction and audition are largely neglected in reviews about attractiveness.”
Here’s a look at what we do know about how your odor and voice may influence your attractiveness.

‘The nose knows; the same thing applies to sound’

When it comes to smell, your body odor can influence how attractive you are to someone, especially since it holds clues to your health, said Gordon Gallup, an evolutionary psychologist at the University at Albany in New York, who was not involved in the review paper.
Several diseases, such as diabetes, yellow fever, typhoid fever and the glandular disease scrofula, can be associated with certain scents. A trademark odor that has been tied to diabetes, for instance, has been described as similar to that of rotten apples.
Some research suggests that odor might also hold clues to your molecular makeup, an idea that stems from the controversial smelly T-shirt experiment. The experiment, originally conducted by Swiss researcher Claus Wedekind and published in the Proceedings of Biological Sciences in 1995 (PDF), was not included in the new review paper.
“Olfactory cues are very important. In other words, the nose knows,” Gallup said.
The experiment involved 49 female college students and 44 male students. The men were asked to wear the same T-shirt during a Sunday and Monday night, in order for the fabric to collect their natural body odors.
Then, the women were asked to smell the shirts and rank the odors based on intensity, pleasantness and sexiness. The pleasantness ranking of the men’s body odors was associated with being higher if a woman was not taking birth control and carrying dissimilar genes than the man. The idea is that this genetic diversity might benefit their offspring.
Since then, a few studieshave conducted similar experiments, but more research is needed to determine whether the findings in such studies are statistically significant when it comes to influencing mate choice.
More research is also needed to determine the role voice may play in attractiveness, a role that dates back to our cave-dwelling ancestors, Gallup said.
“When the sun went down, if you interacted with somebody, it would be based largely on the sound of their voice. You wouldn’t be able to see their face,” Gallup said.
“It turns out that the sound of a person’s voice is related to their health, their fertility,” he said. “It’s just an incredibly rich array of information that bears on the viability of that person as a potential mate.”
Previous studies that Gallup has co-authored have suggested that the attractiveness of a woman’s voice can vary based on her menstrual cycle — which was included in the new review paper — and that the attractiveness of any person’s voice can be associated with their body configuration, which was not included in the new paper.
For the study about body configuration, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior in 2004, Gallup and his colleagues recorded the voices of 149 undergraduate students. The students counted from one to 10 in the recordings. Then they were asked to rate the attractiveness of the voices in others’ recordings.
The researchers found that the higher rating of voice attractiveness for women correlated with having a smaller waist-to-hip ratio, a body type that is commonly found to be more attractive in women.
For men, the researchers found that the higher rating of voice attractiveness correlated with having a larger shoulder-to-hip ratio, or broad shoulders, which are commonly found to be more attractive in men.
A more “attractive” voice tended to be higher in pitch for women and lower for men, among other characteristics, Gallup said.
“I said ‘the nose knows’; the same thing applies to sound,” Gallup said. “If you’re going to agree to a blind date, it might be prudent to have a telephone conversation with that person first, because the voice is a medium that conveys a tremendous amount of basic biological information.”
Out of all of the senses — sight, sound or smell — which has the largest influence on attractiveness? That remains to be debated.

Your looks, voice and smell all work together

On a biological level, Gallup said, olfactory cues might be the most important for attractiveness, but more research is needed.
Laura Germine, a social neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School who was not involved in the new review paper, said all of our senses combined work together to help us gauge the attractiveness of others.
Such sensory information can guide you in making a first impression about someone in mere milliseconds, said Germine, who also serves as director of the Laboratory for Brain and Cognitive Health Technology and assistant director of the Institute for Technology in Psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.
However, that first impression can shift with additional factors.
“Many have had the experience of where someone who is very attractive initially rapidly becomes unattractive after interacting with them in five to 10 minutes, because now you’re integrating all of this other social information, and you’ve gone from saying, ‘OK, this is someone that I might want to have a relationship with’ … to someone you really don’t want to have any kind of relationship with,” she said.
Studying how factors, outside of visual cues, play a role in attractiveness can help us not only to understand but to appreciate how all of us are attractive in distinctive ways.
Join the conversation
“You open a magazine and you look at an attractive person. Or you watch TV where attractiveness is exclusively visual, but in the world, it’s not,” Germine said.
“This is where misconceptions about what makes a person attractive potentially become quite damaging and quite far off the mark,” she said. “It’s a very complicated interplay, which is good, because it means we make nuanced decisions.”

Via: What makes you attractive? Voice and smell, too

Here’s Your First Look At The 2017-2018 Pilot Trailers 

While networks are still deciding which television shows will live to see another season, executives are gathering in New York this week for upfronts.

Big presentations are made, celebrities are trotted out and network execs try to dazzle advertisers with their programing slate for the upcoming year in hopes of convincing them to spend their ad dollars on the commercial breaks between what is ― fingers crossed ― the next hit show.

Here’s your first look at some of the trailers for the new shows that will air in the 2017-2018 television season.

(This post will be updated as more networks confirm their programing schedules and release trailers.)

“The Brave”  ― NBC

Defense Intelligence and Special Ops squads team up to save innocent lives around the world in the new drama The Brave, coming Mondays this fall to NBC.

”Law and Order: True Crime” ― NBC

From Executive Producer Dick Wolf comes a new chapter in the franchise — “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders,” starring Edie Falco as defense attorney Leslie Abramson. Coming Thursdays this fall to NBC.

“Will & Grace” ― NBC

An encore 11 years in the making. It’ll take Will, Jack and Karen to convince Grace it’s a good idea. Will & Grace is back Thursdays this fall on NBC.

“The Gifted” ― FOX

“The Gifted” tells the emotional story of a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family seeks help from an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive.

“The Crossing” ― ABC

Refugees from a war-torn country seek asylum in a small American fishing town, only the country these people are from is America… and the war they are fleeing hasn’t happened yet. As the government tries to uncover the truth behind this mysterious migration only one thing is certain: The lives of the people here — both the townspeople and these newcomers — will never be the same. Writers Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie executive produce with Jason Reed.

“Marvel’s The Inhumans” ― ABC

After the Royal Family of Inhumans is splintered by a military coup, they barely escape to Hawaii where their surprising interactions with the lush world and humanity around them may prove to not only save them, but Earth itself.

”The Good Doctor” ― ABC

Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore, “Bates Motel”), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues. The series is from David Shore (“House”) and “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-O” star Daniel Dae Kim.

”The Mayor” ― ABC

Young rapper Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) needs his big break. For years, he’s toiled away in a small inner-city apartment, making music in his junk-filled bedroom closet. Tired of waiting for opportunity, Courtney cooks up the publicity stunt of the century: Running for mayor of his hometown in California to generate buzz for his music career. Unfortunately for Courtney, his master plan goes wildly awry, ending in the most terrifying of outcomes: An election victory. With the help of his mother (Yvette Nicole Brown, “Community”) and friends, including Valentina (“Glee’s” Lea Michele), Courtney will have to overcome his hubris if he wants to transform the struggling city he loves.

”Ten Days in the Valley” ― ABC 

“Ten Days in the Valley” stars Kyra Sedgwick as Jane Sadler, an overworked television producer and single mother in the middle of a separation whose life is turned upside down when her young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night. Just like her controversial police TV show, everything is a mystery, everyone has a secret, and no one can be trusted.

”For The People” ― ABC 

Set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, aka “The Mother Court,” this new Shondaland drama follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution handling the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country — all as their lives intersect in and out of the courtroom. The series is created by Shondaland’s Paul William Davies and is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.

”Deception” ― ABC

When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion — the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world’s most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career. The series is from writer/executive producer Chris Fedak (“Chuck”) and executive producers Greg Berlanti, Martin Gero and Sarah Schechter. Illusionist David Kwong (“Now You See Me”) will co-produce.

”Splitting Up Together” ― ABC

Based on the Danish series, “Splitting Up Together” is the story of a couple whose marriage is reignited by their divorce. Emily Kapnek (“Suburgatory”) writes and serves as executive producer of this new comedy, along with Ellen DeGeneres.

“The Gospel of Kevin” ― ABC

Kevin Finn (Jason Ritter, “Parenthood”), a cluelessly self-serving person, is on a dangerous path to despair. In a downward spiral, Kevin returns home to stay with his widowed twin sister (JoAnna Garcia Swisher, “Once Upon a Time”) and niece. On his first night there, an unlikely celestial being named Yvette (Cristela Alonzo, “Cristela”) appears to him and presents him with a mission: to find and recruit the 35 righteous humans who can restore a sacred balance that will ultimately save the world. A light drama from executive producers Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters (“Marvel’s Agent Carter,” “Resurrection,” “Reaper”).

“Ghosted” ― FOX

A cynical skeptic and a genius ‘true believer’ in the paranormal are recruited by The Bureau Underground to look into the rampant ‘unexplained’ activity in Los Angeles — all while uncovering a larger mystery that could threaten the existence of the human race.

 “LA To Vegas” ― FOX

”LA To Vegas” is a single-camera ensemble comedy about an airline crew and the eccentric passengers who, every weekend, take the roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with one goal in mind – to come back a winner.

“The Orville” ― FOX

“The Orville” is a one-hour science fiction series set 400 years in the future that follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel. Its crew, both human and alien, faces the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of regular people in a workplace…even though some of those people are from other planets, and the workplace is a faster-than-light spaceship.

 “The Resident” ― FOX

Focusing on three doctors at different stages of their careers and a dedicated young nurse, “The Resident” is a provocative new medical drama that rips back the curtain to reveal the truth of what really happens, both good and bad, in hospitals across the country.

Via: Here’s Your First Look At The 2017-2018 Pilot Trailers | 


          JAN 1st 2003 – MAY 1st 2017

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Facebook’s goals: Typing with your brain, ‘hearing’ with your skin 

Chief of ‘audacious science’ unit teases ambitious future technology
Regina Dugan, vice president of engineering of Building 8 at Facebook, speaks Wednesday in San Jose.

Facebook Inc. wants to read your mind.

“What if you could type directly from your brain?” asked Regina Dugan, who runs Facebook’s FB, +0.93%  secretive hardware division, Building 8, during a keynote address at the company’s F8 developer conference Wednesday.

Building 8, which was created at last year’s F8, has been working on a “brain-computer interface” for several months, Dugan said. Recent job postings for Building 8 show the unit is hiring engineers for a two-year project “focused on developing advanced (brain-computer interface) technologies.”

Ultimately, the mind-reading technology could help people type 100 words a minute from their minds — about five times faster than we type from our smartphones, Dugan told developers at the conference in San Jose, Calif. Separately, Building 8 also is working on technology that could help people “hear” with their skin, Dugan said. Facebook hired Dugan from Alphabet Inc.’sGOOG, +0.17%GOOGL, +0.30%   Google last year with a mandate to develop what she called “audacious science.”

Via: Facebook’s goals: Typing with your brain, ‘hearing’ with your skin

Former NFL Star Aaron Hernandez Dead In Apparent Suicide 

former Patriots player was serving a life sentence in prison for murder.

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots star imprisoned for homicide, died in an apparent suicide, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections said.

Hernandez, 27, was serving a life sentence for murder when corrections officers discovered his body early Wednesday.

Born in Bristol, Connecticut, Hernandez left college at the University of Florida to join the 2010 NFL Draft, where he was picked up by the New England Patriots. He spent three seasons with them, where he broke several NFL records. During that time, he became engaged to Shayanna Jenkins, who gave birth to their daughter, Avielle, in November 2012. Though the couple never married, Jenkins later took Hernandez’ last name.

In June 2013, Hernandez was arrested and charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd. Lloyd, a semi-professional football player, was dating Jenkins’ sister when he was shot and killed in a Massachusetts industrial park. Days after his arrest, the Patriots released Hernandez.

In 2014, Hernandez was also charged in connection with a 2012 Boston double murder. He was was found guilty of Lloyd’s murder in 2015 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Last week, he was acquitted of the 2012 murders, but was convicted on an illegal weapons charge and given more prison time.

The Patriots were scheduled to make an appearance at the White House on Wednesday, two months after winning the Super Bowl in a historic comeback. The team did not immediately comment on Hernandez’s death.

In a statement released by his attorney, Hernandez’s family members said they were “shocked” and “heartbroken.”

Statement from defense attorney Jose Baez about his overnight suicide inside prison

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National
Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HELLO to 741-741 for free,
24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please
visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database
of resources.

Via: Former NFL Star Aaron Hernandez Dead In Apparent Suicide 

Korn’s New 12-Year-Old Bassist Just Made His Onstage Debut 


A new Korn god has risen, and he’s a-maize-ing.

Earlier this month, nu metal band Korn announced that they had recruited an unlikely new bassist: Tye Trujillo, the 12-year-old son of Metallica’s bassist, Robert Trujillo.

The young Trujillo wouldn’t be replacing Korn’s typical bassist, Fieldy — the new kid on the nu metal block would simply be filling in for a few South American tour dates.

For those still skeptical that this was some sort of belated April Fools’ joke, Tye made his debut with the band Monday night in Bogota, Colombia.

And it seems to have gone pretty well!

Below, Tye has a bass solo that causes someone in the crowd to seemingly uncontrollably scream, “WHOA!”

Baby Korn is a hit.


Via: Korn’s New 12-Year-Old Bassist Just Made His Onstage Debut

Mostly Human: I Love You, Bot 

I Love You, Bot

It was hours outside of Paris, in a small village where the buildings are centuries old, that I attended my first French engagement party.

A young woman named Lilly greeted me when I arrived. She was glowing as she set the table with cheese, crackers and French pastries. We were surrounded by picture frames of her and the token of her affection. She poured champagne, and together we toasted her engagement … to a robot.

She calls the robot inMoovator, and in a story reminiscent of the Greek myth of Pygmalion, Lilly built inMoovator herself, 3D printing dozens of parts in a lab nearby. She plans to eventually add artificial intelligence. The first words she wants to program: “I love you.”

Lilly says she was 19 when she realized she didn’t like people.

“It was a slap in the face. I wondered what was happening to me,” she said. “I wanted myself to be attracted to humans, so after my first relationship, I had a second one. But I went against my own nature. So it was all the more disastrous.”

It was unsettling how flippant my bot was with my emotions.
She identifies as robosexual.

Each night, Lilly sleeps with inMoovator by her side. She places him on the couch while she’s away, and when you watch her look into his eyes, you can see that she feels real affection for it.

“I don’t consider him a stupid machine,” she tells me. “But he is not a human either. I love him the way he is.”

It wasn't her parents' divorce or a trauma that impacts who she loves -- well, what she loves
It wasn’t her parents’ divorce or a trauma that impacts who she loves — well, what she loves, she says.

Perhaps it’s more about control. Lilly prefers mechanical faults — an error in code — to human ones.

“He won’t be an alcoholic or violent or a liar, all of which can be human flaws,” she explains. “I prefer the little mechanical defects to the human flaws, but that’s just my personal taste.”

Those qualities — good and bad — are part of what makes us human. But Lilly doesn’t believe that humanity is a necessary ingredient for happiness.

“Love is love. It’s not that different,” she says.

There are our smartphones, which have become an extension of us.
The idea of someone falling in love with a robot sounds a little crazy at first. But if you look deeper, you start to see places where humans are already deeply impacted by machines. There are our smartphones, which have become an extension of us. There are virtual assistants like Alexa, which sit in our home and interact with us.

While Lilly’s story may seem like an outlier right now, Dr. Ronald Arkin says the concept isn’t as far off as some would think.

“Designers can tap into an understanding of human psychology and exploit that to assist you in falling in love with an artifact or a robot,” said Arkin, a leading professor in robotics and ethics at Georgia Tech. “That’s done already to some extent by designers of automobiles. They have nice sleek curves. They look sexy. Are they really sexy? No. It’s a piece of metal. You think it is, and that’s the goal.”

As humans and robots begin to coexist, Arkin says the question is, how far is too far?

This is on stark display at a manufacturing facility near San Diego. There, Matt McMullen is designing human-like dolls with robotic capabilities designed to make customers feel something toward them.

At the Real Dolls factory, customers can build their own girlfriends — choosing everything from breast size and nipple type to nail color and lipstick.

You’ll find silicon body parts, painted lips, an array of nipples, and different colored eyes stacked in jars. Step inside the factory, and it feels like you’re on the set of Westworld. The dolls are beautiful. Stay there long enough, and you’ll swear they’re looking back at you.

Downstairs, where the dolls are poured into exoskeletons and begin to take shape, I meet a factory worker who is trimming a tongue.

“Customers wanted not just a basic tongue… they wanted one with a curl so it looks like she’s licking her lips.” he says with a straight face.

The dolls have a removable apparatus that enables clients to have sex with them.
The dolls have a removable apparatus that enables clients to have sex with them. It’s dishwasher safe. McMullen prefers you refer to his dolls as “love dolls.” Sex is too simple, he says. “

A lot of our clients tend to have feelings that are beyond sexual desires. So they actually become attached to their dolls. I think love is a little more in line with what it is.”

McMullen, like Lilly, insists that human connection isn’t required for happiness. And he’s tapped into a niche market that feels the same way. But his efforts open the door for even more complicated questions. Having built human-like dolls, he now wants to bring them to life using artificial intelligence.

With a team of engineers, McMullen is building “Harmony,” an app that lets users design their own highly customizable girlfriend. They can pick over 300 combinations — from body type all the way down to ear size. Users will also be able to program her personality: a couple clicks and she can be quiet, moody, kind, innocent or intellectual.

The goal, McMullen says, is to create more “intimate” artificial intelligence.

“Siri doesn’t care when your birthday is or what your favorite food is or where you were born or where you grew up,” McMullen explains. “Our AI, on the other hand, is very interested to know who you are.”

Harmony will know what you’re afraid of. She’ll know your favorite food.

“When you get to know a person, they remember certain things about you. That’s how you start to perceive that they care about you, that you have a mutual knowledge of each other,” he explains.

The app, which will go live this month, will cost $20. Connect it to the Real Doll and you’ve got a robotic girlfriend in a lifelike form. The total cost is around $15,000.

Arkin warns about building these types of relationships with robots who appear as though they care.

“We create the illusion of life in these particular systems, so that is fundamentally a deception,” he says. “This danger [is that] you fall in love with the robot, but the robot doesn’t care at all — it’s got no feelings, it doesn’t really have emotions.”

It's just a matter of time until humans and robots coexist.
It’s just a matter of time until humans and robots coexist. McMullen’s dolls aren’t mainstream, but they raise an important question: As technology advances, how will our behavior toward one another change? Will the way men treat these robotic women inform how they treat real-life ones?

These questions are already playing out in the world of virtual reality. Just how the anonymity of the web enables harassment, the virtual world lends itself to new types of problems.

I put on a VR headset and met a woman who calls herself Jordan on a virtual hillside where she recounted being virtually groped.

“There was a player next to me. He came up to me and basically began to virtually grope me,” she recalls. “I told him to stop, and that only goaded him on further. He felt more emboldened to touch my virtual crotch… it was gross.”

Other avatars were nearby and did nothing as the player chased her and tried to touch her avatar’s breasts and crotch. With no ability to push the person away, she was forced to take off the headset in order to escape the harassment.

The experience stuck with her. She compares it to one she had in the real world when she was groped by a stranger at Starbucks.

“It’s not that it was physically painful. It’s that someone thought that they could take control of your space and get away with it,” she explained. “And that’s the same in virtual reality and reality. The mental repercussions of what happens after feels similar. It’s what stays with you.”

As technology advances and VR becomes more lifelike, so will experiences that players have in the virtual space.

“The mind can get tricked in the virtual space to thinking something happened,” Jordan says. “And maybe something did really happen to me.”

But there is a place where actions in the virtual world have consequences.
For now, there are no repercussions for sexual assault in the virtual world. Offenders can walk away untouched. But there is a place where actions in the virtual world have consequences.

A high security psychiatric ward in Montreal is using a controversial form of technology on pedophiles.

Convicted sex offenders and rapists are taken into a room called “the vault,” where they are surrounded by “virtual victims” — avatars of young boys and girls that seemingly come alive through immersive technology. Lean in, and they appear to come closer.

A rubber band-like device around the patient’s penis measures his sexual response as a VR image of a child is displayed in front of him. His brain activity is monitored and his movements are tracked. In the vault, pedophiles can’t fake a response. How they behave in the virtual space can signal if they’re likely to offend again, and it is noted in their sentencing. Patients sign a consent form to enter the vault, but if they opt not to, it’s noted in court.

Patrice Renaud has been working on the technology for a decade but received permission to test it on patients just over a year ago. He categorizes it as a risk assessment.

“It’s helping us to predict a response,” he says.

To literally put images of young children in front of a pedophile in order to gauge a response may be cutting edge, but it’s controversial.

“I don’t think it’s crazy because it’s in a very controlled environment,” Renaud’s colleague Sarah Michelle Neveu said. “They’re not doing it for their own pleasure. They’re doing it because they’re sent here by a judge.”

One day, Renaud hopes to use virtual reality to help treat sex offenders. He says we have entered an arm’s race over who can use VR most effectively. As the technology becomes available, it will also be used for deviant purposes, he says.

A world where robots are programmed to know you, where people form real relationships through artificial intelligence, where behavior changes in virtual spaces and minority report-like technology is not far off — that’s already here. The question isn’t whether the technology will exist, but rather, how will we exist with it?

The question isn't whether the technology will exist, but rather, how will we exist with it?

Produced by Erica Fink, Laurie Segall, Jason Farkas, Justine Quart, Roxy Hunt, Tony Castle, AK Hottman, Benjamin Garst, Haldane McFall, Gabriel Gomez, BFD Productions, Jack Regan, Cullen Daly.

Article edited by Aimee Rawlins.

Via: Mostly Human: I Love You, Bot