Wednesday, August 26, 2009


One of the most common sources of human error is multi-tasking, especially when performed behind the wheel of a car.

D.W.T. or Driving While Texting, is a supremely bad idea; it's been implicated in the crash of a train in Los Angeles and a trolley in Boston.

It is also becoming illegal. In Utah, for instance, texting and emailing while driving are now punishable by a $750 fine and 90 days in jail.

The state has put out a video, which you can see here. There's also a similar, though very graphic, video appearing now in the U.K.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, companies are scrambling to come up with new texting-safety apps that block texts or minimize the distraction they cause.

But you don't need any of these; you could just hang up the phone and drive.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Same Mistake, Again and Again

We've talked before about why we so often seem to make the same mistake again and again. Now comes another factor: stress.

In a recent study in the journal Science, Nuno Sousa and his colleagues describe what happens to chronically stressed rates.

As Natalie Angier of the New York Times put it, "the rodents were cognitively predisposed to keep doing the same things over and over, to run laps in the same dead-end rat race..."

Sound familiar?

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