Royston posted this in Wales on December 30th, 2011

The Banking Crisis of 1825

Banking Crisis – Lloyds was a safe bank in 1825

The recent banking crisis and the failure of the Scottish attempts to take over the banking world in the UK two years back has set me thinking about the earlier attempts at setting up regional banks and in particular the setting up of the first real retail type banks in the UK. Many years ago numerous county banks were created in different parts of Britain, including Gods Country Wales. There were a number of so called drovers’ banks set up in mid-Wales at that time. Drovers as in ‘rawhide’, the famous cowboy series took the cattle (and sheep) to market and returned the money from the sale to the farmers – which could mean they had quite a considerable sum of money on their person. They would set off with chuck wagon, outriders etc. and fighting off Indians and Brumies would

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Stephanie posted this in Psychology on December 24th, 2011

How our collective memory of 1066 could be souring Anglo-French relations

Anglo-Saxon troops confront the invaders
No doubt you’ve noticed that the Entente Cordiale has been looking a little strained lately. That’s mostly due to contemporary European politics and economics. Isn’t it? We can’t blame 1066. Can we?

In fact, British attitudes towards the French today probably aren’t helped by memories and myths surrounding the Norman Conquest. This may seem like an odd claim, but a timely and intriguing new study focuses on the Norman Conquest of Britain as an example of a “distant memory” that could be affecting contemporary attitudes towards the French specifically, and towards immigrants more generally. Where psychologists usually study short-term or autobiographical memory in individuals, this study is an academic investigation of our collective or cultural memory.

Siobhan Brownlie‘s data comes from two main sources: a search of Norman Conquest mentions in ten British newspapers between 2005 and 2008 (she found 807 relevant articles) and a survey of 2,179 members of the UK population.


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admin posted this in Business on December 21st, 2011

Humour Goes Viral

Humour Turns E-Mail Viral

A study by Sharpe Partners, an interactive marketing agency, revealed that
89% of adult Internet users in America share content with others via e-mail.
This is excellent news for those companies who use self-propelling
word-of-mouse” e-mail techniques to sell their products.

The study generated some interesting results regarding the type of content
that is most often forwarded, as well. The most popular content is humorous

The second most popular category is news, followed by healthcare and medical
information, religious and spiritual material, games, business and personal
finance information and sports/hobbies. in that order. So it is easy to see
that humour is the best content for your viral e-mail campaign.

Cartoons, jokes and funny video clips are among the things that can be added
to an e-mail to insure that it will go viral. People will want to pass along
something that makes them laugh.

They are a lot more likely to hit the forward button and send your

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Stephanie posted this in Psychology on December 21st, 2011

Our Xmas special: gift psychology and psychology gifts

Psychology-themed gifts:

Inception DVD – Jungian symbolism, action adventure and Leonardo DiCaprio!

A subscription to Scientific American Mind magazine.

“I’m statistically significant” and other stats-themed t-shirts.

Memento DVD - the best amnesia movie that we can remember.

The Force Trainer – Become a Jedi: wireless headset interprets your brainwaves and moves an object.

 “Connect it” brain/usb t-shirt.

Mindflex brainwave game - go head to head with a friend.

A subscription to The Psychologist magazine.

Serotonin necklace.

Freudian slippers.

Dopamine t-shirt.

Inflatable brain.

Ramon y Cajal t-shirt.

Make a donation to Mind – the UK’s leading mental health charity.

The best psychology books of 2011 (and there’s always the new Rough Guide to Psychology by the editor of the Research Digest!)

Gift-giving research

If in doubt, give them what they want. A study published this year suggested people prefer receiving what they asked for, rather than a surprise gift.

Don’t bundle your gifts. Gift receivers rate a single high-value gift more positively than a big gift bundled with a stocking filler.

This study,

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Royston posted this in Wales on December 20th, 2011

Campaign to get Red Lady of Paviland returned to Wales

The Red Lady of Paviland

As RoyMogg readers will be aware the ‘Red-Lady of Paviland’ currently resides in a box in Oxford and is the subject of action to attempt the repatriate the red-lady (actually red-bloke cos it is man!) to the land of origin Wales. The Red-Lady actually a red-ochre stained body of a man, is one of the earliest known Palaeolithic burials in the UK and quite rightly belongs as part of the heritage of the Welsh being an example of early occupation of this land some 25 to 26 thousand years ago.

The bones were discovered around 1823 by the reverend John Davies on a stroll and have been the subject of many false attributions as to what the remains were – not least that the body was of a woman not a man. One of the most colourful stories was that the ochre-stained skeleton had become a ‘painted

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Royston posted this in humour on December 20th, 2011

Christmas Spirit alive and well in East Grinstead

It’s that time of year again when itinerant panhandlers (i.e. carol singers) appear on my door-step attempting to sing a few strangled verses of some long forgotten carol before being sent away with a flea in their ear and a recommendation for a few singing lessons by yours truly. Last year some group of lads came around and made a vague attempt at Silent Night (oh I wish it was when they

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Stephanie posted this in Psychology on December 17th, 2011

Mention of the word "loving" doubles charitable donations

“Love begets love.” Proverb
French researchers say that adding the text “donating=loving” to a charitable collection box almost doubled the amount of money they raised.

Nicolas Guéguen and Lubomir Lamy placed opaque collection boxes in 14 bakeries in Brittany for two weeks. All the boxes featured the following text in French: “Women students in business trying to organise a humanitarian action in Togo. We are relying on your support”, together with a picture of a young African woman with an infant in her arms. Some boxes had this additional text in French just below the money slot: “DONATING=LOVING”; others had the text “DONATING=HELPING”; whilst others had no further text below the slot. Different box types were placed in different bakeries on different days and the amount of money collected each day was recorded.

The text on the donation boxes made a profound difference. On average, almost twice as much money was raised daily in

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Royston posted this in Education on December 11th, 2011

Synthetic as normally used means building something up from two or more basic elements also has a more negative connotation as artificial not natural (or not analytic in synthetic proposition terms)

When I was a boy we learned to read and write by the old fashioned method chalk and talk. You talk or you get the chalk! When old Mrs Meredith (now sadly passed away to the rejoicing of countless generations of her former pupils – I just thought I can now slander her name with impunity) asked you to spell a word she followed it up within at most a second or two with a piece of chalk fired at your head . I used to marvel at the unnerving accuracy that this slight women managed to find the target (mostly Lyn Davies head as it happens) across a crowded classroom with rarely a off target projection. Strong in arm the chalk made its parabolic flight with ICBM accuracy to find the offending dim wits ear – there to explode in a satisfying plume of chalk dust. Such was the skill I often thought she should have made the first eleven she clearly had cricket in her blood – she must have been related to WC Fields – mainly because of the beard come to think of

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Stephanie posted this in Psychology on December 10th, 2011

What your choice of best ever footballer says about human memory

Cruijff – the best ever player?Ask a friend to name the best ever footballer and they’re likely to pick someone who was mid-career when they (your friend) was aged around 17. That’s according to a new investigation into the “reminiscence bump”. This term describes the fact that when you ask people to name the most memorable events in their lives, they tend to refer to things that happened to them in their teens and early twenties. Recently it’s been shown that a similar effect occurs when you ask people to name their favourite music, books and films, with them tending to pick out content from their youth. Now David Rubin and his colleagues have extended this line of research to people’s judgement of the best footballers of all time.

Six hundred and nineteen people (aged 16 to 80) took part in the study online, conducted in Dutch and hosted on the

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Royston posted this in society on December 10th, 2011

Should Sharia Law be included as part of Common Law?

A bit of controversy last week over the Very Reverend Sheik Rowan Atkinson (yes the ecclesiastical comedian) the mad Mullah of Lambeth (AKA the Archbishop of Canterbury or ABC as he is know to his dwindling flock) and his pronouncements about the incorporation of Sharia law into UK society – he didn’t really say this but its good to ham it

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