Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Afraid of flying? There's an app for that...

If I only had an iPhone...It is unlikely I will ever get a smartphone, mainly because I consider then akin to Crackberries when it comes to depth of evil. I am, however, more than likely to get a panic attack while flying. Which means I probably would benefit from the fear iButton. MSNBC reports Virgin Atlantic has launched an iPhone app for its Flying Without Fear course, which possesses a 98 percent success rate... the course, not the iButton (yet). This app purports to help people overcome their fears of flying by explaining how a flight works, giving them mental exercises, and failing all that, a panic button.

Olivia Judson's opinion column in the New York Times was actually what gave me the idea to theme my post today around science and technology. She posed an interesting question in a column about facial expressions' impact on mood. Pleasantly titled, "The Language of Smiles," Judson probes lightly into how language sounds and expressions can influence whether you're happy or sad, including the intriguing point that it might also matter what language you're speaking.

And yes, both times I read that article, I spent a few minutes saying "eeeeee" and giggling.

Finally, an article in the UK's Daily Mail exploring "the virtue of smell" definitely caught my attention. As the article's title - "Cleanliness IS Next to Godliness..." - states, people have been found to be more fair and generous unconsciously when in clean environments. Subjects in lemony-fresh surroundings were more likely to divide an amount of money fairly as well as to contribute to charity.

(Image courtesy of Flickr)

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