Things that Make You Go “Hmmmm”

hmmmm-flashA round-up of oddly compelling bits of news:

  • Us heathen college professors aren’t as devoid of faith as some might think: According to a new article in the Sociology of Religion, three-quarters of college professors report some belief in a higher power. Ten percent of professors are atheists and 13% are agnostic. As the good folks at Contexts.org report, that’s more than the 4% that told the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life researchers that they were atheist or agnostic, but the two studies didn’t ask questions in exactly the same way.
  • A bad hair day can have a serious impact on a woman’s self-esteem, reports USA Today. Indeed, 44% of women in a telephone survey conducted by ShopSmart magazine reported that “their mood has been effected by a bad hair day.” Some 26% have cried after getting a bad hair cut. Bottom line: Buy more hair products and you can buy happiness. Oh, wait, studies show exactly the opposite. I hate it when sales-promotion “research” gets reported as news.
  • And another map to add to my list of transfixing social change images: For several years, I’ve been obsessed with this CNN map of the spread of obesity in the United States. Here’s a new map that shows the growth of Walmart and Sam’s Club during approximately the same period. I’m not suggesting a correlation. I mostly just think that these time-lapse maps are kind of mind-blowing.

That should give you something to chew on today.


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