Busted Halo

In Virtue/Vice, Dr. Christine B. Whelan blogs about news, books, scientific and psychological research and her general musings about virtue and vice in our everyday lives.


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August 31st, 2010

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.

The Author : Christine B. Whelan
Dr. Christine B. Whelan is an author, professor and speaker. She and her husband, Peter, and their dictator cats, Chairman Meow and Evita Purron, live in Pittsburgh. Her book "Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women" is available in stores or at the Halo Store.
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