Pharmaceutical Drugs Can Be Used to Alter Activity Levels in Humans [via Science Daily]
UC-Riverside biologists have discovered that voluntary activities such as exercise are genetic traits inheritable through generations. The researchers used selective breeding on mice to create high-running generations, and their findings have important implications for humans. “Down the road people could be treated pharmacologically for low activity levels through drugs that targeted specific genes that promote activity,” biologist Theodore Garland said. “Pharmacological interventions in the future could make it more pleasurable for people to engage in voluntary exercise. Such interventions could also make it less comfortable for people to sit still for long periods of time.”
Fury in Austria at anti-mosque game [via Al Jazeera]
A fringe right-wind political group in Austria has drawn criticism after releasing a video game in which players shoot down Muslim minarets and muezzins, the person leading the call to prayer. The game is part of a political campaign to elect Freedom Party candidate Gerhard Kurzmann. “This is religious hatred and xenophobia beyond comparison,” said Austrian Islamic community leader Anas Schakfeh. There are no mosques with minarets in Styria, the region Kurzmann is running to represent and where the population is 1.6 percent Muslim
Why is vodka packaging so avant garde? [via Cranky Packaging Guy]
There are several reasons vodka enjoys more imaginative packaging than other spirits, a packaging enthusiast details in a very interesting analysis on his blog. Packaging for vodka is often rather elaborate and expensive to develop and produce, which the author links to the cheapness of producing vodka. This is due to two reasons. First, most vodkas have no traditional package designs to hold them back. Second, because premium vodka brands are plentiful, manufacturers have to find ways to make their brand stand out.
The Great Gatsby Revisited [via The Millions]
In a beautifully written essay, novelist and Columbia University professor Sonya Chung writes that her third reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” reminded her of many wonderful aspects of the 1925 novel she had yet to fully consider. “In Gatsby, Fitzgerald also gets the essential doubleness of human nature so terribly, perfectly right. Every character is pulled in (at least) two directions; love and hate, admiration and disdain, are of a piece in almost every relationship. And the reader ultimately feels an unresolved, and yet somehow perfectly coherent dividedness about each character.”