Friday, July 13, 2007

Games that mind plays

Of late, i have been thinking, quite absurdly !!!
i hv been seeing things a lot.....things no one can, or ought to !!!

Whats happening to me, i think, n keep searching for the answers within !!!
n suddenly i start seeing clues all around me...

i play Prince of Persia - Warrior Within, only to see the technical team of the game comprising mostly of French people ! The protagonist here embarks on a journey to change his fate. He knows his future, that he is going to be killed by the Guardian of Timeline. Everyone tells him, " You cannot change your fate, No man can....", yet he embarks on the journey. Contrary to everyone, after everything he endured, he succeeds to change his fate.

Its know that u are going to die, and there's nothing u can do about it !!!
No one in this world can help u, no one can understand the sheer mental agony u go through. You are all alone, alone to suffer till time comes n tears u apart. You think what did u do to deserve this ??? Why it had to be You ???

And why do i mention all this ???

Coz that was just a game, and this is LIFE !!!
its enigmatic, so much more than one can imagine.

Fiction is obliged to stick to imagination,
Reality isn't.
- Mark Twain

There have been several more instances where my mind has been a la Don Quixote.
But whats the use ??? I kept fooling myself by believing all of them, quite like the heroic characters, overcoming their enemies everytime with much more power n wisdom than before, i could see myself powering up to Super Saiyan Stages (DBZ fans wud be familiar with this terminology ) with emotional agony paving way for the next higher stage of energy within, to win over a yet more powerful 'enemy'. And now, i feel shameful, how i have been fooling myself into believing all this, i cant see any reason how i can be all this.
That fire, that madness to take on the world n prove to it, that u r right, its something that i am lacking of late, or shud i say, for quite some time now !!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How Women Pick Mates

Science might be able to explain our fascination with Brad Pitt's chiseled jaw and George Clooney's smoldering eyes.

Women seem to judge potential mates by how masculine their features are, new research shows. Men with square jaws and well-defined brow ridges are seen as good short-term partners, while those with more feminine traits such as a rounder face and fuller lips are perceived as better long-term mates.

In the study, 854 male and female subjects viewed a series of male head shots that had been digitally altered to exaggerate or minimize masculine traits. The participants then answered questions about how they expected the men in the photos to behave.

Overwhelmingly, participants said those with more masculine features were likely to be risky and competitive and also more apt to fight, challenge bosses, cheat on spouses and put less effort into parenting. Those with more feminine faces were seen as good parents and husbands, hard workers and emotionally supportive mates [compare examples].

Despite all the negative attributes, when asked who they would choose for a short-term relationship, women still selected the more masculine looking men. Brad and George then would be picks for a brief romance, if not the long haul.

Makes sense

The study, detailed in the December issue of the journal Personal Relationships, reached conclusions similar to research published earlier last year in Britain.

The new study's author, Daniel Kruger at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, said that from an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense women would view more masculine-looking men as potential flings and less masculine-looking ones as long-term partners.

The key, he said, is testosterone, the hormone responsible for development of masculine facial features and other secondary sexual characteristics.

Testosterone is necessary for development, but can also have detrimental health effects. It has been shown, for example, to interfere with the body's immune response, so men who are able to maintain high levels of the hormone are typically strong and healthy-traits women would want to pass on to their progeny.

Increased testosterone has also been linked to male cheating and violence in relationships, so while these men might produce high quality offspring, they don't always make great parents or faithful mates, Kruger says.

The study suggests women could be equipped to use seemingly superficial characteristics "as a cue to pick up on trends in these behavioral strategies," Kruger said.

Get a clue

There are plenty of these signals in the animal world. Male peacocks' huge, outrageous tails can make foraging for food and evading predators difficult, but the plumage, which many researchers say indicates male fitness, is so effective at luring females that the trait has been preserved in the population, Kruger points out.

While the findings are compelling, the scientific community has typically greeted the field of physiognomy, which links facial characteristics to certain behavioral traits, with skepticism.

Kruger argues, however, that the research is a valuable tool for understanding mating strategies. And, of course, for explaining how Pitt and Clooney managed to snag People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" title two times each-it might have to do with their genes, but could also have something to do with ours

Why We're Not All Beautiful?????

A new study explains why we aren't all born with Brad Pitt's perfectly chiseled features or Angelina Jolie's pouty lips.

A long-standing thorn in the side of biologists has been the difficulty in accounting for the enormous variation between individuals when sexual selection by females for the most attractive mates should quickly spread the "best" genes through a population.

"It is a major problem for evolutionary biology," said study team leader Marion Petrie of Newcastle University.

The lek paradox

For some species, females select the most attractive males to mate with: female peacocks will choose males with the longest tail feathers-the peacock version of George Clooney. These more attractive features usually indicate some other level of genetic fitness, such as disease resistance, that the female's offspring will then also inherit.

According to this method of sexual selection, if females only bred with the most attractive males, then all males should be equally attractive and sexual selection could not take place. (In the peacocks' case, all males would have similarly long tails.) But clearly this isn't the case: for every Johnny Depp out there, there's a George Costanza-in humans, birds and other animals alike.

This so-called "lek paradox" (a lek is a group of males congregated for mating) has plagued evolutionary biologists for decades.

"If you had no variation at all, you wouldn't get evolution,"

But a group of British scientists think they have found the answer to the paradox in the human body's "DNA repair kits."

DNA repair kits

A cell's DNA repair kit is not really a kit but a set of molecular processes that routinely repair the damage done to the cell's DNA that result in genetic mutations, under normal conditions. Mutations can be harmful and cause tissue to degenerate, malfunction or develop cancers. Other mutations are beneficial, such as those in the part of the genome responsible for disease defense that make an individual more resistant to attacks from bacteria and viruses.

Some mutations affect the repair processes themselves and make them less efficient which results in more mutations as the damage goes unrepaired.

"You can raise or lower your own mutation rate,"

A higher mutation rate creates more diversity in a population. Using a computer model, Petrie found that the greater genetic diversity created by mutations that affect DNA repair outweighed the decrease in diversity arising from sexual selection.

In some of her earlier work, Petrie showed that men with greater genetic diversity in areas of the genome relating to disease defense were also rated as more attractive by women. So because these males with greater mutation rates are more likely to mate, they will pass that higher rate on to their offspring, allowing sexual selection to propagate variation through the population, a finding that likely applies to all organisms.

This propagation means that peacocks' tail feathers will vary in length and that some of us definitely won't be America's next top model.