Handle money often? It might help you tolerate pain, according to psychologists who found that volunteers who handled bills or even just thought about money were better at handling social rejection and physical pain than those who thought about neutral topics. I wrote a news story about the study this week. I also wrote about an astronomer who thinks he knows why hundreds of naked-eye observers have seen long-lasting flashes of light on the moon. Columbia grad student Cameron Hummels mentioned this research to me when I was profiling him for Science Careers this winter–it was fun to follow up on the tip and turn it into a story.
Not long after my Alpine ski tour (sadly not part of my work for Nature), I attended a Microsoft Research demonstration day in Cambridge where I played with futuristic gadgets and spoke with researchers working in everything from computational biology to 3-d visualization hardware. I also finally met one of the engineers behind SenseCam, who was out of town when I reported on the device for Science in March.
And back at the office, I’ve blogged about some look-alike journals produced by Elsevier on behalf of drugmaker Merck (here and here), the FDA’s accusations that Cheerios has mislabeled its cereal, and a possible nomination to fill the empty NASA administrator role.