Linkdump for November 14th through November 29th

Sometime between November 14th and November 29th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

New Research

Today, the Seattle PI’s Big Blog linked to an MSNBC story about how swearing can apparently help lessen how much pain is felt.

…the researchers had thought that swearing would make the cold water feel much colder, lowering the participants’ tolerance for pain and heightening their perception of it. “In fact, the opposite occurred — people withstood a moderately to strongly painful stimulus for significantly longer if they repeated a swear word rather than a nonswear word,” write the team….

What caught my eye was the opening paragraph of the MSNBC story’s description of this as “new research” — I was sure that I’d heard this before. A quick search of the website of the Neuroreport journal where the study was published quickly finds the study…and reveals that it was published in August 2009.

Admittedly, this is just a bit of a fluff piece on a slow news day. But really. Since when is research almost two years old “new”? It may well be the most current research on the subject, but new? That seems a bit of an overstatement.