What makes for the most persuasive advertisements

I rarely watch commercial radio or TV because the frequent interruption by ads annoy me, but it is impossible to avoid advertisements these days since they are all over the internet, including this blog. I like to think that I am too sophisticated to be taken in by these pitches but it may be that advertisers are smarter than we are. For example, take a look at this ad.


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Why time seems to travel faster for older people

It is a cliché that older people seem to think that time goes by faster than younger people. Christian Yates reviews the various theories that purport to explain this.

This apparently accelerated time travel is not a result of filling our adult lives with grown-up responsibilities and worries. Research does in fact seem to show that perceived time moves more quickly for older people making our lives feel busy and rushed.

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Birds and windmills

If you attend talks about alternative forms of energy, you can often find people in the audience challenging the use of wind power by saying that windmill blades kill a lot of birds. This gives many people pause because those who support alternative energy sources also tend to be those who support humane treatment of animals and the idea of birds being sliced by the blades is worrisome.
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Can a marathon be run under two hours?

The current world record for the marathon in 2 hours, 2 minutes and 57 seconds set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in the 2014 Berlin Marathon. This raises the question of whether a marathon can be run under two hours. Although the current record seems tantalizingly close to the two hour mark, it translates into a distance of six-tenths of a mile in a race and that seems so formidable that some suspect that that barrier will never be broken.
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Why can’t we do with climate change what we did with the ozone layer?

Readers may remember the scare over the hole in the ozone layer that appeared over Antarctica and had been growing at an alarming rate. That layer protected the Earth from dangerous levels of ultraviolet radiation and the danger posed by the hole resulted in concerted action to try and combat it. The 1987 Montreal Protocol targeted the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)that were believed to be the main cause of the rupture and the good news is that those efforts seem to be bearing fruit.
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Tesla autopilot car crash raises questions of responsibility

As self-driving cars become more a reality with multiple companies developing them, the issue of who would be responsible for accidents has become an issue. Sadly, that debate has come to the fore because of the crash of a Tesla car that was in self-driving mode with a tractor-trailer in which the ‘driver’ of the Tesla car was killed. This seems to be the first fatality involving such cars.
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Some good news about helium

Helium is a vital natural resource. Among other valuable uses, it plays an essential role in scientific research because in its liquid form it enables researchers to reach temperatures close to absolute zero on the Kelvin scale. What many people don’t realize is that helium is obtained from underground reserves and that these are finite and thus should be carefully conserved and not wasted on frivolities like balloons, making voices high pitched, and the like.
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