This Week I Learned That…
- When people eat meat, they tend to consider animals as less capable of suffering. In one study, psychological researcher Steve Loughnan asked participants to eat either a sample of beef or a sample of nuts. Then, he asked the participants about their moral concerns for animal welfare in general, as well as their more specific feelings on how capable a cow is of suffering. Those who had eaten the beef demonstrated substantially less concern for animal welfare and also saw cows as less capable of suffering than those who had eaten nuts.
- In some of the earliest comics, the Superman plots took place in Cleveland, Ohio. As Larry Tye explains in his history of Superman, it didn’t take long to settle on Metropolis for the city in which the Man of Steel comes to reside. However, the creators of Superman–two young Jewish men named Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster–grew up in Cleveland. They were deeply tied to their community, so it was natural for them to initially place their hero in the role of saving their own city.
- Experiencing emotional rejection actually causes us to feel colder physically.. In his book, On Second Thought, writer Wray Herbert offers several examples of the influence our minds have on our physical bodies. In one experiment, researchers had one group of subjects recall a time when they experienced rejection and another group of subjects recall a time when they experienced acceptance. The researchers then asked both groups to estimate the temperature in the room. On average, the subjects who had recalled experiencing rejection estimated the temperature to be five degrees colder than the subjects who had recalled experiencing acceptance.
- Presidents Day, as we know it today, was the invention of a retailer attempting to use the holiday in a promotion. As explained on George Mason University’s History News Network, the holiday was originally established as a celebration of George Washington’s birthday (though never actually occurring on his birthday). The retailer found that promoting all of the Presidents was more effective in liquidating sales. So, the campaign was launched and the rest is history.
- Some brands offer lifetime discounts to customers who get tattoos of their logos. According to Justin Kitch, CEO of Curious.com, a 90s rock band introduced the trend by offering free lifetime admission to concerts for fans who got tattoos of its logo. Since, even Steve Jobs has jumped into the craze–offering up to $5,000 cash and a 25% discount to people who get tattoos of the iconic Apple logo on their faces.
- In 2013, Australians spent $50 million on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets. According to a study conducted by the World Society for the Protection of Animals, Aussies spent $23 million on dogs, $7.9 million on cats, and the rest on other pets–and all of this just for Valentine’s Day.